The Truth About Amazon to eBay Arbitrage

Amazon to eBay Arbitrage

Have you ever bought an item on eBay then received a package from Amazon, with a gift receipt inside?

Maybe you’ve come across DS Domination, or another site like it, promising to teach you how to run an automated ecommerce business?

Or if you’ve dug deeper you may have found tools for repricing eBay listings when prices change on Amazon, or even for automatically purchasing items from Amazon.

If you’ve encountered any of those, you’ve dipped a toe in the frankly murky world of “Amazon to eBay arbitrage”. In this post I’m going to explore it in depth. Yes, it’s dominated by get-rich-quick schemes, but that’s only part of the story. Beneath all that, there’s an interesting phenomenon going on, with innovative technology available and genuine businesses in operation.

An online arbitrage success story

British scientist Ben Hovell started arbitrage selling on eBay in 2008. He bought an item on eBay, only to have it arrive in a box from Ben then discovered that the item was cheaper on Amazon than on eBay, and pieced together what had happened:

  1. He purchased the item on eBay
  2. The eBay seller purchased the item from Amazon, and entered Ben’s address for delivery
  3. Amazon shipped the item
  4. The eBay seller kept the difference

It’s important to understand that this isn’t Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and the seller does not purchase the item in advance. The key is that the item is only bought from Amazon once a sale has been made on eBay. Amazon is effectively being used as a drop-shipper.

Having understood the basics, Ben decided to get into the arbitrage selling business himself:

Hard drives were very expensive at the time, so I listed ten on eBay and copied the prices from Amazon, with a bit added on. Then I sold one, which was wonderful. I sold another one a week later, which was wonderful again.

The next sale did not go as smoothly. The price had gone up on Amazon, and he lost money on the sale. Amazon actually makes millions of price changes every day, which creates a major challenge for arbitrage sellers. But Ben stuck with it, checking Amazon’s prices every morning and changing his price on eBay accordingly.

Expanding an online arbitrage business

The next step was creating a piece of software to check Amazon prices three times a day and if they had changed, create an upload for eBay’s File Exchange system to update the prices. With this automation in place, Ben scaled up his business, and had hundreds of eBay listings running:

It had gone from a hobby to a little more serious. We are talking about £100 or £200 in profit per week. Not a living, but worth having. I realized my constraint on growth was twofold: one, I needed more eBay listings and two, I needed to update prices more frequently.

Next Ben commissioned more powerful software to check prices every hour, and found a company in India to outsource the work of writing eBay listings. Both constraints were resolved, and the business “just ballooned and ballooned.”

Sales were growing rapidly, and both eBay and PayPal fees started to go down thanks to volume discounts. By using an Amex credit card with cash-back, the Amazon purchase price was in effect lowered by 1.5%, reducing costs further. At this point Ben employed someone for 2 to 3 hours per day to place orders on Amazon – up to fifty a day – and was making tens of thousands of pounds in profit a year. He was spending millions of pounds on Amazon.

What did he sell?

Anything and everything on Amazon’s best sellers lists, as long as it was priced between £50 and £500. There was no other market research – listing was so cheap it just wasn’t worth refining it further. He’d list everything on eBay for the Amazon price plus a percentage and a fixed “fee”, a kind of commission for handling the transaction.

But then things changed:

It got increasingly difficult to buy. Amazon said “hey, this isn’t for personal use”, and stopped me from buying. I don’t know why it happened, there’s no dialogue there. There are ways to get around it but I decided that it wouldn’t last forever and went back to being a scientist. That was in 2012.

Ben’s style of arbitrage selling was based on high volumes, and clearly it can be profitable. With good software and outsourcing, it seems like he found internet marketing’s holy grail of a “passive income”. So what’s the catch?

It’s a zero-sum game with a race to the bottom. Not everyone can make money doing the same thing. But arbitrage selling will continue to exist as a niche, run by people with the willpower and programming knowledge to do it. It’s like trading on the stock exchange, which still has arbitrage with fast frequency transactions, and we still have arbitrage in the betting markets. It’s exactly the same game and will always be there. It just happens to be doing it with consumer goods.

Ben is now working on making his software public, and free, using Amazon affiliate links to generate an income from it. The service will be able to create new eBay listings based on Amazon products. It will then check Amazon every hour and update the eBay listing if the price changes, or end the listing if Amazon goes out of stock. It will work for eBay and Amazon US and UK.

How do you automate Amazon to eBay arbitrage?

So arbitrage can work, providing high customer satisfaction and generating a profit, but is it a “real” business? Generating a large chunk of income from a personal cash-back credit card, while profitable, doesn’t seem like a great business foundation. And crucially, if you are not adding any value to the transaction then there’s nothing to stop a competitor doing exactly the same thing, and a price war will soon begin.

To find out more I spoke to Doug Feigelson of Zinc Technologies, who make a software tool called PriceYak.

PriceYak calls itself “the most advanced repricer for eBay”, but what it really specializes in is – you guessed it – Amazon to eBay arbitrage. It’s particularly interesting because it automates more of the arbitrage process than any other tool out there, to the best of my knowledge. This is what it can do:

  1. Create eBay listings from Amazon products
  2. Reprice eBay listings when Amazon prices change
  3. Automatically order sold items from Amazon
  4. Post tracking information back to eBay when the order is dispatched by Amazon

Automatic ordering from Amazon is the biggest deal here, because nobody else does it (a notable exception is an Amazon buying API provided by Segemai Technologies).

From arbitrage selling to arbitrage software

Doug was also an arbitrage seller himself before getting into the software side:

About six years ago I was selling a lot on eBay, and realized I could do arbitrage from Amazon to eBay. I was learning software and could automate a lot of it. The part I loved about it was writing the software, and the part I hated was customer support and calling eBay when there were problems with the account.

With 200,000 listings on eBay, and over 100 orders per day, Doug was the seventh-largest bookseller on eBay. He had automated buying from Amazon, while other arbitrage sellers were limited by the need to place orders manually. With ordering taken care of, Doug found customer support was making the biggest demand on his time. Many eBay sellers will be able to identify with time-consuming problems like wrongly classified returns, policy violations, selling restrictions, and long calls with eBay seller support.

Is online arbitrage a legitimate business?

Having moved on from selling to software, Doug works with many arbitrage sellers. I asked him about the perception of Amazon to eBay arbitrage today.

It’s a very legitimate way to run an eBay business. There’s a niche real business there, and a whole aura around it of Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), and people just trying to get rich selling the information. We really hate that. It’s really annoying and very noisy. There’s a lot of people out there who are not looking to do any work, but it’s a real business and you need to put real work into it.

In terms of strategy, PriceYak’s sellers fall into two main camps. One strategy is to have a relatively small number of listings, perhaps a few hundred, and work on the titles, photos and descriptions, creating original content such as detailed buying advice. “Those guys get a lot of sales on the few listings they have”, explained Doug.

What is the profit margins for online arbitrage?

Margins can be as high as 20% above the Amazon price, although around 8% is more typical. On average, PriceYak’s customers sell about 1% of their inventory a day, so a seller with 1,000 items on eBay might get around 10 orders a day.

Another strategy is to list as much as possible. eBay’s selling limits can be a real barrier here, as they restrict the number of active items for sale, and can only be increased once a month. Sellers following this strategy will compile a list of popular products, and create eBay listings in bulk using an automation tool. A lot of sales can result, but margins are smaller and there can be a high demand for customer support. Some high volume sellers only break even, and make a small profit from credit card rewards.

So what’s the future like for arbitrage sellers?

Nothing is permanent. Everybody knows that the niches come and go. Maybe they have a product category where they’re doing very well, but that usually won’t last more than a couple years. It shifts around. That being said, none of the really serious sellers are scared of the people who buy a get-rich-quick video and dabble with it. Those people are generally not committed enough to be a threat. The most successful sellers are not necessarily the ones with the most experience or talent, they’re the ones with the most commitment – the ones who’ll wake up every day and answer the support questions without fail.

It’s the more committed sellers that PriceYak serves, and it’s staying firmly in the area of Amazon to eBay arbitrage selling. Recently they improved the speed at which eBay listings can be created, and also introduced a blacklist of brands who have made VeRO trademark infringement claims on eBay against their sellers – so future listings featuring that brand can be avoided.

PriceYak has three software engineers working for the company full-time. On their site it’s not clear at first glance about what the software does, but it’s well known on forums for arbitrage sellers.

Amazon to eBay arbitrage selling FAQs

Is Amazon to eBay arbitrage ethical?

Opinions differ. This form of arbitrage is similar to drop shipping – ordering direct from a wholesaler, but only when a sale is made. Like drop shipping, no stock is held by the seller. Drop shipping is well-established, widespread, and used by many well-known retailers, particularly for bulky and expensive items. Nobody thinks drop shipping is unethical.

But the key differences are that Amazon is a retailer anyone can buy from, and the arbitrage seller does not tell the buyer they will simply purchase the item from Amazon on their behalf. That’s what puts this type of selling in an ethical gray area.

Of course, you can argue that there’s nothing stopping the buyer from checking the price on Amazon themselves, and that’s true. And there’s no obligation on sellers to say if a better price is available elsewhere – it would be absurd to expect that.

Still, even with all the rational arguments going in its favor, Amazon to eBay arbitrage has an air of injustice about it. It’s so far removed from the way people expect a retailer to operate, that I doubt it will ever be seen by everyone as an honorable way to do business.

Do eBay buyers get upset when they receive their order from Amazon?

Yes, sometimes, but it doesn’t happen very often. In fact it’s surprisingly rare. Some arbitrage sellers refund the difference if a buyer complains, which normally prevents negative feedback and can be built into the cost of doing business.

One seller who uses this model, the_book_i_want, is a Top Rated Seller on eBay with 99.8% positive feedback. While they do have negative feedback from buyers who were boycotting Amazon, or felt cheated because they could have paid less, as a percentage of their total feedback it is very low.

Why don’t people buy from Amazon if it’s cheaper?

Most of the time, they just don’t look. There are many different buying habits, and checking prices on both eBay and Amazon isn’t all that common. Some will go direct to eBay, believing it will always have the best price. Others might compare prices, but a comparison between a high street store and eBay, for example, may favor eBay even if the product is actually sourced from Amazon and marked up.

Another possibility is that eBay’s Global Shipping Program makes a product available to an international buyer who is either not able to buy directly from Amazon, or who finds Amazon shipping to be prohibitively expensive. The buyer may know that the item is cheaper on Amazon but still choose to buy on eBay. The seller then arranges for shipping from Amazon to eBay’s domestic warehouse, and leaves it for eBay to arrange shipping to the buyer abroad. That’s how the Global Shipping Program works.

And finally, a buyer with a balance in their PayPal account (from the auction of unwanted gifts or hobby items, for example) may choose to buy on eBay to make use of their balance. While it’s more rational to withdraw the money then buy from the cheapest retailer, it might be more satisfying to spend the balance directly.

Could sellers get banned if they cancel eBay orders?

Yes, if sellers cancel too many orders then eBay will limit their sales or even ban them completely. Using a repricer specifically designed for Amazon to eBay arbitrage addresses the risk of price changes happening before the sale is made. Once an item has sold the price is fixed, but there remains the risk of price changes on Amazon until the order is placed there.

Arbitrage sellers need to avoid order defects like any other eBay seller, so some will take a loss if Amazon prices go up before they place their order. Others will cancel the sale, and risk being penalized. Flawless automation of changes to price and availability, and automatic ordering, are the only way to mitigate the risk completely.

Is it OK to take the description and photos from Amazon?

The copyright on the description and photo may belong to Amazon. Or possibly the first seller to list that particular product on Amazon, if they took their own photos. To avoid complaints, some arbitrage sellers write their own descriptions, and source photos that can be used more freely, such as the manufacturer’s.

Arbitrage sellers are unlikely to take their own photos, as they rarely handle the items themselves.

What is the future of online arbitrage selling?

Amazon to eBay arbitrage is much more common than most people think. Sellers who do it don’t advertise the fact, so they are difficult to identify. Perhaps they have feedback that mentions receiving a package from Amazon, or use Amazon images directly in their eBay description, but very few buyers would notice either.

But there is a bigger concept to arbitrage selling than just buying from Amazon and selling on eBay. Whenever there is a sufficient gap between the price that buyers will pay, and the price that a retailer will sell at, arbitrage becomes possible. Sometimes this will be in cross-border selling, with products that are expensive or unavailable in the buyer’s country. A listing on their local eBay site, in their own language, will make the product seem much more accessible.

Consider also that the source of products doesn’t have to be Amazon, and the target marketplace doesn’t have to be eBay. A seller could list on New Zealand’s Trade Me or Poland’s Allegro, but source products from Nordstrom or Walmart in the US. A forwarding service can handle international shipping if it’s not offered (or too expensive) direct from the retailer. Zinc Technologies already provides a flexible buying API with support for several different retailers, making it easy to automate the ordering part of the process.

Today, most would agree that Amazon to eBay arbitrage is a covert practice – those who do it certainly do not shout about it. But perhaps, in a few years’ time, we’ll see a world where every product, from every retailer, anywhere in the world, is available on every marketplace.

In that world, with all products available everywhere at a competitive price, exorbitant local prices will become impossible. All thanks to arbitrage sellers, once dismissed as shady middlemen, adding grease to the wheels of international ecommerce.

105 comments on “The Truth About Amazon to eBay Arbitrage

  1. Margins can be as high as 20% above the Amazon price, although around 8% is more typical.

    According to my accountant, margins of 8% when selling on ebay equals a loss, when you remember that eBay & PayPal are going to take a bit or a bite.
    Also remember that breaking even means you are working for free.

    1. When it comes to saving money on a item, I will take the time and look at eBay! Amazon U.S. & Amazon U.K.! It depends what I am looking for. If DVDs I will look At Amazon U.S, But mostly Amazon U.K. for cheaper deals. I very seldom buy DVDs from eBay, because they are to many people selling pirated DVDs on there. Why? because eBay will not put a stop to it! Always check feedback on these sellers! If they have a lot of bad feed backs, or few sales, stay away from them! When I say few sales, I mean new sellers. If they are selling several DVDs at one time, especially new releases,some pirated DVD sellers will get a ton of bad feed backs, then open up a new eBay account to sell his ill gotten gain of his phony DVDs, elsewhere! I’m not talking about some small time seller who has a used DVD, they want to try and sale. I learned my lesson! Remember, if they are 1/2 the price of most sellers, and this item is suppose to be new, then it is probably to good to be true! Best Shopping to You! Regards!

  2. Andy – Thank you for writing this, I thought it was fascinating. I’ve had success in snapping up Amazon deals at rock bottom prices and then (manually) relisting them on eBay, and selling them at 50%+ ROI, but I have to wait months for the sale to occur. The practice delineated above smacks a little bit of day trading where time and speed is of essence, and (generally) total profits are slim. I do see the day when the entire process is automated with software/services but as those solutions become more accessible to more ‘traders’, the margins will get even slimmer.

    1. Thank you Jordan. Yes absolutely, it’s very much driven by technology. To make a real business out of it there has to be something that sellers do to differentiate themselves – develop their own software to give them an edge perhaps, or add value to their listings in some way. Otherwise they’re in the same boat as hundreds of others and the only way to compete is price.

  3. I don’t think it is a good idea. Like any other kind of drop shipping, you are taking a big risk by turning over any part of your customer contact points to a 3rd party. I do a very small amount of drop shipping with a trusted supplier with a good system, it rarely is as smooth as being able to handle problems and fulfillment from my end. Additionally, I really want to build long term customers (my measures show it takes 3-5 repeat orders on a marketplace to get them to come to my website) and doing this type of arbitrage play is not conducive to building a long term customer relationship.

    1. Well said Jack,

      I am looking for a legitimate way of earning extra money with selling on eBay but there are so many scammers which makes it difficult for me.

      I just keep searching maybe soon I will get lucky.



      1. Hi Jack,
        I have a great training that i provide step by step how to get over 100+ sales daily on ebay. This is my main job.
        Let me know if you would like to know more about it.

      2. yes you are right!! Due to large number of scammers it is sometimes very hard to deal with the real customers. one of my customer was buying a phones as he do not have feedback but I put on the process!! the very next day pay pal warned me not to sell to the buyer and next day another customer without review order phone from me I waited till 2 days waiting for pay pal or eBay message but was genuine customer!!

  4. i have a few regular customers who always email “this order is for my friend, please do not enclose an invoice. if this is not possible, then please cancel my order”
    i always knew that they were using me as a drop shipper.

    i didn’t realise the scale of this practice until i read this article

    after reading this review I have just cancelled 12 orders today and told them not to use me as drop-shipper any more.

    it just causes me headache have so many messages from them and then to handle their order differently to the other orders.

    1. Why in the world would you turn away this huge opportunity? cancel 12 orders??? lol, I love my dropshippers that buy from me everyday for 3 years. about 10-20 orders a day come from my dropshippers that buy from my ebay stores and resell over on other markets.

    2. Who cares if they use you as a drop shipper? You’re still getting paid aren’t you?

      I don’t see what the big deal is…

      1. Exactly!! for past 3 years I’ve got about 3-6 various eBay buyers that buy from us. We dropship to their buyers everyday!! They bring in about 10-20 orders a day for us. It’s laughable that people would not see the huge value of this.

      1. Strictly speaking, shops that buy from wholesalers and resell at a higher price are doing the same thing, just not online.
        So what is the big deal?

    3. Take a look at what is called “channel sales”. It’s a legitimate branch of trade. Having been on both sides of the business I can tell you that finding good resellers that bring _repeatable_ business without screwing up orders is a time-consuming process. And in most markets the resellers will ask for a reseller discount.

      You apparently found resellers that buy at your retail price and bring in (probably still small amount) of repeatable business. You should cherish and expand that by adapting your sales process to their needs. Or otherwise try and find out which markets your are not serving or where your prices are actually lower than they could be.

    1. Yes, Amazon is routinely closing accounts of people who drop ship. Typically it takes 3 weeks for Amazon to catch on then your account is toast.

      1. Rubbish, i was doing this for some time, the only thing Amazon won’t allow you to do is dropship with a Prime Account, i never once had my account closed and i did this for 6 months.

        1. HI! Kevin, I can’t see why Amazon would complain about Prime Accounts? Amazon doesn’t really give You any discount when You have Prime, if You look, they hike up the price on the Item for sale, so You are really still paying the shipping cost! So even though one has a Amazon Prime Account, they are not saving anything!

          1. If what you say is true then there would be two different prices showing one for Prime accounts at a higher price with free shipping and another lower price for non Prime with shipping costs. I have not seen two different prices listed as such.

  5. “The seller may know that the item is cheaper on Amazon but still choose to buy on eBay.”

    Should it not be “The buyer may know…”?

  6. I just recently purchased a calculator on ebay for my niece. I recieved it in a surprising two days with amazon packaging. I didnt really care, but it did catch me off guard and make me aware of how easy this is to do. I am trying to start in this busness myself. So I am caught in between as both buyer and seller views. I want to be known as a legit seller and buyer, with good and ethical business activities. As i am just a beginner, I would like my business to grow with a good customer base. As with any real business, you must put it your time and effort to be sucessful. In todays world everyone wants to be millionaires overnight any way they can. So as far as the calculator goes, both sellers made money. I was a happer buyer who recieved it in two days. I left positive feedback to my seller. So my opinion is, as long as I get the product I ordered in a timely manner for the price I ordered it, who cares where it comes from.

  7. But if Amazon closes my account, is it possible to buy or open another one? I believer there are sellers who offer them like Auction Essistance, but is it legal?

    1. How do you deal with eBay’s title limit of 80 characters while Amazon allows 200 characters. Doesn’t that make it impossible to automate sending all your Amazon listings to eBay?

    2. You only need to get caught once and you’re history. No mor eBay, No more Amazon. Then what? It is not worth the risk?

      I was involved like yourself with ecommerce but gave it up after experiencing a sour and expensive experience with some dogy suppliers.
      Turned to affiliate marketing and not looked back.

      Promoting one program and advertising for FREE is feeding me well.
      If you’re interested here is the link:

      Please feel free to drop me a line.



    3. I’m retired and thinking of trying this on a small scale.
      Kind of a hobby for me . I’ve been selling on amazon for a long time .
      Nice to read what other people are doing .
      Be Safe

      1. I don’t have selling limits. I was never subject to them because I started selling in 1998 on eBay. I wouldn’t have any at this point due to length of time selling professionally (10+ at this point).

  8. Though third party tools are somewhat touched upon, it bears mentioned most have to rely on Amazon’s web service API – and that has throttling in place (and very much enforced) to limit the number of queries that can be sent. Not impossible to do but not nearly as easy as people may realize.

  9. I may be interested in selling an eBay account. It only has 250 feedback at 100% but it was opened in the year 2000 so it does not have any selling limits. What do you think that would be worth?

  10. Hi , I hear people doing some good money with this

    I’, planning on buying stealth ebay account and then stealth buyer of amazon. Anyone here with experience in this. My worry is the withdrawing part from paypal – how would you do it and still stay stealth.

  11. Hi,
    I’m kinda new to this niche but i had some recent success with arbitraging on eBay/Amazon but finding products with attractive margins manually is pretty difficult. So i began to search for an online tool to automate this process and found an overwhelming amount of them.

    Anybody can advise which are the best? Anybody has experience with any of these:

    Thanks guys,

  12. I find prices on Amazon are way higher than ebay. I search out listings for certain projector bulbs on ebay. I buy up lots for $3-6/bulb. Single bulbs may sell on ebay for $8 – $20, but I can usually get $18-$40 for the same bulbs on Amazon. I make about $5,000 profit selling a few hundred bulbs a year. Even cell phones. I can sell the same flip phone on Amazon for $33-$40 that I can buy on ebay for $15-20.

    A used Samsung Convoy 3 can be found on ebay for $3 to $15, They sell for $25 and up on Amazon.

      1. Actually, over the course of maybe 8,000 orders, I can’t recall any of them wanting a discount because it was cheaper on ebay.

  13. This is from the eBay License Agreement (9.7-Restricted Activities):

    “9.7. Use eBay Services to promote or engage in seller arbitrage (for example, automatically re- pricing eBay listings in response to price changes on competitor sites, automatically ordering sold items from competitor sites, and posting tracking information to eBay when items purchased from competitor sites are shipped).”

    So if eBay says it’s not allowed, doesn’t that make it illegal?

    1. Absolutely not!

      Both eBay AND Amazon have formal policy’s that they do NOT enforce.

      It’s all about the “bottom line”

      Both company’s make extra untold millions from arbitrage sellers. You think they are just going to throw that away?


  14. I have an eBay account, but just recently it has selling limits of 20 items a month on there. That isn’t enough. Do you think it would be a good idea to call in to get them raised or would it be wise to open up another account to get around the selling limits?

  15. I’ve heard not-so-good things about some of the big software companies in this niche, and I’ve been researching new softwares to automatically fulfill my orders, can’t believe this method works but it does.

    Anyone have experience with ?

    I’ve been using them for a while and they seem pretty good, it’s a big relief to have my orders managed automatically, and their support gives great advice that helped me grow my business. However I’m looking for an easy method to manage customer support also. Any advice?

  16. John Kelsar I tried Arbiship when they first started and it was a bit buggy. It ordered the wrong item 4 times and so I quit using them. I can’t afford that kind of loss. They may have fixed those issues I don’t know.

    If you do 3000 sales a month like I do you may not want to pay them $600/month. I think that is a bit outrageous. I don’t like paying a set or percentage of each sale.

    I use Inkfrog for eBay and Dropship N Paste ( to automatically fill in buyers address for my suppliers. It supports all of the suppliers I use like Amazon, Wayfair and Aliexpress and doesn’t cut into my profits but still helps me save time and fill orders much much faster. So I highly recommend that combo over Arbiship

  17. I personally never had any problems with Arbiship, joined the beta and it’s been working great since then. Your extension doesn’t do things automatically, it only pastes addresses, thats it :/ I still have to find the item, calculate profit, upload tracking, and items can go out of stock when im not near the computer, or I can send items to the wrong buyer when im doing 50 orders a day. no thanks

  18. Sarah, if you can’t handle 50 orders a day without sending a item to the wrong customer dropshipping is definitely not for you. The biggest problem with software like Arbiship is their limitations. It only supports Amazon and Walmart and Amazon prime dropshipping means you have to create new accounts and have multiple accounts using different credit cards and IPs to make it work – so I wouldn’t trust a piece of software to handle that automatically. I have purchased over 10million from Amazon so trust me I know what I talk about.

    I don’t have personal experience using Arbiship but there is no way in hell I would pay for any service that charges me per order, that is incredibly greedy! I am not even sure how we would add 25000 listings to arbiship so that it could auto-order. I assume it is intended to be used from day one as you scale?

    For over 5 years I have been dropshipping. I have 2 VAs and between the three of us we process 15000 orders a month and needless to say Arbiship would cost us way more than the VAs do. We do this all by hand, mainly because I hate greedy companies that want to steal profits from hard-working individuals. I would probably actually use dropship paste if I could buy it outright but the only monthly fees I pay are to Amazon, eBay and our repricers. Maybe i’m stingy but I have worked really hard for my money. For me to consider a fully automated ordering service it should be less than 5 cents a order and should work with way more than 2 suppliers.

    I’m not trying to knock either one of the services as I have not used them.

  19. Kevin it’s not like I do it every day, but human error happens.

    It’s kind of ironic how you say you hate greedy companies stealing from individuals but yet you do high volume Arbitrage. Lets do some math. 15000 orders per month is 500 per day, now lets say it takes you ~4 minutes per order including uploading tracking and calculating profit, that’s 33 man hours per day which means you must be paying your greedy VAs pennies for 12 hour work days. And then you have to manage them, make sure they don’t steal from you, and you also say you have to put in work your self. Even if you can manage an order every 3 minutes, that’s still 8 hours per person per day. If you work constantly without breaks and place an order every 3 minutes, in 8 hours you could place 160 orders, which means your time needs to be less than $4 per hour for this to work. If your time is worth $4 per hour then I think you are either exaggerating your success, are bad at math, or you undervalue your time. Placing orders manually causes me too much stress, and I can afford to pay it. maybe raise your profits

  20. Sarah, greed does not equal making money. Greed is where you are offering a very limited service and milking it for all it’s worth. Arbitrage doesn’t equal greed. There is much greed in it but it does not automatically make you greedy.

    I am amazed and how incredibly slow you are. 4 minutes to do one order? Are you kidding me? It never takes us more than 2 minutes to do a order from start to finish, with tracking upload. Tracking is very very fast, it is tedious but very fast. So with the correct figures, assuming all three of us do the exact same amount of work that would equal out to about 5.55 hours per day for each of us. But honestly one VA does the ordering 80% of the time and the other VA handles customer service and product research and creating new listings. I pay them $2500 on average a month (for both of them) and they do way more than your service can do. They do research, they are incredibly accurate and rarely make mistakes. They also can do ANYTHING I need whereas your service is limited to Amazon and partial support for Wal-Mart. So even if I wanted to fully automate that part of my business your service wouldn’t even touch most of my suppliers. So we aren’t arguing apples to apples here.

    As far as your ridiculous assertion that VAs steal, you obviously are as ignorant as you are slow. Filipinos are actually incredibly honest people. I fly them out to the US twice a year, I provide them with paid vacations, not because they demand it but because I appreciate their loyalty! They are NOT greedy people, they are very dedicated and loyal.. Ugh I hate ignorance. There is way more chance of a American ripping you off than a Filipino.

    If you want to try and convince me to use your service that is fine be my guest, no issues with that. But don’t start talking about things you have no clue about and most certainly do not trash my VAs because you want to prove your ridiculous point. I am very fair to them and they are nothing but good to me. And you have proven only one thing to me. You are a very slow person who struggles with stress when working.

    1. I have tried Dropship Beast, PriceYak, Profitscraper, InkFrog, Repricer Express, and (i wanted to try ProfitSpy but there is no free trial) several other tools (all with the free trial). I cannot afford the full version yet as my store is new and very small (200+ items). I find it frustrating that each tool, while excellent in most respects for what it can do, lacks a core feature which is found in other tools! Profitscraper does a very good job of scraping profits; but it’s listings capability is weak. InkFrog has lovely templates, an embedded photo editor (unavailable in the other tools) and can handle many listings with ease; but it doesn’t scrape nor does it reprice or auto-order. PriceYak does a great job of creating listings and managing repricing but it cannot scrape. In other words, you must spend $67 USD monthly on Profitscraper, $39.99 monthly on Priceyak; and $29 monthly on your eBay store before your first sale, to be able to benefit fully from what these tools can do. What is worse, Profitscraper and Priceyak do not handle variation listings, which i have found are the most useful to attract buyers. How do you handle so many listings (3000 sales monthly! i don’t even have 1% of that yet) without manually building each variation listing? And, i find that variations are the most complex! You can have a single listing with 60 images and 7 variations, which can take 1/2 an hour to produce. What if you want to use a specific template? For example, InkFrog has lovely templates; but it does NOT support variations? So, you are forced to create a variation template listing in eBay itself; which cannot be updated by PriceYak (because it will replace the listing and it doesn’t handle variations) or by Profitscraper; and thus, your site becomes a jumble of mismatched templates and styles from Profitscraper, PriceYak, eBay, and Inkfrog. Such messy sites are a turn off to buyers! Do you enforce a rigid stylesheet, built by web designers, across your entire set of stores? How else to get consistent repeat sales for 3000 sales monthly? You say that you only use InkFrog…how do you handle variation listings? I really need answers to these questions!

  21. I think you need to work on your mathematics, its funny how you claim to do 500 orders a day but are so bad at basic calculations…

    Time = money. I prefer to raise my prices by a few cents so I can have more time and I let the robots do work for me, but if you want to work all day like a zombie then be my guest. Also there are breaks in between those 2 minutes

    Let me guess, you use your VA’s for repricing too? 🙂

  22. Sarah, if you bothered to actually read before replying you would understand things more clearly. I said in my first reply “the only monthly fees I pay are to Amazon, eBay and our repricers”

    You came up with the 500 figure so I used it. I do not personally do 500 orders a day. We do average 500 a day but the exact figure was yours not mine. I love how you say my math is wrong but don’t prove it.

    As far as being a zombie I average 8 hours a day, because I love to work. But most of my day is actually work unrelated to my dropship business. In the Christmas season we work much longer. But I also take 2 months a year off and travel and don’t work weekends.

    But you still don’t get it. Your service doesn’t even work with most of our suppliers. So I am doomed to be a zombie because your service is LIMITED which is what my original point was.

  23. As I buyer, I recently had a frustrating experience with a amazon-to-ebay arbitrage seller…..

    While it’s been my experience that most of these sellers tend to use ebay’s “Buy It Now” option, this one chose to list the item as an auction. I won the auction at a price considerably less than the Amazon price for the same item (I checked). The seller marked it as having shipped and provided a tracking number with Amazon Logistics as the shipper. The item never arrived, and the tracking status (via ebay) never updated

    When I contacted the seller, I was given a crude screenshot of what was supposedly the tracking history that showed my item was delivered. After communicating back and forth over the course of a week, I was finally given a refund and asked to provide positive feedback over how the transaction was handled.

    It is my belief that the seller purposefully did not ship the item because the selling price on ebay would have resulted in a loss. The communication that ultimately led to a refund was probably just an effort to make it appear like a legitimate effort to ship the product.

  24. I got banned on Amazon for a fraudulent dispute claiming they never received it. Forward all evidence to Amazon, but they still sided with the buyer. So I lost my money, the item, a hit on my account and now I just got notified that I am suspended.

    Tried those appeal services, but they didn’t work for me. I just recently got notified that I cannot appeal anymore.

    So I am looking for a way back on even tried to create a new account, but got suspended again.

    Do you recommend buying an Amazon account from sellers such as the Aspkin forums or Auction Essistance?

    1. Did you file complaints against Amazon with the Better Business Bureau, and various online consumer complaint forums? If not, nobody will take your complaint seriously. You must build the strength of credibility behind your complaint by following through on the complaint submission process.

      1. Though, I wouldn’t place much credibility in any complaint that you do file with the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau only exists because corporate giants like Amazon and Wal-Mart allow them to. The BBB is a joke. They’ve been a corporate sell-out from day one.

        But, they do a great job (with their corporate members help) of hiding their true nature behind blind support from ignorant loyalists who have more time than sense.

        Those loyalists wastefully spend all their time bashing and ranting against anybody who complains about the BBB, itself. Just look at the ratings off all corporate giants both before and after they buy membership with the BBB.

        Here’s a link to an online article that may shed some light on this topic:

  25. Is it possible to purchase products from some online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to Amazon?

  26. Hi: I am just starting out with 200 listings on Ebay and looking for a simple to use repricer from Amazon to Ebay. Trying to avoid problem of items going OOS and price changes. Any suggestions?

    1. Priceyak is a wonderful and inexpensive tool. I have used it for several months and it manages repricing and OOS very well. I am trialing the auto-ordering but setting it to a low threshold to see how it goes. I tried Repricer Express which worked fine but they want $99 monthly for i think, 250 listings (which to me, is prohibitively expensive). The neat thing about PY is that you can pause it for a day or longer and you will be charged less. You can also toggle (turn on or off) many features and options to allow for close manual or automated action, which is fantastic. Excellent tool! Just wish it did what Profitscraper or ProfitSpy also do and i would be more committed! SInce i am new at this (3 months but with an old store of twelve years) i don’t have many sales so i have looked for as many free tools as possible. As far as i know, however, there are no free repricers or profit scrapers; only listing builders. Of the latter, Inkfrog is hands-down the best tool there is (you might be able to manage everything to do with your store using it, except for repricing, scraping, promotional emails and marketing promotions — which eBay itself now handles — and auto-ordering). I hope this helps!

  27. I will try priceyak too. I think Ive tried every other one out there, with little satisfaction. I was getting ready to go back to Infinii because it has the most accurate repricer that Ive found, but Im going to try this first. Thanks.

  28. Do a word search on this page for tax, ah nothing comes up… In the UK any company with a turnover (not profit) of about £80,000 has to pay 20% tax on every sale as VAT. You will find that to make a living you need to get your margins up to 30% or more which is going to be hard with something like this.

  29. Hi Andy – great article. Having read this review, I went ahead and embarked on the journey of Amazon to eBay dropshipping about 6 months ago. So far I’ve had some recent success and current make about £100 per week profit. I’m currently trying to scale the business and am struggling to get it beyond £100 per week in profit. I’ve spent sometime writing about my experience to date here: I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how to prevent eBay fees other costs impacting profit when you do try to scale.

  30. I read this post with interest. I have never heard of arbitrage selling and I have been reselling designer handbags, for over 10 years! The difference in what I do, is I actually buy, photograph, and then list all the items myself.

    I read the story here and some of the comments, but something wasn’t addressed that I am curious about. What happens when someone wants to return an item, they bought via this arbitrage process?

    Say I purchase something being sold via arbitrage…I am buying from an eBay seller called “xyz” who in turn, is buying the product from an Amazon seller called “abc.”

    Since Amazon Sellers HAVE TO take returns, and since the order is shipping from Amazon Seller “abc”, if I don’t want the item anymore, “who” would I return it to?!

    And wouldn’t the package (that is shipped from Amazon) have the return address of the Amazon seller and not the eBay seller?

    This is really very confusing!

    Unless the eBay Seller has a “no returns” policy and that is how they get around it?

    1. Thanks very much for taking the time to review the website and great question – I should have raised this in the article and will add further commentary to it shortly.

      As with all online retail, providing refunds for either defective items or general returns is important to encourage continued business (especially with eBay). It’s relatively simple to arrange for the item to be returned, I’ll provide an example below:

      XYZ sells the item and uses ABC to dropship the item from Amazon using Amazon Prime. For some reason XYZ’s customer is unhappy with the item, let’s say in this example the handle of a tea pot has come off during the postage process. XYZ then agrees to offer a refund upon receipt of the returned item. At this point XYZ logs the problem with Amazon who provides free return labels which XYZ can then send to their customer. Note – I’d recommend cutting and pasting the labels into a separate word document to remove the majority of the reference to Amazon. A courier will then collect the item from XYZ’s customer and return the item to Amazon. When the items been returned to Amazon, you’ll receive a full refund which is then sent to the customer.

      Whilst I know this is slightly time consuming, it is free of charge and ensures you comply with all eBay policies. As you may have read on the website, I’ve recently trailed the PriceMatik software as Profit Scaper have currently closed their free sign up offer. Please do take a look if you’re interested –

      1. Hi Ben –

        Hmm…since I am a “real seller” on Amazon and eBay, this answer doesn’t really make me happy.

        People selling via Arbitrage are not really “sellers” in that you don’t purchase your own product, you don’t shoot your photos, or write your descriptions, etc.

        You have nothing “invested” in your products. You are taking the work of others, claiming it as your own, and then reselling something you don’t even have in your hands.

        While I understand your shipping “process”, that you explained above, what you are really doing is “screwing” the actual seller of the item.

        The Amazon Seller has to pay for the outbound shipping and if they have an auto return process set up, they also pay for the return shipping.

        So, for one of your customers to buy something from you, and then return it to you (or rather return it to the real seller), you are costing the Amazon Seller shipping fees, in both directions.

        Sorry, but I think that is a dick move.

        All this now explains something to me though….I resell Designer Handbags (that I buy, shoot, store, etc.), I find people stealing my copyrighted images all of the time (which I do prosecute for), but one time, when I called out an eBay Seller for using my photos, they came back with some insane excuse, that I didn’t “understand” what was going on…that if they sold my bag, (using my photos), they would just buy it from me, off of Amazon!

        Thank God I stopped that idiot in his tracks.

        That “arbitrage” trick of his cost him $8,000 in copyright infringement fees, payable to me.

        This is also something non-sellers should be aware of….if you steal someone’s copyrighted photos, for your listings, you could be fined $150,000 per image. Surely there is not enough profit in arbitrage to cover those kind of fees?

        I got to learn something new in the past two days. Thanks for that, but I really do NOT approve of this whole process/idea.

        Just my two cents….

        1. MJ, thank you for your thoughtful and informative post. It provides info on another point of risk that most people probably don’t think about.

          I’ve recently (within the past few months) started selling online as my new full time career (commercial real estate burnout, stress, cardiac event, etc.). I’ve been focused on vintage items, and have been doing… OK. I’ve been doing research on how to bump up my rookie numbers (LOL), and am sifting the wheat from the chaff. The more I’ve researched it, to me arbitrage (no matter which way it goes) seems like more “chaff”. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and seems kind of scammy. I run a clean shop, play by whatever rules exist on the venues that I sell on, and am truly grateful for my customers. I don’t think I would be comfortable with even one customer calling me out for BS by buying on eBay and receiving a box from Amazon.

          Think I’ll just focus on sourcing (new) bulk items on a wholesale basis, breaking them up and selling them individually. I’ve dabbled in this, and so far it has bourne fruit. (Also working on this basis for my vintage sourcing.)

          1. Hi Kim –

            Good luck with your venture. I assume you are selling on Etsy? If not, you should be!

            There are tons of Sellers on there who sell “bits and pieces” who seem to do quite well.

            I sell handbags, handmade jewelry, but we just started a new Etsy shop, selling “supplies.” We barely have 13 items listed so far, but already have 2 sales! Whoo Hoo!

            I think this is a path for both of us to folllow. Sourcing items wholesale is not expensive, and the profit margin, for reselling small items is huge.

            Take some time and look thru Etsy listings to see the kind of volume these sellers are doing. One person I buy supplies from myself, is one of the top 5 Craft suppliers on Etsy. Some of these people are doing $200-$500K per year!

            Good luck with selling your items. Keep adding stock and the buyers will come!


          2. A good attitude to have. I’ve just been caught out by receiving an item from Amazon that I bought on ebay. I’m not happy I hate drop shippers. If I wanted it from Amazon I would have got it from Amazon. It makes me feel cheated. especially as I’m avoiding Amazon as well. They will be getting bad feedback from me.

  31. Today I sold a cordless phone on Amazon for $50. I had listed it about a year ago and finally sold. Thing is, I couldn’t find it. I did find a similar model and finally figure out what happened. My finger slipped. I had a XXX3XX and listed it as a XXX2XX. The two units are dramatically different, but since I wasn’t looking at the photos, I didn’t notice at the time. So I went to ebay, ordered the phone I didn’t have for $30, shipped it directly to the buyer and listed the mislisted one. I still got the sale, but a smaller profit margin.

    Granted, I do this maybe 3-4 times a year, but I don’t think trying to run my business like this is sustainable.

    New items *may* be cheaper on Amazon, but I find a lot of used items double the price on Amazon than they are on ebay.

  32. This is not drop shipping & in the UK, it is likely to be in breach of Amazon terms & conditions, in breach of eBay terms & conditions & likely to be illegal.

    Like many of the previous posters, I avoid buying on Amazon & take exception when I order through eBay & it is fulfilled by Amazon.

    Most of the retailers who sell their goods on Amazon do not even know that their items are being advertised on eBay & being sent to eBay buyers.

    Drop shipping is normally executed through a written agreement between the store front owner & the drop shipper.

    If the item is being fulfilled using Amazon prime then it is against their terms & conditions which state “Prime members are not permitted to purchase products for the purpose of resale, rental, or to ship to their customers or potential customers using Prime benefits.”

    The practice is also in breach of eBay terms & conditions, which state that a seller cannot sell an item which they do now own or have permission from the owner to sell.

    The above generally follows UK law which does not allow tittle of goods to be transferred without ownership or permission from the title owner.

    The practice of transferring data (customer names & addresses) is also likely to be in breach of European & UK data protection laws.

    I know a number of Amazon retailers who have been affected by this method of selling & take exception to it, as the eBay sellers are taking on no risk regard stock & doing nothing for their income regarding packing etc. The view these eBay sellers as parasites.

  33. “The buyer may know that the item is cheaper on Amazon but still choose to buy on eBay.”

    Choose: make a decision consciously and with deliberation. Circumventing people’s choices makes them pissy.

    Advice on how to stop the practice would be welcome.

  34. Both Amazon and eBay should be stopping it according to their terms & conditions, but neither appear to care, I assume because their fees are more important to them than their terms & conditions, their buyer’s wishes & possibly the law.

    If you purchased an item from eBay that was fulfilled by Amazon then give the seller negative feedback.

    Report the item to eBay – Report Category = Listing Practices – Reason for Report = Fraudulent Listing Practices – Detailed reason = You suspect that a listing is fraudulent – Submit Report

    EBay may or may not take any notice.

    If you live in the UK or Europe you can insist that the eBay seller gives you written confirmation from Amazon that your data (name & address) has been removed from their database. This is your right under UK & European Data Protection regulations. If they ignore you then again, they are breaking the law.

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