As 150 Walmart locations are closing down this month — a result of online retailers eating up their market share — the world’s biggest physical retailer has inadvertently helped some of its rivals.
Through the magic of retail arbitrage, Amazon resellers are scouring the shelves at Walmarts for bargains, then reselling them online on Amazon.
And this isn’t guess and check work; many are using apps to calculate profit after shipping and fees to figure out the most profit maximizing strategy. So bigger players actually have their own warehouse space to accompany mega shopping sprees. One New Jersey based reseller loaded up a 26-foot truck and hauled off $35K in merchandise on an expectation of about $100,000 in sales on Amazon.
“It took six hours to scan and pay for all the items,” the business man told The Wall Street Journal. “It was time well spent.”
The savings at Walmart have been impressive, initially marked down by half and eventually moving to 75 percent off. The goal has been to clear the Supercenters and Express stores as fast as possible.
“It didn’t matter to me what the products were, as long as they sell,” another retailer said. “I cleared them out of pregnancy tests and condoms.”
Spokesmen for Amazon and Walmart had no official comment, though Amazon has no official objection to retail arbitrage as long as the goods for sale are legally sold on Amazon.