Retail flipping involves sourcing products from department stores and other brick and mortar retailers. This method works best with coupon and BOGO offers, sales promotions, markdowns, clearance and discontinued stock.

Retailers rely on local seasonal trends and rotate stock according to a strict schedule. This forces retailers to discount perfectly viable inventory to make room for new selection. Independent retailers can carry that same inventory beyond one season, and attract international shopper traffic from regions with different seasonal trends.

Off Price retailers offer discount merchandise from designer brands. Stock levels fluctuate but the opportunity is fairly steady all year round.

Department stores offer numerous sales and membership discounts. Clearance stock levels are highest following each season.
Pricing research is essential in retail flipping as some items retain value better than others, and margins can be very narrow when sourcing commonly available products.

Types of Outlets

Off Price Retailers ( TJ Maxx, Winners, HomeGoods & HomeSense, Marshalls)
Department Stores (Nordstrom, Macy’s)

Advantages

  • Items are mostly available in new condition with tags and packaging.
  • Little or no challenge in identification of items
  • Items can be sourced in single or small quantities.
  • Items can be inspected in person before purchasing.
  • Sellers can specialize in a specific product niche or brand
  • The location and hours of operation for each retailer is mostly static

Disadvantages

  • Stock levels may allow for sourcing more of the same item for a limited time. 
  • Stock availability is seasonal.
  • Quality of opportunity is seasonal.
  • Low exclusivity (similar inventory may be available from countless other locations or retailers)
  • Margins are potentially narrow.
  • Sourcing requires immediate payment.
  • Inventory requires storage
  • Challenging to scale upwards as business grows.

Inspecting inventory and traveling between retailers is time and effort intensive per opportunity

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