Finding Free or Low Cost items to sell online through couponing

Finding Free or Low Cost items to sell online through couponing

Hey everyone, today’s post will be a little bit different as it’s a guest post from Jim Hrbek.  Jim is using some very unique couponing strategies to source inventory to sell via amazon FBA, and I asked if he was willing to share a few of his strategies with us in a guest post.  In addition to selling on amazon, Jim is currently undertaking the task of teaching his children about entrepreneurship with his newest business venture, Nakked Soap.  A place where people can get handmade all natural soap, bath bombs, body butters, lip balm and much more.   Take it away Jim:

Hey Guys, the name is Jim Hrbek, after posting a few things in Ryan’s Facebook Group, he asked me to do a guest post here on the blog.  Since he helped me send in my first order, I felt honored to help.

A little about myself, I have been working for myself since 2007, a majority of the time just getting by.  That changed a few years ago, when my hard work started to pay off and I started making connections with some great entrepreneurs in the online marketing realm.

Earlier this year, while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn Episode # 99, he had on a couple that just blew my mind.  Of course those two were Jessica and Cliff Larrew.  While combing through information on FBA, this naturally led me to Ryan.

Like anything you do in life you bring in your life experiences.  For me, retail arbitrage seemed like the logical next step in the course of my life.  Back in 2010 my wife and stepdaughter moved in with me.  One moment I was living the stereotypical bachelor lifestyle, and the next I had to provide for two other human beings.  Through the course of about six months, my $150/month grocery budget grew to $750.  I knew in my head something had to be done.  This was the time that I found coupons and it changed my life forever.

Since that time I have been able to bring my monthly budget down to around $300-$350 but the kicker is that I am now bringing home $1500-$3000 of product home with me every month.  I also found that in addition to bringing down my monthly budget, there was the opportunity to use couponing to source products to sell on amazon.

The Secret to Couponing

There are many tips I can give you, but in this post I will give you two things that you must know before getting started.

  • It’s all about timing! You have to use your coupons at the right time.  In many cases the week the coupon comes out is not the best time to buy the product.  Yes, you might get pretty good savings, but many times the best sale might be a week or two down the road.

The perfect storm comes when you can combine your high value coupon with a great sale and find another stackable savings (whether that be from an app on your phone or a rebate, store coupon, catalina, etc.)

  • Not all coupons are created equal for everyone. Depending on where you buy your products or even where you live in the world a coupon can vary dramatically.  In many cases a $.50 off 1 product is not equal to a $1 off 2 products.  In some of the stores I visit frequently that $.50 coupon would double to $1 off 1 product, but not at other stores that would not be willing to double the $1 off 2 products coupon.

Amazon FBA

In my business I have found that I have made it my own.  Many experts say to do this business of retail arbitrage you should go wide and buy as many different products as you can get.  I don’t do this, and I actually go pretty deep with many of the products I buy.  For the last few months I have been grossing around $5K a month, with about five to seven hours of work a week.

Today I am going to give two examples of current sales going on at Rite Aid, you can do these deals yourself till November 1st.  Just so you can get into my head a little.

The first deal is

NatureMade VitaMelts Sleep, 100 ct $5.99, sale price through 11/1

Buy 1, Receive $4.00 Up Reward through 11/1, Limit 2

Use $3.00/1 Coupon – Nature Made Vitamelts (located on use zip code 77477)

And use $2.00/1 – Nature Made Sleep Vitamin Supplements, Rite Aid Coupon (go HERE and watch the video)

You will pay $0.99 out of pocket and receive $4 +Up Reward.  Meaning you make $3.01 from buying one.  But you notice that there is a limit of 2 per card.  Only bad thing is that the video coupon is only good for one purchase.  But you will still make $1.01 buying one.

Now let’s go to Amazon and see what the selling price is, HERE is the link.


At the time of writing this, the Amazon Best Sellers Rank is #28,932 in the Health & Personal Care category.  So you can be confident it will sell.  In many cases if I’m able to I would make these a multipack so I can sell them for a larger amount of money and pay less fees.  But as I can only get about 10 of this product at this price and this product isn’t an add-on product I will sell them individually and probably price them around $8.99.   Plus the individual one has a better sales rank.

Here’s a screenshot from (click to enlarge, same goes for the remaining images): 
Nature Made



According to this I will make $5.07 on each product I sell.  Not bad when I spent no money on the product, and in fact that I actually made money buying this product.  Now I did not account what it cost to ship this product, but at .1lb do you think I am worried about that?  Plus if I am selling products that cost next to nothing cost do you think I am worried about how fast they sell?


Now let’s talk the next product.


Buy 2 OxiClean Dishwasher Detergent, 12.7 oz or 16 ct $4.00, when you 2, sale price through 11/1

Buy 2, Receive $2.00 Up Reward through 11/1, Limit 4

Buy 1, Receive $1.00 Up Reward through 11/29, Limit 4

Use two $1.00/1 – OxiClean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent from SmartSource 9/28


This is a little advanced but this is what is called a double dipper.  The buy 2 sale is the weekly advertised deal, but there is also a monthly $2 +Up Reward for each one purchased.


So after using the two coupons from the newspaper.  I will pay $6.00 out of pocket but will receive three $2.00 +Up Rewards.  Making my final price when I buy two become FREE.  Notice again there is a limit to this deal that is four.  I can do this deal twice on each card to get the full effect.  But I also can do this deal and get the two bags for $4 after those first two times, two more times.

Personally I wouldn’t do them a separate time, but I would use another one of my Rite Aid Cards and do the deal that way again.


Ok now onto Amazon…


Depending on what your store has it will all depend on where you go.  Here are two listings I am looking at to potentially sell this, depending on which item I buy with the coupon:

Option #1 



Option #2


The first one is the 12.7 oz. Fresh Clean, with a rank of #99,411. It is a Pack of Two.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 9.43.56 AM



The second one is the 16 ct. Fresh Clean, with a rank of #79,946.  Pack of one.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 9.48.04 AM



So based off just on the information I gave you here, I would personally choose to try to get the second one.  I would make more money per unit that I sold.  Usually this isn’t the case and the multipack usually does better per unit.  But just by looking at the info, I would choose the second one.  But if I dove deeper into the listing I actually prefer the first listing, as the one with better ranking has some confusion that I immediately note: Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 9.51.32 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 9.52.26 AM




I definitely do not like this listing, so I would probably go with the easier option.  But everybody is different, so you might like this listing better.  You might only find the 16 ct. in your area.  Who knows…


So there you have it, two deals currently going on right now at Rite Aid.  There are many other deals right now at this store that can be had.  The beauty of this is that this is just one store.  Start with one store and work your way up to every store in your area.  My suggestion is start with one of the drug stores, as there is such huge savings.  I haven’t paid a single dollar at CVS this entire year, since I have been rolling their ECBs (Extra Care Bucks) that I received during Black Friday last year.  And I have gotten at least $10k of products this year.


Just for fun I wanted to throw something fun together for Ryan’s group.  The first person who can guess what I paid for one of my hauls this week will get a free 30 minute consultation with me about couponing.  To enter the contest, simply comment below with your guess.  If you like this post or have any questions, please comment down below.  I will answer all questions that you may have as best as I can.


Total Retail:  $463.46


Thank you very much to Jim for doing this post. You can follow Jim on Twitter: @JimHrbek.  If you want to see 2 more examples of couponing that Jim has done, join the Online Selling Experiment Facebook Group, which has 2 posts by Jim of specific examples.

Please leave your comments and guesses for Jim below!


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