Walmart is the big boy when it comes to actual retail space and retail sales. As an Amazon seller, you have (or will) most likely source from Walmart at some point in your selling career.
Did you know that every Walmart store has over 10,000 individual items for sale? And with that many items on the shelves, there are always going to be opportunities to find items on sale or that are being discontinued.
An experienced retail arbitrage seller can spot clearance items from a mile away. Someone who is new to the game might have a little more trouble finding items if they don’t know where to look.
That’s where this post comes in to save the day! I’m going to teach you about the hidden clearance items at Walmart and how you can add these items to your sourcing portfolio. And I’m going to drop a few tips and tricks along the way.
What Is Hidden Clearance at Walmart?
Hidden clearance at Walmart isn’t some made-up concept or code for Amazon sellers. It’s a real thing that can help you find items that other resellers might miss.
Most people have seen (or are familiar with) the clearance aisle at Walmart. It’s usually located in the middle of the store (at my store, it is located near the toy and the lawn and garden area). It has all of the random items from all departments of the store and you never know what you are going to find.
For most sellers who are just starting out with retail arbitrage, they spend a good amount of time scanning items with their Amazon Seller app (or ScoutIQ for those who are ahead of the game). Sometimes there are great items to be found to resell. Most of the time, you find items with low margins or sales ranks that have been passed over by other resellers.
And right there is the root of the problem. Beginners and seasoned resellers all know where the Walmart clearance aisle is. Heck. Your Aunt Betty most likely knows where the Walmart clearance aisle is at your local Walmart.
And when a lot of people know about something, you tend to find that the items are picked over or not worth your time.
That’s where the hidden clearance items at Walmart come into play. These are items that are sitting on a shelf that appear to be full price. In reality, they are actually discounted and are a perfect opportunity for retail arbitrage and to make a profit selling on Amazon.
Justin, aka “The Flipping Accountant,” says “Hidden clearance is special because there are amazing unmarked discounts that people miss because they don’t take the time to scan.”
It’s all about knowing the opportunities exist and taking advantage of what others don’t know (or won’t take the time to do).
Types of Clearance at Walmart
The best way to fully understand the opportunities at Walmart for retail arbitrage is to take a look at the different types of clearance that can be found at every store. There are two main types of clearance you will find at most Walmarts: marked and unmarked.
Marked clearance at Walmart is the easiest (and most obvious) to find. Marked Walmart clearance items are usually found in every department of your local Walmart stores by their bright yellow stickers. They are usually mixed in with "original price" items on the shelves. They can also be put in a specific clearance aisle, like the one that was mentioned above, and posted on Walmart's website for everyone to see.
The items on clearance that are found in their original spot in their department haven't been moved to a clearance aisle because they are too large or it is more likely that they will sell in that designated department. The decision on the location of these items varies in each individual store, but are usually the same throughout each department.
In my opinion, the real finds at a Walmart are the clearance items that no one knows are clearance items. These “unmarked clearance” items are hard to find, but they can be a gold mine if you are able to find them.
You might be wondering, How is something on clearance if it isn’t marked down?
This phenomenon occurs when the Walmart corporate offices decide to discount a product and that information hasn’t been received by the local store. The clearance tag is coming, but the change isn’t going to happen for a few days. To every other shopper in the store, these items are the same price. To the trained Amazon reseller, these items are on sale and are great for flipping on Amazon.
How Do You Find the Hidden Clearance at Walmart?
You are most likely thinking:
Hidden clearance at Walmart sounds great, but how the heck do I find it?
Good question. And the answer is simple: By knowing where to look and scanning items with your Walmart app.
Hidden clearance at Walmart can be found by using your app and scanning items that you think might be on sale (from the corporate side). If you scan the item and it has a lower price on your phone than on the price tag, Walmart will honor the lower price (and it usually scans at the lower price without you having to ask).
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
As you can imagine, this takes a lot of time and effort on the part of the reseller to scan 10,000 different items in each Walmart. And that is one of the reasons hidden clearance is so valuable. It takes time.
But the smart resellers know the tricks to make their scanning a lot easier. And I’m going to share those tricks with you below.
Pro Tips to Help Find Hidden Clearance at Walmart
It’s one thing to scan every item in a store, but it’s another to have a plan and save yourself time while sourcing. Below are the tips I have learned over the years that have helped me find hidden clearance and make some serious money with retail arbitrage.
If there was one tool that I would recommend using to find hidden clearance at Walmart, it would be Brickseek. Brickseek is a website that monitors price changes at Walmart (plus other stores) and shows you the deals before most people know about them. I have used Brickseek for years and it has landed me quite a few great retail arbitrage flips.
I like to use the “Newest In-Store Deals” section of the website and use this as a basis to start scanning items in a store. Once I get into the store, I take my phone and scan the items with the Walmart app and then with ScoutIQ.
I also recommend using Brickseek to build a list of “possible finds” that you can scan every time you are at a Walmart. You never know when you might stumble across a hidden clearance item in another town.
Pro tip: It's also possible to check inventory levels of these items at your local store, saving you the hassle of showing up to a store just to discover those items are sold out. Save yourself some time and use this feature before heading off to go scan items.
Other Deal Websites and Social Media Groups
I am a big fan of letting others do the leg work and then heading out to my local stores to see if I can make some money. That’s why I’m subscribed to a lot of different deal-finding Facebook groups and I get emails from deal-finding websites.
Not all of these deals are worth my time, but they are at least worth looking through when I am about to go out sourcing. I tend to focus on Brickseek or Walmart deal groups when I want to find hidden clearance opportunities.
This might seem like a dumb suggestion, but it’s actually a nifty way to find hidden clearance and even have a Walmart employee shop for you.
Some of the hidden clearance deals might be posted online, but still not marked on the shelf at the store. This is a great opportunity to do some online arbitrage that is blended with a little retail arbitrage. Say you find a great deal on Brickseek and it’s in stock at your local store. If you can order it online at the discounted price, do that and just go pick it up from your local Walmart. Then keep that item as a possible find at each store you go to down the road.
An Advanced Way to Find Hidden Clearance at Walmart
The techniques mentioned in this article so far have been basic ways to find possible items to flip on Amazon. If you are looking for something that takes a little more skill and will set you apart from other resellers, here you go.
Let’s take the tool Tactical Arbitrage and let’s go on a deal-finding journey.
Imagine you have found a great flip that was a hidden clearance item at your local Walmart. Awesome job, you get yourself a gold star! Most Amazon sellers would stop here and start looking for their next product.
Smart sellers go and search this product using Tactical Arbitrage and run a “Search Seller Products" under the Reverse Search.
Why would someone do that? Well it’s pretty simple.
If you found a hidden clearance item at Walmart, odds are that another reseller in another part of the country found that same item as well. And if they are any good at sourcing, they most likely have found other hidden clearance items as well.
See where I’m going with this?
You can use your find (and Tactical Arbitrage) to help identify other sellers who are also searching for hidden clearance items. Then you can take a look at their product listings and find other hidden clearance opportunities. It’s like having the answer key for a test.
If you haven’t gotten your free trial of Tactical Arbitrage yet, you might want to do so now. It might help you find your next big find and could take your Amazon business to the next level.
Sometimes there is more than meets the eye when you are scanning items in an aisle at Walmart. You might stumble across a hidden clearance item that you can resell for a profit on Amazon. Knowing where to look is the biggest part of the battle and this post gave you some actionable steps to take to try to find these hidden clearance items at Walmart.
Smart sellers will take these opportunities and build upon them to set themselves apart from the competition. Using tools like Tactical Arbitrage to go to the next level can help you identify deals before your competitors.
If you haven’t already grabbed your free trial of Tactical Arbitrage, make sure to do it today.
How often does Walmart drop clearance?
Walmart tends to drop the majority of their clearance items (and most of the best resellable items) within the first five days of the month. This is not a hard and fast rule. Each store will have a different schedule on when they mark down their clearance (and sometimes it will even vary by department).
Shopping in the early morning or mid-afternoon tends to be the best time to find items that have just been marked down. This is the case as most of the markdowns happen when there is less traffic in the store. The same can be said for prices online. It’s easier to change prices at low traffic times on a website. So expect most changes to happen later in the evening.
Clearance items in departments such as food and health/beauty go on clearance throughout the month (as expiration dates get closer) and seasonal products tend to drop within 24 hours of the end of a holiday.
How does the Walmart barcode scanner work?
The Walmart barcode scanner is accessed through the Walmart app. Once you've opened the app, just click on the barcode icon and the scanner will automatically come up. It’s like the old-school scanners they used to have spread out the store.
If you are having issues, make sure you have given the app permission to access your camera and that you have the app up to date. It’s also important that you allow location permissions while using the app as the geolocation helps to identify the store and the pricing that is associated with that store.
opportunities 5X faster.