Arbitrage Advantage

I found that I needed to buy some toilet paper. Normally I buy it in bulk from Amazon. These sales are normally through a third party that advertises on the Amazon web site. I had found such a buyer this time. The price seemed reasonable. I liked that they offered free shipping. I made the purchase.

It was weird that the package was delivered by Federal Express. Normally somebody else delivers Amazon packages. The other strange situation was that the box came from Walmart. I looked at the invoice from Walmart. The price was much lower than what I paid. There was also a shipping cost of $6 plus tax collected.

Turns out the Amazon seller absorbed the shipping and tax. They still earned a couple dollar profit from the transaction. They connected me with the actual seller (Walmart), and took advantage of the price difference between Walmart’s price and what I was willing to pay.

I was not even mad that Walmart offered a lower price. This Amazon seller was providing me with a service. If I had not purchased through them, I would have paid more from another Amazon seller. I wonder if it is worth the trouble of potential customer problems by becoming such a middleman for selling goods?