I have sold on eBay on and off for a long time now. I don’t consider myself an expert but I have learned quite a bit over the past 9 years. One of the things I have heard about over and over again, while researching what I should sell on eBay, is arbitrage.
As the definition above suggests….arbitrage is the simultaneous buying of one item at a low price and then turning around and selling that same item somewhere else for a profit.
I have been very interested in trying this out for awhile now and I have decided that now might just be a good time to try it. There are several ways that you can use this technique and I will list them below…..but basically ANYWHERE you can find a bargain on something that others want….you can have the perfect opportunity for arbitrage.
If you Google eBay arbitrage you will find a slew of articles on how to find bargains on eBay itself and then turn around and sell them back on eBay for a profit.
One way to do this is to look for misprinted key words in the title of listings. If someone has listed an item with a misspelled key word it will not show up when a buyer puts that key word into the search box. If it doesn’t show up it can’t be bought. This can be an opportunity for you to swoop in and pick it up for a song. A really great website that can help you with this technique is called Fat Fingers http://fatfingers.com/ . With this site you can enter the name of what you are looking for and it will bring up the actual listings in eBay that are misspelled.
Another way to find items to buy and sell for a profit is to look for auctions that are ending in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning. What a lot of sellers on eBay don’t think about when they are listing their items is when their auctions will end. They will get on their computers late at night and start listing items that will end at the same time in 3, 7 or 10 days. The numbers of sellers listing at night far outweigh the number of buyers buying at those hours.
You can also look for auctions of items, that you know would sell for a great profit on eBay, that are not getting any bids because of something wrong with their listing. Either they took a horrible picture, or they didn’t take enough pictures to really show it off well enough, or maybe they could have done something to the item such as clean it up a little. If you know you can do a better job at listing this item and getting it sold for a profit it might just be worth the risk.
One last way of finding bargains for arbitrage is looking for items that are selling as a lot (a “lot” is when several items are sold all together in a bunch) but would sell for much more money if they were broken up and sold individually. One great example of this is from one of my favorite eBay/Amazon gurus Skip McGrath. I get his email newsletter bimonthly and I keep everyone of them to reread over and over again. If you are interested in subscribing to the newsletter here is the link http://skipmcgrath.com/newsletters/ In his email newsletters Skip will sometimes have a “Niche of the Month” article. One of these articles was about selling Starbucks mugs. He spoke about how you could find a lot of Starbucks mugs for a bargain, break them up and then resell them individually for a profit. Here is the link to that article if you want to read it for yourself. http://skipmcgrath.com/newsletters/current.shtml#four
There are other ways, besides finding deals on eBay, to use the arbitrage technique. You can find bargains everywhere you go!
Yesterday I was at Big Lots and found Nutristystem food items on sale 3 for a $1 or .33 cents each. I happen to know that nutrition and weight loss products are big sellers on eBay so I looked it up…..those same Nutrisystem food items were selling for $1-2/piece on eBay!!
How about your local pharmacy, CVS or Walgreens? I read a story one time (it might have been in Skip’s newsletter again I can’t remember) about a guy who was at his local Walgreens and found that a big name men’s razors were on sale for $7. Now everyone who shaves knows how ridiculously expensive razors can be. He quickly looked it up on Amazon to see how much they were selling for…..$30 bucks each!!! You can bet he snatched those up!
It doesn’t have to be big ticket items and it doesn’t have to be electronics or expensive toys. The littlest thing can bring you big profits! While I was doing research for the Nutrisystem items I decided to look into beauty products, since they carry a lot of that at Big Lots, and I stumbled upon hair dye. What I found there surprised me and I will be making another trip to Big Lots soon.
Use your imagination. What do you buy that is horrifically expensive that you would buy up in a heartbeat at a cheaper price on eBay?? Chances are someone else is looking for that same item.
Or how about those fun outlet stores??? There are a lot of women out there who are making a killing buying designer clothing and accessories at outlet stores and reselling on eBay. This too is considered arbitrage.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on your way to arbitraging your little heart out. Keep your eyes open and the next time you see something that you just know is a killer deal……look it up on eBay and see how well it is selling…..you might just have a great arbitrage item!