Category Archives: Ebay

Reselling From Charity Shops For A Profit

reselling from charity shops

Reselling from charity shops: right or wrong?

If you treat your online selling as a business then you are familiar with the need to source your inventory at the best possible prices in order to achieve the highest profits. This is why charitable organization shops are popular sourcing venues for online sellers.

While charitable organizations originally opened shops to provide quality goods at affordable prices for those struggling financially, they are becoming increasingly aware of their popularity with a wider demographic, including online sellers.

Online sellers may feel a sense of guilt at buying their merchandise from charity shops, with several factors making them feel this way. Let’s take a look at some of those:

Is it wrong to buy items that the needy may want to purchase, thereby reducing the number of items available to those less financially secure?

The majority of charitable organization stores have more stock than they can handle. Many of these stores have limited space and will replace sold items very quickly. Of course this is not true of every store and is largely dependent upon population and wealth of the community.

Is it wrong to offer items to potential buyers that were sourced from a charitable organization store?

Unless there is some marking or store tag left on the item when photographed there is no way that a potential buyer can tell where it came from. The buyer is more interested in whether the item is in good, working condition. Besides, the likes of Salvation Army and Goodwill often receive items that are still factory sealed, but offer them to the public at much reduced prices.

Is it deceitful in any way to purchase from a charity shop with the intention of re-selling?

I believe that most charity shop employees are aware that a number of their regular customers sell online. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they are grateful to such customers, as often they will buy large quantities of items. This helps the store keep shelves stocked with new items, and at the same time keeps the money coming in. Also, it is wise to note that many online sellers donate back items that have not sold.

At the end of the day $1 is $1 whether it comes from an online seller or someone bargain hunting for them self. Provided the money is put back into the community via charitable works then there is no need to feel any guilt whatsoever.

And you can always make a donation to your favorite charity shop at the end of the year!

How to Make Money With Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage can be a good way to supplement your main source of money with additional income streams? If you are a person who loves to shop and bargain hunt, retail arbitrage is one way to bring in some bucks on the side. It will work even if you do this part-time.

What Is Retail Arbitrage?

Arbitrage basically means, “buy low, sell high.” More specifically, it is the practice of making a profit by taking advantage of a price difference between two different marketplaces. In retail arbitrage, you find local sources for bargain-priced items, and resell them online in a venue where you can get a higher price.

Is this just a fancy way of saying, “Sell stuff on eBay”? Yes and no. Retail arbitrage is a particular niche in online selling. Many people on eBay, Amazon and other online marketplaces are doing retail arbitrage, but not everyone. And eBay is not the only, or even the best, place to do this these days, depending on what you are selling.

How Does Retail Arbitrage Work?

So here is how you do retail arbitrage. You go to a discount store, say, Big Lots or TJ Maxx. You bring some money and your smartphone with a price scanner app. You dig through the discounted, sale, and clearance items and scan them with your phone, checking the price at the store against typical selling prices at your online marketplace of choice.

For example, suppose there is a popular brand of toy like Monster High dolls, Littlest Pet Shop or LaLaLoopsy. These product lines have dozens and dozens of items, some of which go in and out of stock pretty quickly — and there are also kids and collectors out there who simply have to have every one of them. You find a Monster High toy on sale, and check the selling prices on Amazon. The sale price where you are is $7.99, but the lowest selling price on Amazon is $19.99. If you buy it here, and sell it through Amazon’s Marketplace, you can potentially make almost $10.00 profit after expenses and fees! Based on how much you think you can sell it for, how quickly it will sell, and how easy or difficult it will be to ship, you decide that you will buy this toy and re-sell it, and into your cart it goes.

If you love shopping, this is the fun part, also know as “sourcing” or “scouting.” Once you have made your purchases, you move on to selling your items, and making your money.

Where and How Do I Sell?

One of the easiest ways to do retail arbitrage is through Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA) program. You set up a seller account through Amazon, enter the product codes for the items you are selling, and Amazon gives you a label to attach to each item and a shipping address to send it to. You pack up the items in a box and send them to the fulfillment center. Amazon takes it from there. Your products are stored in Amazon’s warehouses under your name until someone purchases them, then Amazon packs them, ships them, and deposits the money in your seller account. Amazon subtracts their fees and transfers the rest of your seller account money to your personal bank account every other week.

You do not have to store your stock or a ton of shipping supplies at your home. You don’t have to pack individual items and rush off with them to the Post Office or UPS. Best of all, your merchandise is covered by the same satisfaction and delivery guarantees that Amazon offers for their own products, including free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime members!

Amazon FBA is a convenient and popular way to sell new, unopened items or certain types of used items like books, DVDs, and other media. Don’t forget: before you go on a buying spree for food and beauty products make sure you have been approved by Amazon to sell in these categories!

Other used and collectible items can find a better home on Ebay or specialty marketplaces. And for really big items, like cars (yes, people do this with used cars!), your best bet is to sell locally through Craigslist or other venues that reach nearby buyers.

Is Retail Arbitrage Legal?

Absolutely! You are taking advantage of market differences, in the best capitalist tradition. Consider how many people live far from specialty stores like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, or IKEA, but love their products. Or who may live near those stores and other bargain outlets, but would prefer the convenience of shopping online. These are the people who buy your items.

There is one area where the practice of buying for resale can run afoul of manufacturers’ proprietary agreements, and this is in high-end designer merchandise. To keep the demand (and prices) up for their products, companies like Gucci or Louis Vuitton deliberately make them scarce by making exclusive distribution agreements with retailers in an area. If a manufacturer finds out that you are reselling their items, they can ban you from buying their products, and demand that the online selling venue remove your listings! Because of the prevalence of counterfeits at this level, many online selling locations will not even let you list such items. For this reason, most online sellers steer clear of high-end designer stuff.

How Much Money Can I Make With Retail Arbitrage?

This is not a get-rich-quick scheme by any means. It is a type of hobby income, since you have to really enjoy shopping and digging for bargains. The pace of sourcing and selling can vary considerably throughout the year as well, so the income is not always steady. That said, with good knowledge and good local sources, you can make hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month. There are some people who do this well enough to make a full time living at it, but the majority of sellers do this as a part-time gig.

If you are going to try retail arbitrage, you need to do your research beforehand, and start small. There are plenty of websites, e-books, and YouTube videos out there that explain the process in detail, including all the ins and outs of using Amazon’s fulfillment program. There are even fee-based subscription services that provide daily updates on items going on sale at Wal-Mart, Target, and other big box and online retailers.

The best way to do this is to pick a niche where you already know something about the brands available, and what typical selling prices are. Your niche can be books and media, toys, cooking equipment, or pretty much anything you know about and enjoy shopping for. Some sellers specialize in medical supplies, fishing equipment, or even closeout beauty products — it is amazing what devotees of a particular type of lotion or makeup will pay to get the last of a discontinued item! Many sellers start out in one niche and add new ones or drop old ones as they expand their knowledge of what sells well and what is easy to source in their local area.

You will make some mistakes. Many items are languishing in clearance aisles and bargain outlets because no one wants them, or because they are low quality and cheap. It takes research to separate the garbage from the arbitrage. There is a learning curve, but if you get a thrill from the quest for items to sell, and turning your bargains into profits, the learning process is a fun challenge and not a depressing chore.

By far the best season for selling your arbitraged items is the year-end holiday season. There are more people buying and more demand for scarcer items, so prices are higher. If you want to be ready to make some real money in November and December, start building your arbitrage business in the spring and summer so you have things down to a routine by fall. This also will give you a chance to build a track record and gather favorable feedback in your chosen selling venues.

Finally, be flexible and keep learning about various niche markets. Sources can dry up, and profitable items can become unprofitable if the market becomes flooded with them and prices drop. However, there will ALWAYS be items out there that online buyers will pay a premium price for, and there are ALWAYS sellers, be they retail stores, thrift stores, or your neighbor having a yard sale, who want to simply rid themselves of merchandise and don’t care about seeking the highest profit for it.

5 Broken Things to Sell on eBay

Broken things to sell on ebay

Broken things to sell on eBay for profit

One of the great things about eBay is that you can find just about anything for sale. On the seller side, you can reach out to millions of potential customers to sell a vast range of goods. Even broken items, or those with missing parts can have value.

Collectors often need original parts to complete a piece. There are also people who make a living buying and repairing broken electronics, small appliances, and many other things. Some things are also just so valuable that even in terrible condition there is still a demand.

Here are five broken things to sell on ebay:

  • Board Games: Not all board games are worth the time and effort. Rare and popular board games can still bring the bidders missing pieces. In many cases, it’s best to part out the pieces of board games missing pieces. Some game pieces are also in demand for crafting.Here are a few examples of board games worth selling incomplete or parting out. Crafters love Scrabble tiles. Some special edition Monopoly player tokens sell well. Out of print special editions of popular games may still have value parted out, like some of the Lord of the Rings branded games. See this article: Rare Board Games to Sell on eBay
  • Vacuum Cleaners: A broken plastic Bissel, Hoover or Dirt Devil won’t be worth a whole lot, even parted out. The canister of some models might be worth $20-30, but don’t expect a bidding war as they’ll likely be very slow movers.The vacuums that can bring in good money, even not working, are higher end. Some of the better brands are Rainbow, Kirby, Royal, Dyson, and Roomba. Of course, some models of each brand are in greater demand. Depending on time consideration and mechanical inclination, some vacuums may bring more money by selling individual parts. It will take longer to sell all the parts than the whole vacuum, though.
  • Coffee Makers: People love their coffee. Some even need their morning coffee. It’s a huge market. Many coffee makers are quite expensive. People don’t necessarily want to replace them when they stop working, so they look for parts. Other people don’t want to deal with the hassle and become a great source for inventory.Some brands that can bring higher prices include De’Longhi, Saeco, and Jura. Even the more common coffee makers by Mr. Coffee, Krups, Keurig, and others can sell. Low end coffee makers might not be worth the trouble, but some of the parts might be. People need replacement carafes, filter holders, and water tanks, among other things. But don’t expect those parts to fly out the door. They’ll probably sit for a while.
  • Video Game Systems: While non-working video game systems rarely command high prices, there are enough of them out there to make it up in volume. The newest systems, the most popular older systems and the rarest systems are in greatest demand. Some systems even sell for the same price in either untested or tested and non-working conditions.Some of the systems worth selling in non-working condition include the various Gameboys, NES, Nintendo Famicom, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 2-4, Xbox 360 and One, Atari Jaguar, Commodore Amiga, Colecovision, Sega Genesis Nomad, Sega Dreamcast, and Sega CD.
  • Jewelry: A lot of broken jewelry, especially gold and silver, still has enough value to sell on eBay. Even costume jewelry can be worth selling damaged.With the rise in precious metals prices over the last few years, there are many places that advertise that they buy gold and silver. Well, chances are the prices they offer are lower than can be garnered by selling on eBay.For simple gold and silver jewelry without expensive precious stones, they will generally sell based on weight. Most sellers use a gram scale. Also, be sure to specify the purity. Are the pieces 10k, 14k, 24k, sterling, 950 or coin silver?Broken costume jewelry is usually best sold in lots. Lots can be completely mixed or organized by color, designer, type, period or some other method. There are many people who buy broken costume jewelry for crafting or creating new jewelry. Including the terms “crafts”, “jewelry making”, “repair” and similar to get more traffic from those kind of buyers.

Sell That Junk!
These are just a few things that can still bring in money even if they’re broken or otherwise not working. Hopefully these ideas can also inspire further ventures of salvaging goods for new life and make some money in the process.

Yard Sales Season and a New Blog

I have been rather busy lately, but I am still around. It’s yard sales season now and I am addicted! I plan on getting as much inventory as I can (plus stuff for me and the kids).

I was browsing my extensive eBay photos collection trying to sort them a bit and ran across some very old ones from the early/mid 2000 (I started eBay in 1998) and this prompted me to start a blog based on photos of all my good (and not so good) yard sale finds.

If you are curious, it’s here: Yard Sale Finds Sold on Ebay

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