Play the eBay Arbitrage Game Marketing Articles | May 18 Tom Brady , 2005
In the heady financial world of Stock Markets and Currency Exchanges there is a technique known as Arbitrage. This is when you make a transaction in which you know you cannot lose. For example if the ￡ is selling in London at $1.82.5 but selling in New York at $1.87 They will buy at the lower price in London and immediately sell in New York for the higher price.
Of course they are dealing in millions of pounds but you can use the same principle with your online auctions. You will need to apply the same two factors that a currency exchange dealer or International trader uses, namely Julian Edelman , knowledge and timing.
If you can source items that are proven sellers at a price that provides you with a profit then you cannot lose either. What you need to find are items that are under priced and a niche market that wants them.
Now for the purposes of this article I am going to look at 3 sources to make your purchases. Off Line, Other online auctions and eBay itself. But before you do any buying you have to make sure that you have some knowledge of a specialised niche. This could be Toys cars New England Patriots Jersey , Zippo Lighters or any particular niche you have an interest in.
You need knowledge both of the items you are interested in and of the current value of those items. For instance to most people a Zippo Lighter is a zippo lighter and one is very much the same as another, but not to a collector Dalvin Cook , whilst one with a run of the mill design may only be worth $10 another with a rarer design could be worth $200 or more for all we know.
Obviously it can take years to gain a real in depth knowledge of a market. But just by reading a couple of books, getting some sellers price lists and visiting some specialist fairs and markets will set you above many in your field. Take every opportunity to actually handle the items you are dealing in and of course monitor the prices in your market. This alone will give you enough knowledge to set you apart from the average seller.
Offline flea markets Mike Hughes , thrift shops and garage sales can be good hunting grounds and you can often spot a real bargain. You could also advertise in your local paper or community board letting people know that you are interested in buying whatever your specialisation is.
But there is no need to leave your computer unless you want to. By using your knowledge and timing it is quite possible to build up a good business just buying and selling online. You can use the arbitrage technique to buy and sell through eBay and the other online auctions.
Generally it is a fact that the more people who view an auction the higher the final selling price will be. And for this reason alone it means that bargains can be found in the smaller auction sites. Quite often you can make a handsome profit by buying from one auction site, relisting on eBay and just watching the bids come in.
It is also quite possible to buy items from eBay and relist them and make a nice profit. Now why should this be?
Firstly you have recognised its true value
You have described it correctly and added a photograph which shows off its best features.By giving a knowledgeable description you have displayed your expertise and thereby created confidence for your bidders.
In other words you have added value.
Most buyers start looking for items by using eBays search facility. If the seller does not included the words or phrases that a would be buyer will use when instigating a search his item will not be found. Therefore if you can find them it is a good bet that they will either attract only low or no bids at all and you can snap them up. I find that if you use the search tab at the top of the page next to the browse tab this is better than the normal search tool. This allows you to include the words in the description as well as the title in your search.
Also it can pay to check misspellings Kirk Cousins , again for example if you were looking for zippo lighters try a search spelling zippo with just one p or with two o?s.
As you become more experienced you will be able to build up your own list of words and phrase to search for. When you are developing this list of terms try and think of terms that a person who didn?t know a thing about what they have listed would use.
Another error that inexperienced eBayers do is to place their items in the wrong categories and this can often lead to them being missed by would be bidders and again. With experience you will learn which categories to keep your eye on.
So having found an item that interests you should decide what is the highest price you are prepared to pay and submit you bid. And that is it, never go back or be tempted to submit another bid. You have decided on a price that you believe you can make a profit on so leave it at that. OK you are not going to win every item you bid on and if the item goes beyond you price just forget about. If you bid on 100 items and you win 20 or 30 you are doing pretty well and will make a good profit.
This can be a particularly good way to build up an eBay business if for any reason you are unable to get out and about so well or have family commitments that keep you tied to the home. I have to admit that whenever I buy something at an online auction and then resell it at a profit it gives me quite a buzz.
To summarise to make eBay arbitrage work for you need to know your subject Adam Thielen , know your values and be able to list items to attract the maximum interest. Do this and you will be able to build yourself a really good business without ever leaving your computer.
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