I have finally, and very profitably, realised none of us is ever too old to learn and as a result I've just added another hugely profitable income stream to my eBay business. It all happened the other day when I began reading another person's article about arbitrage, mainly buying bundles of goods on eBay and reselling those items individually on or off the Internet.
Arbitrage - that's a subject I know a great deal about, or so I thought until I read that article, and I really didn't expect to learn much personally from the experience. You see I really didn't think everyday objects, like DVDs and records could be picked up for low prices and resold for much higher amounts. I expected so many people looking at those big bundle lots would mean they'd either go for prices way more than I was prepared to pay, or I'd end up buying goods that would take me days or weeks or even months to resell on eBay or at flea markets and fairs.
So I expected that article would benefit our more inexperienced readers, but not "experts" like me - and very soon I'd discover I am not an expert at all! Yet! Nonetheless, I decided to put the article writer's advice to the test and I began looking for big bundles of postcards and other paper collectibles which I could buy in bulk and maybe add twenty or thirty pounds a day to my income.
In reality my first attempt will make me three hundred dollars or maybe a good deal more, and one item I bought as a job lot included something that really could make me several thousand dollars. And that's why I will look for profitable arbitrage deals every day on eBay and I recommend you do the same. The big secret, for me at least, is to realise you really don't know it all and to continuously look beyond your current level of expertise - or should that be lack of expertise!
Having delved a little further into arbitrage, I can offer the following tips, proven tips, to help you double every one of your arbitrage investments, starting today:
o Realise that some sellers are in a great hurry to make money, and because they are running at warp speed they often end up selling valuable items for a tiny fraction of their retail value. And that is why, when I searched for bundles of ephemera on eBay, I came across one comprising twenty plus letters from the 1930s. They'd been given such a bland write up, but the picture was good, very good in fact, and because I spent time downloading and expanding the picture I managed to spot a very valuable signature on one of those letters - Edward VIII! Yes really and that probably means other hugely profitable signatures are lurking unceremoniously in the same bundle that cost me all of twenty dollars!
o There's an easy way to spot people selling potentially valuable items, not only by checking illustrations as I just did, but also by focussing particularly on eBay categories sometimes including immensely high price items, such as rare postage stamps, highly prized autographs, original art, and so on.
But the idea I want to tell you about now focuses on finding sellers failing to realise a valuable item can look almost exactly like another item that's pretty much worthless, such as a Penny Black stamp worth tens of thousands of dollars in a pile of Penny Blacks with torn margins and tons of creases. Or maybe there's one signature in an autograph album that's worth ten times the value of all the other entries combined? Or there's a famous face peering out from a pile of unknown people on early postcards and photographs.
The secret to making big profits here is to focus less on titles in your chosen category and look more closely at illustrations instead. Those illustrations are small in their overall category listings, but they can be blown up ten or more times and prove very informative indeed. And that's the reason, when I was looking last week at postcards and photographs the seller listed as "unknown people" I opened one or two listings, increased the picture size, and studied names printed and handwritten on some of them. I immediately spotted one I knew was worth much more than the seller's starting price, but all the same I made a note of all the other names. Then I checked those names on Google and found five worth potentially double figure prices.
o If you find one valuable item in the illustration for a bundle or job lot of products, look closely at how deep the pile in the picture might be because there could be hundreds of items not on view which are as valuable or maybe more valuable than those you've already discovered.
o Look especially for sellers using "derogatory" words to describe highly prized items, such as "paper stuff" for "ephemera", this being another clue to the seller's inefficiency in researching, describing and listing his products. As an example, I keyed "paper stuff" into the search box at eBay, then I chose to search "Collectibles", then I ticked the box to search by description as well as title. That is when I chanced upon more than twenty listings of pretty much rubbish collectibles with one or two bits of "paper stuff" included. For "paper stuff" in one of these listings read "valuable trade cards from firms based in San Francisco and New York in the late 1800s" which I am certain will sell at ten or twenty dollars each compared to the ten dollars I paid for all one hundred items plus.
o Don't feel guilty when you buy valuable items for pennies, you are doing nothing wrong and it isn't illegal unless you con or unduly influence their sellers. And don't think you'll win any favours by pointing out those other people's mistakes as I once did, several times in fact, and ended up being abused of being nosy and conceited. Never again!
Catapult your eBay profits starting today by downloading "PowerSeller Repeat Sales Profit Machine" free of charge at:[www.avrilharper.com/freestuff.html This site can't be reached].
Webmaster's message: According to Merriam-Webster, "ephemera" are "paper items (as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles." I don't exactly agree with Avril Harper on her use of the term "arbitrage". According to Merriam-Webster, "arbitrage" is "the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets in order to profit from price discrepancies."
In this article Avril Harper writes about buying "big lots" of items, and finding a cherry in the lot which she can sell for a higher price than the cost of the entire lot. In the online auction business "arbitrage" usually refers to buying something on one auction site and selling it for a higher price on another auction site. This is usually done by buying on a smaller auction site with fewer bidders, and selling on a larger auction site with a large number of bidders.
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