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rated:
Hey, is there anyone on here running a Craigslist/eBay business? Meaning buying things for cheap on Craigslist or garage sales and "flipping" them for more money on eBay. I've been trying to get into that type of thing for a while and was wondering if there was anyone doing it that could maybe give a few tips for getting started

Thanks!

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My cousing is doing something similar.  She is buying from eBay and selling on Etsy.  Buy low, sell high, small products... (more)

snnistle (Apr. 11, 2017 @ 12:45p) |

Are you saying your cousing is exploiting arbitrage between eBay and etsy? Does she just do drop selling?

rufflesinc (Apr. 11, 2017 @ 1:44p) |

Did it briefly.  PITA.  I'm dealing with a return right now from someone who will likely leave negative feedback because... (more)

RailroadTrack (Apr. 11, 2017 @ 3:48p) |

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rated:
That is a side HUSTLE.

If you're wanting to make a couple thousand extra dollars per year, then I see it as a viable option. But if you want more than that, I think you'll be hard pressed to scale it. It just takes so. much. time dealing with flaky craiglist people.

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Go to the Reddit flipping forum. All you need is there.

Someone else mentioned scaling it, they are right. You can scale to a point, low 5 figures, but anymore is pretty hard. The business simply comes down to your knowledge and that is hard to train or replicate.

Also, there are way too many people flipping things these days. Go to you local used store, more than half of the customers will have their phones out looking things up on eBay.

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tennis8363 said:   
Also, there are way too many people flipping things these days. 

  this. low barrier to entry

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mrbassguitarguy said:   wondering if there was anyone doing it that could maybe give a few tips for getting started
 

  Buy low, sell high.

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atikovi said:   mrbassguitarguy said:   wondering if there was anyone doing it that could maybe give a few tips for getting started
 

  Buy low, sell high.

And be prepared to be screwed by PayPal or eBay at some point. Very buyer friendly.

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After shipping costs, massive eBay/paypal fees, and getting screwed by every eBay case that gets opened theres no $ in it.

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jd2010 said:   After shipping costs, massive eBay /paypal fees, and getting screwed by every eBay case that gets opened theres no $ in it.
  You figure the shipping costs and sale fees into the prices. As for getting screwed, that's something you deal with but can minimize by avoiding listing items that attract scammers. 

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Even as a side hustle, you may be stuck hoarding the items for many months or even years before finding a buyer. Everyone wants to do this with shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars on TV.

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jd2010 said:   After shipping costs, massive eBay /paypal fees, and getting screwed by every eBay case that gets opened theres no $ in it.
  ~$15k in sales, average price ~$100.  Never screwed once.  eBay fees are astronomical now though.  And pollution of listing competition due to it being "free" to list (or close to it) with large final value fee instead.  I liked back when it cost >$1 to list.  Even paid $20 a couple times for featured listing.

Return on effort wasn't worth it after I graduated and started working full time.

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The more interesting angle is buying stuff at a discount and reselling using Amazon FBA.

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eBay is a pure volume play. There's no way to make serious money any other way. eBay takes 10%. PayPal takes 3%, and almost every buyer wants free shipping. You're looking at 25% in fees and shipping on a average $100-$200 item. If your buying things in person the is no way you'll have enough time to buy enough inventory to make serious money on eBay.

As a side hustle it's good for your Roth IRA money each year.

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atikovi said:     Buy low, sell high.
  With a tip like that, you could make a fortune in the stock market.  And as a bonus, you wouldn't spend all that time packaging and mailing stuff.

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I sometimes see some Costco / Sams club item for sale at Amazon at very inflated prices. I wonder if somebody could do business by buying from the wholesale club and then selling at higher prices. I suspect that eBay fees and shipping will eat up the profit. One advantage of such a business is that if the items dont sell, u can return it to Costco as long as done in reasonable quantities.

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PrincipalMember said:   I sometimes see some Costco / Sams club item for sale at Amazon at very inflated prices. I wonder if somebody could do business by buying from the wholesale club and then selling at higher prices. I suspect that eBay fees and shipping will eat up the profit. One advantage of such a business is that if the items dont sell, u can return it to Costco as long as done in reasonable quantities.
  I did this years ago. 
Stowboards at SamsClub clearance $20, I bought 50 of them, wife thought I was crazy until I was selling them for $125+ plus $10 shipping
Steiner Binoculars $100, I bought 20 of them and sold most for close to $200 
Silicone Cooking Gloves $8 and sold more than 50 pairs for $25

I also picked up Coleman BlackCat Catalytic heaters at WalMart for $8 a piece, I bought 50 of them and sold all of them for $40+

I used this extra money to support my two boys "Hockey Habit" for a couple years. 

I also use to buy shotguns and rifles at Dunhams on clearance 40% off and would flip them in the Trading Times for near retail, I sold over 20 one year. 

I needed a dog kennel one year, Meijer Source Club back in the early 90's had them $200, bought one for myself and flipped at least 10 kennels over a 2 month period for $350 and never had to inventory more than one at a time. 

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It's possible, it just depends on what you'd define as successful in terms of profit and what you're willing to risk. Yes, there's a lot of competition, but most of them don't know what they're doing and they miss the best items.

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I did this a few years ago with some home automation stuff that I became a dealer and resold on Amazon and it looks like quickly over time at least 10 sellers just undercut me and were willing to make less than a few bucks per item which didn't make sense for me to do as a hobby. I started making over $20 per item on a $50 dollar item.

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letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
I also use to buy shotguns and rifles at Dunhams on clearance 40% off and would flip them in the Trading Times for near retail, I sold over 20 one year. 
 

  

Yeahhhh...

Don't do this without a license, folks.

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meade18 said:   
letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
I also use to buy shotguns and rifles at Dunhams on clearance 40% off and would flip them in the Trading Times for near retail, I sold over 20 one year. 

  

Yeahhhh...

Don't do this without a license, folks.

  It's 2017, all regulations must go!

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meade18 said:   
letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
I also use to buy shotguns and rifles at Dunhams on clearance 40% off and would flip them in the Trading Times for near retail, I sold over 20 one year. 

  

Yeahhhh...

Don't do this without a license, folks.

  This was in the early 90's and they were long guns. Selling long guns did not require a permit to sell. Might be different in 2017, I haven't sold a gun in over 20 years. 

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letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
meade18 said:   
letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
I also use to buy shotguns and rifles at Dunhams on clearance 40% off and would flip them in the Trading Times for near retail, I sold over 20 one year. 

  

Yeahhhh...

Don't do this without a license, folks.

  This was in the early 90's and they were long guns. Selling long guns did not require a permit to sell. Might be different in 2017, I haven't sold a gun in over 20 years. 

  
You can sell a few without a permit, but at some level of volume you are considered a dealer and require a license. (nowadays, at least)

20 in one year is well above the limit to trigger that.

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arch8ngel said:   
to trigger that.

  I see what you did there.

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From 2003-2007 I was buying brand new items from the deals posted here and selling those on eBay. PowerSeller with 100k+ in sales. We are the reason Circuity City, CompUSA went out of business. OfficeMax delivery guy used to come every Tuesday. Those were the days.

Watch the movie call margin call. There are 3 ways to make money in business. 1) Be first,2)Be smart, 3)Cheat. I don't think you have first 2 options.

rated:
arch8ngel said:   
letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
meade18 said:   
letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
I also use to buy shotguns and rifles at Dunhams on clearance 40% off and would flip them in the Trading Times for near retail, I sold over 20 one year. 

  

Yeahhhh...

Don't do this without a license, folks.

  This was in the early 90's and they were long guns. Selling long guns did not require a permit to sell. Might be different in 2017, I haven't sold a gun in over 20 years. 

  
You can sell a few without a permit, but at some level of volume you are considered a dealer and require a license. (nowadays, at least)

20 in one year is well above the limit to trigger that.

  
As a general rule, you will need a license if you repetitively buy and sell firearms with the principal motive of making a profit. In contrast, if you only make occasional sales of firearms from your personal collection, you do not need to be licensed. 

Courts have identified several factors relevant to determining on which side of that line your activities may fall, including: whether you represent yourself as a dealer in firearms; whether you are repetitively buying and selling firearms; the circumstances under which you are selling firearms; and whether you are looking to make a profit. Note that while quantity and frequency of sales are relevant indicators, courts have upheld convictions for dealing without a license when as few as two firearms were sold, or when only one or two transactions took place, when other factors were also present.

Also note the use of the word "Firearms." There is no distinction between long guns and handguns. I have no idea if 18 U.S. Code § 923 was written differently back when Luniz97 was buying and selling guns. If it didn't specifically mention long guns were different, Luniz97 would have almost undoubtedly been considered a dealer and could have very well faced prison time for his side hustle.

Don't try this at home, kids!

rated:
I was a powerseller once.  It's been over a decade, though. I have a few certificates from eBay in a box somewhere. It was a lot of busy work and pretty much a full time job and doesn't pay too well. Some of you might think it was a lot of pay, but it was about 1/3 what I could make with a regular job.

Some considerations to make.  Find a cheap supplier for boxes and buy them in bulk.  Get good rates from the shippers.  The lower you can get your S&H prices down, the better.

I didn't do the hot deal flipping stuff.  I would buy certain products at really good wholesale prices that other companies wouldn't think to sell and then would resell them on eBay.  Eventually the Chinese caught on and I started getting competition from them selling knockoffs and it just wasn't worth it to pursue that market anymore.
 

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This guy does 20-30K a month on eBay.
https://www.youtube.com/user/Deepinthecity7

rated:
meade18 said:   
letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
I also use to buy shotguns and rifles at Dunhams on clearance 40% off and would flip them in the Trading Times for near retail, I sold over 20 one year. 

  

Yeahhhh...

Don't do this without a license, folks.

  
Like he said, long guns are far less regulated than handguns.  Although he was exactly the sort of non-dealer that Obama was targeting with the changes he made via XO last year.  I don't actually have an issue with that particular XO - it only clarified what the annual sales standard was for being a "dealer" and what was not.  It was unspecific before (IOW what the ATF guy wanted it to be) and post XO that was clarified to mean "5" as I recall.

So I could buy 5 long guns, take them to the range and decide which one I liked and legally sell the remaining 4.  Selling the 5th would move from a "hobby" to a "dealer."  

You can sell long guns over state lines and without residency requirements -- not true for pistols without a dealer involved.  Obviously some variance for state laws there, I am only talking about Federal.  

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I've tried, and it's way too late to do this IMO. Might have had a chance 15 years ago, but there are simply too many people doing this, and too many crappy buyers out there burning sellers. I have become somewhat of an expert in a very niche area and did some buying/selling for 6+ months. I did great for the first 2 months, getting almost double my acquisition costs, but fees kept sipping away at my profit and I had many close calls with bad buyers claiming I sent them something broken (it was not).

I ended up calling it quits after making a few grand and even if I kept at it I doubt it was worth the time and effort.

rated:
I average around 25k profit from eBay or year give or take with 90%of acquisition from Goodwill. I might put in 4 solid hours of work a day to get that. I also do other income activities so I don't rely on eBay alone.


Don't worry about the scammers, it really only happens in certain catagories like gift card and codes.  Ultimately I would have a hard time trying to make much more than I do on eBay but it's going to be very location specific.

rated:
letsspendlotsofmoney said:   
PrincipalMember said:   I sometimes see some Costco / Sams club item for sale at Amazon at very inflated prices. I wonder if somebody could do business by buying from the wholesale club and then selling at higher prices. I suspect that eBay fees and shipping will eat up the profit. One advantage of such a business is that if the items dont sell, u can return it to Costco as long as done in reasonable quantities.
  I did this years ago. 
Stowboards at SamsClub clearance $20, I bought 50 of them, wife thought I was crazy until I was selling them for $125+ plus $10 shipping
Steiner Binoculars $100, I bought 20 of them and sold most for close to $200 
Silicone Cooking Gloves $8 and sold more than 50 pairs for $25

I also picked up Coleman BlackCat Catalytic heaters at WalMart for $8 a piece, I bought 50 of them and sold all of them for $40+

I used this extra money to support my two boys "Hockey Habit" for a couple years. 

I also use to buy shotguns and rifles at Dunhams on clearance 40% off and would flip them in the Trading Times for near retail, I sold over 20 one year. 

I needed a dog kennel one year, Meijer Source Club back in the early 90's had them $200, bought one for myself and flipped at least 10 kennels over a 2 month period for $350 and never had to inventory more than one at a time. 

  
I assume you have a firearms license or the firearm 'flipping' would likely be illegal...?
 

rated:
I've been doing antiques arbitrage on eBay for a while. Even with shipped prices from home country I can still make 20-50% after fees reselling into the US market.

rated:
A friend of mine buys clothing at Goodwill outlets and other similar places that sell clothing by the pound. The clothing doesn't take up a lot of space per item, and is easy to ship. Right now her eBay store has over 400 items listed. Between that and a pet/house sitting business (with 2 employees), she makes a comfortable living.

rated:
taylor0987 said:   A friend of mine buys clothing at Goodwill outlets and other similar places that sell clothing by the pound. 
I average around 25k profit from eBay or year give or take with 90%of acquisition from Goodwill.  
 
i donated to goodwill a couple trash bag full of clothes a tenant left behind. some of the stuff smelled like cat ... urine. Your profits are well deserved!

rated:
rufflesinc said:   
taylor0987 said:   A friend of mine buys clothing at Goodwill outlets and other similar places that sell clothing by the pound. 
I average around 25k profit from eBay or year give or take with 90%of acquisition from Goodwill.  
 
i donated to goodwill a couple trash bag full of clothes a tenant left behind. some of the stuff smelled like cat ... urine. Your profits are well deserved!

  I would have thrown out the smelly clothes, I specialize in bigger mens clothing. Normally I only buy new with tags or like new clothing.

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Whispers.
Used women's shoes
Whispers

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I heard women's socks are extremely popular too...

rated:
You can't sell used underwear.

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atikovi said:   You can't sell used underwear.
Which is probably why they're selling used shoes and used socks?

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Isn't socks underwear?

Skipping 48 Messages...
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Did it briefly.  PITA.  I'm dealing with a return right now from someone who will likely leave negative feedback because they didn't read the description about the item that was in bright red bolded lettering.

I applaud those who do it and do it well.  It's definitely not for everyone.  

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