eBay Arbitrage Using Woot and Amazon
The Online Seller's News, Feb 16, 2011, Volume 11, No. 3
Tips, Tools, News and Resources for eBay, Amazon and independent Online Sellers ~ Published Twice Monthly since 1999
My first article in this issue was supposed to be about the 2011 eBay Seller Policy Updates, but eBay still hasn’t released the new changes. I have already held this issue a week to get them in here, but I just can ‘t hold it any longer. So eBay will probably come out with them tomorrow just to irritate all of us.
In the last issue, Suzanne Wells wrote about our niche of the month article about selling used Golf Shirts. If any one you missed that you may want to go back and read it. I got email from several readers who tried her methods and made money within a week. Here is a link to the article if you missed it.
I have long complained that eBay has abandoned Radio & TV advertising. Well it looks like eBay heard me and told me to go pound salt. At last weeks analyst conference in San Jose an eBay exec badmouthed TV advertising and said their future marketing campaigns will concentrate on marketing to mobile devices.
That’s great for the youth market, but I don’t think eBay understands their demographics. Folks over 40, many of whom are not that savvy about using mobile devices, make up a huge portion of eBay’s market. And eBay’s larger problem is eBay’s tarnished brand and lack of clear marketplace positioning. Traditional eBay members know what is going on, but the broad marketplace does not understand eBay and still positions it as an online garage sale ripe with fraud. In fact, fixed price sales and new merchandise make up about 70% of eBay’s sales, and eBay has made huge strides to reduce fraud, but the marketplace doesn’t know that –and apparently eBay has no plans to tell them.
The other news that came out of the analyst conference was that PayPal is making all the money these days. One analyst I spoke with remarked: “if eBay didn’t have PayPal there wouldn’t be anyone at this meeting.” PayPal is indeed hugely profitable and will account for most of eBay’s future growth. Despite optimistic statements by management, it didn’t take much reading between the lines to realize that eBay doesn’t see much growth in their marketplace segment for the next few years.
For those of you who have not been around eBay that long, this is very ironic. Old time eBayers will remember how eBay tried to ruin PayPal. But eBay members make their choice clear and literally forced eBay to purchase PayPal, which they did kicking and screaming. Now PayPal is their big moneymaker.
Lets get started with this month’s articles:
I have written about Woot.com before. If you aren’t familiar with Woot, it is a site that large merchants use to clear out perfectly good –but overstocked inventory.
Woot is what is known as a daily deal site. They have one product they sell each day. The products are brand new, never used and most come with a full warranty. You are only allowed to buy one product –although you can get around this if you have a couple of different email and mailing addresses, which we do.
Here is a screenshot of the deal on Woot, the day I was writing this article (Feb 13th):
When I looked on eBay, I couldn’t find this exact model, but I did see other similar Sanyo’s selling for between $150 and $200. But on Amazon, this c amera was selling for $174, so in this case you might do better selling it on Amazon.
Here are a few more examples:
This is an HP computer selling on Woot for $399 and you can see that similar ones are selling on eBay for between $469 and $699. (This is only a quick look –I haven’t done the research to see just how identical these are in features and performance.
Here is a flip camera that is $119 on Woot and selling on eBay for $179.95
You can also find deals on Amazon. Just before Christmas I was checking Amazon’s Gold Box Deals (a daily deal feature on Amazon). I found a Brother sewing machine that retails for $599 for just $189. I bought one for my wife for a Christmas present. But I really screwed up. A few hours later I though to check the price of that particular machine on eBay and it was selling for over $300. I jumped back to Amazon but they were all sold out.
To find the deal of the day, look at the top of the Amazon page. Here is a screenshot of the deal link:
Click on the link that says Today’s Deals.
Here is a deal of the day I found on Amazon for an Internet tablet:
As you can see, these are selling on eBay for $364 –a $125 profit. The advantage of buying on Amazon is that you can buy multiple quantities whereas Woot is limited to one or two per day.
There are other daily deal sites such as 1Sale-a-Day and DealSucker, which aggregates deals from other sites. However I do not have any experience with either of those sites. You do want to be a little careful. I once bought a DVD TV Show series from another company and it turned out to be pirated.
You know that I am a big proponent of niche marketing and doing this sort of thing goes against almost everything I teach –but I get a lot of email from folks these days who are unemployed, or really hurting, and need to make some quick cash. This is one way to do that.
However – be careful: Before you buy something on Woot or Amazon, always check completed auctions on eBay to make sure the item is selling for more on eBay. I have occasionally seen items selling on eBay for less than they are selling on Woot.
If you are a regular reader you know I have some pretty strong views about eBay. Sometimes I get email from readers asking where else they can sell. Stop for a second. Like many of you, I am often dismayed by some of eBay’s policies, but I still sell on eBay and we make good money doing it. Despite some incredibly poor management decisions and lack of leadership and vision at eBay, the site is still one of the best places for the little guy or gal to get started selling online with very low risk and cost.
Even with all the hurdles eBay puts in your way, you can still make a lot of money on eBay. Best of all, most of what you learn while selling on eBay can translate to other online platforms. My eBay experience was invaluable when I started selling on Amazon. Although I don’t sell on Etsy, I have heard from my readers who do, that their eBay experience was highly useful when they started selling over there.
As for the other venues and auction sites, I do get the occasional sale on other sites, but none of them even come close to the money I earn on eBay and Amazon. Of the two I now enjoy selling on Amazon far more than eBay, but I maximize my income when I sell on both.
eBay can be frustrating and demanding, but there is no question that it is one place you can sell where people come every day looking for your products. The fact that they search and can see what you are selling along with others and that you get prime position within the last 4 hours of an auction is a real benefit.
The other thing I like about eBay is that it is still a community. eBay’s management has tried hard to kill the community aspect of eBay over the past few years as they think sellers should be invisible and anonymous. But it hasn’t worked yet. One of the joys of this business is, much like with Facebook, we get to make online friends and acquaintances. Karen handles all of our customer communications and she really enjoys email chats with our customers.
So when eBay gets a little frustrating, just take a deep breath and tell yourself there is nothing you can do about it. Work the system the best you can and wait patiently until March when I will release my newest training course The Complete Amazon Marketing System. In the meantime, I have been working with Jim Cockrum on a short Amazon training course focused on Amazon FBA that we hope to release later this month or early next month. So stay tuned for both things and in the meantime just keep making money on eBay.
Many of you have purchased an EZ Cube light tent from me. I have been selling them for the past 6 years and have sold hundreds of them on eBay and from my website at ezauctiontools.com. Well, last month the manufacturer called me and said they just can’t make any money with the deal we had and when we ran the numbers neither could I, so we unfortunately had to part company.
So there I was with one less product to sell on eBay and a great website that gets lots of traffic. That got me to thinking. The company I dealt with still sells their light tents on Amazon.com. And, I am an Amazon Associate (affiliate). So why not just kill the shopping cart and change the links to go to Amazon. I did that. You can take a look at www.ezauctiontools.com. And it’s working.
I did the changeover on February 3rd and by February 12th I sold six light tents. But –this is interesting; most of the tens that sold were not from the EZ Cube Company. When people got on the site and it took them to Amazon they looked for other competitive models and in most cases bought those. But that is OK as I still got a commission from Amazon.
And it gets better. When someone clicks on an Amazon link, they cookie the website for 24 hours. So when these people got to Amazon, if they purchased anything else I got a commission on that too. In the same 9-day period I had a total of 16 additional sales for everything from a Kindle to books and DVDs and even some kind of Spa product.
What makes this really cool is that I am in the final editing of my newest book, How to Make Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program. It should be ready in about two weeks and shows you exactly how to do just what I am doing with your own website, blog or Facebook page. The book should be ready when my next newsletter comes out so look for it then.
I covered Liquidation sourcing in the last issue but I wanted to remind readers again that this is the best time of year for liquidation deals. So here are a few liquidation sources again.
Liquidation.com is one of the largest and oldest liquidators and is used by hundreds of eBay sellers.
Topper International is one of our advertisers and one of the few liquidators who sell smaller quantities. However, that means the prices can be a little higher than when you buy a pallet load of goods, so always check the price on eBay and Amazon before ordering. If something is priced too high, just look for something else as there are plenty of goods on Topper’s website that can sell profitably.
Via Trading is another liquidator I mentioned last month and another favorite of eBay sellers.
Buy-4-Less Electronics sells a wide range of Name-Brand Consumer Electronics, Computer Products, and Photoproducts. They offer both new and refurbished Cameras, DVD Players/Recorders, Audio, PDAs, MP3 Players and Camcorders. Brand names include: Kodak, Fuji, Olympus, Apple, Philips, Samsung, RCA, Nikon, Toshiba, Canon...Worldwide Shipping.
Motorcycle Closeouts features motorcycle helmets, riding leathers and accessories all at closeout prices.
Koehler Home Décor is a wholesale source for home decor accessories and unique gifts including Bath & body, candles, Christian, collectibles, general merchandise, licensed products, patio & garden, seasonal decor, shabby chic & more.
RG Riley sells off price clothing, T-shirts and sweatshirts. They sell in small prepack cases. Closeout and irregular apparel only. Save 40% to 80%.
Pet Supply Closeouts Inc is a premiere surplus and salvage pet supply buyer, distributor and wholesaler. Their website isn’t very pretty, but hey have some great prices on pet supplies and you get free shipping on any order over $500.
The Military Man is a wholesaler of Tru Spec Military clothing & Tru Spec military uniforms, Tru Spec BDU pants, Tru Spec camo pants, EMS uniforms, flight jackets, camouflage clothing, police swat clothing and hunters uniforms. They also sell ACU Clothing, Thermal underwear and first aid and emergency preparedness kits.
All-Battery is a one-stop shop for all of your Rechargeable Batteries needs. They stock AA, AAA, C, Sub C, and D NiMH, NiCd, Li ion/Li Polymer Batteries.
Cotytech manufactures and wholesales flat screen TV wall mounts and LCD monitor wall and desk mounts. We offer high quality products at very competitive prices. We are based in Taiwan and the US. NOTE: this is the retail website. Click on the link to register a wholesale account and you will be able to access the wholesale prices. This could be a very interesting niche for someone.
Cell phone accessories are a hot market on eBay and Amazon. NEM Wireless carries a full line of quality cell phone accessories including as chargers, holsters, cases, and more.
Gadget Wholesale sells the Drive Alert Master sleep warning device for motorists and other gadgets. They have some very interesting products and you can pay with PayPal.
That’s it for now. See you again in a couple of weeks.
P.S. If you missed the last issue, click here to read it.
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