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Reselling has sparked my interest as of late. So, these past few weeks I tried it out. What I’ve found out, is that it’s much easier than I originally thought. In fact, it’s basically a form of manufactured spending that earns more money than points.
From the start, I did not expect to make much, if any, money from this experiment. I only really had two goals in mind. First, I wanted to get Plus status at Staples so I could recycle more ink cartridges. Second, I wanted to get at least 10,000 points/miles. In the end I completed both goals and actually turned a profit!
A Few Notes:
- The products in the white cells are not sold yet
- The GPS that cost $0 was purchased with Staples rewards for $38.89. I did not put a real cost since I did not spend real money.
- The Ink I sold at a loss was purchased specifically so I could recycle ink at Staples. I expected a loss on these, but the profit from recycling the ink was worth it.
How To Start
There are two things you need to do to start reselling.
- Watch the deals. Most of the things I bought were only available for a limited time. For example, the bluetooth speakers I bought from CycloneCase were only on sale for about 10 minutes. I believe it was a pricing mistake, because they were $9.99 before jumping up to $29.99. I keep tabs open on my phone, so I can check for deals when I think of it.
- Use coupons to your advantage. A few weeks ago Staples had a coupon for $75 off a 32GB iPod Touch. I grabbed two of them and made about $60 on each + 2,750 UR points using my Ink Bold.
- Bonus: Use portals to maximize your reselling profit. ShopAtHome had 7% cash back on Staples purchases during this experiment, so I was able to squeeze out even more money from my Staples purchases.
Where To Sell
There are three main places to sell the products you purchase.
- Amazon – Amazon is great if you use their FBA (Fullfilled by Amazon) program, because it requires very little work by you. Here is Amazon’s FBA fee calculator.
- eBay – They have lower fees than the FBA program, but it requires more work on your part – shipping, handling, returns, ect. Here is an eBay and Paypal fee calculator.
- Craigslist – The most profitable way to sell your products, however this method requires the most work since you need to communicate with buyers and meet up with them.
My preference is eBay, since it’s the middle of the road in terms of work required and fees. I suggest trying all three and see what works best for you.
- Make sure you can float the money. There is no way to know how long each item will take to sell. In fact, there is no guarantee your item will sell at all. Just remember that.
- Keep all of your receipts. It’s always good to have a fall back plan, just in case your items don’t sell or someone returns one of your items on to you via eBay.
- Store the items you are selling in a safe place so your kids and kitties don’t open or bite up your packages.
- Reselling can have tax implications. I believe eBay reports to the IRS after $20,000 in yearly sales. Again, this is my first experiment with it so I am not positive on that number.
- Be careful with eBay auctions. As you can see on the spreadsheet, my first tablet was put up for auction instead of buy it now. I ended up losing money on that purchase, but I still got points which made up for the loss (in my mind).
- Try to find deals at stores that get you the best credit card rewards. Staples is my go to store. Here’s why: I get 5X points with my Ink Bold, 5% back in Staples Rewards, 1% cash back with Visa SavingsEdge and 5% cash back through Shop Discover. It used to be even better when ShopAtHome had 7% cash back. The best part of Staples is that they have new coupons every week. One of Staples best in-store coupons this week is 20% off your entire purchase. So, if I bought a $300 item at Staples (in-store) this week it would look like this:
$300 – 20% (coupon) = $240
$240 – 1% (VSE) = $237.60
$237.60 – 5% (Staples Rewards) = $225.60
So the $300 item would only cost $225.60 and I would get 1200 UR Points on the purchase.
Reselling can be very profitable, if you know what to look for. Find a category that you know and only buy those types of products. I love electronics and try to keep up with all the new tech that comes out, so I mostly buy those types of items. If you want to find out how much certain items are going for check the sold listings on eBay. That is the best way to get a grasp on what items are selling for. You can do that by going to eBay and searching for the item you want to check. In the lower left corner you can select what type of listings you want to see. Select “sold listings”.
Now check what price the items are selling for and how long ago they sold. If you found an item that only sold once in the past month, you might want to find a different product to sell. This may take a lot of research, but in the end it can be very profitable!
Have you had any experience reselling?