HOWTO make money

Discuss

47 Responses to “HOWTO make money”

  1. Nylund says:

    “After all, paying for something is one of the most intimate things that can occur between two people.”

    It feels that way to me. I HATE selling people things. I worry so much about whether its the best use of their money. When I fear its not the best use of someone’s hard-earned money, I feel like an utter jerk. I think the advice to only sell things you love is key, at least for me. But, in the real world, that can be difficult. Sometimes you just need to take whatever job you can get. Sometimes those jobs involve products you don’t 100% believe in. I see salespeople in those worlds and they’re only concern is to get your money in their pocket. I don’t have that in me.

    Paying for something is really intimate, and people who pride themselves on salesmanship always come off to me like those pickup artists that pride themselves on all the ways they can manipulate a girl into sleeping with them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This advice assumes that the person looking for a commodity item has no idea what the average selling price is for that used commodity.

    It also assumes that the individual has no access to the internet or the newspaper.

    Great advice.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t understand. I put an iPod on craigslist, and I then buy it? And then I put it on craigslist again, and then I buy it again? What does that even mean? How can I buy something I already have?

  4. anansi133 says:

    So what you’re really saying here, is that if I enjoy counting beans and playing with money and taking risks and standing in between people and what they want… I can make money with the internet.

    How is this about creating any sort of value?

    • Jack says:

      He didn’t say that at all. What he did say is despite the market of choices being wider to consumers than it has ever been in the past, consumers still want a personal touch when purchasing something and will often pay more to a seller who makes a good case as to why they should buy from them.

      Also, we all make these decisions on a daily basis anyway. Like think about where you buy snacks and sodas from. If you live in a neighborhood where there are two stores that sell the same thing, you will (more often than not) choose to patronize the store that is nicer to you and provides the product that you like.

      I have like about 5 delis I can go to in a 2 block radius of my home. I choose to go to the places that treat me well and I have paid slightly more for items because that extra 25 cents means I give money to a business I want to survive. The other places that treat customers like junk so why should I bother.

  5. Gilgongo says:

    “We no longer design websites, so we don’t offer 37express anymore. But it was a fantastic way to make money.”

    Eh?

  6. Mitch_M says:

    This can work if you do it right.

    Buying things from people who don’t really understand what they are selling and then describing the items better in terms of functionality, history, and possible needed repairs has been profitable for me. People are more likely to bid if they know more about what they are getting.

    Sometimes buying something and just holding on to it for awhile can be profitable. I just sold a magazine I bought on ebay for $4 year ago for $16 to someone on Amazon.

    There’s also potential for willingness to put time into selling something that someone else just wants to get rid of fast. I made $12 profit on two stools I found on the curb a block from my house just for carrying them home, taking a photo, and making a craigslist posting. So far I’ve broken even on a box of Mad magazines I bought for $30 and I’ve only sold a handful of them.

    I got a Chinese bicycle computer for $1. It took a long time to get it but it seems as good as the one I got for $10 from a company that shipped it in time for my bike trip. If I could get a bunch of those without paying too much for shipping and sell them for $4 each I’d make a profit.

    Of course all these things take time and sometimes it’s more worthwhile just to sell your time and labor for money.

  7. Eark_the_Bunny says:

    This sounds sort of like how futures trading works. Just keeping buying and selling say wheat futures back and forth, jacking up the price of wheat higher and higher without actually doing any real work. They suck out the “dough” (pun intended) and we pay a much higher price for bread.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wait. Buy *low*, and sell *high*?

    Dammit!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Arrrg. The author’s point about buying and selling the same item is NOT that you can make money doing this but that it makes for a great lesson in learning what makes an item attractive to buyers. He suggests an ipod because there are always buyers for ipods so you can most probably sell it quickly or see what variation of photo, description, etc attracts the most attention the fastest. THEN you can take that knowledge and apply it to the product you really want to sell.

  10. SeamusAndrewMurphy says:

    This sounds like more total bullshit “internet personality” advice, like from that guy who insisted that the way to riches was to sell food supplements and other personal lifestyle garbage on the net and have some wage slave in India do all the work, while you toil no more than 3-4 hours per week.

    You might as well try to get rich by “network” marketing, “exploiting your warm market” selling Amway junk.

    How about we all agree that all of this is just an extension of the “greater fool” mentality, and that when, inevitably, the pool of greater fools runs out, your chance to offload the arbitrage dies.

    Really, after that last twenty or so years, you’d think we’d all have a belly full of hucksterism.

    From his piece: “This is not about getting rich…Instead, for me, making money is about freedom”. I’m tearing up at this point. Gosh, it’s about “freedom”.

    “and learn that it’s all about passion”. This must be why dollar shops and Costco seem to be the only growth retail outlets, their passion.

    I read this dreck and thought to myself, “Just what we need, another internet Babbitt”.

    I hate this.

  11. Sxe says:

    I think his ipod analogy was a thought experiment that didn’t account for Ebay FVFs and Paypal transaction fees.

    Still, stop harping on his poor example and focus on the ones that are brilliant.

    Charging $19 for a promotional T-Shirt is quite smart.

    I run a successful painting company. We recycle paint left over in people’s storage rooms, and for awhile I threw all similar colours in a bucket called Taupe Surprise. I’d sell it for cheap to customers or let my painters use it. Taupe Surprise was an amalgamation of generally popular colours, so although it varied, it was always made up of higher-end paints, and relatively trendy colours.

    Which brings me back to the crux of Jason Fried’s ipod thought experiment. Use something you know inside out. (I know paint.) Use something that can vary within a range of values that you know cold. Only you, the expert, knows what you put in to add value– it could have been weeks of work, it could have been five minutes, it could have been nothing but the sales pitch of a knowledgeable middleman. But when you add value to something, you are the authority on that value’s marginal price as it adds to what you started with!
    Then, every so often, I started noticing it was just a few shades away from looking Really Good. I started spending a few minutes here and there tweaking it with extra leftovers and tints to get it to a colour in my professional mind’s eye. Now, rather than selling Taupe Surprise at a discount, I generate exclusive custom colours from the surplus… and best of all, I make the formulas freely available to clients who want to avoid my charges and do the painting work themselves, thereby lending me authority on colour.

    • Anonymous says:

      and best of all, I make the formulas freely available to clients who want to avoid my charges and do the painting work themselves, thereby lending me authority on colour.

      And thus, you have not violated the categorical imperative! Which is what makes you a beneficial symbiote, and an asset to society, rather than just a parasite who drags down the weak and foolish.

      Offering a service to those who wish to rent your expertise is good business, as long as you are not taking advantage of ignorance. Capitalism depends on an informed consumer in order to work for the benefit of society as a whole. When you take advantage of uninformed consumers you are weakening capitalism and damaging society. Promoting ignorance is evil.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Has subby ever played Elite?

  13. hungryjoe says:

    This can work, and it’s great practice. But when you’re ready to try making real money, you’re going to have to give up the treasure-hunt model of developing inventory, and invest in vendor relationships.

    My advice:
    1) Know your costs. Half of what seems like net will probably be wiped out by eBay/PayPal fees.
    2) You don’t have to offer the lowest price, but if you are significantly higher than the median, it may take a long time to sell.
    3) If you don’t manage your time effectively, ebay will consume all of it without giving you any extra profit.

  14. YarbroughFair says:

    Oh my God, I am going to do this. I like the idea of simply doing it just for the education, purchasing and selling is going to be following ebay’s platform for years. There a few products that I own that I would never re-sell to anyone because I am so attached to them. So why don’t I brush up on my adjectives and flowery prose using the reasons why I would never part with my product?

    If I purchased the item at a steep discount I may loose a few dollars but never more than if I bought the item at its regular price.

    Its a win win. If I loose a few dollars I would consider the loss tuition for the experience.

    Location, Location, Location…..Ebay?

  15. Forkboy says:

    Great to see many people here have nailed why this is a bad idea and in the grey area of morality. What would work though is if you live in an area that has a local specialty, or products of local craftsmen/women that you could export by selling online. That’s providing a service.

  16. Jack says:

    This is actually a good piece, but a wee bit preachy. But still good.

    Anyone complaining about eBay and PayPal fees, please just be quiet. If you are running a home business where you sell things that don’t take up too much space or is a hassle, then the fees are trivial compared to the profit in many cases. You think that when you pay $10 for something at a store, 100% of that $10 go to the owner? After rent, salary and even credit card fees real world business often deal with HIGHER fees than someone dealing with PayPal.

    But I do agree 100% with his buy something and sell it just to even break even to experiment. That is the BEST way to learn how to sell something and is very little risk.

    I got into eBay selling the usual way by selling off things I knew were valuable and could turn a profit. After a while I started to sell off stuff I had but didn’t want anymore on eBay; I consider it an endless yard sale. Many times I made back my initial investment or lost money, but after 10+ years of doing this on eBay I started to understand what sold and what I was good at selling.

    Then I started to sell Mac upgrades for folks who were tweaking their machines back in the early 2000. For those who don’t know, Apple placed an “Apple tax” on many off-the-shelf PC components that either just had an Apple sticker or need a ROM flashing. So I would buy boxes of components, flash them or simply write an eBay explanation as to the item being tested on a Mac and soon enough I was making $20 to $80 profit for a good year or so until Apple basically obsolete the G4 machines. In the case of items that simply cost more as Apple branded I wrote a description that explains what the item was, how it was tested and how my feedback and tech expertise assures that the item will work. Anyone had the choice of buying the pure PC component, but they bought from me for a modest markup to save the hassle. I even had a few people give me PayPal “tips” for advice I provided. It was then I realized I set up a small tech store with loss leaders and consulting! I could not quit my day job on that money, but it helped me through some rough times.

    Now I mainly sell old collectible toys from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. I got into it when I started to sell off some of my old childhood toys, realized there was a profit in my childhood investment so I translated my passion and knowledge into buying collectible toys in bulk in the U.S. and Japan, cleaning up and assessing them and then selling them on eBay. Buy a huge lot of toys from a seller who doesn’t want to deal with the headache, break it up, ID the parts and assess it, and then I am selling items that cost me about $2 a piece for around $10 a piece. Again, not enough to live on, but a very nice source of extra income.

    Also, if you sell online, be prepared to ship. Some sellers never think of packing until after the sale. BAD MOVE! You might end up paying more in packing materials or delaying shipment while you hunt for boxes and screw up your sales transaction. I only sell items online I am 100% positive I can ship. And with that in mind, I have moved over to buying small collectible items in bulk I know I can stick in a padded envelope and ship. The weight assures first class shipping which is less than Priority Mail, but gets there as quickly in many cases. And the light weight makes it easier to carry.

    Also, if you know you will ship items—like books and CDs—in bulk, buy a box of mailers from an online seller. It will end up costing you 25 cents per envelope which you might penny-pinch over, but it is a lot less than buying individual envelopes from the Post Office or drug store. And you have them on hand so it saves time.

    I would also recommend investing in a small scale and even a nice label printer. The scale will help you give your customers a better estimate of cost and the printed labels will assure that the address is clear/legible on the package so it goes through the system correctly. Labels can be bought in bulk for thermal printers for tons less than local stores, and are just as good.

    Oh, as far as shipping goes, my eBay shipping & handling rates are incredibly reasonable and always less than others but guess what? Buyers ALWAYS complain or have second thoughts on shipping & handling charges. ALWAYS! I charged someone $2 for shipping and they complained that shipping was $1.95. Don’t worry about shipping other than the tips I give above, because ultimately nobody wants to pay for shipping and everyone complains. You’ll never make them happy so don’t sweat it.

    Also Craigslist… Oy vey… I mainly sell items on there that weight too much or are too bulky to ship. And it works well somewhat. But folks on Craigslist want bargains and are lazy when picking up. Not worth the effort.

    Phew! I just wrote that.

    • Jack says:

      Oh, and a postscript to my selling philosophy of collectibles. Unless you are very confident your item will grow in value but is only not selling due to market or other factors, just get rid of it. Sell it at a loss to build your feedback and buyer confidence as a seller. Hoarding is not fun for anyone and selling cheap items on eBay at the same time you have items you know have value can act as “loss leaders” that can increases bids on items that are truly worth something. If I sell off an old computer, I always have listings for other tech and computer parts. If I sell toys, I have other toys to get people into my listings.

      And if that stuff simply never ever sells? Just give it to friends or donate to charity. Consider what you sell on eBay to be the product of your knowledge and expertise and not just the product itself.

      Okay time to go for me!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m with MitchM.
    This is a not a “make money doing this” idea, it is a “learn how to sell” post. And good selling is adding value.

    For example, I’ve got a cracked screen on my laptop computer. It is an old enough model that the screens are all over ebay.

    Many sellers say “17-inch de11 laptop screen”, and when I query the resolution they don’t know and don’t wish to find out. They will tell me the model number of the computer it came from, but not the serial number which would at least allow me to look up the original spec for the computer when sold, cause there were many screen options for each model.
    But my need is a screen of the same resolution as my broken one. So I have passed up many screens that have sold for as low as $20.
    I also see ads that list the screen resolution, the manufacturer part number, and the list of de11 (and other) models it is compatible with. These all sell for 5 times what the unknown screens sell for.
    Guess which auctions I bid on? Why the ones that are more expensive. Why? because I want to buy a laptop screen with the reasonable expectation that it will work with my laptop computer, rather than buy one that is useless to me.

  18. ackpht says:

    Or:
    a) Get something for cheap/nothing (bargain, barter, inherit, steal).
    b) Write up an ad demanding an absurdly high price. Bonus points for “no lowballers”, “don’t waste my time”, spelling/grammar errors, and blurry sideways cellphone photos.
    c) Post on Craigslist. Wait for suckers.
    d) Keep reposting until the sun implodes.

  19. bklynchris says:

    w……………t……………f?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Yes, after spending a mere 8 hrs taking individual photos of the same thing approximately 30x’s, up, uploading it 10x’s, finding the ebay email-responding to yourself, logging onto paypal, lest we forget the minimum amount of time an item needs to listed on ebay…

    clickety clickety clickety clickety click click click

    oh and lets not forget ebay’s commission….

    you’d be what? an ipod you say? 10 bucks ahead?

  20. subhan says:

    Item 6 is idiotic. Between ebay fees & paypal fees you will lose your shirt. The only person who will make money out of that process is ebay. That whole ‘try to sell it for more than you paid for it’ doesn’t work very well on an auction site, and the higher you push your ‘buy it now’ price, the more it costs you to list (which you pay sale or not) and the less likely you are to sell.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, you’re missing the point. If you poke around eBay for things like iPods, you’ll notice that there’s a significant spread in the final selling price in a given week, even for exactly the same model. What he’s talking about is making that noise serve you, i.e. buy at the low end of the distribution and sell at the high end. Even if you end up paying all of your profits to eBay in listing fees, you will still learn a valuable lesson.

    • mdh says:

      you’re forgetting 2 important things:

      1) buy LOW. as in LOW
      2) don’t be an ass

  21. Anonymous says:

    Lots of folk are missing the point of this piece of advice. The main point is not making money, it’s learning about what works and why. It also shows that even in very simple, constrained and well-understood activities, there’s a lot of variables to play with.

    • eviladrian says:

      I’m amazed how many people didn’t get this, I would have expected Boingers at least to be able to read between the lines a bit.

  22. imag says:

    Why does everyone keep bringing up eBay and Paypal?

    He very clearly said to use Craigslist, which has no fees on these kinds of purchases, no shipping, and on which buyers usually pay cash.

    I’m not sure I like the method of extracting value from float – I think it is largely empty value creation which is hurting out economy. However, misrepresenting the method and then claiming that it doesn’t work seems pretty strange.

    • bklynchris says:

      Yes, because selling “it” on Craig’s List takes faaaaaaaaaaar less time than selling something on eBay. You could make more randomly buying and selling stock on eTrade in less time.

      I really think (HOPE) Doctorow was trying to be ironic.

      Here is how you really make $

      Start a webzine with four really popular acquaintances/friends, and then you and your friends get your and their friends to forward you cool stories/things. Post said stories/things on webzine. Have those friends tell their friends to check out those cool stories/things. Put the model on infinite loop until the chain gets pretty big. In the meantime, start giving talks on your “areas of expertise”, which I am sure you are. Build following. Then sit back and watch your magic beans grow like what? 3 years? 5 years?

      Climb magic beanstalk. Go to huge castle of giant internet advertiser and he will show you where his goose lives. Take egg. Providing no profanity is used in the posts.

      And you know what? This is far more fun and interesting then selling the emperor new clothes…repeatedly. And it may actually take less time too.

    • Oren Beck says:

      Your phrase “empty value creation” has merit. I phrase it as value subtraction. I argue with my wife about the house flippers as needing to suffer pain equal in dimension to what our society has felt. Anything that is greed based, economically damaging and makes our lives suck, by increasing the number of hours all of us need to work for home/food etc is a theft from us all. and from our children. As economics models of prices being managed to lower consumer costs, increase product quality and raise overall standard of living DO exist. They just demand integrity and ethical participation. And thus are dismal to hope for.

      One example’s shoplifting and simple pilferage/product abuses. Tearing boxes open to “look inside” or the folks who shoplift by grazing through an astonishing lot of food while shopping. That gets accounted for as “shrink” and reflects in prices. Theft’s theft and an economic impact categorically audit trail provable as such. Sane with the price pump /resell repeat gaming. There’s always someone who may not know the score, and always someone seeking to score at our collective expense.

      House flipping seems hard to hold as not similar in economic damage to the buy an ipod/resell it model. It raises the price for those with little liquid cash and gives a falsely perceived gain to the pumpers Falsely perceived because at the end of a trading day- It’s inevitable that the zero sums will sum to zero out the “profits” by our national economy coming one step closer to Stupidly Hyperinflating like:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe#Hyperinflation_2003.E2.80.932009

      If nothing’s a “real creation of real value” the result becomes unavoidable. The subtraction of value. And bills with astronomical numbers of zeros on them. Either bills for the broken banking Kleptocracy or the bills we used to call “money” before it became waste paper.

  23. imag says:

    Sorry – I do see that he mentions eBay twice, but the use of craigslist still gets one around 5 comments worth of complaints.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This can work and I have made serious money doing it. Obviously, your profit must be high enough to cover the ebay, Paypal, and any other fees. This can work.

    For your sale item, find something you think you have serious expertise in.
    If you pick some generic item like an iPod, you will have MANY competitors. Pick something else.

    The KEY is to buy/sell the SAME thing over and over because you can advertise it in advance. And get SHARP at advertising it.

    Do it!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Why not invest time in creating something of value instead? “Market liquidity” be damned, these people are parasites.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Why not invest time in creating something of value instead?”

      That was my first thought too. These folks are the moneylenders of the 21st century, or the ultimate middlemen if you prefer to think of it that way.

      And at least in my town the thrift store and garage sale selection for folks who can’t afford new are much less than they used to be. This is thanks to people who swoop down and clean out those places to sell them on Ebay and Craigslist.

      So yeah, those guys should be doing something productive. And maybe they would be, if US (and increasingly other nations’) businesses hadn’t sent the productive jobs overseas.

      This winter we had a snow plowing price war around here. I also hear that the number of people trying to make their living rebuilding wrecked cars has pushed up the price at the boneyard auctions. If you don’t have a big truck or bodywork tools in your garage, you can flip burgers (maybe). Or you can flip houses or ipods or whatever.

      Meanwhile, the rich get richer.

      Deducing the ultimate conclusion of these trends will be left as an exercise for the reader.

      • tad604 says:

        I would argue those people are doing something productive. They’re presenting those items at sale (in the garage market) to a wider audience. As for the suggestion in the article of buying/selling shit on ebay… that seems like a way to make ebay money and for you to lose money and provide no value to anyone (other than ebay).

        • Jack says:

          As for the suggestion in the article of buying/selling shit on ebay… that seems like a way to make ebay money and for you to lose money and provide no value to anyone (other than ebay).

          So where can someone sell something to a huge audience by just being at home? If you have access to a physical place to sell and you can actually sell, then more power to you. But if it weren’t for eBay I would not have been able to sell tons of stuff.

          As for the accusation of thrift stores being picked over, give me a break. It’s not like people who can’t afford to shop elsewhere will find thrift stores that are empty and bare. Far from it. When I scope out stuff in thrift stores, I buy maybe one or two things I know will be worth something. And not something that will prevent someone from buying someone else. If I find a vintage 1970s “Rush” t-shirt, buy it for 99 cents and sell it for $30, what exactly is the problem? Most folks actually do not care about vintage items or kitschy goods; they buy clothes for practical reasons. I’ll go through racks of hundreds of t-shirts that are perfectly good as t-shirts to find one or two shirts and not deprive someone else of clothing.

          If someone finds a rare first edition book, what is the problem of paying $1-$2 and selling on eBay? If the book is of any value it’s in other non-valuable editions that are fine for reading nobody is being denied anything.

          Also, in the case of vintage toys, most thrift stores simply throw them out. Child safety is a concern and most thrift stores do not look towards the collectors market. So toys being rescued from the trash (literally) is a valuable thing.

          Folks, most thrift stores also throw out donations because they get too much stuff or want to avoid selling broken items or things that might be a risk to others or obsolete. If you have a vintage Commodore 64, most thrift stores won’t take it or toss it if received. But they are valued in the collectors community where they can be given another life.

          Majority of folks who “pick over” thrift stores are just angry that someone got there first and was able to turn it for a profit. Here in NYC more and more thrift stores are opening up.

          Selling on eBay does not hurt thrift stores or the poor who shop there. If anything learning how to sell on eBay can help someone who is poor learn a new skill.

  26. agnot says:

    I’ve always thought that eBay can be really expensive, even without a biding contest.

    One day I checked the price on a new laptop in a sealed box with full warranty. It was getting bid up from the price listed on the Dell site! I checked the seller’s history and saw that he sold one of these every two weeks. Excellent rating BTW.

    He was taking the revenue, ordering an $899 laptop from Dell, putting it on eBay at his cost and averaging about $100 profit plus shipping. $200/month is a good IRA.

    I never thought to check his payment policies. He could have been selling to buyers who had no credit card to buy from a Dell shopping cart. But I suspect they just never checked the price.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Oh, do go on. How is providing people with products that they’re willing to buy in a “grey area of morality”?

    Money. How the **** does it work?

  28. durfsmurf says:

    This isn’t supposed to make money. It’s supposed to make people who don’t normally think in a “capitalistic” way, think about how you want to make money from something.

    Being a moneylender or a middleman isn’t an inherently bad thing. We need them. It’s inherently bad to put too much of an emphasis on it, though.

    In a way, the bigger your profit spread, the more “moral” your merchandising activity. This is because, if you buy some DVDs at a yard sale for 50 cents each, and sell them for 5 bucks a pop online, you are providing a service by offering a product to a group of people who never would have been able to buy it before, therefore making it exist to them when it did not, therefore effectively “creating” it as far as they are concerned.

    If you buy and sell it from the same place, it’s a bad idea because you’ll lose money, but also will be providing no service. His whole point was only for practice, though.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This definitely works. I have made thousands buying and selling camera gear on Craigslist. So much that my current $4000 worth of gear was free!

  30. Anonymous says:

    In other words, “how to make money by ripping people off”.

  31. hectorinwa says:

    Back when I played World of Warcraft, there was an addon called Auctioneer that would look at every item on the auction house, keep a running high/low/average/# of sales, etc… for everything out there.

    I always wondered if there was such a thing for the real world. You could make a freaking mint. Actually, uh, never mind. I have a phone call to make.

    The real money isn’t in iPods anyway, it’s in epic armor.

  32. subhan says:

    Ah, so I if I do this on craig’s list, I have to deal with a) competitors who flag my ad 30 seconds after it’s posted b) people who call with idiotic questions about things I’m not even selling c) people who call at 5:30 AM & promise to be ‘right there’ to pick it up, then call back at 4:00 PM for directions, then call back 4 days later because you don’t still have it d) offer you 33% of your selling price & get offended when you won’t take it e) finally show up, with only $80 cash to pay for a $200 item, and expect you to sell it to them because ‘it’s all they have’
    All I’ve learned from selling things on craig’s list is that it’s pretty much a venue of last resort, and that the amount of time & effort it takes is way in excess of anyplace else I’ve ever sold anything.

  33. DWittSF says:

    Pffft, everybody knows the only way to make *real* money with this method is in Real Estate. You can start by buying my timeshare in Cabo!

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is THE most absurd thing I have heard all day (I hear lots of absurd things)

    1) You buy an item for $90 and have it shipped to you for $10. Total cost $100.

    2) You sell item for $110+$10 shipping. You pay 12% final value fee + 50 cents listing fee. You earn $96.30.

    So, you immediately have to sell an item for 20% more in order to lose $4.

    In other words, while there is a spread on prices, you have to sell at a 25% higher price just to not make any money (and waste your time). Given that BY DEFINITION you are buying and selling something that is frequently sold on ebay you are almost certainly not seeing a price spread that high and are GUARANTEED to lose money.

    Guaranteed.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is assuming you can only buy and sell $100 items. You can buy and sell $1000 items that still have $10 shipping.

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