Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My eBay Flip - $10 Profit for 15 Minutes of Work

I love flipping listings. It is kind of like gambling. (No, I don't need a 12-step program...yet.) This is a great way to get inventory to sell, to try new things, and to leverage the power of eBay. Here is my latest flip and how you can do this, too! Thousands of new listings hit eBay every day, so the opportunity is ALWAYS there.

Here is my flip:

I found this item using a misspelling tool. I use Typohound.com - it is free. I searched for the words "cashmere sweater." The tool generates a list of possible misspellings, including typos, common misspellings, etc. I found this item:

Fatal errors on this listing:

1. Two words in the title are misspelled.

2. No return policy. (Read more on the importance of a return policy.)

3. The shipping is really too high for this item. It only weighs a few ounces.

4. No measurements on the listing. Always include measurements on clothing!

5. Keywords in title not optimized. Did not use the word NEW or NWOT in title.

The starting price was $3.99. I bid $5 using a sniper. You always want to snipe these items because bids on auctions encourage more bids. Stay under the radar and let a sniper win it for you in the last few seconds. I use Gixen.com - it is free.

I received the item in the mail, took my own photos, and relisted it. Here is my listing:

What I did differently (better!) than the original seller:

1. Use the word NEW as the first word in the title. This helps you place higher in searches.

2. Included free shipping. This also helps you place higher in searches.

3. Spelled all of the words correctly, added the color to the title, and used all of the space for the keywords in the title.

4. Included a 30 day return policy.

5. Included the measurements in the description.

6. Included international shipping.

So, did I make any money on this item:

Original cost: $16.99
Listing fee: .20
Final value fee: $3.95
Profit: $11.81

Not a huge profit but this is an example of what you can do on eBay without even leaving your house to find inventory. And you can do this many times a day, every single day. All you need is the internet, time, and your imagination. Some tips on flipping listings.

Focus on what you already know.
Brainstorm within a niche you are familiar with. Do you know about books, guitars, cameras, tools, leather goods, or anything collectible?

Browse websites that carry expensive products such as Nordstrom, Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdales, Macys.

Zone in on international sounding words as these are frequently misspelled. Good categories are apparel, shoes, fragrances, cosmetics, electronics, musical instruments, and tools.
Avoid handbags and watches as many of these on eBay are cheap imitations and if you resell a fake one, you may be suspended.

Avoid fragile items as they will have to be shipped to you, and then shipped out again to your customer and this opens up opportunities for damage.
Choose items that are easy to re-ship.

Create your own list of words to search for arbitrage.
The key to this process is knowing what to plug into the misspelling tool.

Do this process regularly. I spend about a hour a week looking for items like this, set up my snipes, and win (or lose) the items throughout the week. This process is not intended to be the base of your eBay business, but is a fun way to find things to resell.

Related articles:

Flipped listing - Dansko Clogs

Flipped Listing - Eileen Fisher Pants

Flipped Listing - True Religion Jeans

Learn to Flip eBay Listings in 5 Minutes
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