What a crazy July! I’ve never sold such a variety of products, like I tell everyone, I am agnostic when it comes to what I sell. The fact that I cleared over $3,000 in profit by selling 76 items should tell you this can be a real opportunity when you hone your skill. (efficiency comes with experience)
Every month I try to post my detailed recap of how I did on eBay, how I can improve, and how you can get involved. In short, reselling is one of the top ways for earning points towards free travel. When purchasing expensive~ish merchandise to then sell at a markup, you can easily complete sign up bonuses spending requirements and even earn extra points through airline shopping portals.
For instance, my total cost of resell goods for July was $11,475. If I only averaged 1.5x back on my merchandise cost, that is still over 17,000 points/miles in just one month from purchasing goods to resell for a profit. If you mix in a new credit card sign up bonus, which often requires a large minimum spend, you can easily earn upwards of 80,000+ points/miles in a single month. (collectively)
My biggest hurdle when trying to convince someone to consider selling goods on eBay is how to source the goods. Most people don’t believe you can purchase things online and resell them on eBay for a profit after all the fees.
One item I sold this month was from a Dick’s Sporting Goods flash sale. They were selling Garmin Vivosmart 3 activity watches for only $70. I was able to snag seven of them, so after tax my total cost of goods was $521. I sold all seven of them in less than a week for around $119 a piece ($833 gross). After you deduct shipping and eBay/PayPal fees, I made about $29.50 net profit per watch. That is $206 in ‘eBay’ profit off those seven watches. I like super small and light items, easy and cheap to ship ($2.77 first class mail).
At the time of purchase, eBates was paying 3% back on Dick’s SG purchases earning me an additional $14.70 (no cashback is paid on taxes). I have been using my Capital One Spark card which earns 2% on all purchases, so that is an additional $10.40. Adding everything up, that is $231 or $33 per watch.
The Oh Crap
I made a boo-boo. I was selling a laptop and I copied the “specs” from QVC’s website (don’t ask). Well as it turns out, QVC had the wrong specs listed stating that this particular laptop had a gigabit LAN port when in fact it did not. Of course as it would turn out with my luck, the buyer was using the laptop to test bandwidth at a school, he needed a gigabit LAN adapter, which we both found out was not installed on this laptop.
I ended up having to accept a return on the item, which means I lose out on shipping costs. eBay and PayPal refund the selling fees so at least there is no loss in that department. It also turned out to be a waste of time for both parties, certainly for the buyer who did not receive an item as advertised.
What I learned is this, minimal is money. By trying to “glam up” my product and flash all the specs, I ended up costing myself the two-way shipping costs of a 10 lb box, like $32. In the future, I am going to stick to simply posting the pictures, model number, and UPC code. I’d prefer to have the buyers do their own research on the details and not accidentally post wrong information. (when in doubt, leave it out – of the item listing..)
For example, if you incorrectly posted that a laptop had a DVD+RW drive but as it turns out it only has a DVD-R drive, that could be a make-or-break for your buyer. That one letter changes the capabilities of the optical drive (not re-writable) therefore the buyer would have grounds for a return. In the future, I would just say there is a DVD drive and let the buyer do their own research. (plus it saves time when listing product by not having to double-check the specs).
As noted earlier, this was my best month as it relates to pure profit. On the points/miles side, I didn’t do too bad either. About 25% of my online portal clicks go through British Airways shopping portal. In the past 45~ days, I’ve earned 7,300 British Airways Avios just from 5 online purchases. (which was for product to resell on eBay).
With 7,500 Avios you can book a one-way NON-STOP flight on American Airlines or Alaska if the actual flight distance is under 1,150 miles. That means I am 95% of the way to a free one-way from Phoenix to Spokane, which is about $135 if paying cash. In the rest of the world, like Europe, one-way off-peak flights start at just 4,000 Avios! (such as London to Edinburgh)
In July I made a net profit of $3,098. That was earned by selling 76 total items, though 6 purchases contained more than one item, so I only shipped 67 total boxes. If you break down the per item average you’d get just over $40. When removing items in which I made over $100 in profit, 5 items, my new average is $33 per item. Still not a bad number when removing the “big winners”.
We are in the process of purchasing a home, that means new credit card sign-up’s are on hold, briefly.. Most of my product purchases this month were on my Capital One Spark card which earns 2% back on everything. I put about $8,500 on my spark card netting me an additional $170 in cash back rewards just from that avenue. (That’s in addition to the $3,098 net profit)
Do NOT forget about cashback portals. I spent over $1,100 on Verizon Wireless in July buying my items. Most cashback sites, like TopCashBack, pay you 15% on Verizon when purchasing accessories, like smart watches. (keep in mind Apple products are excluded from cashback, screw you Apple!)
When the cashback posts in roughly 6 weeks, I should earn an additional $165. On top of that, I used my Chase Ink 5x card which earns 5x points on cell phone carrier charges/purchases, like Verizon Wireless. That earned me 5,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards on top of the 15% cashback, making the points worth roughly $100 towards travel. (if transferred to Southwest or Hyatt, for example)
You can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. If I transfered the 5,500 points to British Airways and added them to my recent 7,300 Avios from earlier, that would yield 12,800 Avios, enough for a one-way from the West Coast to Hawaii. Not bad!
Questions? I’m here