This money-making method has its roots in activities much older than the Internet. Since people have been engaging in economies, they have been attempting to buy goods at a low price and resell them at a higher price for a profit. This method of making money takes many forms, but one of them is to buy finished products that an individual no longer wants and find someone that does want those products.
Traditionally, someone that wanted to take advantage of markets might shop around at flea markets and garage sales to find arbitrary objects at a relatively low price. They would then sell these products at a boutique shop or to individuals that they know would be interested in them.
Although it rare for anyone to make a great deal of money by scrounging for items at garage sales, people often enjoy this activity and find it to be a good hobby. The Internet has taken this same concept and—in a way that only the Internet can do—transformed it into a viable money-making opportunity.
With Internet market places, people looking for cheap items have access to virtually limitless products at very low prices. On top of that, they have unlimited access to other people that are interested in those very same products but do not know how to get to them.
That is where the money-making prospects come from: if you can find cheap products online and then resell them for a much higher price with no extra effort or money, then there is plenty of opportunity for profit. The real key is knowing where to find cheap items and knowing where to find people that are willing to pay more for cheap items.
One great source for the first part of taking advantage of online markets—finding cheap items—is SlickDeals.net. Although it does not cover the second aspect—finding people willing to pay more for cheap items—at all, it is one of the best sources that you can find for cheap items.
The main idea behind SlickDeals is that thousands of users from all over the Internet scour the web for incredible deals from all kinds of retailers. These deals are typically new, high quality products that many people would be happy to get their hands on for full retail price. Instead of paying full price, you could end up saving anywhere from 30%-85%. Some deals are even listed that advertise free items.
One of the really great things about SlickDeals is that you do not even have to put in any effort to find the deals. All that you need to do is visit the website once a day and decide whether any of the listed items are products in which you are interested. Essentially, other people are doing the work for you and all that is left for you to do is buy the item and then find someone else willing to buy it.
The items that are generally listed on SlickDeals are completely legitimate items that have a great value. Because you are buying them straight from the retailer, you can be sure that they are really what you think you are buying. You do not have to worry about the fakes or low quality items that constantly pop up in garage sales and flea markets.
Because these are legitimate products that just happen to be on sale, there is no shortage of people on the Internet that would be more than happy to buy them at their full retail price. If you buy the item at 50% off, then you are making a 50% profit (minus whatever you have to pay for shipping). That is a pretty good deal if you are buying a $200 item for $100. For about 30 minutes or an hour of effort (to find the item, purchase it, then resell it), you are making $100. Although this type of deal will not come along all that often, the times that it does will make you feel great.
CraigsList is the one website that is most similar to the traditional activity of going to a flea market or garage sale. The premise of the website is basically that it is one big and constant garage sale where anyone can list their items for sale or look for items that they desire to buy. The sections are broken up by locale (major metropolitan cities) so that you are dealing with people from your own city. Not only does this make it easier to relate to the people that you are doing business with, but it can also potentially cut out shipping costs and allow you to meet new people.
Just as with a flea market, you can spend quite a bit of time on CraigsList looking for cheap, used items on which you can get a good deal. In addition to the “For Sale” section, there is also an entire section devoted to people that want to give away their products. These are often used by people that are moving or upgrading. If they are bringing in a new couch and their old couch is not valuable enough to worry about finding a garage sale or a used furniture company, then they will often try to give it away instead of paying for it to be hauled away. The same is true of major appliances such as washers and dryers and refrigerators.
Though it may be difficult for you to find a potential buyer for such large and used items, with a bit of a keen eye and know how you should be able to find plenty of diamonds in the rough. There are plenty of smaller items such as printers and computer monitors that are much easier to get and find people who want to purchase them.
Of course, if you are not having any luck with the giveaways, you can return to the “for sale” section and try your luck there. These items are generally more valuable and easier to turn over. What you end up paying is invariably going to be a lot less than the item is worth; people on CraigsList are just trying to unload their items easily to people in the area rather than trying to hassle with things.
CraigsList also offers you the opportunity to sell the products that you have collected. Although it is generally a buyer’s market, there are certain circumstances under which it can be worth it to sell on CraigsList. For instance, if you are trying to get rid of some items very quickly if you are running out of room, or if you have become convinced that your item is not going to sell for a profit, then you can list it on CraigsList and hope the odds are in your favor that you will find a buyer willing to come and pick it up.
Most likely, as soon as you started reading this article, you began thinking of eBay. There is a good reason for that: eBay has become a default when thinking of online market places. If you are unfamiliar with eBay, it is a website that allows users to auction off their property and products to other users. You can find or list virtually anything on the website and expect people to be interested.
As opposed to the previously listed sources, eBay is equally a buyer’s and seller’s market. This depends largely upon the type of good that you are selling, but it also depends on how adept you are at taking advantage of the eBay system.
If you can find an item that is valuable but has been listed improperly, it is entirely possible to get the item at an incredible discount. Likewise, if you list an item with relatively little value with excellent marketing, you have the potential to make more money that you rightly should.
The same tactics that apply to all markets apply to buying items on eBay. You should look for items that you think have a higher value than they appear to be selling for. The one key is that you have to take the auction aspect of eBay into account when purchasing items.
Although people will argue different ways of bidding for items, the easiest and (arguably) most effective method is simply to bid the most that you are willing to pay up front. If no one bids up to that amount, then you will only bid a little more than the next highest bid; not the full amount.
Selling is a bit of a risky proposition. If you are worried about not making enough return on your listing, then you can hold a “reserve” price that will not allow the item to be sold for less. That way, you can be sure that you will either keep the item or sell it for the price that you are looking for.