What Is eBay Arbitrage?

What Is eBay Arbitrage?eBay arbitrage is the practice of finding items that are poorly or incorrectly listed, buying them at a low price, then re-listing them correctly and, with any luck, making a profit.

7 Common eBay Listing Mistakes

People who are new to eBay or new to selling on eBay often list their products poorly. Even some people who’ve been around a while will make one or more of these common eBay listing mistakes:

1. Listing the item in the wrong category, for example listing a collectible in a general product category

2. Misspelling or omitting critical keywords, for example selling a brand name item without using the brand name in the title

3. Incorrectly identifying an item, for example, listing a rare version as an ordinary version

4. Overusing meaningless words, such as L@@K!!!, in the title. How many people actually search for listings with this nonsense in the title?

5. Poor item pricing. The item might be overpriced or have to high of a reserve. Underpriced items might scare some away, thinking something is wrong.

6. Low feedback or negatives. Some people get bad feedback unfairly. Use ToolHaus.org to do feedback research to see if the bad FB is deserved or not.

7. A bad end time, like 3 AM. Surprisingly some night owls will list without thinking.

Any of these things can cause a listing to have few or no bids. These are the items you’ll be looking for in your arbitrage efforts. It’s important for you to get to know eBay’s advanced search engine so that you can dig up these bargains.

After You Locate the Items

When you locate one of these items, do a comparison search for similar items with the goal of finding items like it that are currently listed or that recently closed. This will tell you if the item is simply a dud or if it’s just the listing that’s a dud. If you’ve located a good target item, plan it for a last minute purchase. You can do this manually or use automated sniping software to do it for you. You should avoid getting into a bidding war with other arbitragers who also locate the same item. Know what your maximum bid price is for you to earn a profit and stick to it.

After receiving the item, inspect it and make sure it is as advertised. If it isn’t, then you’ll want to return it. There’s no profit in listing bad items. You do want to relist it on a different account from your buying account. You don’t want potential buyers to see that you landed quite a deal on this item 2 weeks ago.

Don’t Forget Off-eBay Sources

Another great source for underpriced items are off-eBay auction sites. Sellers get disenchanted with eBay all the time and give other sites a try. Usually the competition is lower and prices are lower. This gives you an opportunity to snag a great deal and flip it on eBay for a profit.

With a little work and luck you can make a decent and consistent profit by using these techniques. Any questions or ideas you would like to add? If so, please leave a comment.


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Comment by Vehicular Cycling
2008-04-23 10:59:11

This is excellent information.

I use this method all the time to find cheap bicycle parts on eBay. It’s spelled “derailleur” , not “deraileur” or “derailer”, but don’t tell them that.

Comment by jfc
2008-04-23 11:02:28

Thanks ‘Cycling’,

It is interesting what you can find when searching for misspellings on eBay auction listings.

Comment by Nicholas King
2010-05-06 20:13:38

My alternative income stream is selling stuffs on Ebay and i can say that i earn a lot from selling on Ebay:;*

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