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A Buyer’s Experience: Profiting

Selling for a Profit By: Michelle Anderson

Prices are pulled from Amazon at a moment in time, and prices are set by 3rd party sellers so they can be really high or really low for a number of reasons. Prices can fluctuate on the same item hourly, sometimes by pennies or much higher amounts. The seller might set the price high to slow sales to prevent running out of stock and losing sales rank, set it low to dump inventory, had repricing software go haywire, or they might be a new seller who had no idea what they were doing.

What I do with the retail prices is ignore them. The reason? I’m not selling those items on the same marketplace, so I don’t care what the item sold for on Amazon because I’m planning to sell the items on eBay. If I plan to sell the items on eBay, I check the prices on eBay. For someone new to, I would recommend downloading the manifest into a spreadsheet, and looking up the price of every single item. Then I would deduct eBay and PayPal fees, the cost of the item and the cost of shipping to see what I could potentially net. Only then would I make a buying decision, and I would start with only one lot and see how it goes before trying another.

I also recommend just observing for a while. Look at the auctions that get a lot of bids and ones that end with no bids. Can you figure out why? Look at auctions with a lot of items and with only very few items. Look at the auctions of different sellers and compare those to auctions from the seller “Sourced from Amazon Liquidations”. How are the manifests different? Are the shipping costs comparable? What’s the number of items in the lot? What about the seller ratings? Do all the auctions from that seller get bids? Is it just one bid, or are there multiple bids?

Not everyone on Amazon is a high-volume seller, nor are they all low volume, and both of those groups treat inventory differently. Not everyone sells the same way, has the same philosophies or business model, sells on the same marketplaces, or even sells the same mix of items.

Not every buyer on is selling the same way either. Some are buying for brick and mortar stores, some are selling on eBay or at a flea market, some buy in all categories, some buy in one category…It’s important to be self-aware and know what works for you!

I will also say that while many of the things I’m saying applies to more than, it’s important to note that not all categories on are the same. Don’t think that just because you’ve been buying clothing where shipping normally costs $60 per lot that it will be the same if you decide to buy sporting goods lot or electronics, etc. Take extra care when looking at something out of your “normal” category because they aren’t all quite the same.

EXAMPLE: Clothing auctions might get bids as soon as they’re listed, but I’ve noticed that in laptops and sporting goods, very few people bid until the day it closes.

I’ve noticed that shipping costs for lots in different categories vary wildly and it costs a lot more to ship the office supplies lots than clothing, which affects bidding, or should because it’s part of your costs.

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