Playing the eBay High Demand Gadget Game for Fun and Profit

Email  Print Print  

Do you know what the eBay High Demand Gadget Game is? Well, it’s when a company offers a much anticipated, high demand product with a low supply and you snatch a few up so you can post them on eBay for a nice premium. It’s actually quite fun, I haven’t participated in it much recently, but I had done it in the past with much success if you do it right. If you do it wrong, you could actually take a perfect arbitrage and profit scenario and end up losing money.

Is It Actually Low Supply?
You know the Apple iPhone that was just released? People were standing in line to get one… but they could’ve just gone to the Apple Online Store and ordered the 4GB version for $499 and the 8GB for $599 – shipping in 2-4 weeks. It’s not like the Nintendo Wii which you still can’t buy, unless you want to overpay for a bundle, without calling up stores beforehand to check on their shipment schedules. Check with the manufacturer to see if they’re actually going to be in low supply or not…

Is It Worth It?
First you must gauge the actual demand, check eBay prices to see how they stack up and take a 20% premium off the closing prices. The 20% is to discount the hype, pre-release promises to deliver, and to account for some of your transaction costs (sales tax, gas). If it’s still worth it for you to stand in line for however many hours before the store opens, you better get a comfy chair read and some sandwiches.

Don’t Overpay
Check out this hilarious story about a woman who brought $16k to buy out a store’s supply of iPhones, paid the first kid $800 for his spot, and then found out she could only buy one phone (I thought the limit was 2, but it certainly wasn’t unlimited). She took a nearly winning proposition (8GB goes for around $700 on eBay, so she’d make maybe $150 or so after everything) and made it a losing one by paying out all these unnecessary incidental costs. The kid also got a phone too plus a few hundred bucks.

Don’t Buy On Secondary Market
So you see that hot gadget on eBay or Craigslist at a steal of a price and you figure you can turn around and resell it for a quick profit right? Avoid the temptation! Either something is wrong with that particular item or you’re going to get scammed, the seller has as much information as you and you’re likely walking into a bad scenario. If you want to invest in any secondary market, at least let it be the stock market so that when you lose money no one will make fun of you.

Sell It Immediately
Do not wait. Do not pass go. Sell it. Once you get it, get your butt on eBay or Craigslist and sell the sucker as soon as possible. eBay is nice because you can set a reserve and if it isn’t met to your satisfaction, you can simply return the product to the store and you’ll have lost nothing but eBay listing fees. Craigslist let’s you avoid all the fees of eBay, which can be hefty, but you do have to deal with people trying to wheel and deal and the occasional no-show at meets.

Why do I recommend selling it? There’s a reason why there’s a saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and that’s because it’s true more often than it is false. Think of all the people who could’ve sold a PS3 for over a thousand bucks when it was first released but decided to wait until Christmas because they thought the demand would spike along with prices. Unfortunately that didn’t come to fruition… take the money now.

Warning: The Craigslist Sale
If you do arrange a meeting, be sure to do it in a public place (not your house) and don’t bring the product with you, leave it in your car that is also in a public place. If you have a friend who you don’t mind imposing on, get them to come with you. Only take cash – accept nothing else. There are many unsavory characters who would love to come to you house or a dark alley, beat the crap out of you, and steal that gizmo. Be very very careful with this.

There you go, enjoy the life lessons from a recovering eBay junkie, go forth, and play the eBay High Demand Gadget game and rake in the cold hard cash!

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

Related Posts

RSS Subscribe Like this article? Get all the latest articles sent to your email for free every day. Enter your email address and click "Subscribe." Your email will only be used for this daily subscription and you can unsubscribe anytime.

9 Responses to “Playing the eBay High Demand Gadget Game for Fun and Profit”

  1. Mike says:

    So, how’d this all work out for you? How much time did you spend on this stuff, and what did it work out to in terms of an hourly rate?

    This doesn’t really seem like a great way to spend my time: it’s a PITA, it’s not scalable/repeatable, and there’s a healthy dose of risk thrown in. I have a feeling I’d get a better return on a part time job mowing lawns or delivering pizza, whether I measured it by the hour or by total annual return.

    • jim says:

      True, but you learn less by mowing lawns and delivering pizzas plus you work very set hours. At least with this, you can learn a little bit about how eBay works, the post office, etc etc.

  2. AFinanceBlog says:

    Selling a brand new gadget on eBay I believe really is for making some extra money. You can not create a living off this. (unless you are always on the move) My brother and his friends were able to get 3 xbox360s when it just came to the US. They made a couple of hundred bucks.

  3. Scott says:

    So what I gathered from this is… if you’re willing to get somewhere early and get close to the front of the line, you can sell your spot for some nice change. 😉

  4. mbhunter says:

    I agree with “sell immediately” but return it if it doesn’t sell? Isn’t there a restocking fee with electronics at a number of the big places? I can see retailers not accepting the return for these highly-anticipated items if nothing is wrong with the item. Why else would a guy return the item two weeks after he bought it when nothing’s wrong with it?

    Breaking out the amount per hour one earns might also put this in perspective.

    • jim says:

      It doesn’t matter why you return it, many places have a no questions asked money back guarantee if you return something and you haven’t opened it.

  5. Posco says:

    Oh. My. God. That Dallas lady was a fool not to read the fine print before bringing $16,000 CASH and flaunting it like that.

  6. matthew burnham says:

    What always seems to go unmentioned is any requirement to pay taxes on the income gained through reselling. Stores, importers, and such pay taxes on their internet sales, but many “hobbyist” ebayers think only of their roi.

  7. It can be difficult to get the timing here. By the time you know that it’s worth something significant (i.e. it’s going for 20% more than retail on eBay), it’s already sold out. At that point, you have to do a lot of leg work and waiting and hope to get lucky to make money.

    It may seem easy, but it really isn’t.

Please Leave a Reply
Bargaineering Comment Policy

Previous Article: «
Next Article: »
Advertising Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
About | Contact Me | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Terms of Use | Press
Copyright © 2016 by All rights reserved.