My experience selling on eBay. First year update!

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After spending two months in Japan I think it’s now proven that this strategy works. From my experience selling on eBay, buying technology at regular brick and mortar stores in countries where technology is cheap for whatever reason and then selling it on eBay to buyers in countries where technology is usually more expensive is a feasible business model.

Buying cheap locally and selling high internationally

Some the things I find to be the best about this model are the following:

  • You have a virtually unlimited supplies of products. As long as the local “Best Buy” has inventory you have inventory.
  • If you are certain the local store will still have inventory a week from today you can safely start your auction without even having to buy the item. You only buy the item after you get paid by the buyer, so you don’t have to put your own money upfront.
  • Since you are selling new stuff you don’t have to take your own photos of them, you can just use the ones provided by the manufacturer.
  • Also since your items are brand new customers rarely have any complains, and if they do because let’s say the item is defective, you can refund them and take the item to the manufacturer to fix using the standard guarantee of the product.

On the other hand there is a very important con to this model, which is you either have to live in a place where technology is cheap or have a contact there who will do most of the work.

With this in mind I don’t think this model for selling on eBay is sustainable, although it can be a nice source of income for students who are spending a semester abroad or other people in similar situations. Exchange students are usually eager to explore the new country were they just moved and a bit of extra money can definitely help with that!

The numbers

As for me I did sell some stuff while staying in Japan, although just like when I was in NY I kind of got overwhelmed by the many things I could do and the many places that were to be discovered in such an amazing city that I didn’t pay that much attention to my eBay store and therefore probably didn’t do as much as I probably could to take advantage of this opportunity.

Still, for the sake of consistency, here are the sales breakdown for the last 2 months while living in Japan:
For the month of July profit breaks as follows. On sales of 857€.

Digital goods7,95€
Physical goods103,75€
eBay fees52,81€
TOTAL58,88€

 

For the month of August profit breaks as follows. On sales of 738€.

Digital goods0€
Physical goods153,29€
eBay fees71,04€
TOTAL82,25€

 

So now what?

Well I’m lucky enough to have left some good friends back in Japan who are willing to help me out (they’ll make some money too out of this). So now that the best selling season of the year is so close and that I have a friend in Japan who is willing to go to the store, purchase the items I told her too and ship them directly to the buyer wherever they might be, I think the smart thing is to keep selling on eBay, at least until Christmas is over.

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