Author Topic: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist  (Read 10227 times)

FIREandMONEY

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Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« on: April 06, 2016, 04:59:48 PM »
So, long story short, I just went to a hardware store and bought a weed eater (aka string trimmer) for $25 and sold it for $40, 5 minutes later.


Long story:  I needed to buy a weedeater last month and went on craigslist in my area.  I saw some Troybilt and Ryobi's that looked nice, but they wanted $60-$100 for these things!  I checked every few days and some more popped up around that same price and others were being taken down, so I figure these things are selling.

I thought that price was way too much to be on the used market, so I went to do some research on how much weedeaters cost new.  I found a wide range, but low and behold, I found a brand new weedeater being sold at Harbor Freight Tools for $29.99!  Wow!  I have bought from HFT before, so I went to http://www.hfqpdb.com/ and printed out a 20% off coupon and walked out of my local Harbor Freight an hour later with a brand new weedeater for $25.90.

When I was weedeating my yard last weekend and appreciating this deal that I found, I thought to myself, I wonder if all the people that bought the $75 used ryobi would have rather bought this one brand new, in-box?  So I threw up an ad on CL advertising it for $40, just to see what would happen.  I got a few emails at first offering $25 or $30, but I figured it wouldn't be worth my time.  This afternoon I got an email from a guy offering the full asking price. 

We arranged to meet after work.  I drive by a HFT on my way home, so the overall cost for me to do this is probably a nickle in gas, plus my time. Anyway, I swung by HFT on the way to the meet-up, paid $25.90 at the store, and then sold the item 5 minutes later for $40 cash.

Am I just a middle man, who is providing an item to a new marketplace?  Or am I just some sleazebag reseller?  I have mixed feelings.

Obviously, some services you could provide while doing this, would be:
1) Meeting somewhere closer to their house
2) Meeting after hours

So, there COULD be some benefits that you can provide to the buyer while still making some money.

Anybody else ever done this?  What do you think?  Just good marketing or unethical dealing?

ender

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 05:53:15 PM »
I don't really have much of a problem with this honestly because you are still doing the person a favor.

Though it's pretty funny. lol.

kc2006

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2016, 06:06:15 PM »
I buy reduced items at stores all the time and then resell them.  Usually stores will do huge discounts on stuff when the item isn't "in season". So I'll buy it, list it in a few places, and throw it in the back of the garage until it's time comes.  I bought 3 nice weber grills last fall from walmart, for over half off (paid 200 each, marked down from 500).  Now that the weather has started to come around, I sold all three at 450.  Back in February I bought 5 high end storm doors from depot marked down from 275 to 55, nothing wrong with them, they just had to clear last years stock and it was winter.  Again, sold 4 for 225-240 and kept one for my home.

Makes me all warm and tingly inside.

Megma

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2016, 07:11:49 PM »
I've seriously considered buying Amazon "deal of the day" items, throwing them up on eBay and seeing if they sell. If not, returning them.

For example, I bought a keypad lock for my house on deep discount this week for $80. On eBay they sell for around 100 for a similar model.

HipGnosis

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2016, 09:00:29 AM »
Interesting concept.  I am intrigued.
I just signed up for OfferUp.  Similar to Craigslist in that it's location based, but the posts don't expire (which I think will devolve into a negative as more and more items are posted).
It's a web site and an app.   Did my first post and found out you can ONLY post items from the app.  It prompts you to take pics, and guides you thru adding it/them to the post.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 11:14:38 AM »
Nice!  Before i post something to craigslist or wherever, i do a search for wanted ads for that item.  If i don't find any i post it and keep re-checking every week or so.  Once i posted a table lamp for $20 and a week later I did a search for wanted ads under the lighting section, and a guy had just posted one with a picture of the exact lamp i had for sale without bothering to look at old ads to see if one was already listed.  So i took my ad down, wrote to him and he offered $35 for it :)
Do i feed guilty for making an extra $15 off this guy?  Hell no!  He was lazy and I was the one that did a search for wanted ads and made the deal happen.  Besides, it was a great lamp.

Inaya

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 11:21:27 AM »
You could argue that he simply paid a premium for delivery of the item.

forummm

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 11:42:20 AM »
There was a Planet Money episode where they talked to a guy who does this. I think he focused on kid and baby items (wipes, toys, etc). He seemed to make great money buying things by the pallet from Toys R Us and selling them on Amazon for absurdly high prices. Like $45 for 1000 wipes (I paid Target $15 for 800 recently, and they were delivered to my door).

tomatops

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2016, 07:01:13 AM »
I occasionally will do the same with free stuff. People are incredibly stupid and throw out perfectly good furniture and appliances.

Last month I sold a window air conditioner for $60 and a shelf for $20.

Of course, I spend a small amount of time cleaning said garbage... but never going to say no to free money!

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2016, 07:39:22 AM »
I was kicking myself after the big Audio-Technica factory sale this year. They had two pairs of "scratch and dent" audiophile headphones for ~$250. I got home and looked up resale prices, and it was north of $400.

Inaya

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2016, 07:42:06 AM »
I'm kicking myself for not jumping on all the clearance sales when Radio Shack went out of business. I did buy a ton of stuff on clearance, but it was all intended to be used. It didn't even dawn on me to resell at a profit.

CindyBS

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2016, 02:33:27 PM »
Our local thrift store puts out 50% off everything coupons a few times a year.

I'm toying with the idea of an ongoing side hustle of buying up the wedding dresses and selling them to a used wedding dress site.  I need to do some research.


CoderNate

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2016, 07:40:12 PM »
That's some nice High Frequency Trading on your HFT.

Roadsidetreasurehunter

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2016, 07:53:40 PM »
I live in a very wasteful neighborhood.  Several years ago I decided to pick up others roadside items that were still good and clean them up and resell them.  I've done pretty good over the years as a side hustle.  One year I collected items for months, cleaned, priced and organized it all in my garage.  At our annual neighborhood yard sale I sold all of the garbage back to the neighbors and made $1000.  It's the perfect side hustle, it's recycling, profitable to me and hilarious.

AMandM

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2016, 10:13:42 PM »
Our local thrift store puts out 50% off everything coupons a few times a year.

I'm toying with the idea of an ongoing side hustle of buying up the wedding dresses and selling them to a used wedding dress site.  I need to do some research.

I tried this, with no luck.  I found the used wedding dress market to be saturated, thanks to most people being in thrall to the bridal industrial complex.  (You see an astonishing number of ads saying "Wedding gown, never worn, asking $700. Paid $3k for this dress, changed mind...")  My experience was that resale sites won't accept dresses older than a year or two, and only in perfect condition.  On the other hand, most thrift store wedding dresses are old and discolored, and not of high enough quality to be desirable as vintage.

FrugalKube

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2016, 10:37:03 PM »
I buy reduced items at stores all the time and then resell them.  Usually stores will do huge discounts on stuff when the item isn't "in season". So I'll buy it, list it in a few places, and throw it in the back of the garage until it's time comes.  I bought 3 nice weber grills last fall from walmart, for over half off (paid 200 each, marked down from 500).  Now that the weather has started to come around, I sold all three at 450.  Back in February I bought 5 high end storm doors from depot marked down from 275 to 55, nothing wrong with them, they just had to clear last years stock and it was winter.  Again, sold 4 for 225-240 and kept one for my home.

Makes me all warm and tingly inside.

I'll remember that for the BBQs, I need a new one, I'll wait till fall

Heckler

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2016, 08:25:13 AM »
I live in a very wasteful neighborhood.  Several years ago I decided to pick up others roadside items that were still good and clean them up and resell them.  I've done pretty good over the years as a side hustle.  One year I collected items for months, cleaned, priced and organized it all in my garage.  At our annual neighborhood yard sale I sold all of the garbage back to the neighbors and made $1000.  It's the perfect side hustle, it's recycling, profitable to me and hilarious.

This is awesome!   

I've only ever found a junk bike, fixed it up (wd-40 and elbow grease) and left it on the side of the road in the homeless part of town with an old helmet of mine.   It was picked up as I drove away!   I hope he was able to sell it.

Rosy

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2016, 06:00:33 PM »
kc2006 - Wow - buy one for $200 sell for $450 - selling four of those BBQs, that's just genius.

OP - that was a really clever transaction, you didn't even buy the item until you had a buyer for it. Impressive.

I have thought about doing this on occasion when I saw an item on clearance, but never had the nerve to spend the money and then look for a buyer. Now you have me wondering...


JoRocka

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2016, 11:37:01 AM »
You know being a personal shopper is a thing- they pay people to do exactly what you just did- find the best deal and bring it to them.

My FH does this quite a bit- finds good deal/off season often mislabelled gear/equipment and resells it on ebay/craigslist.

I see nothing wrong with it.

The Money Monk

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2016, 12:04:32 PM »
Yeah, no sleaziness there. This is called retail arbitrage, and is done by re-sellers such as myself all the time.

Often, for a variety of reasons, an item can be purchased cheaper in one market than it is selling for in another. Some times a local store has a sale that makes stuff cheaper than on Amazon or ebay, and other times you can buy online and sell at a higher price locally.

Way to go.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2016, 12:12:36 PM »
I hope you report that income......

PeachFuzzInVA

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2016, 09:38:52 PM »
Absolutely nothing wrong with it. There's arbitrage in practically any market you look at. He paid what it was worth to him.

HipGnosis

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2016, 01:33:29 PM »
I hope you report that income......
Yea, because then you get to deduct your computer equipment, it's area in your house and the mileage as business expenses!!!  GREAT CALL.

fmzip

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2016, 08:21:52 AM »
I've seriously considered buying Amazon "deal of the day" items, throwing them up on eBay and seeing if they sell. If not, returning them.

For example, I bought a keypad lock for my house on deep discount this week for $80. On eBay they sell for around 100 for a similar model.

Keep in mind that Ebay will take 9% of of your sale and Paypal another 3%.

I buy and sell stuff all the time but there needs to be enough meat on the bone to make it worthwhile

steviesterno

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2016, 08:35:05 AM »
i've done this if I can get an amazing local deal. but most of the time the hassle dealing with finding the right deal, fixing/cleaning/storing it, finding a buyer and arranging a meeting or shipping just makes it not worthwhile. I thought I was doing good with selling rain barrels here locally, but once I factored in the gas, time, and aggravation (arrange delivery and the person isn't home) it wasn't worth it to me.

my uncle who owns a guitar store in NYC used to do this. head to mom and pop dealers in surrounding states, buy them out, mark up and drive back to his HCOL area to sell. he could use his knowledge of the market to get great deals.

But now with the internet pretty much everyone either knows what a product is or can look it up. it's the very lazy few that don't take the time to do it.

I do keep a chunk of cash in the house (usually $2k or so) just so I have more leverage to jump on deals like this. I'm a competitive shooter, and guys will flip gear without worrying about losing money if it means cash in hand right this instant. I bought a $900 rifle for $60 just because it was jamming and the guy was pissed. An hour of cleaning after I learned how on the inter webs and I got her going again.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 08:38:35 AM by steviesterno »

horsepoor

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2016, 03:15:23 AM »
I'll do this if I stumble into a deal.  This winter I happened to find an Omega juicer on the clearance table for $99.  Grabbed it, posted on Craigslist and sold it for $150.

Last year I bought a super-heavy mortar and pestle for $50.  While I was hunting around the interwebs for the best deal, I saw that this exact same thing was listed on eBay by multiple sellers for over $100.  Seems it would be easy enough to list the item, and then have it shipped from the $50 seller directly to the eBay buyer.  I can't be hassled, but I think I read here about people doing this with Amazon.

RobFIRE

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2016, 03:46:20 AM »
I think it's perfectly fine to buy and resell, on three conditions:
  • describe goods honestly
    don't create a monopoly
    keep social contract

honesty: all the obvious stuff of no fakes, don't say it's used if it's new, don't say it's manufacturer refurbished if you did it yourself, don't make up some family member died sob story
monopoly: unlikely to apply to an individual, but I mean you didn't buy up the whole supply of a necessary item so that people are forced to buy only from you at elevated price
social contract:  if you were given an item for free on the understanding you would use it, then I think if you later sell it you should give all profits to charity/offer to the original owner. Similarly if I bought items from a charity shop and sold at significant profit I would think it reasonable to give a portion of the profits to the charity.

In your case with the gardening equipment you are making the goods available in an additional market, your buyer didn't want/too lazy to buy from another market (the store). You have not misled about the other market, so fine. In addition, sounds like you are providing an additional service by part-delivering.

The barbecue set example is improving the market: effectively the $500 item is now available all year at $450 (the $200 sale price is not available now and nor has that been prevented in the future). So both of those cases are forms of market making.

If you buy items and clean/repair/upgrade them, or offer a warranty on used items that normally sell with no warranty, then you are enhancing the second hand market. Great.

I've done this in a limited way myself: a few months ago I wanted to replace the LCD on one of my laptops (to save money I had deliberately earlier bought the laptop with a broken screen as I use it with external monitor). Screen would have been around 30, it was a case of want rather than need, I thought to myself I can do better than that...so I bought another one of the same laptops with a working screen but dead motherboard. Bought for 45. Took screen, webcam and put in my laptop, kept extra charger as spare. Sold battery, RAM, hard disk, keyboard, DVD drive, Wi-Fi card, couple of covers, in total for 95. Probably spent 10 in fees and ~10 in postage (all via eBay), so ended with free replacement screen, webcam upgrade and still made a profit of about 30 to cover my time selling the other bits. You do have to allow for the eBay fees and value your time for the bits you don't like (playing with laptops I consider fun, but listing & posting are a chore).

zelavie

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Re: Buying brand new items to resell on craiglist
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2016, 07:43:24 PM »
I discovered a great market for this recently - a MLM clothing business with high-demand, low-production items. Basically, they make about 15 styles of garments in a wide variety of prints.  The prints are all limited edition, so once that print is sold out it's gone forever.  This creates a high demand for certain prints ("unicorns").  Everything is sold by individual consultants, so you would basically join a bunch of individual consultant groups on facebook, jump in any time one is hosting a sale, and grab a few high demand prints.

You can then resell on ebay or on a buy/sell/trade fb group.  The prices people are willing to pay for their unicorns is absurd - a $65 dress can go for $200 in the right print.  It would take some research and knowledge of the consumers to do this well, not to mention the time to monitor sales, and I haven't really had the time to do so.  But I know there are lots of people out there taking advantage of this opportunity and it has the potential to be quite the cash cow. 

A friend introduced me to the brand, which is insanely overpriced - $25 leggings, $35 tee shirts, etc.  And you guys would be amazed (and probably a bit disgusted) at just how much money people spend on this stuff.  I see photos of someone's leggings collection, and all I can do is mentally calculate how many hundreds of dollars they've spent just so they can have another new print.  The way I see it, if someone is willing to pay 300% markup for a dress, I'll be glad to be the one to give it to them.  I'd feel no guilt whatsoever in doing so.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 09:10:07 PM by zelavie »