Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ebay: Free Lunch

Though the cliche, "There are no free lunches", is true most of the time I have found an instance where it is false. The technique which I am about to tell you about has worked with the famed A Frame as well as countless other small listings I have found on evilbay. Basically, what you do is buy a 'lot' of items that has at least one item you are hunting for and selling the rest back, usually marking up shipping, to esentially cover the cost of the one item you wanted out of the lot. For example: For the 1978 DreamHouse specifically, at least one house I bought had furniture with it that I did not need or want,  so I sold it off seperately and rcouped about 30% of the cost of the house by selling the furniture. I have bought cheap $5 and $10 floor pieces and sold with refurbed houses as a patio and made another $50 for the sold house because it had a patio and the others for sale did not. One recent purchase was a 1979 Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bake Shoppe that came with a dirty Strawberry Shortcake herself doll. The lot was bought for $20 total, including shipping. The playset is worth $20 alone, plus the cleaned up doll is worth at least $15-$20. I waited a long time and lost alot of auctions, but finally nailed that one on a slow week shortly after Christmas ( a great time to scour for deals since people are preoccupied paying credit card bills from Christmas, making it a buyer's market at least for a few months) So, I sold the doll back (after deep cleaning) on ebay for $20 including shipping, marked up of course for more profit and to recoup ebay and paypal fees, rendering the SSC playset free. The original seller did not know the value of the doll and including it in the sale was my opportunity to make my money back on the playset. I also have a clear orange pots and pans fetish which originally came with the best friends generic kitchen playset in 2001, now sold with direct from China issued Barbie 4 or 5 rooms in one package. They are rare, sought after and average $15 per kitchen lot sold (barbie food dishes) is the search term commonly used in the description. Since they always come with a bag of other food items and the seller does not know the value, I bid high and hope for the best. I have obtained 4 sets of clear orange cookware for nearly free this way since I sell the rest back. Good photography works well for selling before other lots and for igher value. I have even bought direct from China Gloria accesory sets for $5 including shipping and marked up to $13 total when resold back on feebay, helping to make a few bucks during lean selling times. So, I recomend to try these techniques for yourself and see what works and is comfortable for you. It helps pay for my collecting and if nothing else I can upgrade my average condition thing for a mint one just by buying it several times over and reselling the lesser grade ones.

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