With so many of the easier methods for manufactured spending having closed, many people have turned to reselling to generate points and a little profit. There are some that do it on an amazing scale (check out this great post from Oren’s Money Saver on serious reselling over the course of a year) and some actually do it for a living. Given my location, it is not quite so easy for me yet I am still able to generate some points and profit with reselling and wanted to share 3 tips to help you to do the same.
These are some suggestions to help you be able to do it on a scale to meet minimum spending and other goals, not large scale reselling. Also, I am not a tax expert so make sure you take into consideration any taxes you will pay on the income/resale as well.
3 Tips for Reselling for Points and Profit
Pick a Niche
- Know your category
- Find what the demand is
- Keep up on the changes in the category
There are a ton of things that you can buy and resell and there are a ton of things for sale on the internet. The trick to being able to easily generate points and profit with a quick turnaround time is to pick a niche that you are familiar with. Make sure you know what things can resell for, what the demand is on that item, and what is going on in the world of that category.
For instance, my particular category happens to include technology items. I can tell you in a second what any given item in my area goes for on the online marketplaces. Knowing this lets me be able to buy right away if I find a deal.
Also, I know about the climate for these items. In this category, there was a recent earthquake that damaged a factory that makes these items. The word on the damage is such that some items are going to be very hard to find shortly – and they are already in demand. So, I can feel comfortable buying these items right now and hold them for a month as I know the resale price is going to climb quickly.
One of the items I have dealt with before are Apple items. It used to be a much better area for profit since Apple really controlled the pricing but now sales are pretty common. Still, they are items I am familiar with and I know what they sell for online in resale channels.
Pick a category you know and become familiar with the new and second-hand market for that category.
- Watch for new releases
- Check the previous model pricing
- Keep up on the release dates, demand, and the estimated supply
- Tip: Check eBay before the item is released to see what pre-sale auctions have already sold for
After you have selected your niche, start reading up on when new releases in that category will be coming out. There are times that a company is putting a product out to market in a limited supply. Knowing when that is going to be released can put you in a position to pick up some to resell to those who are willing to pay over retail to get the item immediately.
Also, new releases means that the previous generation of that item will be dropped in sale price. Sometimes, those price drops can have some interesting things in inventory systems and the price may be much more than the manufacturer or retailer meant it to be (true story – one store dropped the price on the older model of an Apple device by 40% the day the new item came out. Apple had only discounted it 15% which meant the store made a mistake. I picked up a few at almost half off and resold when the prices went back up).
Back to Apple, it is common with some of their items that they are pushed to market in limited quantities depending on what has happened in their supply chain.
One such case was with the iPad Mini 2 a couple of years ago. I was traveling and it so happened that it would be my morning instead of the middle of the night for most people in America (which is when Apple normally sells new items). Apple knew demand would be high and supply low so they just quietly released the iPad during an unexpected night. I bought several. I knew they would be limited and I knew it was approaching the Christmas shopping season so people would be needing to pick these up.
I was able to sell all of them for some profit and points, thanks to generous portal payouts at the time.
Keep up to date with new releases and availability for those items.
Open Box/Returned Items
- Check stores for open box items
- Find out about the warranty for these items
- Check for mistaken markdowns on open box items
This mostly works within the technology area, but open box items can be a great deal! Not only do stores seem to have a bit of a random system with the discounted prices (they are supposed to be a certain percentage, like 5% off, but returns do not always happen that way) but open box items often will still have the manufacturer’s warranty. This makes them very desirable to online buyers.
There are 3 websites I check everyday for open box items. I know what time they normally put the items up online and I take a quick look. I can tell immediately if there is an item that is in high demand and what I can sell it for so if I find it, I buy it right away. Remember, if there is something wrong, you can normally return it so you really have no risk. Just make sure you know the rules for your particular retailer.
When you buy at open box prices, you are getting a discount already and if it is an item that is out of stock everywhere, then your profit has just gone up even more. I just did this recently with one item that has been out of stock around the world for a couple of months.
Not only was I able to get a great deal, but someone offered me way more than I was even considering asking (and, no, it was not a Nigerian prince or nephew!). I generated a decent amount of points and a pretty good profit with very little work.
A couple of years ago, there was a new line of MacBooks coming out that people had a wide range of rumors about. As normally happens, people ended up returning their recently purchased MacBooks in anticipation of the new MacBooks. Well, the new model was more of a refresh instead of the big jump people were hoping for. I bought a couple of those Open Box items from one of the retailers I follow and resold them at a good price because people realized the previous model was still a really good deal.
Check for open box items that still have warranties attached to get the best deal.
Reselling is not for everyone but it can be an easy way to generate some points and profit – depending on what you are selling and how much you get into it. I am able to do a little of it and generate some points and profit on the side in a category that ends up taking not much work at all to fill.
If you want to try it out, start small and try to see which venue is best for you – Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, or something else. For me, eBay has worked well because I am working more with one-off items that auctions can work well with. But, many people use the Fulfillment by Amazon program and do very well with that. Find what works best for you.
Make sure you factor in your fees, shipping costs, taxes, and other cost concerns as well. If you buy something for $1,000, sell it for $1,100 (on eBay), you could be looking at $110 in eBay fees and another $30 in PayPal fees! If you were only getting 1,000 miles out of it, you likely paid more for the miles than you would if purchased them directly from the airline so figure it out!
All in all, if you want to meet your minimum spending amounts and other thresholds, some small reselling can help you do that – while generating a bit of a profit as well!