Reselling with VieBuy.com

VieBuy.com is a monitoring tool to watch eBay for newly listed items in real time.  In this article, we’ll focus on acquiring items for reselling items

High Activity Categories

By far the highest activity categories are smartphones and electronics.  Deals are constantly available as new eBay users sell off old equipment.  Discount lot sales are also sometimes available.  Because of the high demand these categories are monitored by many buyer, and competition is fierce.

High Value Categories

On the other side of the spectrum are high value categories such as industrial and business equipment.  Here you can find items that are more specialized and have a wide price range.  Liquidations, new old stock (NOS), and reclaimed equipment can be had at low prices and resold or used for your own purposes.

Markup on the low end

Probably the easiest way to get a decent markup, is to focus on low priced items.  This is where the Chinese market can be your friend.

Let’s look at a current example: Tactical Pens.  A Tactical Pen can be used as a pen, or as an emergency tool for breaking windows.  If you’ve ever seen the movie Bourne Identity, you’ve also seen a pen used as a weapon.  This flexibility makes them legal to carry, but effective for other purposes.

For our purposes, we focus on resale.  Tactical pens are being sold out of the Chinese market on eBay US at auction for pennies in some cases.  These low end auctions are often under $2 with shipping included.

Pens sold out of the US market fetch around $6-10 at fixed price. Here are examples from the completed items page on eBay:

So by watching low end auctions, you can acquire these items individually at low price and low risk and resell them on eBay.  After eBay fees, free shipping, PayPal fees and packing materials, a $1 item can net you $4, a 300% profit.  With a constant stream of these items and other items with similar markup, you can have a steady income.

An important point to consider is the overall market for the items in question.  If you are buying items individually in a steady flow, risk is minimal, you can simply stop buying and you won’t get stuck with inventory that you can’t sell.  But you will want to sell as many as possible, as fast as possible, without waiting for a buyer to show up.  Focusing on items that have a large demand, like the tactical pens, helps insure that a steady market exists.

To determine the market, look in the eBay search results for live items. Multiple item listings display how many have sold as shown in this example.  2271 sold items shows demand for this type of item.  You have to look in live items because multiple quantity listing info like this does not appear in the completed items pages.

You should also pay attention to item details here.  The two earlier items from the complete items page are identical.  But the item with 2271 sold is somewhat different from the Chinese items.  While they are functionally similar, the differences can be significant for some items.  If you are buying individual items, you can test the resale performance of different types to determine how these differences impact your sales.

Chinese Sellers on eBay

Because the Chinese government sponsors the low cost e-Packet program, Chinese sellers do not have a high shipping cost associated with selling small packages into the US.  They can ship for nothing and compete with US sellers on lightweight packages, while the US sellers have to pay US package rates, currently at $2.60 and up.

This trade imbalance is good for US buyers, but very destructive to US small businesses.  But by buying in small quantity from the Chinese sellers using e-Packet, US small business resellers can leverage the Chinese advantage to their own end.

This also provides a service to US buyers who are not as worried about cost, but want items quick without the multiple-week shipping delays that can come with buying from China.

Buying in lots

Lot buying is often preferable.  You can usually get much better pricing on items by buying hundreds or thousaads at once.  Simply add the word lot to your keyword search to find lots.  You may want to do some price filtering as well, because small sellers sometimes use “lot” to describe two or three pieces.

The advantage that Chinese sellers have with small packages disappears with heavy packages and lot orders may not come with free shipping out of China.

The free freight-in shipping advantage that the continuous small purchase approach has will be harder to find with large lots, but the price discounts usually make shipping charges less important.

Lot buying also minimizes the amount of time you have to spend bidding, paying, and handling materials.  It’s also easier to list items when they are all the same.

Off-eBay sales

Another big factor is arbitrage – buying on one market and selling in another.   While we already addressed buying from China to resell in the US, there’s also the approach of buying on eBay and selling in other online marketplaces (Amazon, Etsy, Craigslist, etc).

Online buyers usually prefer one market or the other and it isn’t uncommon for price to vary between markets.  You can choose the market that gives you the best profit.  Each market comes with it’s own issues.  Some are more time consuming, some have unreliable buyers, and some are specialized.  You can test selling in other markets to determine what works best for your item.  It may be that eBay is the best place for both buying and selling.

 

 

 

 

 

Overriding eBay Mobile Redirection

The eBay Mobile App

If you have the iPhone eBay Mobile App installed, clicks are directed to the app.

On Android phones, clicks can be directed to either a browser or the eBay Mobile App.  The phone will prompt you to select the app to handle eBay links and can remember this setting.  To change the default app setting, go to Settings->Application Manager->eBay->Clear Defaults.

 

The eBay Mobile Website

If you’re using a mobile device, you may see the eBay site forcing you to the mobile version when you view items. Redirection bugs are unfortunately pretty common on eBay mobile. eBay changes their code and, without warning, existing link formats end up broken or pointing to the wrong locations. These bugs are usually mobile device specific, based on the browser’s useragent (a code that tells the server what type of device you are using).

eBay provides an override that you can use to return to the classic site. Look for the link at the bottom of most eBay Mobile pages designated “classic site”.

Or just bookmark this link:  http://www.ebay.com/?redirect=mobile

Click the bookmark/link anytime eBay starts forcing you to a mobile site to reestablish the mobile redirection bypass. This should work most of the time, but there may still be some eBay pages out there that ignore the preference.

There are other approaches too:  If your mobile browser has a feature to change the useragent, set it to a desktop useragent, such as Firefox or Chrome. If your browser has an option to request desktop mode, turning that feature on may also solve the problem. But these options affect all sites visited, so they may impact sites where you prefer a mobile interface.

We try to set the linking formats on our end to eliminate or reduce these issues, so please report any links in our software that land you on the wrong page so they can be quickly corrected.

Updated for eBay Mobile App

 

Item display order vs the eBay website

When using VieBuy and BINSniper, the order of items in the lists can vary from the eBay order.

Age Sorting

When set to sort by age, items are resorted to chronological order by age.  This mode matches the Newly Listed sort on the eBay websites.  The apps will also flag newly arrived items with a star.

Here we see the items sorted, with stars next to the newly received items:  Because the starred  items are out of order, it means that they were created earlier, but not published to the website and data feeds until a couple minutes later.

Look at the Frederique Constant Slim…  line.  This item was just received, as indicated by the star, and inserted into the sorted list below old items.  This is what happens at the eBay site. The inserted item could appear on page 2 or page 3 of the website list in fast categories.

Note that, because of the delays, newer items can be published on the eBay site in a different order than they are created.

Arrival Sorting

When sorting by arrival, the newest items are displayed first and flagged with a star.  The new items will always be first.

Here we see the same items using arrival sort.  The newest item is at the top, the times reflect how long the item has been published on eBay (not how long ago it was created):

Again, look at the Frederique Constant Slim…  line.  Now it appears toward the top of the list in the order it was published by eBay.  This sorting mode is not available at the eBay websites.

This is a cause for confusion for some users of the apps when trying to compare items sorted by arrival with the eBay site which is sorted by creation time.   When you set the eBay site for Newly Listed sort, you will see new items at the top of the list only if they are published immediately or in slow moving categories where other items can’t jump ahead.  But in many cases, new items that are delayed will be inserted into the item lists based on their creation time and appear further down the page.

Here we see the same items again, at the eBay site with the Newly Listed sort:

While it appears that the first item in the list is the newest, it is in fact one of the oldest.  The third item marked #1 was the first item displayed on the website (the oldest).  Then item #2, #3 etc.   Item #8 was the last item of the group to be published (the most recent), but it appeared on the eBay site at around 17:37.   Because it was created at 17:35, it gets sorted to the bottom.

You can see this process happen if you load the eBay pages, record the results,  reload the page, and compare the new results to the old results.  You’ll find older items are inserted further down the page.  If you don’t reload and compare, you might assume that the items on the eBay site are arriving earlier because of how they are sorted.

Using VieBuy and BINSniper allows for arrival sorts which show the items as they are published, and you don’t miss those hidden items that don’t appear in a timely fashion.  We recommend using arrival sort in all cases.

 

eBay Returns and Refunds

eBay has a liberal return policy that protects buyers from items that don’t match the description. If you purchase an item and find that it is not as described, you can return the item for a full refund including shipping costs.

If the item is below your expectations, and you find when reviewing the listing that it was not described properly, you can return it.  If the item is as described, you should return it using another option, such as “doesn’t fit”, “changed my mind” or other reason available.

But you also have the option to request a partial refund from the seller. Sellers may consider a partial refund to avoid having to issue a full refund or ship a new item.

For example, if you bought a new camera, and it arrived with some scratches, you might be willing to keep the item if it was fairly priced. The seller may be willing to offer a discount after the fact rather than have to take the item back and relist it at the lower price.

You and the seller can work together to agree on an acceptable amount for a partial refund, or you can return the item.

eBay’s policy on refund can be found here:  http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/item-not-as-described.html

 

Sunday Listings

Historically, eBay sellers like to list auctions items on Sunday afternoons so they end on Sunday afternoon the following week.  It’s a good time to have items ending, since the number of buyers online tends to be higher then.

While BIN items can be listed at any time, Sunday listings are also popular for fixed price items.

Be sure not to miss these popular listing times for scooping up deals with BINSniper and VieBuy.

Other times that get more listing action for Sundays are Thursday afternoons for 3-day and 10-day listings.  Tuesday afternoons for the less common 5 day listings.

 

Using filter exclude options in BINSniper and VieBuy

We’ve noticed that a number of users are checking ALL of the exclude filter options. Checking all of the boxes will prevent you from seeing most if not all items.

The viebuy.com filter screen has been changed to warn about this and clarify it a bit:

If you check all the boxes, you will be excluding free shipping items, returnable items, best offer items, etc.

The same is true for BINSniper.  We will update the the BINSniper screen in 3.01.