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Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Christmas Money Making Venture

Last year, Tickle Me Elmo was the hot Christmas gift and Kenric did what many others did to capitalize on the craze - buy a bunch and resell them. This year, the hot gift seems to be the Nintendo Wii, at least so far in the holiday shopping season.

Working for a video game maker gives me something of a unique insight into the world of video games, but I didn't need any inside information to know that no store can keep these things in stock. I just had to listen to the tales of co-workers who have been looking for one for the past several months.

So it happened that last night I was in Costco and noticed a woman leaving. In her cart was a Wii. I immediately found a Costco worker and asked where they were. When I found them, there were only four left, so I grabbed one. I would have grabbed them all, but Costco was imposing a 1 per membership limit - much to the chagrin of the guy behind me who tried to tell me both he and his 6 year old son could buy one. His hopes were quickly dashed by a nearby Costco employee. The remaining Wiis were grabbed within 5 minutes.

I've got my bundle, which includes 2 extra controllers and an additional game, listed on eBay now. Based on the sales I am seeing, I should net about $100 to $150 on this - about a 30% return for a few minutes work. Not too shabby, considering it basically just fell into my lap.

Of course, now I think I'm going to get lucky and find one in every store I walk in :-)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing. Got lucky on my way to work one day and managed to grab two from the local EBGames.

Have you considered craigslist? I looked at selling on ebay, but the listing fees, paypal fees, money transfer fees, hassle for shipping, etc didn't seem worth it.

I listed on craigslist and kijiji for 390 and sold them both quickly, for cash and pickup. Both cases, the people only had $400 and I of course didn't have change. No hassle for me. Say you get $50 more on ebay ($440 + shipping) the person has to pay ~$480, and you'll net about $410 and will have wasted a lot of time. Ebay/Paypal fees are usurious unless you're able to mark up bigtime. Moving Wiis at $390 is fast. You could do a lot more volume that way (if you can find supply).

Shaun said...

I tend to shy away from craigslist, simply because I don't like meeting strangers face to face. eBay also allows me to sell outside my immediate area. I agree the fees are ridiculous. I was a huge eBay seller 10 years ago, but now they are, in my opinion, very un-seller-friendly. The huge prevalence of "sniping", or waiting until the last minute to place a bid, has gotten out of control. It actually hurts the sellers since no one has time to bid up your price. eBay Japan behaves differently - if a bid is placed within the last 5 minutes of an auction, the end time is extended by 5 minutes. That's more like how a real auction functions and I wish eBay in the US worked that way.

However, eBay is the 500 lb. gorilla on the block, so sometimes you have to play by their rules. I do like the convenience of getting instant payments by Paypal. However, due to the fees, I now only sell stuff on eBay where I can ask a high enough price to cover those charges. And I think right now, a Wii qualifies as being an item that can be way marked up :-)

FYI, it looks like the standard shipping for Wiis on eBay right now is $30 - $40. I'm asking $35. When mine sells, I'll post the results.

Clifford said...

Shaun this is great! It never hurts to have a spare $100 lying around with just a few extra minutes of your time.

DayByDayFlips.com said...

Hi Shaun, just stumbled on to your site, looks good! Last year my wife and her brother and I decided we were going to stand in line to get the Xbox 360 when it first came out. They were selling at Walmart for $600 and going on Ebay for $2,000. Easy money right? We went to the south Walmart the day before to see how many they were going to get... there were already 10 people in line!! They were going to wait over 24 hours! That's just crazy!! We left.

Trisha#1 said...

Good work, Shaun! Keep us posted if you're able to find more Wii's!

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