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From Amazon to eBay to You

by Amy OBrien on January 26, 2012

 

February 10th is Jacks birthday.  He is turning 2, and of course we have already planned his birthday party, and have purchased his birthday gifts.  In normal fashion, we turned to eBay to get everything we needed.  Two days ago, something odd happened.  It was around 3 o’clock when the door bell rang.  I looked out the window and saw that it was UPS, so I just figured that some of our supplies and gifts were being delivered.  To my surprise when I open the door, I see a big box that says Amazon on it.  I brought it inside and asked Amy if she ordered anything from Amazon, and she said no.  I opened the box and saw an Amazon “gift” receipt, and it was one of Jack’s presents.

To the normal person, this would have been no big deal.  You order something online and it comes to your house.  For me, I couldn’t stop thinking why came from Amazon.  Then it hit me.  It came from Amazon because the eBay seller knew that he could “flip” the item!

I ran to my computer to see what the cost of the item on Amazon was and found that it was $10 cheaper with Free Shipping!  This guy was a genius.  Not only did he flip the item and make more money, he sent the item directly to me with out ever buying the item first!  I started to think of other items that I could do that with, and I came up with a nice list.  Here is one of them:

Of course this works the other way around, buy on eBay and sell on Amazon!  There is a small risk selling this way since you are relying on someone else to ship your product (if you buy from Amazon), but I think the risk is worth the reward!  Please share if you have ever done anything like this to make money!

For more tips and tricks, check out The Keys to a Successful eBay Business HERE

One last thing – There were SO MANY great ideas from the “Throw Away” contest last week!  The entries have now ended, and I will be going through all of them and narrowing it down to my favorite five!  I will put a pull up on my blog for voting on Monday!  Thanks for all of your great tips!

 

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

Are you sure he actually flipped it and was not, in fact, letting Amazon be his fulfillment house for his eBay inventory? How can you tell it was a flip?

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Tristen OBrien January 26, 2012 at 9:30 am

Good point, that was just my thought. Regardless, it helped find items that I can flip :)

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Garrett January 26, 2012 at 9:53 am

I have considered this before but with using Costco.com. I know you have discussed using Costco in store to list items before even purchasing them but some Costco items are only available online and they also offer free shipping on a lot of it. My one concern that has held me back from doing this type of thing is that I’m not really sure what shipping practices they use and if it matches ebay’s criteria (such as delivery or signature confirmation). I guess you could have the tracking info emailed to you and the package shipped elsewhere for any of these sites but I’d really want to make sure they did everything I need to be protected as the seller. Does anyone know that stuff?

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Angela January 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

I like it but I have initial concerns:
1. Did the item come without a receipt? My concern would be the Amazon seller sending a receipt to you.
2. We would be risking the item not be in stock when it sells for us on Ebay. But I suppose if we find an item before hand that is fully stocked on Amazon that may not be a problem.
3. We’ll also have to watch the shipping time for the Amazon product because Ebay customers are very demanding that they get their item shipped in a day or two from purchase.
4. The return address is going to be different than your Ebay information. People easily think they have been “scammed” b/c they paid more than you did ya know. They don’t remember (or care) that we are doing this to make money… not just for the fun of it. lol

You’ve certainly given us all something to consider!

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Tristen OBrien January 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

Those are great questions Angela, and I thought of the exact same thing! It did come with a receipt (kinda). It was a receipt that said I was sent a gift which makes me think they picked the “gift” option when checking out. As far as stock goes, if you pick an item that says “fulfilled by Amazon”, then it is guaranteed to be in stock. Same thing with shipping time, fulfilled by Amazon ships next day. You are absolutely right about return address, I can see some Ebay buyers getting confused or maybe upset. Maybe if we set the expectation before hand with the customer to let them know what to expect.

I’ll give it a try and let you know how it goes!

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Angela January 26, 2012 at 11:32 am

Ohhh great information! How would you set the expectation before hand? Tact is key. lol

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Helen January 26, 2012 at 10:50 am

If you send a note to the eBay buyer that the item is coming from Amazon, then there will be no surprises and the buyer will be expecting it.

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Michael Wynne January 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

I wonder if eBay would allow you to have the name Amazon in your eBay ID. You could definitely place a line in your auction in small letters that explains you ship through Amazon and then the ones that don’t care will still buy from you. You just have a chance of running people off to Amazon to check their prices but that’s a risk they make be worth taking.

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Mike January 26, 2012 at 10:58 am

I had a sweet deal doing this at the end of last year. I was selling coffee filters 3/9.99 on eBay. With my Amazon Prime account I could buy them for 1.49 each with free 2 day shipping. What you have to be extremely careful about is the volatility of Amazon pricing. If you have ever left items in your shopping cart you know what I mean.

In my case the price went from 1.49 to 5.49 each and killed my sale. Luckily I was able to end the auction before selling any more units that I would have had to fulfill at the higher price.

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Tristen OBrien January 26, 2012 at 11:17 am

That’s great Mike, and good point!

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Angela January 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

3 day auctions might be the safest then?

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Michael Wynne January 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

Yes Mike, this is a very good point. That was exactly what I had happen to me. It is risky but you can turn some good profits.

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Mike January 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I had it as a GTC. I checked the item every morning and had a price alert set up too. Here is a review of some similar services:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-amazon-price-watch-trackers-bargain-hunter/

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Lisa C January 26, 2012 at 11:42 am

One caveat — Amazon’s user agreement prohibits members from using their Prime Account for re-selling items purchased with free shipping (basically using them as a drop-shipper) and when it comes to suspensions, Amazon doesn’t waste time and often doesn’t offer very good due process. Using Amazon’s fulfillment program for multi-channel selling is fine (the seller sends in their own inventory).

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Mike January 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Oh interesting. I never thought that would be a problem. I wonder what the threshold is? I shipped those filters to 100+ different addresses. I suppose it depends on how much stock they have and need to sell!

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Michael Wynne January 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

I have thought about this and it is possible. The two concerns I have are the item price may be different by the item you make a sale on eBay and the second is the person will know what you did when they receive the Amazon box. The latter is normal for businesses but usually the customer doesn’t get it thrown in their face that they just got sucked. All businesses must get their inventory from somewhere but it just stings a bit when you see that box. Of course, they then look it up on Amazon and see how much cheaper they could have got it. Not only are they upset with this discovery, they will never purchase from you again… lost customer. I also figured these items on Amazon that are great deals don’t ever last long enough and you may be refunding a lot of eBay customers when you can’t make a profit. I know this first hand because while at work, I purchased a clock radio for $9.99 and everyone loved it. They wanted their own radio and I told them the price. I went on there the very next day and it was jacked up to $19.99. No way was it worth that. It stayed that price for many weeks, then again dropped to $9.99. It did this back and forth for awhile. I eventually got everyone the clock radio for $9.99 but it took a month or so. Your best bet would be to purchase the item from Amazon when you know you can make a huge profit and have them ship it to you directly (especially if the shipping is free). You can then list the item on eBay and charge a small shipping fee if need be but then you know your exact profit margin. I also heard something on Amazon about a Premium Membership that was around $80 a year but that gets you free shipping on everything. Something to check out at least. Great post, thanks for sharing!

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Tristen OBrien January 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Very true since that is exactly what I did. May be safer to order it for your self and ship it to the Ebay buyer in your own box

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Beth C January 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

What is the best way to find things on Amazon that are “on sale” without having to spend hours searching? Thanks!

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Tristen OBrien January 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I have a post that has a link to Amazon clearance items it can be found here: http://www.theebayentrepreneur.com/2011/09/06/where-to-buy-ebay-inventory-online/

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Michael Wynne January 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Another point I want to make on here is make sure when you list a product on eBay, you use the “Item Specifics” section asking for Model Number, Year, Brand, etc. This is very important because if someone is looking up a specific brand or model number like an example would be a hearing aid battery, it would be easier for them to find it and land on your page. Some sellers overlook this section but it’s important. Try and include it in your Title as well. Again, Tristen’s blog has wonderful ideas and I can see him and I think a like. Stick with him and you should be on your way to making some decent cash.

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Angela January 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I just recently started including the bar code and you are so right. I should have started a long time ago.

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Cindy January 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

My gut feeling on this is that this is a FBA (fulfilled by amazom) seller who has the items on both sites and once it sell amazon ships it. I, as a buyer, do not like to get amazon boxes when obit on eBay. The other day I ordered American sniper on eBay and it came from Walmart. No where in the listing was the sellers name Walmart or did it mention Walmart. I was a bit bothered by it since I boycott Walmart for personal reasons. I like the ideas of a flip Burma terrified of leaving my chance of losing eTRS in the hands of a shipper who might get around to shipping in a few days. Just my thoughts.

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Tristen OBrien January 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I kind of felt that way when I got my Ebay item in an Amazon box. I’m thinking it may be better to have it shipped to me, then I can send it out.

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Angela January 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm

If you’re getting free shipping from Amazon I’m thinking we might as well have the item shipped to us THEN post it on Ebay. Paying for shipping might negate our profit, but free shipping helps a lot. It will delay us a few days AND there is the risk of us not selling it, but that’s a risk we take anytime we buy something to sell on ebay right? :-)

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Tristen OBrien January 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm

That is exactly what I am thinking!

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Mike January 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I suppose you are correct, but man it is so easy to just fill out the buyer’s info on Amazon click buy and your are done! No repacking (because if you resend in the Amazon box what is the point), no trip to the post office nothing. Plus it makes me giggle. I mean if you are willing to buy on eBay you mean to tell me you didn’t run a price check on Amazon? T.O. I am looking at you!

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Tristen OBrien January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Lol, hey my heart knows where it’s heart belongs! Actually it was Amy who ordered, and didn’t check for the cheapest price on Amazon.

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Angela January 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I guess I always think Ebay has the better price because Amazon charges so much for fees. Guess I’ll check both places in the future.

Allison February 2, 2012 at 3:41 am

Yes, always check out Amazon. I would prefer to get the feedback from eBay, but if its cheaper to get it on Amazon then I do. Its scary I would always buy only from ebay, lots of choices. But recently I am getting stuff brand new (when I would ordinarily buy it used from ebay) for $10-20 cheaper. I am an avid seller and buyer from ebay! I love your blogs! It has helped me to flip a lot of items :) And you right, shhhh…. people will buy anything!!! So keep looking for random deals and clearances!

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Frederick February 11, 2012 at 8:56 am

I had this very thing happen, except that i had searched Amazon as well and somehow missed it. On the gift receipt, it had the item name, then category, and then the next number was the ASIN. Which clearly identified the exact listing bought on Amazon, as well as identifying that it is shipped and sold by Amazon.

Makes you feel dumb to pay $8 for someone to essentially type your name and address into Amazon. And when you think about it, how can I leave feedback for this ebay user, since he never touched the item? As well as no identification from ebay saying it was shipped, and since it was shipped via ups, I’ve been really worried about having items stolen as they are usually left at the mailbox. My driveway is 1/2 a mile, and only 1 ups driver will drive down it.

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