Just recently I was sourcing eBay for something very specific. It was a pair of ski boots and I was banking on getting a bargain from one of those newbie skiers who went out and bought all the kit (at great expense) then decided that skiing isn’t really their cup of tea after all (they’ll stick to the après ski thank you).

Imagine my delight when I spotted a pair of ski boots that were newly listed – in my size, and with a boot bag – bidding starting at 99p. They went straight into my ‘Watch List’!

I continued watching and they stayed at 99p!

With 20 minutes to go we were up to the heady heights of £16.00.

Then it happened…

… I lost my Internet connection.

No one else bid and they went for £16!

Guaranteed sourcing success with this cheeky strategy

The point here is this: why did these boots only get 3 bids and sell for so little?

They are a good pair of boots; good used condition, nice pictures and reasonable postage. The description is a bit on the short side, but that’s not the main reason they sold at a low price.

That reason is this:

The end time of this item was 1.22pm on a Tuesday!

Not really the ideal time to pick up lots of bidders. Okay, you might catch people surfing during their lunch breaks but as a seller you are seriously limiting your market by picking inconvenient ending times like this.

Obviously it wasn’t inconvenient to me and there will have been others who were able to bid at this time, but the majority will have struggled to either get online, get to a computer or quite simply may have decided to bid and then forgotten all about it because they were thinking of other things – like work, or the baby, or getting some lunch!

If you put your buyer/seller hat on though there is an advantage here and I’ll explain why

It’s simple really. You can sniff out the bargains as a buyer – bid, win and then list that same item properly as a seller – i.e. at a decent time, with a decent listing – and resell for a higher price!

Now, you don’t want potential buyers to see what you purchased the item for so you would buy on an alternative eBay account (an account you have set up purely for buying) and then resell on your business account. Simple!

This is such an easy way to make a profit and there are plenty of bargains to be had. Look at these other ski boots I found that sold for low prices:

These went for £7.50. The reason? A poor listing and grotty hard to see images.

And these also went for £7.50 – probably because the seller has requested pick up only rather than offering postage – so this has instantly narrowed the market.

Here’s a tip for ‘pick up only’ items…

Remember that these will often get less interest and fewer bids because of the inconvenience of travelling to pick something up. But postage can always be negotiated!

Simply contact the seller near the auction end and ask whether, should you win, you could arrange for a courier to collect the item from them. They don’t have to do anything, you arrange it all so there’s no extra work involved! Nine times out of ten this will be fine with the seller and hey presto! you’ve got yourself a bargain that no one else would bid on!

Here’s a nice little side strategy for you: buy low from eBay. Resell higher – on eBay!

Note – this does work best with branded products.

You’ll need to search out the listings that are likely to get fewer bids… Listings that end at silly times like the middle of the night, or listings with poor keywords, misspellings, blurred images and uninformative descriptions and so on.

Now, you could spend ages looking round the site for these items – but help is at hand!

Here’s a classic example of clothing and accessories from the brand ‘Monsoon’ not being listed properly. Monsoon is a really popular brand on eBay and there’s no reason to attract low bids. But, using a special search system I found 313 items listed with either no bids or only one bid and all because ‘Monsoon’ was misspelled (which there is really no excuse for). It was either typed as Monson, Moonsoon or Monsooon! Very few of these items had any bids at all so are ripe for grabbing and then relisting. Try a search using the keyword ‘moonsoon’ and see for yourself…

If you want to check out misspelled auctions and grab some bargains for reselling you can use these nifty tools:

You never know, you might even find a bargain for yourself!