Recently, I coined a new phrase whilst I was doing some product sourcing for my Source Report website.

I was actually writing about how profitable it can be to search out and buy bargains online – and I’m talking about really cheap bargains here – items you can pick up for peanuts – and simply tweak (or not!) and resell straight away for more money.

There’s little effort involved in this strategy and it’s quite an easy way to add to your inventory and have a bit of fun at the same time!

So, I’m calling this “Find and Flip” (which I think has quite a nice ring to it) and that’s what I want to talk about in this article today. It is so simple that can try it out as soon as you finish reading this if you want to and – in my opinion it’s a good starting point if you are new to selling online. So, what exactly do I mean by “find and flip”?

Well, first let’s look at the “find” part of this: your aim is to uncover items listed for sale online – particularly on eBay and Amazon – which for one reason or another are close to their ending times, have received few or zero bids and are languishing around at 99p and sometimes even less.

We all know that with auction listings, the bids often start rolling in just as the auction is about to end, but sometimes there are reasons why this is definitely not going to happen and the item will go unsold or sell for the opening bid of 99p.

Now I want to make it clear that I’m not talking about items that are totally useless that no one wants. The items that this strategy is based on are perfectly decent in-demand products. And these are the types of items that you must “find”.

Now for the “flip”! Once you have found these items all you do is relist them for a guaranteed profit!

So you “find” a great product, purchase it really cheaply and then “flip” it back online and sell it for more – that’s “find and flip”!

The question is: if these products are in demand, then why aren’t they selling in the first place? I realise you are probably thinking right now that if an item isn’t selling then why would you bother to buy it and then relist it?

Surely it means that no one wants it? Well, that’s not strictly true! Of course, this could be the case for some products but there are hundreds of items out there that attract very low or no bids because of a variety of scenarios and circumstances.

The three main culprits are:

1. Misspelled Title Keywords

If you list an item but spell the brand name or other main keywords incorrectly in your listing title then your item won’t show up in the searches when potential buyers browse for items – this is particularly important for eBay. Even so, huge numbers of sellers simply don’t spell check and so descriptions for great items get listed… but can’t get found by buyers simply because of spelling mistakes.

2. “Silly O’clock” End Times

There are hundreds of listings (again specifically on eBay) that end in the dead of night when most people are throwing ZZZZs with the last thing on their mind being making a few online purchases! I’m talking about items listed to end at 3, 4 and 5am. Yes there may be a few night-shifters around but most of your target market is likely to be tucked up in the land of nod and certainly won’t be bidding!

3. Stating “Pick Up Only”

For large, bulky items, collection/pick up only is going to be the way forward and buyers expect this, but I have seen “collection only” listed for a pair of shoes (yes, really) and buyers simply do not expect to have to go and collect something like this. Then, of course, if the seller is hundreds of miles away then it’s not worthwhile anyway – hence fewer, lower or no bids.

By offering pick up only you are really restricting your market – not a good idea!

So, how do you find these bargain items that I’m talking about? Surely it’s not just pot luck? No it’s not!

Obviously, it would be really time-consuming if I just left you to your own devices to trawl around eBay and Amazon trying to find all the items with no bids on or with misspelled titles or with local pick up only being offered. You’d probably find a few items but nothing worth writing home about.

That’s why I’m going to tell you about a brilliant tool that’s totally free that you can use to “find and flip” bargains for yourself, very easily and really fast.

As I mentioned, this strategy is perfect if you are just starting out and want to get a bit of buying and selling practice under your belt. Equally, you can simply add new products to your current inventory and have a bit of fun!

You need to go to a site called Bay Crazy

Earlier this week I clicked into the “Night Time Bargain Search” section on the site and was amazed at the kind of stuff I could have won for next to nothing – and all because the ending times are completely bonkers!

I spotted an MP3 Player at £5.99 and ending at 12.57am. Not only is it ending at a silly time but the listing was also not very informative – a poor description and a blurred photo – so this would be a perfect item to “find and flip”.

Here’s another example: on Wednesday I spotted a pair of “Converse” shoes ending on eBay at 2.01am the following morning with no bids and just a few hours to go. These would be perfect to “find and flip” as my research tells me that used Converse All Stars can sell on eBay for up to £25.

When I checked back the following morning, as I suspected, this item ended with just one bid at £8.00 simply because it ended at 2am and at that time of night there are no “browsers” hanging around to bid the item higher.

I hope you are beginning to see the potential here because you can search out more bargains using some of the other search tools provided by Bay Crazy:

» Misspelled Titles – As I mentioned earlier, if an item is spelled incorrectly it won’t get found, if it doesn’t get found people can’t bid, and if people can’t bid the item won’t sell! This tool will help you find those items so that you CAN bid and buy cheap.

Then you simply relist making sure you spell every word correctly and add extra relevant keywords, and resell for a higher price. Simple!

I checked this button and found hundreds of items from the clothing designer “Monsoon” listed as “Monson”, “Moonsoon”, and other weird and wonderful spellings!

I was actually quite shocked by the state of the spelling in some of the listing titles – and I do realise that not everyone is blessed with finding spelling easy – however, that’s exactly what a spellchecker is for. And if you haven’t got a spellchecker then ask someone, or use a dictionary – please. Monsoon clothes sell well online, so there are bargains to be found here!

» Ending Now – You can use this tool to instantly see what’s ending immediately with no bids for any category and sub-category. All you have to do is place your bid and you’ve bagged a bargain. Relist your item more professionally than the original seller and there you have it – a sale and a profit. You’ll find loads of 99p bargains this way, which translates to items that have huge “find and flip” potential!

I found a Laura Ashley jacket for £1.99 with no bids, also a Silver bracelet for 99p and a necklace and earrings set for £2.00 – and that was just at a glance.

You can narrow your own search down to the category of your choice to find exactly what you want!

You can definitely use Bay Crazy to your advantage – seriously. Although it’s not the prettiest of websites, it does what it says and can provide you with an easy way to source new items. Even if you decide not to take advantage for your business, you’ll have good fun browsing and finding bargains for your own personal gain – be warned though, it can be addictive!