A few years ago, I decided to sell several gadgets and gizmos on Amazon. I didn’t do it on purpose, but I had ended up listing the items Thanksgiving morning because I had some free time. By the end of the day Black Friday, all of the items (20+) sold and were in a box to ship to their new owners. I was shocked at how fast everything sold and how I turned a consumerist holiday into a money making venture. It was quite exciting to get those “sold ship now” emails all day long and see the funds rack up.
Instead of spending money on Black Friday, I made it!
Most of what I sold that day were Wii Nintendo games, a Wii console with extras, a DS and a bunch of those games separately. There may have been a iPad, iPod mini or other camera equipment up for sale, too.
If you know me, you know I take very good care of the technology gadgets I buy. The first thing I buy for them are protective covers for everything from my iPod Touch to the screen of my 5D Mark II. I am always concerned about keeping everything in working order for myself, and for resale. Most of the lenses and camera gear I’ve sold at (or above) what I’ve paid for it. So, my “rental” fees are very low.
This is why I don’t worry about buying expensive high quality items. I know they are going to last for me, and that there will be a return on my investment in some fashion. For example, the Canon 24mm f/1.2 L lens I recently sold I had purchased for $1,200 used. It was in great condition, with a UV lens cover and I sold it for $1,350 on Amazon. With Amazon’s fees, it works out to an even swap and I used the lens for two years, with the buyer happy with their product.
So, do you want to make money or spend it on Black Friday?
Here are five steps to turn your Black Friday from a spending holiday into a money making venture:
1. Go through your devices (technology sells very well) find what you don’t use.
For example, that year I found that I never used the Nintendo DS I had to have the year prior. I had a bunch of games that weren’t used more than once. So, that was an easy sell for me.
2. Sign-up for an Amazon Seller Account.
I personally stay away from Ebay, since I’ve had things occur where fake people purchase and then my item is off the list for real people to buy. Or, I’ve had a buyer claim I didn’t send it, and even with proof of shipping, phone calls, and researching the buyer’s previous history (he buys, then claims not shipped, then gets a refund and sells items at his shop in Chinatown) PayPal refunded their money and I lost a camera in the deal. For that, I’ll never use Ebay again. And believe me, I almost went to Chinatown to give that guy a piece of my mind…
3. Take a few photos of each item and describe it well.
They don’t have to be fantastic, I use my iPod Touch most often for these images. This helps the buyer know exactly what their getting. You have to think, would you buy from someone unknown without seeing a photo first? A lot of people do, but those photos definitely help in my opinion, especially on higher ticket items.
I keep all the original boxes and paperwork for gadgets which makes selling super easy. I include photos of those items, a description that says “all paperwork, boxes, etc” and the condition of the item and possibly why I’m selling “never used” or “rarely used” or “want to upgrade” etc.
4. Post the sale to your account at the lowest possible price you’re willing to accept.
For me, that’s usually the lowest selling price minus a few cents. I like to be listed at the top and sell quickly, since it’s usually an item that has been sitting around my house for awhile. It doesn’t matter how much I make most often, as it does to get rid of it and not throw it away.
5. Ship the items once they sell and get paid!
I usually keep on hand various size boxes from what I’ve purchased before to ship items in. I will ship with some sort of tracking, usually through Amazon’s discounted UPS or USPS affiliate pricing. They make it super easy to list, sell, and ship items. They of course want it to be easy, they make a few dollars on the sale, too.
Getting paid the first time around takes a few weeks. They have to verify you’re a human, not selling stolen goods, etc. After the first few weeks from your first sale, it’s easy to keep getting paid whenever you want to transfer the money from your Amazon Seller Account.
So, there you have it. A quick way to make a few dollars this Black Friday. I’m all for making money on the biggest selling holiday of the year! It costs nothing to list your items, and if you change your mind you can always cancel your sales (I’ve done that, oops!). Just don’t do it too often and you’re rating will be fine.
Why should you leave all the money making to the giant stores this holiday season?