Apple seems to be releasing new products all of the time, and there are users out there who are dying to have the items the first day they come out. This creates an opportunity for online sellers to capitalize on these individual’s desires to be one of the first to have the brand new Apple products. I won’t claim to understand how this desire to have the item first is worth paying several hundred dollars more when the item will be available in mass quantities within a month or 2.
Nonetheless, this perceived shortage of supply right at release date often creates an opportunity for ebay sellers. This item launched on November 1st, and there are still certain models that are out of stock on most websites. Let’s take a look at a few of the sold listings on ebay from the past few weeks. To get to this screen, I searched “Apple ipad air,” then clicked sold listings on the left side of the screen, and sorted from highest to lowest.
You can click to enlarge the above image to make it easier to see. What you will see from this screenshot is that these sellers sold the 128GB wifi + cellular enabled models of the iPad Air for $1600! This item was available to be purchased from apple and other retailers (and will be available again soon!) for $929. Here’s a link if you don’t believe me: iPad Prices.
You’ll notice above as well that two of these sellers sold their preorder of the iPad Air prior to release date, and the other seller sold it after the release date. Let’s take a quick look at their profits from doing this, and then I will get into how you could replicate what they did. After ebay and paypal fees the $1600 would turn into $1,393.30. This assumes they do not have an ebay store, and are not top rated sellers, which both allow for discounted final value fees. This item could be shipped with insurance and signature confirmation for about $30, bringing the proceeds down to $1,363.30. They would have purchased the item for $929, leaving them with a profit of $434.30. Not a bad return for simply flipping a preorder. This doesn’t take into account that they likely received at least 1% cashback with their credit cards, and could have received an additional 1% cashback if they purchased through Ebates. These 2 items alone would have added an additional $18.58 to their profits.
Apple and other companies are launching new products all the time that people are willing to pay significant premiums for the convenience of having items shipped right to their doors. Thus avoiding waiting in launch day lines, or having to remember to preorder the item shortly after launch date.
To take advantage of this type of opportunity in the future, pay attention to when large companies are launching a “hot” new item. Then place a preorder for the item shortly after they begin accepting them. Often times (but not always) you aren’t charged until your item is shipped so placing the preorder won’t tie up any space on your credit card until release date. Once you secure a preorder, you will have to decide whether to list the item right away as a preorder, or to wait until after release date. Examples of both are above, and show that both can work. It’s up to the individual seller.
I am not assuming that everyone is willing to invest $929 to flip an iPad, but the potential is there to make some hefty profits with minimal work. I encourage you to do your research, including checking the ebay completed listings, and be careful before diving into trying to resell preorders. I should also note that not every seller received the same price for their items, and you can check this out by researching the completed listings. The above are successful examples that show it can be done!
If you have any questions or comments, please post them below!