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trying to figure out the eBay game my friend is playing
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: September 09, 2021 11:15AM
One of my friends, an older international grad student who’s been kind of stranded by COVID between finishing coursework and getting a job, seems to sell a lot of drugstore items on eBay. Things like a lot of 4 bottles of shampoo for $20, 16 toothpastes for $40, 2 hairsprays for $15. He frequently mentions going to the post office or FedEx, and his seller profile shows that he has more than 200 listings, none over $150. The prices are usually a dollar or two above what Target or Amazon sell things for, so I’m not sure who the buyers are.

I’m trying to figure out what the play is here. He has a Costco membership, but I can’t believe the markup from Costco price to eBay price would even cover shipping on these items. Maybe the stuff is somehow coming out of the back door at a local Walgreen’s or CVS—I’d hate to think that of him—but I’m wondering if there’s something else going on, such as using all these small PayPal transactions to move money from his home nation. Theories?
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Re: trying to figure out the eBay game my friend is playing
Posted by: raz
Date: September 09, 2021 12:08PM
With COVID, there are often local shortages of items (e.g. shampoo). People are quite willing to pay a markup to get them. As long as he isn't promising free shipping, he can probably make a few hundred bucks a week.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: trying to figure out the eBay game my friend is playing
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 09, 2021 12:29PM
MANY people are NO WHERE near a warehouse club (or even a Walmart). Such folks still need "basics" which the USPS (or other carrier) is happy to deliver right to their mailbox. The ability to get "non-massive" quantities is a plus for many people. Over the years, I've belonged to the "Big Three" warehouse clubs but doubt that I've EVER paid the full membership price. I recently rejoined Sam's Club for FREE after a Groupon deal (process was a ROYAL PITA; I did pay the local sales tax on the $45 basic membership). I'm done with Groupon; just too much trouble in too many cases. Other folks might not find it as onerous as I do. old fogey smiley
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Re: trying to figure out the eBay game my friend is playing
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 09, 2021 12:54PM
Or, it's possible this is not a well thought out plan and he's racking up credit card debt in exchange for "cash"...

I.e. Buy the items on credit card, sell on eBay, take losses on shipping and fees, but get "cash" deposited in bank account. Pay minimum amount due on credit card, use remaining "cash" for other purposes. Repeat...
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Re: trying to figure out the eBay game my friend is playing
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 09, 2021 01:05PM
Quote
Gareth
Or, it's possible this is not a well thought out plan and he's racking up credit card debt in exchange for "cash"...

I.e. Buy the items on credit card, sell on eBay, take losses on shipping and fees, but get "cash" deposited in bank account. Pay minimum amount due on credit card, use remaining "cash" for other purposes. Repeat...

This ^. Then go back home never having to worry about being sued by the credit card company.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: trying to figure out the eBay game my friend is playing
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 09, 2021 09:01PM
if he's your friend, did you ask him?
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Re: trying to figure out the eBay game my friend is playing
Posted by: d4
Date: September 10, 2021 07:14AM
4 bottles of dollar store shampoo is,,, $4. Sell for $20 on eBay. $16 profit. Who is paying for shipping? Post an auction link for a fuller investigation. With something like this, it's all in the details.



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Re: trying to figure out the eBay game my friend is playing
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: September 10, 2021 04:57PM
Not dollar store shampoo, real brand-name stuff like Pantene and Clairol.

Quote
space-time
if he's your friend, did you ask him?

Sometimes it's good to figure out what NOT to ask someone.
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