Ebay Sellers: How do they get low pricing?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I see many professional resellers (auctioneers) selling Macs on ebay (i.e. Calvin's auctions)

I am interested in this, and eventually could swing the credit outlay to do it (even carry an inventory). But. how do they get their pricing low enough to make a decent margin? I always wonder what their product souce is, as many are pre-sale auctions (and therefore not grey market I assume). What do you folks think? Are they resellers? What is the deal?


  • Reply 1 of 19
    Either play the auction game, set a reserve, or start at a min bid. Most sellers use reserves for expensive items.
  • Reply 1 of 19
    Ask Murbot. Most of those guys could take notes from him!
  • Reply 3 of 19
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    [quote]Originally posted by corvette:

    <strong>Either play the auction game, set a reserve, or start at a min bid. Most sellers use reserves for expensive items.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    he means how do they get reseller pricing buying the items themselves so that they actually make a profit.

    I don't know. It's a good question
  • Reply 4 of 19
    I own a small mail order company (no, not cheap used Mac gear or anything Ebay oriented) and I was talking to one of the postal clerks about some of the other "every day" customers they have besides me. They were telling me about a few people who have Ebay businesses.

    One of them goes around to garage sales half the week, and loads of up on anything that's worth a few bucks more than it's being sold for. Then they Ebay the stuff and have dozens or even hundreds of auctions going at once.

    One of them gets movie posters from Hollywood Video where he works -- the studios and video distributors give these guys zillions of posters for every video release -- and he Ebays them, sometimes for surprisingly large amounts of money. The clerk said he made six figures last year. His cost on these things is ZERO. Quite a scam.

    The last two he told me about are probably closest to what you're looking to do.

    One guy buys computer equipment at auction. This is a variation on the "garage sale" idea -- looking for stuff that's priced less than you think you can re-sell it, not necessarily searching for anything like JUST cool recent Mac gear. You know, they buy Unix servers and Wyse terminals and expensive/rare components (proprietary interfaces and drives and expansions) or whatever.

    The last one owns a retail shop where they take in a lot of stuff on trade. A lot of people who are getting rid of something realize that if they want to sell it "quick and dirty" then a retail place is not going to give them such a great trade-in value. This retail shop actually makes most of its money Ebaying off trade-ins! So maybe you're selling new Mac gear in a cruddy storefront and not selling too much of it, but you're taking in plenty of trades because most people want to get rid of stuff quick & easy...
  • Reply 5 of 19
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,721member
    I appreciate the input, but perhaps I should rephrase the question:

    How do ebay sellers that sell NEW Macs get low pricing (not retail) FROM Apple or their distributors? I could buy and sell on ebay, but I would need to make enough money on each item. For example, when you see new PM's going for $2500, you know they didn't pay that for them. I am talking about current, NEW, "this generation" stuff like a dual GHZ machine or something. Does anyone know how they get their stuff wholesale?

    I have considered yard sales and what not, but the problem with that is you are always carrying an inventory. The way these guys do it is mostly pre-sale, so they have a source somewhere.

    [ 02-19-2002: Message edited by: SDW2001 ]

    [ 02-19-2002: Message edited by: SDW2001 ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Just be careful, it could be a Dell with an Apple logo taped on the side!
  • Reply 7 of 19
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    I've wondered about them too. Like right after a new PowerBook is released for $2999, they've got them up for auction with a "Buy It Now" price of $2799.

    I'd like to know how these guys get discounts like that too - could it be that they're getting them at cost from a friend who is a Mac reseller?
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Could it be that they know somebody who can get an educational discount? That person buys it for them (with the discount) and they sell it marked-up a little bit (but still below non-educational prices).

    Back in my university days, I knew a few students who bought Macs at educational discounts for their friends and family who couldn't get the discount. I don't think you're supposed to do that, but it happens. I'm very sure you're not supposed to do it just to resell the thing.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    The education discount won't save you more than a hundred or two on a system. But I suppose this would build up in bulk....
  • Reply 10 of 19
    [quote]Originally posted by Arakageeta:

    <strong>The education discount won't save you more than a hundred or two on a system. But I suppose this would build up in bulk....</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Not really, because you are only allowed to buy one desktop and one laptop per academic year. So you would have to have lots of freinds who could get you educational discounts.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    Gosh, could it be stolen equipment? :eek:
  • Reply 12 of 19
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Some of these guys have been doing this for a couple of years, and have tons of postive feedback.

    If it was stolen equipment, it would be getting back to them after a year...
  • Reply 13 of 19
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,721member
    Seriously, I want to know! Does anyone know how they get reseller/wholesale pricing?
  • Reply 14 of 19
    I had a terrible experience with one of these.

    PBG4-500, brand new, for 2799 instead of 3599.

    I ended up getting one, only after threatening to call the police and BBB on them.

    I didn't ever get the CD-RW drive I was promised, either.

    My advice: stick to real channels.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Jonathan, did that guy (the seller) have any kind of feedback record?
  • Reply 16 of 19
    [quote]Originally posted by sizzle chest:

    <strong>Jonathan, did that guy (the seller) have any kind of feedback record?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    You can even get burned by people with a great feedback record.

    <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/news/713634.asp"; target="_blank">Figurine scandal</a>
  • Reply 17 of 19
    [quote]Originally posted by sizzle chest:

    <strong>Jonathan, did that guy (the seller) have any kind of feedback record?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Highest positives I had ever seen. +400 or something.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,721member
    I actually find that people on ebay are more paranoid than anything else as buyers. I have sold a few things and had various problems, only one of which was my fault. If there is ANY delay is processing the shipping or even a simple error, I find many will fly off the handle at you. I had a guy contact SquareDeal.com because there was a very small delay in me being able to ship his order. He paid for it and my policy was to wait until the payment cleared through PayPal. In the meantime he contacted me with what sounded like a nasty email saying (for no apparent reason) he was "very frustrated with the way I did business so far". I don't even know what the guy meant. I wrote him back telling him to relax and that his item would ship ASAP. He became convinced I was trying to screw him and contacted the afformentioned site. What an ass.

    He was not the only one. And, it was for like $12 worth of stuff. Ridiculous.

    Jonathan, I have seen sellers with +3000 feeback!!!!

    [ 02-23-2002: Message edited by: SDW2001 ]</p>
  • Reply 19 of 19
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Yes, people are unreal sometimes. I had a buyer here in Canada for my 466 MHz G4 PowerMac go a little ape on me. Wanted me to ship the computer before he paid, etc. Then he emailed me a copy of a receipt for a Puroleletter shipment to me - supposedly with a money order in it - and demanded that I ship the computer immediately, before the money order arrived! Yeah, I ship the computer out and then get an empty envelope in the mail....

    People win auctions on eBay, then try to change the rules AFTERWARDS. They freak out about having to pay first, and receive the item later. It's frickin' eBay!! That's how it's done! Drives me nuts.

    Oh, and there are people out there with over 10,000 positive feedbacks.... I've seen 13,000+.
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