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Your Unfair Advantage

Guest post by Jim Stewart.  Jim lives in Philadelphia, works full time, and enjoys selling on Ebay on the side.  February 7th marked his second year anniversary selling on Ebay, and he’s on track to crack his $2,000 sales goal for the month.  Way to go Jim!

When it comes to tracking down hard to find items, Ebay is awesome!  If you can buy it (without being arrested), someone will have it listed on Ebay.  I love that about Ebay!

As a seller, the huge variety of items in the Ebay marketplace allows one to capitalize on a very important concept.  It’s something I like to call my unfair advantage.

The concept of the unfair advantage refers to a specific skill or knowledge that you possess that most people are clueless about within a specific niche.  It’s your competitive edge.  It’s like being at the plate and knowing the next pitch before the pitcher releases the ball.  And knowing you’re going to crush it!

Everyone has a unique set of skills, unique experiences or a unique perspective that can result in some easy Ebay cash if you play your cards right.  The key is to focus on how this specific knowledge can be used when sourcing and selling items on Ebay.

Here’s an example of how I uncovered a profitable sourcing niche using my own unfair advantage.

My girlfriend is originally from Colombia.  The difference between her and I is that she gets out of bed in the morning dancing the Salsa, I get out of bed in the morning like one of the zombies from “The Walking Dead.”  She’s a handful, but I love it!

Anyhow, after some time together, I agreed to join her on a trip to South America to celebrate the holidays with her and her family.  We made travel plans well in advance, but there was still the issue of my ability to communicate with her family.  They don’t speak English, and my Spanish classes from High School never really took.  I can count to 10 and say “thank you,” but that’s about it.

So I started researching the best way to learn Spanish.  The resources are numerous.  There are classes, books, websites, language cds and so forth.

Rosetta Stone was an obvious option, but it seemed expensive compared to others.  I also didn’t like the fact that they make you register online the same way Bill Gates makes you register Microsoft Office software, limiting the ability to resell the item in the aftermarket.

Ultimately I settled on another language CD program called The Pimsleur Method.  It’s similar to Rosetta Stone in that there are a series of CDs to complete at each level.  But it’s cheaper than Rosetta Stone and rated more effective.  It also didn’t require registering online to activate the program, allowing for a healthy aftermarket (on Ebay) at more economical prices.

Upon further research I discovered that most of the Pimsleur CD sets on Ebay were in near mint condition.  And the resale market for these was strong.  It turns out that learning a language is like dieting, you buy the stuff, then look to sell shortly thereafter when you realize the amount of work (and pain) involved in actually following through!

That’s when it hit me.  What if I start shopping for these at $.30 to $.40 cents on the resale market dollar, and then flip them on Ebay at the going rate?   Typically sellers don’t sell these CD sets on Ebay, they sell mostly on Craigslist or through a publication like the Want Ad Digest.  And they expect to receive far less than what they originally paid.  Sort of like the numerous exercise bikes you see listed on Craigslist at pennies on the dollar.  But unlike an exercise bike, a CD box set is easy to ship, with no assembly or product issues to worry about.  I think I’m on to something!

Long story short, these Pimsleur CD sets have resulted in some of my most profitable flips on Ebay.  I don’t see them often, probably a few times a month on average.  But when I do, it’s cha ching baby!

If you guys want examples of some past Pimsleur scores, let Gilldaddy know.  I have some real life cases that document the entire process – how I found the opportunity, how I pursued it, closed it, and then flipped it.  In the meantime, get out there, focus on your own unfair advantage, and make it rain!

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