Here is my list of large websites you can begin to sift through to find some good deals. You’ve probably heard of them! For beginners with little capital, I would suggest sticking to eBay and only hitting up the retail websites for big sales such as Black Friday. Sure there are some other websites out there that can be part of a good resell strategy but at least a couple of these will be part of your core.
- Amazon. The way Amazon has exponentially grown is pretty amazing. Having watched it over the years it has grown into a sales behemoth. If you’re looking for deals on this website, the “buy used” feature is going to be your best friend. You never want to try and turn a profit on buying the full price it is just going to be too difficult unless it is an abnormal sale. I would also suggest using the camelcamelcamel tool to identify the average price of the item and whatnot. Money can be made on Amazon, no doubt, but it is going to be much more incremental and margins will be thinner.
- Craig’s List. Craig’s List becomes a very viable strategy when you live in or near a large city. You can hit some home runs on here but you’ve got to be careful not to get ripped off. Make sure the computer or part checks out before handing over the cash. Get the back story, why they are selling, and how long it has been used.
- eBay. The king of used, refurbished, and cheap computers and components. You can find some real gems on here if you are willing to put in the hours. Like I talked about in my other post, you need to register on eBay and Paypal which can be done in a matter of days and you’ll be up and running in no time. You can start bidding and see how auctions evolve as they get closer to the deadlines. Unlike some of these other websites, you don’t need a ton of cash to get started. You can start small and as long as your making a tidy profit on each item you buy you’ll slowly build up your coffers. I’d suggest keeping your regular job until you are really doing some volume and understand the market for different items.
- Newegg. Sometimes during special sales and times of the year it is possible to find parts and systems that have resale value. You probably aren’t going to hit any home runs here, but you may be able to identify parts that have a $10-20 or more margin. Sometimes you can purchase cheap parts and build a system and then acquire a high premium on the said part. If you can buy in bulk and hold inventory for awhile websites like Newegg start to make sense.
- TigerDirect. TigerDirect is in the same boat as Newegg. You’ve got to be vigilant and understand the market well to make a profit. There are only certain sales and items that are resell-able. Again, if you have the capital to buy in bulk and the space to hold inventory you may want to pursue this route.
Here are some examples of computers I built or bought and resold on my eBay store. A lot of people when they think “cheap” or “refurbished” picture ancient looking computers that nobody would want. That is not the case, there are quality machines and parts out there you can find for ridiculous prices.
Are you looking for affordable top of the line computers?
The refurbished and cheap computer part category is a wide open place. You probably first and foremost will want to narrow down what part of the “game” you want to play. Are you into gaming computers, productivity computers, super cheap computers, Linux computers, are you a Mac guy? Maybe you just want to to PC components or maybe you want to do accessories and peripherals. If you are going to build a store on eBay it is a good idea to have a general theme. You can see what is hot in the gaming computer category by checking out High Ground Gaming. It is a simple site that has reviews on everything gaming related. If you are looking at cutting edge stuff and maybe want to buy refurbished parts and put together computers yourself and resell at a premium, I’d suggest checking out a website like PCMag to see what is trending. It is an online magazine that has tons of articles about the latest personal computer parts and accessories. So to summarize, no matter what angle you take when it comes to this business, you want to get informed before you start throwing around cash.
My first suggestion to those new to used computer shopping is to start at eBay.com. There are many people that use this site and it is probably the best website to go for used electronics. If you have never used eBay you’re missing out. It is going to take you some time to figure out the user interface. You’ll need to create an account and if you’re serious set up a form of payment. As long as you have a mobile phone and email address registering is pretty easy. The next step if setting up a form of payment. My first instinct would be to say just use PayPal. If you already have a PayPal you’re going to be up and running in no time.
Once your set up on PayPal and eBay you can start playing around with the search functionality of eBay. If you find something you like, you’re already ready to start bidding. I’d suggest simple search strings like “cheap computers” and “cheap computer parts” to get your feet wet. If you looking for something particular like a new hard drive you could search “cheap solid state hard drives” for example. To get the best deals, you really need to incorporate eBay into your daily schedule. You’ll learn the best times and product categories to find the best deals. There are people out there who have made this into a business that they can do from home. It is possible it just takes a lot of hard work. My ritual for awhile was scouring eBay then switching to Craigslist finding deals. Some days I wouldn’t buy anything at all, other days I’d get like half a dozen items. If you’re into it, it can be a lot of fun, sort of like a daily treasure hunt. Your best friend for awhile will be your watch list, where you can manage all the upcoming auctions and narrow down what you really want to chase after.
The best part is many of the users have no idea what certain parts are worth. It really can be like a car mechanic walking into a junkyard and finding tons of spare parts for virtually free. The thing about it is, you need to have the knowledge like the mechanic but about electronics. For me it is like being a kid in a candy store to be honest. If you are a computer wiz and are deep into the world of building computers and know everything about the latest gear you will probably flourish in this business. If you are brand new to all of this don’t worry that is why I am here. It is going to be a longer and harder road but it is do-able. Probably the best thing you can do for yourself is start putting together some computers of your own and learn as much as you can. There are plenty of books out there that can get you started. I will put together a list of the top books. Eventually, this website will include all the resources you need so make sure to bookmark it.