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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm in need of lots of cash to fund my medical study. I have no access to public funds and bank loans won't help much- so I'm thinking of buying and reselling watches on eBay as a supplement to my full-time job.

Do you guys think the eBay watch business is worth trying?
 

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Nope. 10 years ago maybe, but now everyone is looking for a bargain so chances are you won't find any. You might see the odd one and get a good deal on it, but once you've paid for shipping and then need to factor in ebay and PayPal fees into your resale price you'll really need to consistently be able to sell at 30% higher than you buy to make even the smallest profit.

It can be done if you really look out for the right watches and the right deals, but to be honest it's far easier getting a low paying part time job.
 

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just my 3 cents, or whatever the dollar exchange rate is now,

1. Do you have a lot of free time?
A) No, then stop
B) Yes, then go to question 2
C) No, but I can hire a team to do this for me, then go to question 2

2. Do you have a huge startup capital?
A) No, then stop
B) Yes, then onto question 3

3. Do you have a watch source?
A) No, then stop
B) Yes, off to 4

4. Do you have access to a good watchmaker who will do his/her work cheap for you?
A) No ... can still be done, but how are you going to handle returned watches that need fixing?
B) Yes, off to 5

5. How are you with managing a business? One slip up with eBay can be very, very costly (as in eBay freezing your account leaving you with tens of thousands of dollars of stock with no way to move them for profit)

If you are interested in selling watches for profit and you have no eBay account or a new eBay account, this is how I would go about doing it: be a middleman.
Know someone in the retail industry (an AD would be great), work out a commission base work with the AD or see if you can get a deep discount from the AD (30-50%) and turn that into a profit by re-selling it. But I would do it outside of eBay.

The business of selling on eBay can be a 10hr/7 days a week job ... and you being a medical student ... unless you have the time, I wouldn't consider it.

This is speaking from experience, I've worked with several people/shops in Korea and L.A. who were or starting in the watch industry, unless you have the time, the money and the passion (about watches and about dealing with people) ... it can be very, very tough.

And that warning about slipping up in eBay, I've seen it happened a few times, accounts being closed or frozen because they (knowingly/unknowingly) break eBay's rules - and it can be crushing when your primary source of sales is suddenly not available.

It can be done, profitting off eBay on watches, but man ... too risky and it takes a lot of work. Personally I would not recommend it.
 

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Also, remember with the recent PayPal TOS change a buyer has 6 months to change their mind and start a dispute. A dispute that in all likelihood you will lose as the seller. With the sheer volume of scammers out there in eBay, it's not only hard to turn a profit, it's getting harder and harder to keep them once their in your account.
 

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You are getting some very good advice here for free. Put your head down and get that Medical Degree. As a Physician you will have the earning power to repay any student loans that you take out to fund the education. It is difficult to make money with EBAY reselling at the levels you will require.
I have a son in his third year of Medical school here in the states and I know what kind of debt load he will have when he graduates. Not sure how it works in England but I thought I had heard that many medical school students had highly subsidized educations? Good luck with your endeavor.
Kevin
 

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There is no get rich quick scheme regarding watches and ebay. If you need cash quick a better alternative would be to find a part time job to supplement income. You'll get more money with less time and much less headache that way.
 

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Sell Invictas at a 50% discount, you'll still make tons of money
At 50% off they will be about 4 times overpriced, as they usually sell at 90% Off ;-)

Somebody here once posted a thread about buying a few hundred watches for 2 bucks each and most people figured even those are not worth to sell for profit.
 

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The transaction fees (eBay, Paypal, shipping) make it very difficult to turn a profit if you buy your stock on eBay and attempt to resell it there. It might be a bit easier to make this profitable if you have a reliable and affordable watchmaker that can repair and refinish watches, and if you can obtain your stock from private sellers locally.
 
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its been said here before: making a profit on arbitrage (buying on Ebay, then reselling same item on Ebay at a higher price) does not make sense. You are giving Ebay and Paypal 24% profit on every sale (half on the purchase, half on the sale) and Ebay is a very, very efficient market. Unless you are adding some sort of value to the watch before reselling both your buying pool and your customer base will be misinformed amateurs if you are expecting to make any sort of profit. Not a good way to go about things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There is no get rich quick scheme regarding watches and ebay. If you need cash quick a better alternative would be to find a part time job to supplement income. You'll get more money with less time and much less headache that way.

Thanks everyone for the response. My annual income is nearly the same amount as the yearly fee for med school so I thought business might be the fastest solution since if I rely on my full time day job or even in addition to a weekend or freelance job, I might not be able to afford to continue my study in another 3-5 years.

In the past, I have tried to buy and sell a few cameras on eBay but it didn't work- I lost plenty of money. A few months ago, I managed to get a Longines watch for a very good deal and managed to get £100 profit (after eBay and Paypal fees)...it gives me some hope that I'd be able to make extra money by doing business on eBay- though I know I'm more likely to loose.
 

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I am in med school as well - and I also used to buy and sell a lot of pieces on eBay.... i can tell you its not a very good idea - if you're lucky you'll break even and enjoy your collection at the same time
 

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Ebay professionals do make a profit selling watches on Ebay but they treat it like a job and put time an effort into the buying as much as the selling. The watch was bought at a price low enough to sell at a profit just like any other business.

I have sold watches on Ebay but it really sucked. Ebay and Paypal take the money, while the seller takes all the risk. The last two watches I sold on Ebay I was out the watch, I was out the money and I was out shipping expenses until the watch was delivered. It did work out in the end but the money that was transferred to my account was not available to me for a week. Ebay is good for selling old tires and tools but not for something as senstive or expensive as a watch unless you are an experienced Ebayer.

Paypal + EBay = NoWay
 

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Thanks everyone for the response. My annual income is nearly the same amount as the yearly fee for med school so I thought business might be the fastest solution since if I rely on my full time day job or even in addition to a weekend or freelance job, I might not be able to afford to continue my study in another 3-5 years.

In the past, I have tried to buy and sell a few cameras on eBay but it didn't work- I lost plenty of money. A few months ago, I managed to get a Longines watch for a very good deal and managed to get £100 profit (after eBay and Paypal fees)...it gives me some hope that I'd be able to make extra money by doing business on eBay- though I know I'm more likely to loose.

Where are you studying in the UK? I thought you only start paying back the fee through your PAYE tax code once you start earning money?
 

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It is VERY hard. You have to buy the watch (most likely vintage, or old enough to be rare) at an absolute low (auction most likely), and be ready to hold on to it until you can let it go at an absolute high. This can take years. And the payout is not all that great - after all you have a bunch of fees to cover - PP, eBay, etc.

Word of advise, find some other way to make money.
 

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I do a bit of flipping on eBay. It's a grind. It's not impossible, but it's a grind. And if you don't have a way to source your watches, forget about it. Not going to happen.

Here's the key to remember if you ever think you might earn a consistent living on ebay:
- If you sell a $2000 watch, you owe eBay $200 and PayPal $58
- CONUS insured shipping will run you at least $30.
- You need to make a profit
- You will have a 20% return rate (which doubles your shipping price)

So, before you have ANY return losses factored an, ANY possible unscrupulous buyer nonsense factored in, and any lost packages factored in:

You have to source that watch $258 cheaper than the market rate before you profit $1. And as someone mentioned before, eBay is a highly efficient market. You're going to get what you're going to get. People don't luck out and sell something for 20% more than they otherwise would have - on a consistent basis. No, they get the market rate.

And it's a serious cash flow business. So you need at least 10-20k in play to make any decent money.
 
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