Every other day I go through my bookmarked searches for new inventory. Awhile ago I found an auction with a pile of Lionel Trains from the 1920's and 1930's. Luckily in that auction were a few cars I was missing from my collection. The pictures were not so good.
I save bad eBay images to my PC and then enhance them to see what the Seller has really got. It takes a bit to pick up the appearance, but sometimes it is truly worth the effort. After I polished the images, it looked great so I decided to set up a snipe for $425 for the group of trains, and bought them for $87.91.
This disparity in price was due to the bad picture and because the auction was listed incorrectly in the wrong category, which is the perfect example to eBay arbitrage.
So, when I received my trains in the mail I selected the two cars that I wanted for my collection, and listed the rest of eBay. It auction closed at $480. minus the two cars I pulled. The finale was that I bought a pair of cars worth about $350 to my collection, and made $375, as well. Not bad for half an hour's worth of work.
There is also an alternative of this. I began buying toy trains from England on eBay. I then sold them locally on eBay. This represents the true meaning of eBay arbitrage - taking advantage of geographic price differences.
When I am in eBay in England, my search is for nice, clean boxed items in groups. I must find five or more items at once because the shipping costs eats into my profits. I buy common items in England for up to 10 pounds, so at the time of this writing that is about $16. You can get $30-$50/car at the local shows.
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