How to make a killing with PS3 + eBay...
Okay, okay. I know that Squirrel recently reposted his guidelines on how he made $3,600 off his Xbox 360s on eBay last Xmas season and I have received a lot of email regarding how I made $16,000. However, many of the comments basically boiled down to two things: First of all, how do you get your hands on the consoles and secondly, will this happen with the upcoming PS3 launch?
(If you want to skip to the 3 step HOW-TO, go here)
Well, the answer to both questions are simple and since Squirrel basically is on vacation right now, I am going to handle it.
First, some background. Unless you are late to the game, you know that XBOX 360s were extremely scarce and thus induced a crazed 'aftermarket' for the gaming consoles. Many XBOX 360 consoles sold for over $1,000 just days after its release, mostly due to the fact that nobody could get one and it didn't look like it was getting any better any time soon.
And it hasn't gotten much better. To this day, more than 2 months after launch, you STILL CANNOT simply walk into a Target or GameStop and buy an XBOX 360.
For those lucky people who were able to get an XBOX 360, they made a killing. Doubling your money on ANYTHING is good. So it is no surprise that many people are gearing up for the upcoming PlayStation 3 launch with hopes of repeating these past feats. Squirrel made a cool $3,600 and I sold 33 XBOX 360s on eBay at an average profit of $510. That is $16,830 profit. And I am sure others made more.
So, back to the questions. How did Squirrel (and myself) get our hands on the XBOX 360s in the first place. Well, Squirrel had some inside information. Basically, he had an inside contact who got him a *large* quantity of XBOXs at retail price. If you don't have an inside contact, you're not out of luck. Me, having to be a bit more resourceful, had to rely on online stores. I feel this was actually *easier* than running around all day to B&M stores. I signed up for an online tracking service (for $49) and my email box was constantly getting alerts when the XBOX 360 was in stock at Amazon, Walmart, etc... I would simply buy them online and get them shipped to my home. I would even post these on eBay as soon as I confirmed that they shipped.
Flipping these on eBay was easy--the demand was unlike anything I've seen. You just have to watch out for deadbeat bidders and non-payers. However, PayPal and eBay make it easy and safe to deal with this and overall, even if you have a dead auction, I was able to just start another. All of my auctions were 3-day auctions, low reserve--don't worry. They will sell. Depending on which 'bundle' I auctioned, I made anywhere between 1.5 to 3 times my cost. Not bad for a day's work.
So, on to question 2... will the PS3 launch be the same? Undoubtedly, yes. Sony has learned a lot of lessons from Microsoft with this previous launch, such as how to spin "low inventory levels" into a media PR event. In short, Microsoft gained worldwide publicity from this craziness. Perhaps Microsoft could have met demand and let's assume they did. If everybody was able to walk into a WalMart and buy the XBOX on launch day with no problem, we would not be talking about it now. In fact, nobody besides gamers would even hear about it outside of that first week. However, there was all this news about people camping out, XBOX 360s on eBay for more than $1,000, scam artists selling 'XBOX 360 boxes', etc. that virtually every man, woman and child knew how 'hot' the XBOX 360s were. Do you think your non-gaming neighbor heard about it? You bet they did. And they might even buy one if they saw one on a shelf today.
Sony is in tight competition with Microsoft on the gaming front so they are thirsty for this kind of publicity too. They would love the PS3 to enjoy such high demand. So they just *MIGHT* make things a bit scarce early on and this WILL create the same crazy aftermarket. This means that PS3s will be selling for thousands of dollars on eBay, etc. So, you can bet I am getting ready to snap up AS MANY PS3s AS I CAN. Now, many will criticize this move, saying it ruins it for the average gamer making prices so high. However, I am a true gamer and I will be keeping one for myself (and any other friends that want one). However, I won't be a victim of the aftermarket. It WILL happen. PS3s will be priced sky-high and I don't want to pay $1,500 for a PS3 or campout overnight. I'd rather be on the other side of this deal. I originally bought multiple XBOX 360s just so I could make a small profit and pay for my own XBOX 360. In actuality, I was able to pay for my own and all the games plus some cash leftover. It's easy if you know how to.
So what you've all been waiting for...
HOW TO MAKE A KILLING WITH PS3 + EBAY:
#1) Sign up for an inventory tracking service. There is no way around this. Amazon.com, WalMart.com, Target Online, etc. all sell out within minutes whenever they get stock. An online tracking service will notify you immediately when the PS3 is in stock online. I used XTnTracker for my XBOX 360s and will use them again to get my PS3s... go to
and sign up.
I believe the introductory special of $19.95 is still going on. THIS IS PEANUTS COMPARED TO HOW MUCH YOU CAN MAKE OFF YOUR FIRST eBay SALE. I sold my first XBOX 360 for a $450 profit.
#2) When you get an alert, go and buy as many as possible as QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. Have your account created, your credit card handy, etc. These units sell out in minutes, literally. Don't worry if they are 'bundles'--a game console with games, or extra controllers, etc. You can get rid of these very easily, either by auctioning them off individually or as a bundle. Or, you can even try to return these to local stores for credit/cash.
#3) Repeat steps 1 and 2. With 40,000 XBOX 360s going through eBay, there is a lot of room for anybody willing to put some effort into it. I just kept getting email stock alerts and just kept buying as many as I could...
Thanks, Squirrel for the info and thanks to everybody who sent me emails. Hopefully this clears up some of your questions. This is not really any big secret and with 40,000 units on eBay (possibly more for the PS3) things simply will not change with a few more sellers. There are only a defined number of PS3s available--you just need to be smart about how to get your piece of the pie and capitalize on it.
Some links regarding consoles, eBay and the XBOX 360:
PS3 Stock Tracker
Formula for Easy Money: Xbox + eBay.
40,000 Xbox 360s Sold on eBay