eBay is the internet's byword for on-line auctions. But good as it is, it still relies on the seller accurately describing their item in the eBay system. As a result many items are sold each day with titles and descriptions which are misspelled. In fact, many of these misspelled items will never be sold as the standard eBay searches simply won't find them. If you're clever, and use the correct tools then you can find these misspelled items and buy them for a song.
If you can buy the items cheaply then with a little care and good planning on your part you can sell then later at a profit. I use this methodology for two of my own business models and I make very good profits on them. The first of these business models is to buy computer components cheaply to upgrade my own systems for re-sale on eBay and to upgrade friends’ and clients’ systems for a profit.
The second business model is a little more complicated, but far more profitable. My wife currently lives in Senegal, West Africa where mobile phones, especially camera phones are at a premium. Using misspelling searches I can buy good, modern camera mobile phones very cheaply on eBay. Most of these will be locked to a specific provider, but if you are careful and willing to invest in your business you can buy software and tools that will unlock most mobile phones, allowing them to be used on any network. There are even pre-unlocked mobile phones available for purchase on eBay.
Basically I buy decent mobile phones on eBay for about £15-25 ($30-50) and sell them in Senegal for 50000-60000 FCFA ($100-120) which, even with transport costs, means that I make a minimum of a 40% profit. Now, I have contacts in West Africa which makes this business model easier for me. However, I'm certain that with a little thought and ingenuity you can come up with your own business model. After all there are misspelled items in every category of eBay.
Maybe your thing is art, or collectibles or comic books. Whatever you know about and can sell for a profit. Indeed, I make even more profit that the basic 40% markup by having my wife buy sarongs in Senegal which can be sold on an eBay store for a 4x mark-up. Basically my wife buys them for $30 and I sell them for $120. Which means that throughout the whole process I'm making a very decent profit on the whole deal.
In the end making money from a basic premise that people make mistakes whilst selling their items on eBay is just a case of being inventive and not letting your first few setbacks drain your hope. All I can tell you is that there's money to be made from other peoples’ mistakes, as long as you're willing to be inventive about the whole process.
Dyfed Lloyd Evans in a webmaster and internet entrepreneur. He is the developer of CeltMet eBay misspelling search which he uses to build PCs, as detailed in his How to build your own PC page.
He also offers free advice and information on Mobile Phones and how to unlock them on his Mobile Phone Information minisite.