Anyone can do it. It takes a bit of research and just a bit of capital to begin making money from home with offline arbitrage. Basically what this means is “buying low and selling high”. Different markets hold different price points for the same goods. Take antiques for example. A good quality antique sold locally may bring a high dollar, due to the scarcity of that item in that local market. The same basic antique on eBay would sell for much less due to the large number of buyers and sellers on eBay, bringing the price down through competition. It is a matter of supply and demand and understanding the different markets. Money can be made from your home investing just a few dollars and a few hours of your time.
There are two different kinds of arbitrage that entrepreneurs engage in, one is online and one is offline. Online arbitration requires an understanding of internet marketing and the optimization of online advertising.
Work from Home Taking Advantage of Offline arbitrage can be done by anyone who has an interest in being a re-seller of goods, and may involve using eBay or Craigslist, or may not involve using the internet at all.
Understanding the Markets
There are several markets at your disposal. International auction sites such as eBay are the biggest market and most items on eBay sell for a fraction of the retail price of the same local item. The exception is a rare item that is hard to find, and then you have a market full of potential buyers interested enough to bid top dollar. It is a matter of supply and demand, or offline arbitrage. Craigslist is another website that lists a variety of items in local areas. Every imaginable item can be sold on Craigslist, but there are fewer buyers, but that may be accompanied by fewer sellers of that item as well, and drive up the price.
Locally, there are gold mines of goods selling inexpensively. Many people peruse flea markets, auctions, garage sales, and thrift shops for high quality little-used items that have a market resale value much higher when placed online. Estate auctions are great places to visit if you can get the list of items to be auctioned with enough advance notice to do a bit of online research. Then you can go armed with actual market value of items before you engage in the bidding. Other sources of good items for resale are clearance sales of new unused items.
One other note for the person serious about making bigger money in offline arbitrage is the option of buying wholesale lots of items. There are wholesaler websites, and wholesale lot auctions on eBay. A word of caution about wholesale lots is to make sure your seller is reputable and you are not buying a lot of damaged or substandard merchandise that will not fetch a handsome profit.
Choosing Your Wares
The most important piece of information you need to make this a success is to know the value of your wares. If you are well versed in technology, then deal in technological items. If you have knowledge of designer clothes or shoes, then deal primarily in that resale market. Ignorance of an item’s value on any market can lead to loss instead of financial gain. Inventory is key and keeping it small is important. By carrying a lot of inventory, you tie up your capital investment monies and risk a change in the market that will result in taking a loss when you do sell your item. The caution here is to do thorough research before you buy in order to be successful at offline arbitrage.
Offline arbitrage does not take a large investment. Starting small is probably preferred for a beginner than starting big. This way you get to learn as you go with a lesser investment. Even $50 – $100 can get you started building some inventory and selling it to make a profit. This will allow you more capital on your next buying trip and produce a bigger profit. One way to put together initial investment money is to look around your house to find items that you already own that may sell right now. eBay is a wonderful market for selling gently used items and collectibles.
Someone who engages in offline arbitrage is called an Arbitrageur, and some people make a valid and profitable profession of this. It enables you to work from home, choose your own hours, and hopefully do something you enjoy. The risk is minimal if you start small and take your time to build your business. You can start part time to supplement your full time income or jump in with both feet if you don’t have an income. All you will need is a computer, digital camera, and a bit of extra space. Do the necessary research and you will find how easy it is to be an Arbitrageur.