Reselling tips and advice

Discussion in 'iPad' started by hipnetic, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. hipnetic, Mar 20, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011

    hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Attention: If you have a seething hatred for people who are reselling their iPad 2 for profit, please exit this thread. Thank you.


    OK, so I managed to purchase two iPad 2's. My initial goal was to buy one Black 16GB WiFi model for my wife as an early anniversary gift (and so that I could play with it and see if I really had to have one eventually, too). I was about 5 minutes too late to score that model on release day at my local Walmart, but they had a 32GB available. I turned it down and went home. Later, a coworker told me I was crazy to not buy it because they were commanding a premium on ebay. I took a look and said, "Doh!" Next thing I knew, I was making use of online inventory trackers and spending way more time than I ought to have running around trying to find a couple. My initial thought was that I'd buy two or more and sell all but one. Long story short, I managed to buy two Black 32GB WiFi models at two different Targets (I could have ended up with three had they allowed for selling more than one per customer).

    Total cost for each unit was about $638 including tax.

    After reading some people posting that CraigsList was the way to go instead of ebay due to ebay and PayPal fees (and, possibly unfounded, concerns about scams where a buyer claims they never got the item and then gets their money refunded by PayPal), I decided to give CraigsList a shot. I saw someone selling the same model for $1000, which seemed crazy high, but I figured I'd post mine at $950 or best offer, and noted that I wanted cash only and local purchasers only. I received a couple of inquiries and late that evening I was exchanging some emails with a potential buyer where we haggled on the price. Eventually we agreed on $820. His name and phone number aligned with someone who owned a local business, so I felt more comfortable about it. I met him at the cafe in the local Barnes & Noble and everything went well. Total profit about $180, minus gas money and personal time. Quite frankly, when I add it all up, I think my time is worth more than what I expended, so I'm not sure if it was worth all the trouble. Plus, it was a bit of a nerve-racking experience, as I still worried about whether he might try to scam me in some way. When the deal went down, I felt like a drug-dealer, having hidden the iPad in my laptop bag, putting it on the table to let him see it, then counting his money, then handing him the receipt. What if he tried to grab it and run? What if he passed along some counterfeit $100 bills? What if he jumped me as I was going back to my car so as to take the money back? Was $180 in profit really worth this?

    I still hadn't opened the 2nd unit up yet, and by now I was second-guessing my desire to purchase the smaller 16GB for my wife, since GarageBand and iMovie sounded like they could be fun and could use up a lot of storage. So now I was thinking more about keeping the 2nd unit. But I could also purchase that (or whichever) unit using AmEx points I have racked up and there's a 20% sale thru their points store and my wife told me I should sell it because she's fine waiting 4-5 weeks.

    So I'm thinking, should I sell the 2nd unit and, if so, how and for how much. Today I get another email from the other guy who initially inquired about my CL ad. He writes a really lengthy email that reads like one of those "Nigerian Prince" letters. He tells me that he would like to buy it at the price I have it for (red flag #1: He doesn't even try to haggle), and that he can't pick it up himself but will send me a Bank Certified check, and will let me wait for it to clear, and will then have one of his "movers" arrange to pick it up from me. He asks for my name, physical address (no PO Box), and phone number.

    This offer certainly sounds like a scam, but I am a bit confused by how a Certified Bankers check scam works. I used to be under the impression that these types of checks were solid, but I do see that CraigsList states that they can be faked, that your bank will cash it, but when they determine it's bad (potentially weeks later), you're left holding the bag. What I don't fully understand is why it would take weeks to determine this. Shouldn't it fully clear (and be determined to be legit) within a day or two?

    At this point, I'm thinking of bumping my CL ad back up, and maybe dropping the price since it's overly aggressive. The other approach would be to sell it on ebay, and state that I'll only ship in the US and only sell via PayPal.

    What general advice/tips would you all recommend?
  2. AJsAWiz macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2007
    Forums are open to all who wish to read or post.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinions whether you agree with them or not ;)

    Even though I believe what you are doing is morally wrong, I will try to stop short of judging your motives.
    Maybe you really needed the money. Sometimes people do things they normally wouldn't do out of desperation.
  3. GadgetAddict macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well it seems that selling for a profit on CL isn't that much in to you. And that's not a bad thing, I'm the same way. Everything I have ever sold on CL I've tried to be fair. I also see that you are a member of this forum for a few months so you've obviously read about the trouble many forum members have in getting an iPad 2. So if I were you I would put a post here on MR and sell it to a tired forum member in my area for cost plus $20-30 for gas expenses. It would be like Christmas for the guy and I'm sure you'd feel good about it. And it's good karma. Just my thought...
  4. zinka macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2009
    Of course this is a scam. You don't need "movers" to move an iPad.

    What would happen is he would fedex you a fake certified check for much more than the actual selling price, say it was a mistake, have you deposit it and wire/western union his "change" back to him, and then eventually you'll find out from your bank that it was a fake check, and you'll be out the "change".
  5. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2010
    Anyone not offering to meet and buy with local cash on craigslist is a scam, or, at least, not worth the trouble.
  6. iSingandiDance macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    There's nothing wrong with haggling, but $180 just isn't worth it.

    You very well could have gotten that $1000 if you had waited/been a little more firm.

    Remember, it's a seller's market. After the international release, expect prices to skyrocket.
  7. tdog4444 macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2011
    you said you wanted cash and local. stick to that.

    skrew this guy - there is no rush to sell.
  8. coolbreeze macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2003
    I agree. You showed your cards way too early. The buyer won here.
  9. IbisDoc macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2010
  10. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    Advice? ... scalping iPads is not for you ... make your money from an honest job ... you should leave the black market to the people comfortable doing it.
  11. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2010
    ??? We should see the opposite, or lowering at least. It's the overseas market that was fueling the highest prices on ebay, because ipad2s are not sold in those countries...yet. ebay was the only source. that will change.
  12. SeanZy macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2008
    I bought a 64 gig black wifi for 760 with tax. I flipped it on Craigslist in one day for $950.

    I would say 200 dollars is not bad for really doing no work.

    The key is not settling for others prices. Wait until someone will pay what you want. It is inevitable that one person will have the money to spend and will buy it from you.
  13. hipnetic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    "Black market" would not be a proper term to use in this case, as there's nothing illegal going on here.

    FWIW, I do have an "honest job" but I would also consider reselling iPads to be perfectly honest. In addition to my main job, I consider myself an entrepeneur and have various side things I do. Reselling iPads is a temporary opportunity to make a decent chunk of honest money due to the temporary shortage of the item. When trying to find good business opportunities, one goal is to find something where you can make a significant amount of money with minimal effort. There's a significant markup involved here, but there's also a not insignificant amount of effort of having to hustle to find one in stock, which often results in leaving empty-handed due to online inventories being incorrect (or employees just being incompetent at finding the boxes in the back).

    All that said, I would probably agree with you that this particular side job may not be my cup of tea. It's probably better suited to people who have a natural orientation towards sales. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel bad for others who are actively looking to find an iPad for their personal use. Though if I didn't track these down myself, there's a good chance that they would have just been purchased by another person looking to resell them.
  14. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    The second guy is a scam, period. Don't think that just because you've been contacted by a scammer it means no one else wants it. Bump the ad and hold out for your price. Or if you're anywhere near NYC, PM me and I'll take it, hassle free. :)
  15. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2008
    I would skip that "scam" offer & just wait for another one to come along. To be honest, I can't even see you waiting for too long before someone else quickly buy it from you since the iPad 2 are so "rare" right now. If I'm able to get my hands on more iPad 2, I'll also flip it/them on my local CL for profit because the crazy demand means that it is "super easy" money to be earned & IN CASH too. :D

    Good luck. :)
  16. iSingandiDance macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    Even if this was true, Apple is purposely allocating iPads for the oversea release. I'd be surprised if they are even able to keep up with that demand, let alone keep good on their 5 week US shipping promise.

    Someone will continue to get shafted and there lies a market - stateside and abroad. Prices will be through the roof.
  17. triplecore1 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2009
    All I can for say with craiglist. Cash Only, Meet in Public, No Shipping. Lastly, bring a counterfeit pen to mark each bill. Also bring a friend that should deter any problems. No Cash no Transaction.

    Also I don't use my real email address, or use my real cell phone number. I use my pre paid device for this reason.
  18. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2008
    Those are very useful tips IMHO. Thanks for sharing that info. :)
  19. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    100% scam. Even better, he might accidentally send the "wrong" check for MORE than the amount owed and ask you to send a check for the difference.

    If you're going to do CL, it's cash and in person. Otherwise go with ebay and their fees. If you're not comfortable doing this level of transaction via CL, then definitely reconsider doing the reseller thing.

    triplecore1 gives good advise. Starbucks are often a good location since there's wifi, people, etc. A friend is a good idea too; can deter a lot of potential problems.
  20. LawyerBarbie macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2011
    Got the black wi-fi 32gb and regret that I couldn't get the 3G so I have considered flipping it on CL and just ordering from Apple to end my misery. Put it up a few hours ago to see what was out there and have gotten several offers that are like $675 (yeah was 648.00 with tax new and I stood in line for 4 hours). I am huge fan of capitalism but it seems that demand is starting to level off now that many of us diehards have gotten our hands on them, so I dont think the scalping business will be that worthwhile for much longer.
  21. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    While not black market it is gray market and no matter how you justify it is also immoral.

    Part of the reason there is a gray market demand is because of people like you. If you had not bought the iPad it would be available for someone who wanted to buy at retail eliminating your gray market profit.
  22. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Apple has the capability to absolutely flood the market with iPad2's -- eventually. It may take a few more weeks or maybe a month but soon you won't be able to resell an iPad2 for much more than what was paid for it. It sounds like from this thread and others like it that resellers are already not making quite what they did just a few days ago.

    Those that pay hundreds of dollars over retail for an iPad2 are simply impatient. Paying an extra $400 dollars or so just to get something a few weeks before someone else is ludicrous. It's not like the buyer has anything unique or rare that's gonna be on antiques roadshow one day--Apple is cranking these things out by the millions.
  23. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    How do you get to say what someone does with something they worked hard to get and legally purchased? Once it's theirs, up to them whether they blend it, skateboard it, or sell it to a willing buyer for a price mutually agreed on by both parties.

    These aren't generators, tarps, gasoline, or chainsaws in a hurricane ravaged area. These are luxury devices that are just a matter of convenience and self satisfaction.

    Resellers exist ONLY because buyers exist who are willing to pay a premium either to get it in their country ahead of launch or to effectively pay someone else to chase down one so that buyer needn't stand in line. Nobody is forced to pay one cent over retail, that is a choice the buyer makes.

    Every ipad2 is going to an owner. The free market clearly shows that they're going to the people who are willing to work hardest for it (or pay someone else to do that work). Can't get one so far? Then work harder, smarter, get on line earlier, etc. People budging in line? Get there even earlier, tough for them to get ahead of number one. Don't want to work that hard? Then order from Apple and learn the art of patience. Just that simple. In a few weeks this will all be over with.

    BTW, I don't have an ipad2. Might buy one in time, my ipad1 is okay for now. This fracas makes me glad I didn't outsmart myself trying to squeeze that extra $100 of value from my ipad1 by selling prelaunch. I'd have been kicking myself if I'd have done that and then didn't order online at 4am on the 11th!
  24. Staindsoul macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2010
    I flipped 6 this past week and made an extra $1000 for my family, whats wrong with that?
  25. hipnetic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Guys, sorry for any confusion...I didn't post the long description of my "potential 2nd buyer" because I needed advice as to whether they were legit. I realized that they seemed like an obvious scam, though I was curious as to exactly how this scam would work and how a bank check could be faked (and what, if anything, could be done to accept a bank check safely).

    Julien, if you wish to claim that what I'm doing is "immoral" than you'll need to provide solid reasoning, rather than feelings.

    triplecore1, your advice is mostly what I already followed, mostly out of my own hunch as to what seemed smart. As I explained in my original post, my CL ad stated "cash only, local only." I also used my secondary Hotmail email account and never revealed my phone number, full name, or any other emails. Unfortunately, I don't have any friends who I could call on for these sorts of things. I'm married with kids, so my friends live boring, buy busy, lives.

    Counterfeit pen? More details please.

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