The Risks of Reselling

As a hobbyist/amateur reseller I tend to look for good deals on highly popular items so I can sell them on Amazon quickly.  Since it is also a good idea to stick to what you know, I tend to resell a lot of Apple products.  The upside is that if an item of mine ends up in the buy box it sells fast.  The down side is that there is a lot of competition and when there is a good sale somewhere prices usually drop big time.  This can hurt your margins.

A few weeks ago I bought 5 silver iPad Pros.  I bought them from Staples and eBay.  At the time I was looking at a pretty decent ROI of a tad over 10%.  That would have equaled over $450 in profit.   At the time I bought the iPads the 32 GB Silver iPad Pro was selling on Amazon for around $750. I paid $650 for 3 of those on eBay.  The 128 GB Silver iPad Pro was selling for $886, I bought two of those from Staples.  At the time of the purchase my margins were looking as follows:

Product Purchase Sale Fees Profit ROI
iPad Pro 32 Silver $649.00 $747.99 $52.12 $46.87 5.86%
iPad Pro 32 Silver $649.00 $747.99 44.07 $54.92 6.93%
iPad Pro 32 Silver $649.00 $747.99 44.07 $54.92 6.93%
iPad Pro 128 Silver $759.00 $886.00 60.87 $66.13 6.98%
iPad Pro 128 Silver $602.30 $886.00 54.21 $229.49 24.41%
Total $452.33 10.59%

Unfortunately, my timing on all of this was not great.  Between purchasing these items and listing them, Apple announced new versions of the iPad Pro.  I was aware this was coming but I did not think it would impact prices so much because the new version of the iPad Pro is more like the Air 2 than the current iPad Pro.  Essentially they are putting the insides of the iPad Pro into the iPad Air 2 and relabeling it.  I felt that would have a bigger impact on the prices of the Air 2 model than the 12.9 inch iPad Pro.

In the end it looks like I guessed wrong.  My margins now look this:

Product Purchase Sale Fees Profit ROI
iPad Pro 32 Silver $649.00 $717.99 $52.12 $16.87 2.41%
iPad Pro 32 Silver $649.00 $717.99 $44.07 $24.92 3.60%
iPad Pro 32 Silver $649.00 $717.99 $44.07 $24.92 3.60%
iPad Pro 128 Silver $759.05 $821.00 $60.87 $1.08 0.13%
iPad Pro 128 Silver $602.30 $821.00 $54.21 $164.49 25.06%
Total $232.28 6.96%

That is over a $200 loss in profit.  As of yet I have not sold the 128 GB versions.  I have those priced higher than $821 (current sell price). I’m hoping that once the glut of resellers who, like me, took advantage of discounts prior to announcement clear out the price will bounce back up.  The silver lining with iPads is that even when new models are announced the old models still sell well.  I have no worries about being stuck with the inventory; instead I just won’t make as much money as I was hoping for.


So much for holding out for a better price, time to drop the price and sell.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 5.42.07 AM

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