Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
Molan
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Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Molan »

I've often seen CW watches & bracelets / straps appearing on eBay almost as soon as they have been put in clearance/sale by CW (often before they can have been delivered).

Always thought it was a bit annoying but, hey ho, it's a free market etc. etc.

I saw that CW were supposed to be actively restricting the number of watches any individual could buy within a sales period but, of course, this could be easy to get round by using friends or family cards &/or delivery addresses. Do CW really care how many watches someone buys if it helps them clear their stocks - almost certainly not?

I've never really thought about whether someone might be running this as a, potentially, profitable business before. However, I spotted yesterday that a single seller had listed 10 brand new watches and a few bracelets. Each watch is priced at well above the sale cost but below the current RRP. I did some quick maths on one of them and it was set at exactly £100 profit margin after current ebay fees.

Of course, this doesn't mean they will sell at this price so I had a quick look to see previous sales from the same seller. I discovered that:

He'd sold 24 CW watches in the past year and a further 16 before that - 40 CW watches in total!
Sales value of these was just under £20,000.
Across the same period he'd also sold 45 bracelets or straps adding another £4,000.

My assumption on the bracelets (majority of sales) is that he was using the £100 voucher so the newer bracelets would have cost circa £50 each. A lot of these have been selling at around £100 a time so that's maybe £50 profit.

Depending on exactly when sold (because eBay fees have been virtually zero in many months so there's only the 3% Paypal commision to take into account) I'd estimate a profit figure of at least £5,000 - could easily be closer to £7,000 if a lot of the sales went through with just Paypal costs.

My first thought was whether CW really are exercising any control whatsoever over the number of watches that can be purchased by an individual. The sheer volume of sales would suggest not. This is clearly someone buying for profit and not an idle watch fan buying & flipping on a regular basis.

My second thought was - I wonder if he's declaring this as a business for income tax purposes? There have been a number of additional watch brands sold so profit could be nudging up to £10K.

Surely CW must be aware that individuals are using their sales to grow a secondary market - 40 watches is just too many for them to have missed. It does make the various announcements of special offers to their regular customers and followers feel a little sour. The most recent announcement was:

". . .you’ll have a fair chance of buying a watch at an amazing price.

As one of our most valued customers, I wanted you to be among the first to hear and to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity."
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by kiter65 »

Or is it someone in the CW company.... :problem:

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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by TheBeatles »

Maybe you should drop HMRC an email with your findings, if offender is UK seller. Some small businesses would be happy with that level of profit in current situation.

As to one of your other points, CW couldn’t care less about EBay profiteers as they will already have a built in profit margin in sale items. Otherwise, they would omit sale items from the 60 day return policy. Many companies already change terms and conditions for sale items. Unless faulty, of course.
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Molan »

TheBeatles wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:50 pm
Maybe you should drop HMRC an email with your findings, if offender is UK seller. Some small businesses would be happy with that level of profit in current situation.

As to one of your other points, CW couldn’t care less about EBay profiteers as they will already have a built in profit margin in sale items. Otherwise, they would omit sale items from the 60 day return policy. Many companies already change terms and conditions for sale items. Unless faulty, of course.
I have tracked down this particular seller. May well report to HMRC as you’ve suggested.

I’ve always assumed that CW are happy to just clear stock. However, that’s not what they’ve said publicly in the past when claiming to restrict the number of sales purchases per person.

Just generates a bit of a negative feeling for me I’m afraid :(
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Drkilzum »

Kinda sounds like an inside job if you ask me!

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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Mike2795647 »

I have tracked down this particular seller. May well report to HMRC as you’ve suggested.
[/quote]

The above sounds so sinister and seems just a touch petty (IMO), eBay report all sellers to HMRC if they go above a certain threshold so I’m sure they have the necessary information.

Whilst it’s certainly not in the spirit of what CW want, they aren’t doing anything illegal and if CW are concerned about people buying in bulk and selling for a profit on a large scale then they need to up their game and install better controls and processes on their website.

I missed out on a 38mm mk2 Trident a few months back, within 1 week I saw it on eBay for £100 more than CW. Did I buy it, no because I know what it was worth to me and I’m sure most people have that approach, some folk will walk away and others will pay the extra cost and still class it as a bargain and be happy. Whilst it is frustrating that people (me included) miss out on watches from time to time, at the end of the day it’s a watch and I won’t lose much sleep over it personally, It’s not as if CW have only one sale per year.

The reality of someone selling for an extra £100 on eBay is that they will in most cases end up with a very small profit margin, most eBay sales cost the seller 10%, unless they have an offer on such as seller fees capped at £1, however these don’t work with buy it now, only auction so whatever people are selling for, in most cases there is another 13-14% to come off for them.

Just my 2p worth though folks

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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by what-time-is-it »

Good chance the seller is a member of this forum or the Facebook group for tip offs when sales are on.

I haven't looked on eBay, but to qualify for low final value fees you need to be a private and not business seller. If they are a private seller, but look like they are selling as a business then I would consider contacting eBay.

eBay business sellers have to disclose business info, must accept returns and do not qualify for the low fee promotions that occur regularly, in fact they pay vat on final value fees and have a different rate structure.
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by what-time-is-it »

The reality of someone selling for an extra £100 on eBay is that they will in most cases end up with a very small profit margin, most eBay sales cost the seller 10%, unless they have an offer on such as seller fees capped at £1, however these don’t work with buy it now, only auction so whatever people are selling for, in most cases there is another 13-14% to come off for them.

Just my 2p worth though folks
£1 final value fees do work on buy it now items and auctions.
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Mike2795647 »

what-time-is-it wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:41 pm
The reality of someone selling for an extra £100 on eBay is that they will in most cases end up with a very small profit margin, most eBay sales cost the seller 10%, unless they have an offer on such as seller fees capped at £1, however these don’t work with buy it now, only auction so whatever people are selling for, in most cases there is another 13-14% to come off for them.

Just my 2p worth though folks
£1 final value fees do work on buy it now items and auctions.
Cheers, I happily stand corrected (for when there is another offer). I think I assumed that the below exclusion was to all good ‘till cancelled as these are the standard lengths for buy it now from memory. Sadly eBay don’t do (or didn’t as far as I know) the 3, 5, 7 day etc buy it now.

- Listings that are automatically relisted through the Automatic relist function or the Good ‘Till Cancelled function during the promotional period.

Cheers, will look out for that in future when listing stuff.

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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Thegreyman »

what-time-is-it wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:41 pm
The reality of someone selling for an extra £100 on eBay is that they will in most cases end up with a very small profit margin, most eBay sales cost the seller 10%, unless they have an offer on such as seller fees capped at £1, however these don’t work with buy it now, only auction so whatever people are selling for, in most cases there is another 13-14% to come off for them.

Just my 2p worth though folks
£1 final value fees do work on buy it now items and auctions.
Yep, correct.
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Viognier »

kiter65 wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:45 pm
Or is it someone in the CW company.... :problem:
Grasping at a conspiracy theory there....
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Viognier »

Drkilzum wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:28 pm
Kinda sounds like an inside job if you ask me!

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Six days in on the forum and you're throwing out inside job conspiracy theories??
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Viognier »

Molan wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:22 pm
I've often seen CW watches & bracelets / straps appearing on eBay almost as soon as they have been put in clearance/sale by CW (often before they can have been delivered).

Always thought it was a bit annoying but, hey ho, it's a free market etc. etc.

I saw that CW were supposed to be actively restricting the number of watches any individual could buy within a sales period but, of course, this could be easy to get round by using friends or family cards &/or delivery addresses. Do CW really care how many watches someone buys if it helps them clear their stocks - almost certainly not?

I've never really thought about whether someone might be running this as a, potentially, profitable business before. However, I spotted yesterday that a single seller had listed 10 brand new watches and a few bracelets. Each watch is priced at well above the sale cost but below the current RRP. I did some quick maths on one of them and it was set at exactly £100 profit margin after current ebay fees.

Of course, this doesn't mean they will sell at this price so I had a quick look to see previous sales from the same seller. I discovered that:

He'd sold 24 CW watches in the past year and a further 16 before that - 40 CW watches in total!
Sales value of these was just under £20,000.
Across the same period he'd also sold 45 bracelets or straps adding another £4,000.

My assumption on the bracelets (majority of sales) is that he was using the £100 voucher so the newer bracelets would have cost circa £50 each. A lot of these have been selling at around £100 a time so that's maybe £50 profit.

Depending on exactly when sold (because eBay fees have been virtually zero in many months so there's only the 3% Paypal commision to take into account) I'd estimate a profit figure of at least £5,000 - could easily be closer to £7,000 if a lot of the sales went through with just Paypal costs.

My first thought was whether CW really are exercising any control whatsoever over the number of watches that can be purchased by an individual. The sheer volume of sales would suggest not. This is clearly someone buying for profit and not an idle watch fan buying & flipping on a regular basis.

My second thought was - I wonder if he's declaring this as a business for income tax purposes? There have been a number of additional watch brands sold so profit could be nudging up to £10K.

Surely CW must be aware that individuals are using their sales to grow a secondary market - 40 watches is just too many for them to have missed. It does make the various announcements of special offers to their regular customers and followers feel a little sour. The most recent announcement was:

". . .you’ll have a fair chance of buying a watch at an amazing price.

As one of our most valued customers, I wanted you to be among the first to hear and to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity."
Quality analysis Molan. Without question there are eBay private sellers using this as a side hustle.
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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Bungle-ator »

Where there's a margin people are going to take liberties. Fair play to them but it looks like a hassle to me. I'm of the opinion that they should be left alone. It's CWs fault that that can buy in a regular sale and profit for most of the year by undercutting the regular prices. Should CW maybe not just be selling at "sale price" if they're still profiting? In any case, I really take the **** in the gambling industry with tax free profits so I'm not going to throw stones at others.

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Re: Selling on eBay for profit. . .

Post by Molan »

Just for reference - the £100 profit per watch is after all eBay & PayPal fees.

In some instances they were sold on the £1 weekend offer periods. In others they are marked up to cover the extra 10% eBay fees.

To reiterate - the main thing that bothered me about this is the way CW promote these events as being for their regular purchase (and keep) customers and they have publicly stated, more than once, that they have taken steps to stop the sales being exploited purely for profit.

40 purchases in a year, many in large quantities, doesn’t bear this out.
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