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How to Sell New Movies Using eBay and Amazon to Make Money
In this article, I will give you the tools and knowledge to sell movies on eBay profitably. How did I acquire this knowledge? Through a lot of trial and error, and I mean a lot. It took my at least over a year to streamline my selling process, allowing me to make a profit. Of course, I'm eager to share what I've learned to others and I hope this guide helps.
The Tools You Need
Here's everything you will need to successfully sell movies on eBay profitably.
- A valid PayPal account, preferably connected to your bank account and utilizing a PayPal debit card, which is what you would use to order the pre-orders on Amazon.
- An eBay account in good standing.
- An Amazon Prime account (either the free student one, or the regular paid version).
- A DYMO label printer (or other brand, but I used DYMO) with the requisite shipping labels (optional, but speeds up the process immensely).
Here's the Process:
I'm sure you're asking, "How can I buy 3D combo packs and sell them for more on eBay?" Well, it's quite simple, really. What you're doing is selling the pre-orders of the movie on eBay. So, for instance, a regular 3D combo pack includes the 3D Blu-ray, the 2D (or regular) Blu-ray, and the DVD + Digital Copy. That allows you to sell three separate products on eBay.
Here's what the three listings would look like:
PREORDER - Frankenweenie (2012) 3D Blu-ray Disc Only - PREORDER
PREORDER - Frankenweenie (2012) 2D Blu-ray Disc - PREORDER
PREORDER - Frankenweenie (2012) DVD + Digital Copy - PREORDER
Per eBay rules, the item has to be shipped to the customer within 30 days of them purchasing it. So, you can't start selling pre-orders before 30 days of it actually being released, but that is plenty of time to move your product.
Where to Buy Product in Bulk?
The only way to be profitable in this business is to buy in bulk. It doesn't have to be 50 combo packs, but usually 5 is the minimum in my experience. It really depends on the movie. I found that Amazon filled the bill perfectly. The only requirement is that you need an Amazon Prime account, which gives you free 2 day shipping on most things, but most importantly to you, it allows you to pre-order movies and receive them on release day for no extra charge. This allows you to tell your customers that they will have it shipped to them on the same day it comes out. That's a huge selling point.
How much can I or should I pre-order from Amazon?
It really depends. If it's a high sought after movie and you are pre-ordering it right as Amazon lists it (or soon after), you can usually pre-order unlimited. Eventually, as more people pre-order it, they do start to put a limit on it, which is usually around 3 per customer. I would generally start out at 5 and then if you sell through those pre-orders quickly, definitely order 5 more and so on.
I'll give you an example. With 'The Avengers', which was obviously a massively popular movie, I knew the demand would be high. I started with 10 combo packs. I sold through those quickly and ordered 5 more. I kept doing that until I had reached 40 combo packs worth of product sold. I figured that was a good stopping point because I remembered that I would have to pack and ship all that product.
So, it really depends on customer demand. But, I recommend starting out small and testing the water.
What Movies Should You Focus On?
Through some experiments (also known as losing money), I found that selling the 3D combo packs was the most profitable by far. It allows you to sell three products instead of two for a regular combo pack (DVD + Blu-ray). Therefore, the margin for profit is higher.
What About Pricing?
Through more trial and error, I found a good set of starting prices for my pre-orders. They are as follows:
3D Blu-ray: Start: $24.99 / Bottom price: $19.99
2D Blu-ray: Start: $18.99 / Bottom price: $12.99
DVD + Digital Copy: Start: $14.99 / Bottom price: $9.99
How Much Profit Will I Make?
Assuming you sold your product at the highest prices ($24.99, $18.99, and $14.99), here's what a pretty standard profit would look like.
Let's say the 3D combo pack price is $34.99. You order 5 and start selling pre-orders.
So, that would be 5 x $24.99, 5 x $18.99, and 5 x $14.99, which comes to a total (before PayPal and eBay fees, mind you) of $294.85. The total price you're paying for your 5 3D combo packs is just $174.95. That's a cool profit of $119.90. Imagine if you could sell 10 3D combo packs worth, or more.
How Do I Ship Them?
First off, I use USPS First Class Mail. It's cheap, relatively quick, and completely integrated into eBay. I'm able to ship each movie for $1.64. Not too bad, I'd say. They are generally delivered in about 2-5 days, usually on the lower end of that spectrum.
What do I ship them in?
Great question, person reading this. I use these. I'm sure you're saying, "Wow, but won't that cut into my profit margin?" True, it will, but it's the cheapest way to ship the movies. Buying in bulk (100 mailers or more) is the cheapest way. You're going to be shipping a lot of movies anyway. You might as well have a lot of mailers.
You have a choice here. You can either print them out and cut them manually, or like I eventually did, and invest in an old DYMO label printer off eBay (I found the 330 Turbo for a low price). Now, you just have to find labels. Here's what to look for: 99019 Single part Internet postage labels. Do a quick eBay search for that and you'll find them in no time. Do not pick the 2 part or 3 part versions of the labels.
Where do I drop them off?
Any U.S Post Office will do. They even have drop boxes, so you can drop off as many as you want as late as you want because they are open 24/7.
What is Used to Protect the Movies During Shipping?
So, you now know what to ship them in, but you must also know how to protect the discs. As I pointed out earlier, you are splitting a single 3D combo pack into three separate products for sale, so obvious, only 1 item has a case. I reserve that for the 3D Blu-ray because it is the most expensive. For the 2D Blu-ray and the DVD, I utilize simple cd sleeves like these. You buy one order of those and you are set for quite a while.
A Quick Step by Step Refresher
That was a lot of information to throw at you, I know. So, here's a quick step by step to get you through it.
Step 1: Pre-order your 3D combo packs on Amazon
Step 2: Create your pre-order listings on eBay once it's 30 days until the release date
Step 3: Sell them and choose whether to pre-order more or not
Step 4: Wait for your product to arrive on release day
Step 5: Break the combo packs down and separate them into your 3 separate products
Step 6: Go through and use eBay to print your shipping labels and put it on each requisite package
Step 7: Seal them all up and go to the nearest post office and drop them off.
Step 8: Bask in your glory!
Voila! That's it. You have successfully sold pre-orders of a popular movie and made some money in the process.
Why Does This Work?
It's quite simple, really. You are offering customers prices that are lower than they would normally pay for the product in a retail environment. You can only do this because you bought a combo pack and broke it down into 3 separate products. You make money and they save money. It's a win-win.
A Few Tips
Here's some tips I have learned over the years.
1. Make you description VERY detailed. Tell them exactly when and how it will ship. Tell them whether it comes in a case, for example.
2. Remember to put "PREORDER" in your eBay listing's title and in the description.
3. Most eBay users won't read the description, so they will think that the product will ship soon after they order it. Be completely honest with them and tell them when it will ship if they message you about it. Most users will be fine with it and just wait. Some will want a refund. True, it's their fault for not reading the description, but just let it go and give them a full refund. Then, put the item back up for sale and just sell it to someone else. Crisis averted!
4. I found it was best to use my PayPal account as my business bank account. So, the movie pre-orders charged by Amazon would come out of that account, but the money I got from eBay users would also go into the account. It's easy to tell your profit that way.
5. Regarding the photo you use of the product, just use a simple poster for the movie you find on the internet. Do not use an image that includes the case. This will allow the customers to complain that they didn't receive a case, while the image clearly showed one.The 3D Blu-ray is different because it will come in a case. So, you can use an image with a case in it, but it is not required.
If I think of anymore tips, I will update this part of the article.
A Few Closing Thoughts
I'm sure I have missed something and will be regularly updating this, so it reflects my vision for it. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on here or message me.