Be advised - the first time you setup all these accounts - it can be very tedious - block out an hour...
Before starting to hunt for gold on eBay there are a number of things that need to be setup in advance:
- Create an eBay account if you don't already have one.
- Advanced users: Assuming you are familiar with eBay and how things work, consider doing research on past auctions to get a sense of where you kind find good deals and low costs on the types of auctions you'll be looking at. A great place to start is with months and months of historical eBay sales data! Terapeak is THE primary eBay affiliate that provides access to raw historical sales data AND shows you graphically the best times to shop on eBay (to see new deals just as they tend to hit for example). They have a free 14 day trial that you can sign up for.
- Once you are logged into your eBay account, check if you are eligible for eBay's eBucks program - where you get 2% back on every purchase! This is an invitation only program and you may not be eligible...but check once a month or so
- Have at least 10 feedbacks on eBay (most sellers frown on people with less than 10)
- Setup your PayPal account - you'll want to get it "Verified" by connecting a credit card and bank account to make your transactions easier - and some sellers require that your PayPal account is "Verified"
- Bing account (gives you 8% or more kick back).
- Go the the site, on the left side is a link to "Shopping"
- You may need to log in with a Windows Live account or setup a Windows Live account with your existing email address
- Once inside the Shopping area, on the left is a link for "Cashback Stores"
- Click the letter "E" in the ABC listing of stores
- Locate eBay
- Click the "Go to Store" button
- You will now have activated a "cookie" on your computer that will be good for 60 minutes. Read the Bing program details but in short you have 60 minutes to find a BUY IT NOW item, and then buy it AND use paypal to pay for it in 60 minutes. With Bing you can get up to $2,500 back per year - but you only get 40 transactions to do it with.
- UPDATE: Bing will be discontinuing this program at the end of July 2010 - so hurry up and get your cash back now!
- Mr. Rebates account (gives you up to 3%, max $30 per transaction, kick back). New members receive $5 in their account. Love, Love, Love.
- Big Crumbs account (gives you 36% of final sale kick back - however in reality the effective payout is less than 3% in high dollar situations)
- Use Big Crumbs for Buy It Now auctions under $130. See the break even analysis.
- Any credit card that gives you at least 1% cash back (or higher percent) for every day spends. Personally I find American Express cards to have the most solid payout (and decent rewards categories i.e. gift cards 1:1) and extra coverage incase of problems.
Once you have all of the accounts setup, it's all about how you use them while you shop.
- Go to http://www.bing.com/shopping and click on the "cashback account" link and then sign in
- Once signed in go to http://www.bing.com/shopping/pages/stores.aspx, click the letter E to pull up the stores with E in it
- Scroll down to the eBay link and click the "Go to Store" button. This will place a cookie on your computer so that when you buy something on eBay (following the bing.com rules), you will get 8% of the purchase price kicked back to you, up to $200 per transaction and up to $2,500 per year or $4,000 in a lifetime.
- But don't stop there, you can get an extra 3% (up to $30 per transaction) back if you then go to Mr. Rebates, log in, and then search for eBay you'll not only find possible coupon codes, but you'll also be able to click the ebay link and go directly to eBay. Mr. Rebates puts a cookie on your computer so that when you buy something, you get money back.
- Special Note: You can use EITHER Mr. Rebates OR BigCrumbs. There are times when it make sense to use one vs. the other and ultimately it works out that you should use Mr. Rebates for Buy It Now auctions OVER $130 to get the best discount. For any auctions under $130 use BigCrumbs. See a chart that shows this payback.
- If you have been invited to participate in eBay's eBucks program then you can instantly score another 2% on every purchase.
- There's also additional opportunity to get additional cash back from credit cards! Often credit cards will give 1% cashback or equivelant - so it pays to shop around. Some cards will run promotions for short durations where you can get 2%, 3%, even up to 5% cashback but it's pretty rare.
Now that you have all your accounts setup, you know the sequence of activities to buy something on eBay - start buying! While it can be tedious, it can pay big time. Between Bing's 8%, Mr. Rebates 3%, eBucks' 2%, credit card's 1%, that's an easy 14% discount on eBay items! And the larger your purchase - the more money you get back.
So how does this help with Buying Gold or Silver?
If you keep an eye on eBay for items like Gold Coins, sometimes people will offer them at Spot or just over (I generally don't spend more than $50 over spot each). That's fine because if the spot rate is $1,100 and I buy a coin at $1,150...in reality with the 14% discount - I just bought the coin at $1,150 * .86 = $989! To lock in that savings, I then turn around and sell the coin to a specific refinery which allows me to lock in the current spot price with little to no cost. Example that $1,100 coin - I could sell back to Kitco for about $1,095 quite a deal. You just need to make sure you adhere to the kitco policies which in a nutshell are that you have 24 hours to ship an item once you lock in a price and it has to arrive withing 15 days to Kitco by registered and insured USPS mail. You also have to make sure that the item is internationally recognized by the London Bullion Market Association.