Exploiting inefficiencies in the secondary BTFE market, part 2

So, back in November of last year, I wrote a post about buying up Box Tops for Education (BTFE) from eBay and then reselling them. Back then I bought a coupon for 1000 BTFE for $81 and was attempting to sell it for $119.99.

I tried 2 auctions back in November and did not sell it even after I dropped it to $114.99. I then decided to hold on to it for a few months until it is BTFE turning in time (the schools turn them in twice a year, Oct and Feb I believe). I listed it recently at $114.99 and it did not sell again so I relisted it at $109.99, and it finally sold.

So, subtracting $3.49 paypal fees, $1.40 ebay insertion fees (35 cents * 4 listings), $9.60 final value fee and $3.29 in postage (I’m sending it certified to make sure it gets there), I have a net profit of $11.22. Not bad, but much less than I was hoping for and arguably not really worth it. Of course you are talking to someone who looks under Coinstar machines for pennies….

I think 2 things contributed to the delays in getting somebody to buy these.

  1. It was a coupon, rather than actual clipped box tops. I think people are a bit more hesitant due to potential fraud. Especially because of
  2. The fact that it was for $100 rather than say $10 or $20. People a) don’t want to spend that much and b) are probably more worried about the 1 coupon being fraudulent. Higher risk than 1000 individually clipped box tops being fraudulent.

Still, $11 is $11. I will continue to keep you posted if I find any other deals.

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