Typo Arbitrage On eBay
from the how-to-get-a-bargain-by-misspelling dept
Years ago, I bought a somewhat rare musical box set on eBay for $20. The cheapest I’d ever seen it for sale (and I’d only seen it twice ever for sale over many years of looking) was for $100. It was quite a deal. However, it seems much more difficult to find good deals on eBay since just about everyone is hunting for good deals. Some people, though, have figured out a sneaky way to scratch out a good eBay deal: misspell stuff. People posting goods for sale often don’t do much proof-reading and will misspell all kinds of items that they’re selling. This means that others don’t find them when searching, and bidding never goes that high. In fact, many people seem to be cashing in on a little typo arbitrage. They buy the misspelled items, and then resell them with proper spelling – sometimes getting quite a bit more money for their daring use of a spell checker. Some sellers are even going in the opposite direction. Realizing that even buyers may have difficulty spelling some words correctly, they’ll post their ad with multiple (mis)spellings of the items they’re trying to sell.