How I Earned a 1,359% Return in One Hour With Zero Risk

May 19, 2007

Investing in the stock market is great for regular annual returns of 10% but I’m convinced that if you want to make extraordinary returns then going into business for yourself is the way to go.

I turned a $6 investment into $100 with only one hour of work through what I consider to be a form of value investing. I spent $6 on a Pic1camera bag that retails for $125 and sold it on eBay for $100. After sales tax and sellers fees I had a net profit of $81.54, a 1,359% return (this return does not figure in income taxes).

The process of buying the item, putting it on eBay, and shipping it out took a total of about an hour. Of course I can’t keep up consistent earnings of $81 an hour at this point but it’s a great goal to strive for.

Why was there zero risk? I knew when I bought the bag I could sell it for far more than $6. Technically I did stand to lose $6 if I accidentally ruined the bag before I shipped it or if eBay shut down overnight but the probability of those events are low enough that I round the risk factor down to zero.

Of course, I’m continuing to invest money regularly into the stock market to leverage the growth of the global economy but I’m always looking for new opportunities to earn extra money. My problem so far has been finding a consistent method of earnings but I’m working on that aspect. What approaches have you used to consistently earn extra money? Have you run across any that have flopped that you’d recommend avoiding?


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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10 Responses to How I Earned a 1,359% Return in One Hour With Zero Risk

  • Ben

    dc_publius, the store I buy from is on the way home from work. I stop in there maybe 3 times a week, I’m usually in and out in 30 minutes and usually leave with anywhere from 0-10 things. I put those items online, some sell within days, others sit for months.

    I also work right across the road from the main post office and have a UPS store on the way home so I’ve been able to minimize my shipping time.

    Another key is that I print out all my USPS shipping labels from home so I don’t have to wait in line, just drop off the box and go. Plus that sends out an a tracking email to recipient so they know its been shipped and can keep tabs on it. I also have an account at the UPS store so I can drop off the package without waiting.

    My challenge if I want to ramp up profits is to sell more things in less time so I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient.

    Alas, there was only one bag, otherwise I would have purchased every one they had.

  • dc_publius

    How long did it take you to find this deal? If you are spending 5 hours/week looking for deals and this was your only score, then you need to lower your hourly return to reflect this.

    You must live very close to the post office if you can turn everything around in 60 minutes.

    The biggest question of all is why did you only buy one bag? I guess it was the last one…

  • Ben

    Unfortunately for me this is not a sale I can replicate. I’m always on the lookout for bargains anyplace but I buy most of my stuff from a local overgoods and lost cargo store where I can get discounts ranging from 30-70%.

    I’m not sure why this bag was so cheap, maybe they mis-priced it but I knew when I saw the Tamrac brand it was a great deal.

    Typically on an item that retails for $125 I might expect to buy it at a discount of 40-60% and make a 20-75% return on investment depending on how competitive the market is for the item on eBay. Although I won’t earn a 1359% return on every item, a 20-75% ROI adds up pretty nicely over the course of a month.

  • Oleg K.

    Nice job reselling the camera bag. $81 is a great profit.

    But I think the operative questions remains: What truck were you following to get such an expensive bag for so cheap?

  • Wisely Sunshine

    Wow, I have been trying to find deals like that to sell on E-bay, but so far I’m not that successful yet. Do you have any suggestion?

  • Jack

    The 0% balance transfer game!


    Where did you find the camera bag? And can you buy any more?


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