Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Turnover Tuesdays - Staples Easy Rebates are the Best Rebates

For those who are not familiar, I started a series a while back called Turnover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I like to highlight one item that I have resold. This will include profitable and non profitable sales. I hope that there is always something to learn.

The Item - Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5294 Laptop

On a tip from a reader I bought 5 Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5294 laptops from Staples back on 10/15/2015.  Each laptop cost me $299.99 or $320.99 with tax.  Total price was $1604.95

Credit Card Points 

I bought it with my Chase INK so that is about 1,600 Ultimate Rewards points per unit, worth a minimum of $16

Shopping Portal

I used Upromise for 5% back that's about $15 (only on pretax amount) per unit

Loyalty Points

I earned 5% in Staples Rewards.  That's another $15

Fulfillment by Amazon Fees

I sold all five from between November 13th to November 24th.  I sold the first for $351 and sold the rest for $358.

Fees were about $21.50 per item plus shipping of about $3-4 per item.  Let's call it $25 in fees for ease of calculations.

The Haul  

I paid $320.99 and I earned ~$330 per unit after fees and shipping on average.  That's not much, only about 3%

Here is how the numbers work
Cash = ~$10
Credit Card Points = $16 minimum 
Portal Points = $15
Loyalty points = $15

If you include all the extra, it comes out to $56 per unit or 17%.  Not horrible but not wonderful either!

Staples Easy Rebates

If you look at my picture from Inventory lab you will see a buy cost of $270.99, instead of $320.99.  That's because each one of these came with a $50 Staples Easy Rebate.

I am normally not a fan of rebates at all.  They almost always require you to cut out the UPC which makes it very difficult to sell the item as new.

Staples Easy Rebates however are very different.  You fill out a form online and your rebate is done.  No cutting out UPCs.  Therefore, my cost basis went down by $50 per laptop.  That's a big deal on ROI numbers.

Patient, Patience, Patience

The hardest part about writing this is looking at the current price on Amazon.

That's $70 more per laptop!  I would have made an extra 20%.  Oh man does that sting!

I see tons of these patterns on old sales of mine and the common thread that I see is that I have no idea how to predict which ones will eventually get much more expensive and which ones get cheaper.   I have theories but nothing I am proud of yet.

Here is the Keepa chart for this item:

The dates of increased offers (and decreased price) correspond exactly to after the Staples sale.  If you don't think other sellers are finding the exact same sales you are finding, you are dead wrong.  Some are more public than others but there are resellers following every sale at the big chains and you will sell too low if you are not fast or patient.