Friday, November 30, 2007

Black Friday Arbitrage - Smoley Style

It's been a week since Black Friday, which means only 51 weeks before I can kill it again. So what is Black Friday arbitrage – Smoley Style? It involves finding a great deal, purchasing a product, and then reselling it at a higher price. O.K., so how is that different than the regular Black Friday bullshit? Here’s the twist:

  1. Do a Google search for Black Friday deals Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. By this time stores have usually leaked information about their Door Busters. For example, this year Toys-R-Us sold the Microsoft Zune 30 GB Digital Media Player (Brown)for $79.99. It normally retails for $200…but can be found on Amazon for about $140 - $150.

  2. After creating a list of products you might want to buy, identify local competitors who carry those products but who are not running Door Buster sales on those specific products. For example, in the case of the Zune, I visited two local Wal-Marts, as well as Staples and Office Max and discovered that both Wal-Marts and Staples had Brown Zunes in stock (two days before Thanksgiving).

  3. Identify when those stores open and plan on arriving about an hour later.

  4. Fight your way through the crowds and check to see if they still have the product in stock. If so, take as many as you want/can and then check out. During check-out, show them the competitor's ad and ask them to price match. Based on my experience, Wal-Mart, Staples, and Best Buy will price match competitors' Black Friday ads; however, Target will not.

  5. Keep what you want and sell the rest on Craigslist, Ebay, or Amazon.

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