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The Modern Trader- the arbitrage information junkie


The new Rockefellers or Bill Gates is sitting online somewhere, selling stuffing that people had sold cheaply for a higher price.

The internet has become a huge marketplace where people spot arbitrage opportunities- a collector's DVD limited edition Lord of The Rings Trilogy selling for less on Amazon and which can be sold in Singapore for $40 more. A dress sold on yahoo Hong Kong auction which costs less than $10 can be sold off for more than 2 or 3 times at another country.

I got the Lord of the Rings extended set from Amazon and found that the same set costs almost $80 more in Singapore. Not sure about the current prices now. But it illustrates clearly the value of checking prices on the internet.

Trading has been slowly devolving from big companies to the hands of multiple sellers on the internet who spot arbitrage opportunities in different products from books to lingerie. This has been one effect of the use of internet search technologies where the internet surfer spends time looking for products sold in different places and compare prices. The scale of the individual doing this buying and selling are likely to be small scale. But with profits and an uncanny sense of what is in and in demand by local buyers, a net savvy surfer can get by with profits made through such channels. You only have to look at the ebay power sellers and the sellers who have thousands of comments in Yahoo sellers' ratings.

For ordinary consumers like you and I, we have another channel to get stuff we usually get at the shopping malls, department stores and small mum and pop shops. We get the convenience of getting the items posted to our mailing address and that of shopping online. This arbitraging that is done by the surfers will also help to bring down prices of items as the big local companies will know that if they charge too high a price, people will just ignore their products and get it from the online ebayers, yahoo auctioneer etcs.

There is sometimes the fear that all of us buying on the internet have. Is it safe to do so? I think that the use of the ratings system by auction sites is a good way to gauge if the seller is a genuine one or a con artist. I have personally seen some incredible deals that looks too good to be true. If you see one like that look hard at the ratings that the seller has. Even if the seller has a few good ratings, look further. If they are all given by people with rating of one, it is likely to be one big con.

So, before you pop down to the neighbourhood Borders or local book chain, check the prices of some of the books or items you intend to get. After checking out the prices on internet at various sites like the Ebay, Yahoo and Amazon site, you can go to the bookstore to see if the prices are comparable.

The US$ has been falling quite a lot this year so it could be more worthwhile to get items from a site like Amazon and accumulate the items to ship back to Singapore using the Singapore Post vpost site. You'd save quite a bit if you are a book buyer and have that much more money for your retirement.

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The information contained in this blog is prepared from data believed to be correct and reliable at the time of publication of this report. The authors do not make any guarantee or representation as to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, reliability of the information contained herein. Neither the authors or any affiliates or related persons shall be liable for any consequences (direct or indirect losses, loss of profits and damages) of any
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