It's the holidays, which means shoppers get themselves worked into a frenzy looking for "hot" products that will prove to their children that they love them despite the 11 previous months of shoddy parenting. Looking to take advantage of some people less internet-savvy than yourself this season? Take a gander at the top products that are getting way above their retail value on eBay right now, plus some free tips on getting the highest bid possible with the fewest scruples possible:Nintendo Wii Retail Price: $US250 eBay Prices: $US300-$450 Yes, yet again the Wii is the hottest gift this year. If you have one and don't mind parting with it for a month or so, you could always pack it up in the original box, off it on eBay for a $150 profit, then buy one in January when it'll be easier to come by.
Rock Band Retail Price: $US170 eBay Prices: $US170-$250 The profits aren't as high for Rock Band as they are for the Wii, but if you creatively make your listing look like it's more than it is ("Rock Band Special Edition PLUS Guitar PLUS Drums PLUS Microphone PLUS USB Hub!!!!") you could eek out a nice profit.
Guitar Hero 3 Retail Price: $US100 eBay Prices: $US100-$150 Like Rock Band, you'll need to make a pretty nice auction page to get a whole lot higher than retail here, but it could be worth making a go of it if you want to take a lot of pictures.
Amazon Kindle Retail Price: $US399 eBay prices: $US450-$700 The Amazon Kindle sold out almost immediately, and if you were smart you purchased one and didn't open it. If so, you've got a little pile of gold, with confused eBay purchasers willing to spend and arm and a leg on the eBook reader. Even opened Kindles are selling for above retail, so if you're unimpressed with yours now is the time to get rid of it.
Unlocked iPhone Retail price: $US399 eBay prices: $US450-$750 If you have the technical know-how to unlock an iPhone for use on carriers other than AT&T (and really, it isn't rocket science), you can make a tidy profit selling an unlocked phone on eBay. There are few things that would be easier to do than going to your local Apple store, snagging a couple of iPhones, unlocking them, and tossing them up for auction. Just tell yourself you're providing a valuable service.
If you're not afraid of getting coal in your stocking for being a bastard, bump up the prices by jacking up the shipping rates, and hope the buyers don't notice that you're charging $150 to ship a Wii. Mention in small print that you're including a Guitar Hero 2 controller in place of the Guitar Hero 3 controller, or that it's just the game and not the bundle. Sell a Wii box and hope no one notices.
There are plenty of ways to be as horribly sleazy as humanly possible on eBay, so get creative! A guy just sold a copy of Rock Band for a whopping $10,000 by telling a sob story about finding his son smoking weed. Try making an auction selling the same game saying you need money to buy weed for your kid and want to see if you can get more money than that guy. Even if you don't, it'll get more publicity than a standard auction.
Really, at the end of the day, it's about the spirit of the holidays: ruining other people's Christmas so yours is better. Don't ever let that escape you. It's the real spirit of the season.