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Libertarians like free money (at least this one does.....)

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mty Posted: Mon, Dec 1 2008 8:09 PM

I'm naturally frugal, and am always looking for opportunities to produce free money without risk - arbitrage, if you will. I'm guessing that its a trait I share with most folks.....

Such an opportunity exists in the form of E-Bay's new rebate program with I've been using it to buy gold/silver/platinum coins and bullion for less than spot (though the program has had a predictable effect on prices), with Microsoft kicking in up to $200 (30%) toward each purchase, but it occurs to me that there is a much more efficient way to extract the maximum available amount out of the program.....

Microsoft ( allows you to use the rebate up to 12 times, for a maximum benefit of $2400 as a buyer. If two individuals were to get together and sell any item back and forth for 12 full cycles (12 each as both the buyer and seller of the item), each would clear $2400 cash, less the listing fees owed to ebay. In this scenario, the merchandise need never change hands and incur shipping charges, and given the average listing fees on Ebay items priced to extract the maximum benefit of the program ($200 per transaction based on a 30% rebate, or $666.67), each person can expect to clear around $2000 with absolutely no risk (assuming they can follow the directions to take advantage of the rebate).

I have poured over the rules, and it mystifies me that there is no prohibition against such a scheme. It seems that Microsoft is so anxious to raise the profile of their cashback program that they're willing to risk the craftier among us extracting a few grand..... I think that a person would be remiss not to take advantage of the opportunity. I have 7 bites at the apple left if anyone needs a partner in 'crime' to extract a little easy money.......


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None of my friends will do it with me.  I'll have some extra capital soon if you want to sell some worthless things back and forth billed as a collectors item.

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mty replied on Mon, Dec 1 2008 8:29 PM

Sounds good to me. People assume that if it sounds like you're getting free money, there has to be a catch..... but there isn't in this instance.

I've earned $1000 in rebates so far, and have actually had $200 already hit my paypal account. I know it works, and just need a partner. Let me know when you're prepared to do it. If I have used all of my rebates, my wife has an account.....

After looking through the fee schedule, it appears that the best items to sell are computers. They have the lowest fees.... perhaps I can buy your computer and then a printer..... and then a speaker system.... etc. You can buy my laptop, Iphone.....etc. The listing fees on computer equipment versus gold coins or other 'collectibles' should save us about $12-15 in listing fees per order.....

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