Full Time University, Part Time Promotion Arbitrage – Why Not?
Yes, I bet you secretly laughed at your Nana or your next-door neighbour who kept every supermarket discount docket; entered every competition they could find in a magazine and – best of all – was delighted in harassing various businesses to the point where they just gave in to any complaint or refund request.
But, you know, in at least one sense they were on to something. Exploit what you can exploit and make the most of what you can whilst it’s there. I’ve gradually learned that, especially when it comes to the latter. Trust me, call your phone service provider. Ask them for a better deal and you’ll invariably get one!
Nick, I suspect, too knows that all those Nana’s were on to something but he’s taken it to a whole new level. He’s taken it in, with the help of Betfair, to the world of betting. And his approach is so simple its genius.
Notwithstanding that while the idea is simple, the execution is a little more complex and it’s not entirely without risk pending market changes or user error. It’s also a whole lot more sophisticated, of course, than redeeming your shopper docket.
But the reason you can do it is because businesses will always compete and thus it’s essentially no different to any old fashioned promotions.
It’s called ‘promotion arbitrage’ or ‘matched betting’. But you could also refer to it as promo optimisation, or just plain smart.
Nick is a 22 year-old engineering student from Brisbane who takes advantage of all the special promotions, bonus bets, sign-up bonuses and assorted other offers made by the various corporate bookmaking firms across the country.
I like the fact that he identifies various key means of getting one of these special offers. One of which, and I love this, is that you simply ask for one.
“Bookmakers will do anything they can to get you to deposit, so you’d be surprised at how often they will match your deposit with a bonus bet.”
In essence, his strategy is to exploit the margin he can create by backing a horse with his bonus bet and then laying it on Betfair. With the help of Betfair he is able to lock in a profit so that no matter where the horse finishes in the race, he walks away with a tidy profit.
On his ‘Waterhouse Gate’ Facebook page you can find everything you need to know including instructional videos, educational articles and simple excel calculators to help you determine exactly how much to bet. Nick writes, on the page:
“I decided to make a quick video explaining how to turn bonus bets into cash. Knowing how to do this will almost double your weekly profits if you work your way through all of the Australian bookmakers and take advantage of their sign up promos.”
So, go to Facebook and ask to join his page to view his videos.
He also occasionally posts info about the best pizza and burger deals, because he says uni students love it when they can save a buck or two. A bit of 2017 shopper docket you might say!!
Arbing in Action
Plus more serious stuff as he pounces when the spring carnival and the appearance of the better horses prompts a raft of offers. Like, Winx. He posted a few weeks ago: “Winx at $1.50 with Sportsbet Powerplay. Max Bet $474. Can lay @ $1.23 locking in $120 profit.
Or fancy a bit of sports action. “Australia versus Syria World Cup qualifiers. $2.50 for Australia to win both the home and away legs. Max Bet is $208.75. STRATEGY: Lay $220 on Australia on Betfair tonight, and if Australia win tonight you will need to lay another $400 on them on Tuesday next week. At the current odds if Australia win both games you will make $79.00. If they don’t you will make a dollar. A So risk free shot at 80 bucks.’
So, what could possibly go wrong? Operator error for one. Nick says it’s so easy to get caught up in the action of Raceday. You can place a bonus on at the bookmaker, rush across to Betfair and lay a different horse who has a similar name within the same race. He advises that its best to not only understand the processes but the reason behind them, because that way if something goes wrong, you need to be able work out a way to rectify it before any harm is done. Plus, there’s a risk if the market moves quicker than you do a profitable bet may lose its edge over the house. He also mentioned that long term, there is a possibility that bookmaker promotions won’t last forever…
But for now they’re up and running and Nick is hard at it, working on average 30-40 hours per week in conjunction with his full time engineering study load. “Learning how to take advantage of these promotions using Betfair has changed my life and without it, I’d probably be slaving away at a part time job working for $25 an hour”.
Turning a Hobby into a Money Maker
What started as a ‘bit of fun’ is now an interim career. “It probably started with mucking around on a State of Origin game in 2014 when there were promotions galore on the match and I quickly worked out I could make some guaranteed money,’ he said.
Necessity is the mother of invention and Nick turned his hand to promotion arbitrage in a much more committed fashion last year after returning from 6 months studying in the United States. “I arrived home after spending almost every cent I owned and was forced to turn this social hobby into a serious means for income,’ he said.
Almost two years on his financial situation has improved (significantly), and as a result he created a Facebook page to help share his knowledge with his uni mates. The page has grown to over 550 members, although he admits that not all 550 are fully active. “I’ve got a lot of mates involved. I mean it’s easy to get people interested once they learn how easy it is to make a couple hundred bucks each weekend for such little effort. It’s certainly an effective way to keep the beer funds topped up”.
“It’s not for everyone and there is quite a learning curve, particularly if you are new to Betfair. But there are now plenty of resources out there that make it much easier to get started such as the Betfair Hub or websites like Bonus Money”, said Nick whose next dream is to take his skills all the way to Wall Street.
Taking on the Bookies
Nick says that you’ll be surprised what bookmakers are willing to do to attract your business as a punter. “Australians love to have a punt and therefore it’s a very competitive market place out there for the bookies. I’m just taking advantage of that fact that it is so competitive. The bookies mightn’t like it but I don’t feel guilty because they are doing more than well enough for themselves in the current climate”
“I suspect sometimes I’m just one more customer, among thousands, who gets lost in the hay bale,’ he said.
He is just one customer who manages to exploit somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 bonuses per annum. Not bad. Sure as hell buys a few discounted pizzas.