Flipping Items for Profit
Flipping items has become one of my favorite pastime activities. I enjoy the hunt for hidden treasures and the idea that I can turn other people’s trash into cash for my bank account. Flipping items is the process of purchasing an item for a fraction of its true value and then selling it so that both parties feel a win.
Generally, I like to purchase items that I can resell for at least 5 times my cost. For example, I would spend $10 knowing I could get $50 when I sell the item. I can do this when I hunt for items at yard-sales and thrift stores but I get the most value when I find items at local country auctions. However, I’m happy if I can just double my investment.
Some of my favorite items to purchase include books, DVD’s, video games, electronics, blue-jeans, and name-brand sports shoes. These items tend to fetch the highest returns for me though its not quite as easy as I make it sound. I have to do a little research to make sure the items are selling on sites like eBay and Amazon.
I mostly need to check the titles of books and DVD’s because I’m familiar with the resell value of other items I hunt. Books and DVD’s tend to fluctuate in price but if I can get them in bulk, it really doesn’t matter. If I find a box that contains a dozen books, or so, and I can get the whole box for $5 then I could sell each book for $2 to meet my profit requirement.
Where to Hunt
As I briefly mentioned above, yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores are a good place to start. In thrift stores, it is easy to use your smartphone to do some quick research. Sometimes you can do this at yard sales but then you chance losing any leverage when negotiating.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate at these places but don’t try to get something for nothing. I tend to start out by asking for half the price especially if I’m willing to pay full price. I also like to bundle items to get a better deal. This means I put 2 or more items together and offer a single price which is significantly lower than their asking price.
Search the clearance isles of your favorite department stores and especially Walmart. The best times to search these areas is the days after a holiday though you may have to hold these items for a while to resell them.
My all time favorite place to hunt is at our local country auctions. In my area, we have a half dozen auction sites within a 50 mile radius. These auction companies find their items from estates where the heir of a deceased just wants to liquidate. Usually, there are entire household wares up for auction.
Opening bids are low, between $2 and $5, and lots are combined if there is no opening bid. I go every weekend and can usually fill my truck with spending less than $50. When I bid like this, I’m normally after one or two items in the lot but end up with several lots and dozens of items.
I feel like a kid on Christmas morning when I get the boxes home and start digging through all the items I didn’t know were hidden within the lots I purchased.
Where to Sell
I’m not a collector so the items I purchase are meant to be resold for profit. Now, a lot of the stuff I end up with is not worth my time to take pictures and present them for resell so I either place them in a box and make a decision later on what to do with them.
The Items I know have value end up being put up for sale on Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Market Place and other local swap site groups I’m a member of on Facebook. I also have a yard-sale once a month during the spring, summer, and fall months.
I also have a permanent booth set up at a local flea market where I’ve hired my nephew to attend on Saturdays and Sundays for a few hours. At the flea market and my own yard-sales, I have a box full of ‘free stuff’ and a box full of ‘.50 cent stuff’.
The items that don’t sell after a couple weeks end up either being rotated through different methods of selling, donated to the church or thrift stores, and a lot of it ends up going to the dump.
You may be interested in doing a little more research in how to find thrift store finds and turn them into profit.
This book to the left is a good place to look and for only a couple dollars it is a valuable resource.
This book offers insight on the types of items that can bring in the most profit and the items to avoid.
You can click on the image to take you to Amazon and read the reviews or click here.
I learned by jumping right in and doing it but I would have preferred to have a plan and to see how others were doing it the right way and the pitfalls to avoid.
I’ve been doing this for the past 10 years and I have yet to lose money only because of the way I make my purchases. I’m sure it would be different if I only purchased one item at a time for the asking price.
Not everything sells as soon as I put it up for sale. I do have a large shed where I store items that I have to process before sending them off to the flea market booth. Having a large storage area is a must if you want to move items at the level I am.
Having multiple methods of selling online and off line is a must as well.
Are you doing anything similar? Do you have any tips to share?