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Are you thinking about flipping things for profit? If so, it could be the easiest and quickest way for you to earn some extra cash in your spare time.
And it’s totally legit.
Personally, I have flipped both physical products and freelance services before, and made money flipping them.
So, I know for a fact that flipping items for profit WORKS.
If you read on, you will see my detailed case studies on exactly how I’ve done it.
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How You Make Money Flipping
How do you make money flipping?
Flipping is basically re-selling.
You buy something at a low price and then sell it later at a much higher price for a profit.
There are three different ways to flip to make money:
- Flipping physical items
- Flipping digital items
- Flipping services
Now, let me give you a real example for each.
Flipping Freelance Services
A few years ago, both my husband and I lost our jobs unexpectedly because the company we both worked for suddenly closed down.
So, we needed to make some money quickly to help pay the bills.
After some research, I found out that the fastest way to make money was to sell services.
But, there was one problem – no sell-able skills.
Then, an idea struck me.
Why not sell other people’s skills?
Then, I noticed that there are literally hundreds of thousands of talented freelancers selling their skills online on freelance platforms such as Fiverr & Upwork.
And, a lot of them are always looking for more freelance work.
So, why not get clients for the service they offer and outsource the work to them?
And I call this ” Service Arbitrage”.
So, I started my own graphic design agency to offer graphic design services to businesses.
What I did next was that I found a group of talented freelancers online from platforms such as Fiverr, and asked them to work with me because I always have projects that I want to outsource.
Freelancers need work.
And I need talented people to deliver the work for my clients.
So, it is a win-win situation.
How I make money is that I will charge my clients at a higher rate than what I am paying my freelancers.
Flipping Used Physical Items
Actually, I got into flipping used items by accident.
You might know that I have a 4-year-old son.
He loves to play toys, so I always go to online marketplaces to search for used toys for him ( by the way, this is one of my favorite ways to save money raising kids:)
So, what happened was that I wanted to get him a tricycle when he was 2 years old.
As I was browsing on some of the selling Apps (e.g. LetGo & OfferUp), I saw someone selling both used tricycle and scooter for a very cheap price.
So cheap that I knew I had to just buy them right away.
After my son outgrew both toys in about one year, I decided to sell these toys away the same way I bought them.
And this is the most amazing part.
I sold them for twice the amount I paid for.
So, not only did I make money on flipping kids toys but my son also got to play with his toys for FREE.
After learning this new flipping strategy, I decided to try it again on the used Thomas & Friends Track Master sets that I have been wanting to get for my son.
I found a lady selling three big boxes of train tracks, tunnels, bridges, turntables and mountains for under $100.
If you are familiar with the usual prices for Track Master sets, you will know that it is a STEAL.
What is more is that I successfully negotiated for a lower price ( I would still buy it even if she said no to lowering her price, but there is no harm asking).
In the end, I sold all the train sets for a profit of $80.
Where To Find Things To Flip
So, where do you go to find things to flip?
As you have seen so far, children’s toys are definitely good for flipping because there are many parents like myself prefer to get second-hand toys for their kids.
For the train track sets, I was able to get such a good deal because the seller was moving back to Sweden soon and was in a hurry to clear all her stuff.
So, generally, you will find a lot of good deals in moving out sale because there is a real urgency to clear all the items as quickly as possible.
Here are other places that you can also find good stuff to flip:
- Flea markets
- Thrifty Store (Salvation Army, Value Village, Savers and etc)
- Yard Sale & Garage Sale
- Estate Sale
- Charity Sale
- Your family and friends who are cleaning out their place
- Free stuff that people throw away on the sidewalks
- Online marketplaces & Selling Apps ( LetGo, OfferUp, etc)
What Are The Best Items To Flip?
Below are some of the best and easiest items that you can resell for a profit:
- Vintage video games
- Used Branded Clothing, Shoes and Accessories
- Children’s toys
So, how do you determine whether it’s a good item to flip?
Factor #1: There must be demand for it ( preferably not seasonal).
Factor #2: Your cost price must be low enough for you to earn a decent profit to make your time worthwhile
Factor #3: The item should not be too big in size to take up a lot of storage space and should not cost a lot to ship out to your buyer.
Where Do You Sell These Items?
The easiest way to sell things is to list them online on platforms such as:
- Poshmark (only for fashion)
There are millions of active users on each one of the above platforms, so your chances of finding a buyer are pretty good if you are selling an item that is in demand.
All you need to get started is simply register a free account, snap a few photos of your items and then list the item online.
Tips for Success In Flipping Used Items
Success Tip #1: It’s always good to take nice photos of your items before posting them online. Good photos will catch people’s attention and get more interest from potential buyers.
In real estate, there is this term called “staging” your property.
Basically, it means to decorate an unfurnished property with temporary furniture and accessories. It makes the property more appealing and easier to sell or rent out.
Here is the ” before and after photo” after staging a property for sale:
And the best thing is that you can also command a higher price.
For example, if you are flipping clothing, you might want to invest in an inexpensive mannequin to take photo with your clothing.
Below are two actual listing on Mercari.
The seller on the left probably get more enquiries and sell her clothes faster compared to the seller on the right.
Success Tip #2: It is good to write a detailed description of your item.
If it’s a dress, it is helpful to state the brand name, the size and measurements, the color and the condition of the item.
The more detailed your description is, the easier it is for your buyer to make a purchase decision.
I still remember that I was searching for playmats online, I came across a listing where the seller wrote a very helpful and specific description.
In addition to stating the brand name, the size, the color and the condition of the playmat, she also mentioned that she cleans the playmat once a day and her house is pet free and smoke-free.
To a mom who has a kid with allergies ( for example myself), this listing stood out immediately.
In case you are wondering, I didn’t manage to get it because someone else has already bought it.
Success Tip #3: Make sure you clean the items and remove all the stains and marks if possible.
If you can drastically improve the appearance of the item without spending lot of money, that is even better.
In fact, people who flip used furniture repaint the furniture themselves to make it look brand new and sell for an even higher price.
Success Tip #4: It’s best to flip things from your hobby or that you have a lot of knowledge of.
That way, you have a natural feel about how much the item is worth and how much you can sell it for because you are very familiar with the niche.
Also, if it’s something that you enjoy doing, you won’t mind going to garage sale or thrift shops regularly to scout for gems.
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Flipping Digital Items
Yes, you can make money from flipping digital items as well.
Here are some examples of digital items that people are making a lot of money flipping :
- Domain names
Let’s look at flipping domain names.
Domain names are like “web properties”.
Businesses are willing to pay lots of money to buy these “properties” to set up their businesses online.
Just a couple of years ago, this domain name “consulting.com” was sold for 4 million dollars.
There are quite a lot of people who are making tons of money buying and selling domain name.
In 2007, he sold Seniors.com, which he purchased for $100,000, for $1.8 million (or $1.5 million after commission).
A few months later, he sold Guy.com for $1 million. He had only owned the domain for about a month.
Back in the past, it is much easier and cheaper to flip domain names.
Now, it’s getting more expensive and harder to do this because most good domain names have already been snapped up.
But that doesn’t mean there is no more opportunities to make money buying and selling domain names.
Besides domain names, you can also flip websites for profit.
It works sort of like flipping houses.
You buy a website and then make it better and sell it later for a higher price.