Right now, our garage is full of strollers and car seats. This isn’t because we are going to adopt five more children, but instead, we have been flipping baby items for profit. We recently scored several brand new strollers and car seats at a local auction and have them listed at 100-200% more than what we paid for them. Most recently, we made $200 profit off a stroller find.
My husband and I have been reselling items for a profit for several years now. It is the perfect side business to do when you don’t have a lot of extra time, experience or money. Let me jump in with my story and give you some tips on how to start bringing in money through reselling.
The idea of making money from flipping used items first came to me in 2011. I found a website (YardSaleMommy.com – still up but hasn’t been updated since 2012) and didn’t realize that people could make money by reselling yard sale and thrift sale finds. I don’t love shopping at the mall, but I will shop at a yard sale or thrift shop any day.
Funny enough, I started buying baby and kid items from yard sales, not knowing I would be pregnant with my little one soon. Also, at the time, my freelance writing wasn’t what it is now, and I was only making $400-500 a month. I was able to resell big kid items on Craigslist, smaller items on eBay, and both at the local consignment sale. It helped us stay afloat financially at the time, and it also helped us save money on baby items when I did find out I was pregnant.
Fast forward to today. Even though my husband and I both make more at our jobs, we still cannot quit flipping things for a profit. It is just a fun thing for us to do on the side. While I usually make $100-150 an hour freelancing, there is only so much my poor brain can take.
Reselling items for profit is something I suggest to anyone looking to earn a little side income or for parents who want to stay at home but can’t quite afford it. It is relatively easy, and unlike other work from home opportunities, it doesn’t take a lot of time to start making money.
How to Start Flipping Used Items for a Profit
1. Pick a Selling Niche
Some resellers try to sell anything and everything, and while that can work, I think it is easier to stick with one niche. Pick something you are already shopping for and have experience with. For example, I am already looking at baby and kid clothes at the thrift store or yard sales for my cuties, so I am not investing any extra time to find pieces to resell. Also, I can’t tell you how much a certain boat part resells for, but I know how much a baby Burberry outfit will resell for.
2. Start with What You Have
Before you go out and buy things to resell, I highly recommend starting in your home. Find a few things you can resell on Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon and use those as your practice pieces. Not only will you make money decluttering, but you will get a feel for selling on the different platforms and build up your seller profile.
3. Build Your Inventory
Once you have the hang of selling stuff, you can start on the fun part- shopping! Shopping for inventory can be a hit or miss. Check out yard sales, thrift stores, Craigslist, Facebook groups, consignment sales and local auctions.
4. Know Where to Sell
If it’s small and valuable, it belongs on Ebay or Amazon. For the heavier items, sell on local Facebook Groups or Craigslist. I’ve also had a lot of success selling at children’s consignment sales.
5. Calculate Your Cost Per Hour
Whenever I sell items, I try to evaluate my cost per hour, and I stay away from items that won’t earn me much. Five dollars for an hour of work is not worth it! I used to resell almost anything, as long as I could make a $5-10 profit off of it with 15 minutes of work. Now, I try only to resell items that earn a larger profit, or I resell stuff we used. We have saved so much money by purchasing our daughters’ toys and clothes secondhand and then selling them for what we paid for them or for a small profit.
A Sample of My Sales
Here is a list of some of our flips. I love reading about other people’s finds and flips, so hopefully, these will motivate you too.
- $200 Profit on Uppababy Stroller: Our most recent stroller resell made us $200 with less than an hour of work. We bought the brand new, double Uppababy stroller, which retailed for $500, for $100 at a local auction house. We then sold it $300.
- $150 Profit on Bugaboo Stroller: A local woman had listed the like new stroller on Craigslist, but misspelled the item. My husband scored it for $150 and resold it for $350 a week later on Craigslist.
- $65 Profit on Baby Burberry Outfit: We don’t live in a glamorous city, and somehow, I found a baby Burberry outfit for $1.99 at my local thrift store. This has yet to happen again. I resold the outfit in less than 24 hours for $75 and free shipping on eBay.
- $60 Profit on Tool Chest: My husband found a red, stackable tool chest for $80 at a yard sale. He used it for four years and sold it for $140.
- $50 Profit on Couch: We bought a couch for $250 and used it for almost four years and sold it for $300.
- $30+ Profit on Book Lots: I find several books for less than a $1 at yard sales and thrift stores, and if I sell them in a huge lot, I can usually make a $30 or more profit on them.
- $29 Profit on Uggs: Picked up a nice pair of Uggs at a yard sale for $1 and resold them for $30 on a Facebook group.
- $27 Profit on Car Seat Adapter: Found a car seat adapter for $3 at a yard sale and sold on Craigslist for $30.
- $25 Profit for Wagon: I bought a Fisher Price plastic wagon for $10 at a yard sale with the intention of using it for my own kids. It didn’t work out for us, but I sold it quickly on a local Facebook group for $35.
- $25 Profit on Dress: I bought a fancy Janie and Jack dress for $4 at a local consignment sale and sold it on eBay for $30 + shipping.
- $21 Profit on Roller Coaster: I bought a $9 kid’s ride-on roller coaster at a yard sale, and my eldest enjoyed it for two weeks. I then sold it for $30 on a local Facebook group. I should have listed it for more since there were multiple people interested.
- $20 Profit on Baby Locks: I found a magnetic baby lock system at the local consignment sale for $5, but we didn’t end up needing them. I sold them on eBay for $30 + shipping.
And there are many, many more flips and sells. Not only do we make a profit off of used items we flip, but we also sell almost everything we use. We don’t always make a profit off of items we buy for ourselves, but this process keeps our shopping budget low.
For example, I buy Baby Gap clothing for my girls for as low as $1-2 a piece at the thrift store. My girls will then wear the piece of clothing several times, and then I sell it on eBay or at consignment for $5-6.
If you are interested in flipping used items for a profit, I encourage you to either start in your own home or stick to a budget of $5 or less. Make it a game to find that one item in the thrift store for less than $5 that resells for 600-1000% more.
What was your favorite thrift store or yard sale find?