If you’re looking for a new side hustle that doesn’t involve too much time and work, you can flip unwanted items for profit. With a bit of planning and organization, you can make a little or a lot of money on the side in your spare time.
When I was in debt, one of the first things I did to generate quick cash to throw at my debt was flip unwanted and unused items for profit.
Flipping unwanted items for profit was also a great way to declutter my life. You’d be surprised how many things you think are crap that other people will want.
In this article, I break down all the items you can consider flipping for profit, the best places to flip items online and offline, resources for flipping items, and how much the venture will cost you.
I’ve also included a complimentary sales inventory planning worksheet!
Flip Unwanted Items for Profit – 3 Tips for Getting Started
1. Take Inventory
You need to take an inventory of all the items taking up unnecessary space in your home including items you think are useless.
This can also include gifts you received that you never used or don’t want and forgot to return.
Do not exclude your wardrobe from this exercise. Unwanted items you can flip for profit include:-
- Accessories like watches, necklaces, cufflinks, eyewear, etc.
- Motorized items like dirt bikes and jet skis
- Musical instruments and equipment
- Vintage items
- Baby gear
- Exercise equipment
- Sports Memorabilia
- Electronics – smartphones, smart watches, tablets, computers, etc.
- Power tools
- Anything else you no longer want
Organize these items by category. How to Declutter Your Home and Life Fast is a good resource to help you declutter and take inventory.
2. Decide on Prices
Once you’ve inventoried the items you want to flip for profit, you need to set prices. Don’t set arbitrary prices.
Conduct thorough research on various avenues online before you set prices. You don’t want to sell some rare collectible for the wrong price.
3. Start Selling
All items inventoried and prices set? Then it’s time to start listing the items online and offline. Below are the best places to start flipping items for profit ASAP.
Flip Unwanted Items for Profit Online
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook groups
- Etsy – you can use this avenue if any of the items are vintage and/or handcrafted.
- Apps – there are various apps that that can help discard these items ASAP such as Decluttr, Letgo, Mercari, Poshmark, Tradesy, 5miles, OfferUp, Vinted, and VarageSale. Conducting a search on the app store specific to your country will yield more selling apps.
- Local classifieds sites
- For sale areas on forums
- If you conduct a search online, you will also find local places where you can sell specific items like wedding dresses, jewelry, clothing and electronics apart from the general places listed above.
Flip Unwanted Items for Profit Online – 8 Tips for Success
1. Price Properly
Check out what similar items on the sites are priced for before setting your own prices.
Too expensive and no one will buy from you. Too cheap in comparison and people might think something is wrong with the item.
2. Don’t Forget Extra Charges
Take listing and/or commission charges into consideration when setting your prices.
Offer free shipping to entice buyers but check the cost before you do this. If it’s viable, build it into the cost of the items.
3. Be Detailed
Add as much product description as possible. Your descriptions should be very detailed.
Compare against descriptions of similar products on the same avenue but don’t copy anyone’s descriptions word for word.
4. Use Clear and Beautiful Pictures
Upload clear and attractive pictures. You can set up a simple home studio with a Portable Foldable Photo Studio Box.
5. Be Specific
Be very specific and explicit about what you’re selling in order to weed out the time-wasters who will clog your inbox with ridiculous questions and demands.
That doesn’t mean you should ignore all questions. Respond to genuine questions and queries.
6. Safety First
Arrange to meet people in public places and not your home if you’re not shipping the item(s).
If meeting at your home is unavoidable, don’t be alone when the exchange happens. Have your partner, friend, or relative with you and conduct the exchange during the day.
7. Don’t Overextend Yourself
You don’t necessarily have to sell through all the avenues recommended above.
Weigh the popularity of the method, how long it takes to sell, comments from users, etc before you decide which avenue is best for your items.
8. Don’t Forget Trade-ins
If the item is still new or unopened, you may be able to trade it in with the manufacturer.
This is a good option for electronics. Check Amazon Trade-in Offer before you start listing it for sale online.
Flip Unwanted Items for Profit Offline
Flipping unwanted items for profit offline requires more work and time but if you have loads of heavy items, this might be a better option for you.
1. Garage/Yard Sale
This is ideal for those who have enormous amounts of items to get rid of and have a house they can do this out of. This requires a lot of planning and organization to maximize your sales.
You need to engage in a lot of advertising to get people over to the sale. You can do this via local supermarket boards, community centers, and word of mouth.
For more information on organizing a garage sale, take a look at How to Organize a Garage Sale.
2. Flea Market
As the name indicates, this is for low-end items that won’t sell on the sites listed above or in a garage sale.
The items are cheap and expect potential buyers to try and beat the prices down even further. Do not bring items of high value to sell here. You will not get the proper worth.
3. Car Boot Sale
This is a fair where a group of individuals come together to sell items out of car boots. Properly organized car boot sales attract a lot of people and it’s another way to get rid of items fast.
They can take place either indoors or outdoors. A quick online search will give you a list of car boot sales in your area and how to sign up for them.
4. Pawn Shop
This is ideal for items you need to get rid of in a hurry. However, you won’t get the best deal for them. Avoid pawn shops as much as you can.
5. Consignment Store
This is a level above the pawnshop. It’s a specialty store that will help you sell unused items.
Depending on how the store works, they may pay you upfront or split the profit with you once your item is sold.
Flip Unwanted Items for Profit Offline – Tips for Success
You can use a combination of all of the recommendations above to flip unused and unwanted items for profit or focus on only one avenue if you can use it effectively to move all your goods.
How Much Money Can I Make Flipping Unwanted Items?
It depends on how many items you have and how proactive you are with flipping them for profit but when I did this, it took me a few months to get rid of everything and I netted over $3,000.
I switched to retail arbitrage afterward and made about $1,000 a month on average. I will cover this in the next article.
Flip Unwanted Items for Profit – How Much Will it Cost You?
- Listing fees on websites and apps. However, they come out of the sale of each item and can be deducted once the item is sold or charged to your card at the end of every month. Take this into consideration when setting prices.
- If you’re shipping items, you will need padded envelopes, boxes, etc depending on the size of the items.
- You may have to pay a small fee for the table at the flea market or the space you park your car at the boot sale. This depends on your location but it shouldn’t be more than $15 — $25 for the day.
- For professional-looking photos, the cost of the home photo studio. However, this is not necessary if you have a good camera on your phone and you can use the free resources on Placeit to edit pictures if necessary.
Bottom line, you can get started ASAP with as little as $100 or even less!
You can also flip items for profit by buying and reselling undervalued items aka retail arbitrage. This is another method I used frequently while I was paying down debt.
I will cover this topic in the next article. If you want to be notified when the article goes live, you can sign up here.
Anna gave up her 9 – 5 to implement her life plan after paying off over $40,000 in debt. She started The Writer Entrepreneur to share her journey and encourage other people to pay off debt and pursue their life plans. She has been featured on HuffPost, YouQueen & Fitnancials among others. Learn more about Anna HERE.
This post may contain affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.