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Flea Market Flipping: Make Money w/ This Free Guide

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Did you know that flipping items from flea markets can get you $1,000 in extra income in one month alone? Unbelievable, right?

As incredible as it may sound, it is true. As a matter of fact, I have read about a few people who transformed their favorite pastime of flea market flipping to a full-time job, making quite the living in their first year as full time eBay sellers of flipped items.

Now, if you’re like many who want to earn more cash to augment their regular income, why not start with flea market flipping?

The key to success in flea market flipping is knowing how to recognize potential best sellers. You have to exert some effort to learn how to determine what buyers want.

This guide will provide you with the fundamentals of flea market flipping, its enormous benefits, what items to flip, and, the most important part, how much money you can earn doing this side hustle.

So, let’s get things underway…

Flea Market Flipping: What Is It?

I’m sure you’ve heard about: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Quite frankly, flea market flipping is the paradigm of this ancient axiom.

Flea market flipping is essentially the act of buying an item at a reduced price in one market and then trading it off for a higher value in another market. It is the art of scouting flea markets for items considered as having no value and then selling them for a profit.

The idea is very simple really: You fork out as little money as possible and sell at the highest price. When you’re still starting out, it may not sound much, but obviously, there’s more to it.



Where To Find Items to Flip for Profit

Flea market flipping requires that you first find items that you can flip. Your first choice would be the flea markets undoubtedly. Flea markets are a treasure trove for people who know that there are potentially priceless items mixed in with less than valuable ones. What’s more, a wide variety of things can be bought at flea markets at bargain prices.

Other than flea markets, here are other places where you can also find items to flip for profit:

Garage sales

Garage sales are also great places to find items to flip. As with the yard sales strategy, hit up neighborhoods with high median incomes because you will definitely find pricey items being sold off at huge discount. Find town-wide garage sales by going online and using websites like gsalr.com to find garage sales near you.

Online

Go with the usual Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace for items being sold at low prices. You can also check out sites like Letgo, OfferUp, and Bookoo, which is like an online yard sale. There are likewise a lot of apps that you can use to find items being sold cheaply.

Thrift shops

Visit thrift shops to find things worthy of flipping. Look for the clearance and sale racks inside and you may find high-value items being sold for pennies on the dollar. You can use sites like the National Charity Thrift Store Directory and ThredUp to find suitable items to flip.

Yard sales

First off, check out for yard sales at the richest side of town and head out there early. Many well-off people want to get rid of their old stuff and, on occasion, will hold yard sales where they sell their old but expensive items for cheap. Yard sales are held everywhere. You can go online and do a search using sites like YardSaleSearch.com.

How Much Can You Earn From Flea Market Flipping?

While how much you earn is entirely up to you, the amount you make from flea market flipping depends on several factors.

How much you shelled out to buy an item and how much you’re willing to sell it for would definitely affect your bottom line. The amount of time you’re willing to put in the side hustle is also a factor.

To begin with, in order for you to turn a profit, the cost of the item you’re selling online should be worth more than the cost of the item and the operational cost. Also, the more items you list on your online store, the higher your earnings.

All in all, how much you earn from flea market flipping is generally about how much you can sell the items for and how often you’re able to do it.

What Items Are Easy to Flip?

Anything of value can be easy to flip. There are items, however, that are known to be consistent. Below are some of them:

Baby items

Couples who have had babies are aware of how expensive it is to have a baby in the house. So, it isn’t surprising that many are looking to buy second-hand baby items and save significant dollars when they buy the items at half the original price.

Name-brand baby clothes, such as Baby Gap and OshKosh, have high resale value, especially if you sell them in sets and in good condition. Strollers also fetch a good price since parents are willing to spend on them, particularly if they’re double or triple strollers, and have brands like Britax and Bugaboo. Baby carriers like Tula and TwinGo, also have good resell value, especially those with specialty designs.

Books

Books are great for a flea market flipping side hustle. Any type of used books can be flipped for profit. These include: old books, school textbooks, educational books, arts and crafts books, religion, sheet music, and most non-fiction books.

If you choose to flip books, consider investing in useful tools and software that will help you gain the most profit. One such app is the ScoutIQ, which scans barcodes and informs you how much the book is worth on Amazon. Since the app also provides the seller fees, you get a good idea on how much you can profit from it.

Furniture

Furniture can be anything from chairs, kitchen tables, end tables, desks, dressers, retro couches, bookshelves to wine carts. One advantage of flipping furniture is that every residence uses it. Furniture items can be easy to flip, and if you can afford to spruce them up with new upholstery, you can get a better price for them.

For example, if you found wood furniture during one of your hunts, you can repurpose it and make it look like new with a fresh coat of paint. Some furniture flippers use a sander to achieve a shabby chic look, which can increase its flip value. The key is to give the furniture a sharp look that will then attract buyers.

But first, you need to decide if you’re willing to flip furniture because doing so will require that you have a big vehicle to transport the item from the place of purchase to your home.

High-end brands or luxury items

Designer brands and luxury items are also perfect choices to flip. Brand-name garments and accessories sell well because many people prefer obtaining the status of a label they adore without paying for boutique prices. High-end designers like Gucci, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Coach as well as popular mall brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, and Nine West are worth looking out for when you’re looking for highly saleable items. You can also go for the not-so-expensive stuff but well-known and trusted names.

When possible, find items that are in near-mint condition as this lets you sell them at a price close to their retail value. Also, you must learn how to spot counterfeit items to avoid getting swindled for hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you’re a beginner in the flea market flipping business, you may find that buying second-hand high-end brands and luxury items to flip is less than practical since you’ll need to pay more upfront.

Larger items

Aside from furniture, there are other larger items that are worth flipping. These include sports and exercise equipment like treadmills, exercise bikes, and home gyms. Many owners of sports and exercise equipment sell them because these things take up a lot of space in their homes, so it’s likely that you can get a pretty good margin.

Lawn equipment can also be good choices as items to flip. Owners who want to get rid of them are usually willing to sell their equipment at half the original price, which you can sell at a much higher price. One good thing about flipping larger items is that there’s ample wiggle room for you when you’re deciding on an acceptable purchase price for it. The downside to flipping bigger ticket items though is their size since it will involve logistics. So, consider this before including these items in your flipping business.

Power tools

In the flea market flipping business, power tools are great choices if you want to increase your earnings. Power tools are always in demand in the flipping business. When bought brand new, these tools cost a lot, which is why many homeowners and tools enthusiasts are willing to buy them at low prices as long as they’re in perfect functional form.

Oftentimes, people will sell their power tools when they want to buy newer models, have completed their projects, want more space in their workrooms, or are moving to a new location. So, the tools are usually sold at hugely discounted prices. Before you spend your dollars on buying them, you should test the tools first in order to make sure that they still work. You may need to polish them so that they’d look good as new. Also, when searching for power tools to flip, always choose those with reputable brands.

Sports equipment and memorabilia

Flipping sports equipment and memorabilia is a fascinating activity if you are into sports. There has been a recent rise in demand for sports gear, especially today when more people are now working out in their own homes. With sports memorabilia, many people have long been buying them, particularly individuals who are genuine and active sports fans.

There are so many sports memorabilia and equipment that you can sell for profit. Memorabilia include collectibles like sports cards, ticket stubs, autographed sports items, tennis rackets, baseball bats, batting gloves and helmets, jerseys, vintage shirts, hats and training aids. There are likewise numerous choices for sports equipment such as golf clubs, bikes, soccer cleats, hockey equipment, and many more. When choosing sports equipment and memorabilia for flipping, check that the items are clean, functional, and in excellent condition.

Smartphones and computers

Due to the cost of smartphones and computers today, many people prefer to buy them at prices lower than their original retail value. So, these devices are great choices to flip. Make sure to select brands with good resale value and stick with the well-known brands. For smartphones, choose Apple or Samsung Galaxy. For computers and tablets, go with Apple.

As discussed a few times in this article, flipping big ticket items such as brand-name smartphones and computers can be lucrative because of the price that buyers are willing to pay for them. For some people, the main obstacle to owning such brand-name devices is cost. That’s why, being able to own them at the fraction of the original value is something they’d find hard to pass up. Be sure though that you have at least some basic knowledge about the devices so that you’re able to buy them at suitable prices and sell them at a profit. And, be prepared to pay higher upfront.

Vintage items and antiques

Vintage items and antiques are also excellent items for your flipping business. When you find such pieces, you may need to buff or refurbish them to make them look better and sell for a higher price. If you have antique silver items, wipe them down and polish them to give them a radiant look.

Among the most popular antiques and vintage items to flip are antique jewelry, sports memorabilia, decorative collectibles, unique sterling silver pieces, tea services, porcelain items, vintage clothing, VCR players and VHS tapes, and retro shirts. Vintage items and antiques have appeal to many buyers because of their being rare and expensive. The market for antiques is also huge as there’s an increasing number of people with a growing interest in such valuable items.

Non-working items

When you’re out looking for items to flip, you will occasionally find items that, at first glance, you’ll deem useless and not worth anything. But according to Robert Stephenson, he has been able to sell broken and non-working items repeatedly, and he wasn’t even certain that the items really did work. If you’re a hardcore flipper, you’ll want to know if such items can be valuable. All you need to do is to conduct an online search and find out if it’s a diamond in the rough. You’ll likely find out that there are individuals who are actually looking for said items and are willing to pay for it.

In addition to the things listed above, there are numerous other items that you can flip for a profit.

Musical instruments

Musical instruments are usually sold at low prices when owners have outgrown their hobby. It is a big advantage that you know about the musical instruments you’re flipping so you’re sure that you’re selling something of quality.

Non-sports collectibles

Non-sports memorabilia today are said to be worth more than ever. Whether they’re classic action figures, antique toys, vintage cards, coin collections, or comic books, they’re sure to fetch excellent prices simply because they’re worth a fortune today. Lego sets are also very valuable collectibles, with some sets reselling for thousands of dollars.

Picture frames

Picture frames are appealing items for flipping. Choose the ones that can be flipped at higher prices. The more valuable ones are typically larger, have older frames, and have more embellishments. The picture frames should be in excellent condition. If necessary, give them a good touchup so they appear more attractive.

Records or record players

These items are regarded as collectibles and many collectors are willing to pay a lot for them, especially the vintage ones. For these items, you can target the older generation, who are keen on collecting vintage music items, and the younger generation who are recently discovering the classic wonders of records and record players.

Vehicles

Flipping cars present a lucrative opportunity. Some require that you pay a higher price up front while others are quite inexpensive to buy and repair. If you want to flip cars for profit, be sure that you’re knowledgeable about them and that you have great negotiation skills. More importantly, you should have the money to invest.

Video games

Used video games have gotten the attention of a lot of people these days especially since video game consoles and CDs can be costly. You can turn a profit by flipping new video games that are sought after, or selling the older ones for their sentimental appeal.

Where To Sell the Items You Flipped

When you have collected items for flipping and are ready to sell them, there are a couple of places where you can start. First is to sell them locally or you can use the Internet to widen your options.

As mentioned, some of the most productive places to sell your flipped items are at eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and, of course, Craigslist. Creating your online store through these sites, if you haven’t yet, are fairly easy and you can start selling right away.

Check out the more than 30+ websites that work like Craigslist.

What To Remember When Flipping Items

There are several important things you should look out for when choosing items to flip. While this will be different from one flipper to another, these below are important tips to remember:

Find out the value online. If you flip smartphones or computers, it’s essential that you first check out their value and their condition. Doing this makes you aware if the items are worth flipping and can give you a good profit.

The item is priced for less. This is the basic rule when flipping for profits. Always choose things in the flea market that are being sold at very low prices. The key to success in flea market flipping is to get the lowest price possible for a valuable item.

Don’t forget you can polish it up. Furniture and home décor are among the things that can get you good flipping profits, but you’ll have to polish the stuff first. If you have the DIY skills, put them to good use in order to increase the value of the items.

Yes, you can repair it. When looking for items to flip from flea markets, it’s typical to find things that you can sell but need to be repaired first. Many will require simple repair skills and, after which, you can sell them at a better price. So, be sure that you get these items during your hunting process.

Don’t ignore unusual items. When you’re hunting for good items to flip, chances are you’ll come across items that appear unusual and it’s possible that these things can get awesome prices during reselling. Concrete stamps are a good example. It’s possible you won’t be able to find a good buyer for them right away, but when you do sell them, you may be surprised.

Look out for gently used items. Items that appear like new or are in close-to-new condition are easy to resell and they help you get the most profits. Always keep in mind that while people are open to buying gently-used items, they would still look for quality.

New tags are gold. Reselling items that come with a tag is very attractive to buyers who are looking to purchase things that are close-to-mint condition. When you’re selling such items, always put a “new with tag” label.

Repurpose for a profit. There are items you find that can be repurposed and can be sold at a higher price. For example, you can repurpose an old glass jar and convert it into a light fixture perhaps. Or, if you’re really creative, you can turn an old tennis racket into a mirror.

Cash is always best. Paying sellers cash when buying things at a flea market can help get you better deals. Normally, if you pay them using a check or your credit card, sellers are necessitated to increase their selling price because of the fees and the level of risk involved.

Brush up on your negotiation skills. To reiterate, during the buying stage of your flea market flipping side hustle, you must buy low and sell high. In order for you to do that, you have to have outstanding negotiation skills. Having the skill will absolutely get you great deals and the biggest profits.

Final Thoughts

Flea market flipping can give you the best side hustle profits.

With the many choices and possibilities for reselling things for profit, embarking on this endeavor would be a most sensible idea. Remember that some items are easier to flip than others, so do what you can to make your flipped items appear attractive and enticing to buyers.

Who knows?  When you become successful in running your own flea market flipping business, then you won’t have to be constrained to stick to your daily work grind.

That’s going to do it for now.

As always, if you want to add to this guide or comment on your experiences, you’re more than welcome to do so in the comments below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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