How to Find Junk and Sell it for a HUGE Profit with the Flea Market Flippers – How a family of 5 quit their regular jobs and now travel the country while making big bucks reselling “junk” and “trash” on Ebay
Ever see a chair on the side of the road and think “wow, someone’s just throwing that out?!” And then you drive past it all slow and think about what paint you’d use to bring some new life to it, or how it would look great in the living room? So you real quick, grab it and bring it home. In a few days, that thing that was getting ready to head to a landfill is now the most complimented piece of furniture in the house!
Sound familiar? Or does that sound like a dream? But wait… there’s something even cooler that I bet you didn’t even know you could do…
Did you know that you could sell that piece of furniture or whatever it is that you found on the side of the road… for like a BIG profit?
That’s exactly what my friends Rob and Melissa Stephenson do from their Florida home to fund their lifestyle and their 3 children with the proceeds from their flipping and online course sales teaching others how to do this for themselves too. They are what’s called “professional flippers.” And, guys… they’re amazing. They, along with their 3 kiddos, make BANK taking what most people would consider “junk” (from the side of the road, from garage sales, and more) and turn it into something that pays all of their bills… and then some.
Disclaimer: Now, this is worth mentioning: this is flipping from flea markets and garage sales to resell on places like eBay, Facebook marketplace, etc. This is NOT real estate flipping or house flipping. This is a MUCH lower cost upfront than real estate investing and flipping, so this is much more attainable for normal people.
What is a Flea Market Flipper?
Flea market flipping is becoming a popular way to make money for people of all ages. So what is flea market flipping? Flea market flipping is the process of buying items at a flea market and then reselling them for a profit. This can be done online or offline. There are many different ways to make a profit with flea market flipping. You can buy low and sell high, buy damaged items and fix them up to sell for a profit, or buy items that are in demand and sell them at a higher price.
There are many benefits to flea market flipping. It’s a great way to make money on the side, and it’s also a great way to get rid of clutter in your home. Flipping items at a flea market is also a great way to learn about business and investing.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you started flipping?
Rob started his flipping side hustle back when he was only 16 as a beginner to make extra money. Right at the time that eBay was getting started. He started by buying old Nordic track machines at yard sales and the flea market for $10-$50 and flipping them on eBay for $250-$500 and that gave him the financial security he needed to not need to go out and, ya know, get a “real job” haha.
But before he really started flipping, he got the bug for shopping second-hand because he came from a large family with 7 kids (and he’s the only boy!) and they were always visiting thrift stores and yard sales to get things at the cheapest price.
I married into the flipping world almost 13 years ago. I knew nothing about selling on eBay before I met Rob who was doing this full time already. I honestly had no idea what he really did for a living when we first dated, and explaining it to my parents was interesting too. Haha.
Now 13 years later I get it.
What made you realize that flipping was going to be for you?
Rob has it in his blood. It has to be some nurture with his upbringing, but you should see him on Saturday mornings when it’s flea market day. He is up earlier than any day of the week and with an extra pep in his step!
He completely loves the hunt for a good deal.
I would have to say that I don’t have the same huge passion for the hunt, but I love to execute the business side of things. I’ve always been entrepreneur minded as a young girl and I love keeping track of our flipping business records. I love having inventory listed and really love the profits we can make on items.
What do you need to start flipping? How much does it cost to start?
Honestly not much. If you have a smartphone and a vehicle (doesn’t have to be a truck), you can get started in this business.
There are several ways to even start this business with no cost for inventory.
We regularly find free items that we make a profit on.
Just recently we sold a bed frame for $589 that someone gave to us because they were going to throw it away.
In the same month, we sold a kid’s playset for $300 that another person threw out because they were moving.
There are free flips out there everywhere if you look for them.
How long does it take to become profitable?
A person can be profitable on their first flip! That can take a day, a week, or a month, depending on the item, price listed for, and who is looking for that item. We tend to sit on items a little longer than a lot of resellers, but that is because we sell more niche items that only may have a few people looking for them at a time.
The last group of our Flipper University students posted having success the first week after getting started. It’s so fun to see their progress and success!
What does a normal week look like for you?
Haha! There is nothing normal about our weeks. Well, there are a few consistencies with a lot of on-the-fly moments as well.
Obviously, first off, I’m a mom. I typically start off the day walking our oldest to preschool (1 mile there and back) and then go for a run. During our walk we discuss the plans for the day.
The plans typically include one or more of the following: shipping something out – which sometimes involves a pallet for large items (which includes sometimes big shipping costs for the large items), picking an item up from OfferUp or a thrift store or Facebook groups, cleaning/fixing items in the garage, taking pictures and posting items on eBay, Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace, meeting someone on Facebook to sell an item, and then blogging about it all on our website.
What is the best part of flipping?
The best part of flipping items for us is the ability to make our own schedule and spend time as a family.
If we want to plan a fun morning for the kids as an entire family – we can! And we do. Mondays and Fridays our oldest isn’t in school so a lot of times we try to do fun things as a family.
The kids are also very involved in our whole flipping business. They like to ride to the storage unit and do videos with Rob, and they go with us to the flea market on the weekends.
They also know that everything is for sale. If we get a new Power Wheels they can play with it for a week before we resell it. I think they actually like the toy turnover rate. It’s the perfect amount of time to play with new toys.
How much are you able to make from flipping? Is flea market flipping profitable?
We have been doing this as a side hustle for over 20 years, and honestly treated it more as a hobby than a business.
It wasn’t until we started blogging about our adventures that we took ourselves seriously as a business
So the past 3 years we have better records of what we made.
3 years ago, we made $42,000 Gross sales
The next year, we made $133,000 Gross sales
And last year we made $84,000 Gross sales
The decrease last year was due to the fact we had stopped putting our efforts into flipping and started working on moving into our RV.
We didn’t end up moving into it, but for about 9 months of the year, it was more of a focus than flipping was.
This year is already on track to outperform last year. In March we hit $17,900 in gross sales. (That is a high month for us, they aren’t usually quite so high).
Do you have certain things that you avoid buying? Anything you always buy?
We love buying things that we can at least double our money on, but we usually get 5x-10x on it. I love to buy brand name strollers and baby items, Rob likes to buy more equipment lately because it goes for a higher profit.
The best items that you can get for a low price to resell are:
- baby clothes
- patio furniture (our local Facebook group is a gold mine for these treasures)
- a LOT of appliances (we find these on the side of the road sometimes)
- exercise equipment
- and more
He also likes the interesting items that most people overlook.
We won’t buy something if we can only make $15 on it. It pretty much has to be a $50 profit or it’s not really worth the time spent.
What is the hardest part about flipping? How do you overcome it?
The hardest part for us is staying organized in our own home and making sure we are listing as fast as we are finding items.
The hunt for the deal is the fun part, but then the listing part can be more mundane so sometimes it gets pushed to the back burner.
To make sure we are consistently listing things we make little goals each week of how many items will be listed each day.
Can anyone start flipping? Do you need a special degree or training?
That’s one thing we LOVE about this business! ANYONE can do it. No special degree or training necessary. Rob didn’t go to college and just got out of HS with a GED. He didn’t get along with school much.
I have a Bachelor of Science in Health Science that I am not currently using. I used it for 10 years as a personal trainer so I figure I got a good run of it. Ha!
Are there any resources that people can find to help them get started?
There are a ton of resources out there to help people get started. eBay even has its own tutorials to help get people comfortable using it as a platform to sell.
We put together a course from our experiences to help fast-track people who are serious about making an income from flipping. Our course is called Flipper University and it’s our goal to help see our students to succeed!
Is there anything else you want everyone to know about flipping?
We want people to know that this is just like anything else, it takes work to make the money. It’s not “get rich quick,” but it is worthwhile, and it’s something anyone can do.
Sound like flea market flipping is something you’d love to try out? Get started with all the help you need HERE!
Flea Market Flipping FAQs
What is a flea market Flipper?
Flea market flipping is a term used for the process of buying low and selling high. This is done by finding items at flea markets, garage sales, or online auctions that are undervalued and reselling them for a profit. Many times, this can be done by flipping the item in a very short period of time.
Is flea market flipping profitable?
Flea market flipping has become a popular way to make money for people who are looking for an easy way to make some extra cash. However, is flea market flipping really profitable? The answer to that question depends on a number of factors, including the time and effort you are willing to put in, the amount of inventory you can acquire, and the market conditions.
In general, flea market flipping can be profitable if you are able to buy items at a low price and sell them for a higher price. The key is to find items that are in high demand but that are also selling for a lower price than they are worth. You may have to do some research to figure out what items are in demand and what prices people are willing to pay.
It’s also important to be knowledgeable about the types of items that sell well at flea markets.
What is the most profitable thing to flip?
There are a few things that you can flip from a flea market that will earn you the most profit. One of these things is furniture. There are always people looking for new furniture, and you can find some great deals on pieces at flea markets.
Another thing to flip that will earn you a lot of money is jewelry. Gold and silver prices are constantly going up, so there is always a demand for jewelry. If you can find good deals on pieces at the flea market, you can make a lot of money flipping them.
Finally, another thing that you can flip for a high profit is vintage clothing. People are always looking for unique clothing items, and you can find some great deals on vintage clothes at flea markets. So if you’re looking to make some extra money, flipping any of these things from a flea market is a great way to do it!
What is the easiest thing to flip?
One of the easiest things to flip from a flea market is a piece of furniture. Furniture is often in good condition and has a lot of character. It also tends to be one of the larger items at a flea market, so it can be easier to make a profit on it. When flipping furniture, be sure to check for damage and repair anything that needs it before you resell. You can also paint or refinish furniture to give it a new look and increase its value.