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 do. 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” and turn it into something that pays all of their bills and then some.
Please tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you started flipping?
Rob started his flipping side hustle back when he was only 16. 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.
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. 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.
We 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, picking an item up from OfferUp or a thrift store, 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 Powerwheels 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?
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.
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 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!
We also have a lot of great free resources on our blog, like our How to get Started Selling on eBay post (https://fleamarketflipper.com/sell-on-ebay/), and UPS vs Fed Ex: which should you use (https://fleamarketflipper.com/fedex-or-ups/) and 5 steps to get started with freight shipping. (https://fleamarketflipper.com/freight-shipping-101/)
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!