One of the great things about running Dollars From Cents is seeing all the different ways to make money. There are so many side hustle opportunities out there. One of the most fun ways I’ve found lately to make money is by flipping items for profit.If you’ve ever thought about becoming a “flea market flipper” and flipping items for profit, read on.
This is the ultimate guide on how to make money flipping products in 2021 so set some time aside, grab a pen and a paper for notes, and let’s get started!
Lifestyle freedom — extra money — here we come!
If you don’t want to read the whole article, check out the table of contents below to go to the section you’re most interested in.
Table of Contents
What is Flipping Products?
Let’s start with the basics.
Flipping products is one of many side hustles. It’s a way to make money by selling something to someone for more than what you paid for it. While it can be a great side hustle, there are plenty of people that do it full-time. We’ll talk more about the process in the sections to follow but it’s nice to see the ultra-simple process up front:
- Find a product to flip
- Research the market and find out how much it sells for
- Buy the product at a low price
- Sell it for more than you bought it for
- Repeat the process
Can you make money flipping products?
Making your first $100 or $1,000 is entirely possible through flipping products, even if you don’t have any prior experience. In fact, flipping products is one of the best ways to earn thousands of dollars a month without putting in much work. There are lots of reasons why flipping is such a great way to earn money:
- you can sell your stuff both online and offline
- there are millions of products that sell
- consumers will always be around ready to buy things
- it’s not complicated — you can do it no matter where you live, how old you are, or anything else
This guide is going to lay out everything you need to know to get started making money flipping products. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have all the knowledge necessary to flip for a profit. You’ll be well on your way to easily making your first $100 (most likely a lot more) from flipping.
How I Got Started Flipping Items
I got into buying and selling like most people.
I was looking online on how to make extra money and came across a couple of “flea market flipper” accounts on Instagram.
I was trying to get rid of some stuff I had laying around so I figured it could be a good way to make an extra few bucks and see if I could do it.
So, on February 26th, I put listed my first product online (an old Amazon Kindle e-reader). A couple of days later, I made my first sale!
From there it just snowballed. I started branching out, buying things to resell. By March 26th, after just one month of flipping items, I had made $432 in profit, all from buying and selling.
I know what works. If I was able to go from $0 to over $400 in a single month without knowing anything, you can do it, too. So, if you’re ready to get started learning how to make extra money through this side hustle, let’s get started.
Safety and Flipping
Before I go in to the specifics on how to make money flipping products, I need to talk a little about something that is extremely important.
There are two ways to flip for profit: selling through online marketplaces or locally in person. While selling online has its fair share of scams and things to watch out for, what I want to talk about here is the importance of keeping yourself safe if you decide to sell locally.
Selling locally is essentially meeting up with a potential buyer in person and exchanging the product for cash (or its equivalent).
Most of the time it’s fine.
However, it only takes one bad transaction to sour you to the idea of flipping products. I want you to avoid that.
So, if you decide to meet up with someone to exchange something you’re selling for money, keep these tips in mind.
Don’t Give Out Your Home or Work Address
If you’re going to meet up with a buyer, do it at a public place that has lots of people, lights, and cameras.
This could be:
- grocery stores
- gas stations
- police stations
- post office
- fast food restaurants
- fire stations
If I’m selling locally, I’ll meet the person in a grocery store parking lot or the gas station down the street from where I live because I know it’s always busy.
Don’t Give Out Personal Info
The buyer doesn’t need to know anything about your personal life. He doesn’t need your last name, address, phone number, favorite ice cream flavor, or anything else. When you make a transaction, you’re not there to make friends. You’re there to exchange money for an item. So you don’t have to give anyone your life story.
In fact, I recommend you set up a different email address and phone number just to use for product flipping. This will help keep your personal information separate from your business information and out of the hands of people you don’t want to have it.
Use Payment Apps Instead of Cash
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your money when making an in-person sale is request that the buyer use cash payment apps instead of actual cash.
In the past, this used to be more difficult because these apps weren’t very popular. However, with less and less people using cash, these apps are much more popular. Some of the ones I use regularly include PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp.
What’s cool with these apps is that you can receive payment and then turn around and invest that money in Bitcoin.
You also need to protect yourself when it comes to selling online.
Within the first couple of days when I first started selling online, a few potential buyers tried to scam me. I was selling a pair of shoes on the selling app Mercari. These scammers texted me through Mercari’s internal messaging app saying they wanted to buy the shoes but couldn’t do it through the app. They wanted me to text them my personal phone number and take the sale offline.
I knew it was a scam.
They didn’t want my shoes. They were really after my personal phone number. Based on my rule above, I was not about to give a stranger my personal number. So I blocked them on the app and reported them through Mercari’s fraud department.
Remember that your safety, both online and offline, are more important than anything you could potentially sell. So make sure that no matter what, you take care of that first.
Where To Source Your Products
OK, now that we have the safety and security part out of the way, it’s time to start profit flipping and making some money!
The first thing to know when making your first $100 flipping products is where to find the actual products you’re going to flip! That’s what I mean by sourcing your products.
There are four places I typically go to in order to source items to flip.
- My own stuff
- Free listings
- Thrift stores
- Discount stores
I’ll talk about each of these in turn and lay out some of the pros and cons for each one. While you might not have all of these where you live, you’ve likely got one or two. Yard sales are also a great place to source stuff, but I won’t talk about that in this article. At the end I’ll give you a secret online source of products that you can flip that not many people know about ?
Your Own Stuff
If you’re like most people, you have a few things around your house you don’t use or need anymore.
Remember the old adage that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?”
Well, your stuff might not be trash; however, just because you don’t want it anymore doesn’t mean that somebody else won’t either.
When I first started flipping products, I decided to look around the house and see if there was anything that I didn’t use anymore.
After a quick search, I realized that I had a Kindle e-reader that I hadn’t used in months. I had originally bought it to read books in bed but over time I stopped using it and started using my phone instead.
So the Kindle got relegated to the bottom drawer of the nightstand.
I pulled it out of the drawer, charged it up, took some pictures, and listed it for sale on Facebook Marketplace, one of the online selling platforms I’ll talk more about later.
Two days later, I got an email notification from Facebook that the Kindle had sold! I quickly looked around and found a few more things that I was looking to get rid of and posted them as well.
And thus, my product flipping side hustle was born!
So, first step first. Take an inventory of stuff that you own that you don’t want anymore.
- It doesn’t cost you anything to start. Since you already own the products you’re going to flip, there is literally no start-up cost for you.
- You likely have lots of stuff that you can sell.
- You don’t even have to to leave your house to start selling since you already own the stuff you’re selling.
- The stuff you want to sell might not be in demand (although one thing I’ve learned is that there is a potential buyer for almost anything you’re thinking of selling).
Tips to Keep in Mind
When you sell your own products, you need to keep in mind a couple of things.
First, be realistic about how you price your products. You likely won’t be able to sell your things for more than what you paid for them. Unless you have a pair of vintage Nike Air Jordan’s or some other product that has gone up in value, the price you sell the item for won’t be as much as the original price.
Take my Kindle sale example above. I originally bought the Kindle for about $50 but when I sold it a couple of years later, the price had gone down and I was eventually able to sell it for $30. While I technically didn’t make profit on the Kindle, I did make money because the Kindle was something that I wasn’t using. If I hadn’t sold it, it would still be in my drawer collecting dust.
Second, selling your own stuff is a great way to get started in the flipping business. Because you don’t have to worry about extra inventory or products taking up space in your house, you can focus your energy on better understanding the technical aspects of selling, like the selling platforms you use, the importance of photos, and how pricing affects your listings.
The second place to find potential products to sell without spending any money is through free offerings on various online marketplaces.
What are free listings?
They are products that people want to give away. Usually people do this because they are trying to get rid of their stuff and don’t want the hassle of trying to sell it.
There are a number of different online marketplaces that have “free” listings. A couple that I know about are:
- Facebook Marketplace
If you go to any of these online selling platforms and search on the term “free,” you’ll come across a bunch of listings of products that people are giving away for free. Look through these listings, see what is being offered, and then tell the seller you’re interested in picking up that particular item.
Take the item home, fix it up and make it look nice, and then turn around and sell it on the same platform that you used to get it for free!
- You only pay for any gas used to pick up the item.
- There are lots of different items that people are trying to get rid of.
- You can find these products without ever leaving your house. All you need is the Internet.
- Sometimes people give away things that have very little resale value. For example, in my area I see people give away gravel. However, gravel isn’t something that too many people around here want.
- Many of the products can be in bad shape. One of the things that I see a lot of in my area are pianos. People give them away all the time. However, a lot of times these pianos are broken and falling apart. The owner is only getting rid of it because he or she doesn’t want to take it to the dump. If you don’t have the skills to rehab a piano, you might not be able to sell it.
- Some of the things offered are too big to transport with a car. These things include sofas, couches, mattresses, bed frames, dishwashers, dryers, etc. If you don’t have a way to transport these, you might have a smaller pool of products to choose from.
Tips to Keep in Mind
I know a lot of flippers that started out by finding free products and flipping them for cash. The great thing about this is that if the item doesn’t sell, you’re not out anything. In fact, you could turn around and give it away for free or take it to the dump and not be out anything at all.
Also, remember what I said earlier about scams. I’ve seen a few posts on Facebook and Craigslist offering free stuff but when you click on the ad or send a message to the seller asking about the item, they turn around and want to charge you for it. If that happens, I stay away and block the person. I have no patience dealing with people that scam and lie to try to make money. You shouldn’t have any patience for this either.
The next place you can go to source products, and the type of sourcing I love the most, is thrift stores. These are stores that take donations from the public and then turn around and sell those donations to customers for a small price.
Two of the most common in the United States are Goodwill and Salvation Army.
There are a few different reasons why I love finding things to flip from these places.
First, most of these stores aren’t in the business of selling goods and making a profit. Instead, they’re in the business of helping others through job opportunities or training programs.
Here’s Goodwill’s Mission Statement:
Goodwill works to enhance people’s dignity and quality of life by strengthening their communities, eliminating their barriers to opportunity, and helping them reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.
And Salvation Army’s:
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
Shopping at these stores is a way to help these organizations fulfill their missions.
Another reason that I love using sales thrift stores to find flipping items is because they have all sorts of to choose from. Whether you’re interested in girls shoes, boys jackets, books, sports equipment, power tools, video games, baby stuff, or furniture, you can find something related at these stores. For example, on my last visit to one of the my local stores, I picked up the following:
- a pair of men’s welding boots (bought for $25, sold for $100)
- a men’s bomber jacket (bought for $8, sold for $20)
- a women’s American Eagle coat (bought for $8, sold for $25)
- a kid’s baseball glove (bought for $4, sold for $15)
- and three books (bought for $3, sold for $6)
These kinds of stores are excellent for finding things to flip in all sorts of different categories. It not only makes flipping from these stores more profitable, but it also makes it more fun because you never know what you’re going to find! It’s like a treasure hunt every time I go.
Another plus is that these stores aren’t out to maximize profit on the goods they sell. Instead, as I mentioned earlier, their goal is to provide a service to people in the community that need help, mostly through jobs and training. Because of that, the prices on these products are usually lower than you would find anywhere else. And since the prices are so low, your profit margin is usually high.
In an extreme example, the other day I found a pair of men’s Red Wing boots that were retailing new for $200. The store was selling them for $10. They were a little bit dirty but I bought them, polished them up, and then sold them a couple of weeks later for $150. Those are the kinds of deals you can find here.
Another reason I like these stores is because they are constantly change inventory (just like yard sales). The stores where I live are constantly busy. People are not only buying stuff every day, but constantly donating their unwanted items. That means inventory in the store is constantly changing. Sure, there are some things that seem to never sell. For the most part, though, the store is always rotating its inventory. That’s good news for you as a flipper because if you’re consistent about visiting the store, you WILL find some good items to flip at least some of the times (I tend to find at least one item every time I go).
Finally, one of the cool things about finding items to flip from these stores is that you don’t really have to wade through terrible items to find something worth reselling. For the most part, these stores will separate the decent products from the truly trashy ones so you don’t have to. That saves you time and makes it easy to find products that can be resold for profit.
- Thrift stores are constantly rotating their inventory.
- In general you’ll get a much greater profit (buying lower and selling higher) with items from these stores.
- You aren’t limited to a single product category which means more opportunities to find products worth flipping.
- A lot of the cheap stores I shop at don’t take returns. This isn’t too much of a problem if you’re careful about what you buy, and especially since most things are pretty cheap, but it’s something to keep in mind.
- You have to be consistent. You won’t find good deals every time that you go. However, the more you go, the more chance you’ll have of finding those treasures that you can flip for profit and make some money.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Thrift stores are different depending on where you live. It’s good to go at least a few times per week when you start flipping to get an idea of when they put out new donations. I know that at my local thrift store, they tend to put new products on the shelves every day and the mornings seem to be more active than the afternoons. The more you go, the better you’ll get at figuring out what kinds of items are donated most and when the best time is to go and find them.
Also, some thrift stores only take cash so that might impact how you’re able to pay for the items you want to flip for profit.
And one of my secret places to find items to flip? shopgoodwill.com. It’s an auction-style site where you can bid on items sold by Goodwill stores throughout the U.S. Definitely worth checking out.
My second best source of products for flipping is discount stores. There are tons of discount stores throughout the country that can make you a profit and get you to your first $100. What are some of those stores?
All of these stores have products that you can buy and resell for more profit.
But you might ask why?
Why would someone buy something from you on Mercari or Facebook Marketplace when they could just as easily get that same thing from one of the stores listed above?
That’s just it. They CAN’T get what you’re selling, usually for a couple of reasons:
- They don’t have those stores in their area. Let’s take Ross for example, a store that I shop at quite frequently to buy things to flip. Ross is the largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States with 1,594 locations in 40 states (as of 2021). That means that 10 states don’t have a Ross. So when I go to Ross and buy a pair of size 11 adidas wrestling shoes for $20, there are people all over the country that don’t have access to the store like I do who are looking for those exact wrestling shoes and are willing to pay $50 or more for them.
- The second reason is because not all stores carry the same products. I’ve been to multiple Ross stores all over the area where I live and every one is different in terms of the products they stock. Just because one particular store sells a certain product doesn’t mean that product is going to be available at other stores.
- One of the best things about buying products from discount stores is that you can return most of the things you buy that don’t sell. I’ve done this multiple times and nobody at the stores I buy from has ever questioned me about my returns. When I buy something I’m planning on flipping, I keep the receipt and note how long I have before I need to return the item. Ross, for example, allows you to freely return any products you buy for a full refund within 30 days of purchasing those items. This is awesome because it means you don’t have to get every purchase right. You might think something will sell, and then it doesn’t. No worries. Just return it and get your money back.
- No matter where you live, you likely have at least 2-3 discount stores within an hour’s drive.
- Discount stores usually stock a wide variety of items that people are interested in buying.
- If you get a job at one of these stores, you can usually buy items for a discount, giving you even more profit when flipping.
- The biggest disadvantage to buying products at discount stores is that profit margins aren’t as great as products from thrift stores. What that means is that you have to flip more products to make more money. That’s going to be more work for you.
- You’ll have to be more organized to keep track of your purchases, dates, and returns so that you don’t get caught with products you can’t return.
Tips to Keep in Mind
If you have a little money to use when you start flipping, shopping at discount stores is an excellent way to start flipping items. And when you start buying products, you’re not really out anything if you keep track of your receipts and return dates. If the items don’t sell, you can easily take them back within the timeframe required by the store and get your money back.
Where To Sell Your Items For Profit
Selling your stuff online is a great way to make money, but it can be difficult if you don’t know where to start –you know–selling. There are so many websites and apps out there where you can flip for profit; how do you know which ones are the best for flipping items?
There are actually a bunch of online platforms you can use. While I won’t name all of them, some of the most common include:
- Facebook Marketplace
While I’ve used all of these, the three that I find work best for me are FB Marketplace, Mercari, and eBay.
The good thing about these platforms is that the process for selling stuff on them is all basically the same.
- List your pictures
- Write a title and description of what you’re selling
- Determine your price
- Publish the post
Let’s look at each of these platforms separately.
If you’re looking to sell something on Facebook, Marketplace is your answer. And with Facebook’s new design update, it’s even easier to navigate and find items for sale.
The Facebook Marketplace app has been a resounding success since its launch in 2014. It now offers over 100 million users an easy way to buy or sell goods without ever leaving the social media platform.
I’ve been using Marketplace for about a year now and I have to say that it has really helped me out when I was looking for a place to flip for profit. One of the best things is you don’t have to leave your house! You can find someone who wants what you want, post pictures and details about your item, and set up a time/location that works for both parties. It’s so easy because there are always people looking on FB Marketplace looking to buy some cool items like yours!
What’s even better is that Marketplace isn’t just for local buyers and sellers. You can buy and sell items to and from people across the country.
In fact, nearly all of my sales on Marketplace have come from people NOT located where I am.
One of the things to remember about flipping products is that every selling/buying platform charges fees.
It sucks but it’s part of doing business. You need to add it to your expenses and plan accordingly.
One of the things to keep in mind when choosing where to list your items is that different platforms charge different fees.
One of the things that makes Marketplace stand out from its competitors is the fees that it charges sellers. While most platforms charge a minimum of 10% of the sale price plus handling fees, Marketplace doesn’t.
This is from Facebook itself:
The selling fee is 5% per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less. You keep the rest of your earnings.
Here’s an example of how we apply the selling fee to your sales. Let’s say that you’re fulfilling an order with multiple items in 2 shipments:
- If the first shipment is $10.00 USD, we’ll deduct $0.50 for the selling fee.
- If the second shipment is $6.00, we’ll deduct $0.40 for the flat fee.
And remember, these fees only apply for items that are shipped. For in-person transactions, there’s no fee at all! That’s a great incentive for selling on Marketplace.
I’ve been using Mercari for a few months now and I have to say, it is one of the best ways to sell old clothes or other items that you don’t need anymore.
Here are some things I love about the app:
- You can easily post your item for sale with just a few clicks
- It has an easy checkout process that takes less than 30 seconds
- The app makes it really easy to track how much money you make from selling stuff
- You can also buy new and used items on the app if there’s something you’re looking for
- Your personal information is always private so no one will know your address unless they contact you first
One thing I’ve noticed about Mercari is that it tends to attract people that are looking for a discount on items. While I’ve sold expensive shoes (+$100) on FB Marketplace, I have a hard time selling shoes over $70 on Mercari.
I think it’s just the nature of those that use the app.
While listing on Mercari is free (just like Marketplace), it does charge higher fees on products when they sell.
According to Mercari, “your earnings equal the listing price minus the selling fee, payment processing fee and shipping (if you select to offer free shipping). These fees are charged to the Seller when the sale has been successfully completed.”
Seller fees equal a minimum of 10% for the sold item. Payment processing fees equal 2.9% plus $0.30 per sale is charged based on the completed sale price of the item.
So, let’s say that you fix up some wood furniture to sell on Mercari. If you post it for $100, you’ll have to pay at least $10 in fees, leaving you around $90 in profit (minus the payment processing costs and what you paid for the idem initially).
You can’t talk about flipping products and sale platforms without talking about the giant in the room.
It’s been around forever… at least forever in internet terms.
It actually started out as a company called AuctionWeb. It was created by Pierre Omidyar, who wanted to make it easier for people to trade collectibles online. The website launched in 1995 and soon became the world’s largest auction site with over 20 million registered users. In 1997, eBay went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange and today is worth billions of dollars!
There are a lot of things about this platform that attracts buyers.
It’s a well-known and trusted online marketplace. Because it’s been around for over 20 years, you can be confident that it will still exist in the future to help with your reselling needs (unless something drastic happens). The site has millions upon million items listed on their website at all times which makes finding what someone might want easier than if there are only 100 listings available like what some sites offer as opposed to when using Ebay.
As a seller, you can make significant profit depending on what you sell. This is obviously heavily dependent on what you sell and how much you sell it for. For example, if you sell a pair of shoes for $100 and eBay takes its typical cut of 10%, then your profit would be approximately 90% or $90 minus whatever you bought the product for originally. Not bad if you picked up those shoes at a local thrift store for $10.
Another thing that makes this a good platform for flipping products is that buyers in general are more trusting of buying on here than on other platforms. One of the reasons is because it has a fairly robust mechanism for dealing with bad sellers. If a buyer doesn’t receive their item or if the seller makes it difficult to return, eBay will refund them.
Cons: There are two major drawbacks with using this platform as an online marketplace. The first is that there can sometimes take days or even weeks before someone buys what they’re selling (or in some cases no one will buy at all). If you’re someone that needs instant gratification when reselling your items, selling here might drive you crazy. Another drawback includes eBay’s fees. Sellers have to pay a listing fee and an insertion or final value fees which are more than other online selling platforms like FB Marketplace.
OK, so now let’s move on to Poshmark, another popular online reselling platform. I don’t use Poshmark. I signed up and tried it out but it just wasn’t working with what I wanted to sell.
I mainly focus on men’s shoes, and in particular, boots and fashion sneakers. Poshmark tends to attract women who are looking for deals and since I normally don’t sell women’s products, Poshmark wasn’t great for me.
That being said, I know there’s more than one flea market flipper out there doing amazing with Poshmark. If you are looking to sell women’s clothing and shoes, Poshmark could be a great place for you to start listing your products for sale.
One thing to keep in mind with Poshmark is that commission fees are lower than other platforms. This can make a big difference to your bottom line if your profit margin isn’t that big to begin with.
Another great thing about Poshmark is that it’s super easy to list products for sale, as it only takes a few minutes with no listing fees or shipping costs (although you will need an account). You can also use the app on your phone which makes things even easier! The interface looks also looks great.
One of the drawbacks to Poshmark is that it’s not as popular and doesn’t have the same reach that other places do. That means you won’t have as many people looking at the products you’re selling. On the flip side, you won’t have as much competition on Poshmark since it’s not as popular in terms of buying and selling.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Poshmark is more of a marketplace than an auction site so you won’t be able to get quite what your items are worth on there in terms for bidding wars or competitive pricing strategies (although this can also work against you).
In conclusion, every selling platform has its advantages and disadvantages. You should consider what your priorities are and test out the different platforms to see which one works best for you and the products that you’re selling. The great thing, though, is that you can list your item on more than one platform (or even all of them) at the same time! In the next section we’ll talk more about this.
Crossposting Things to Flip
OK, so what is crossposting?
Crossposting is posting on more than one site at the same time. This typically refers to social media posting, where someone might post something on their Instagram feed and then turn around and post the same content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok.
Crossposting in terms of reselling is posting your item for sale on multiple selling platforms at the same time.
This is important because you want your item available on as many platforms and in front of the most people possible.
Crossposting also helps with getting more exposure for your products, which can help drive up sales numbers!
Let me be extra real for a second.
You never know where a sale is going to come from. You never know who’s going to buy your flea market deal, your wood furniture, or your power tools.
I’ve posted stuff that I thought would never sell and but some guy in Ohio snatched it up within 24 hours of me posting it. I’ve had the same thing happen with all the other reseller platforms.
By posting your products on multiple platforms, you maximize your sales potential. In my first two months of flipping products, my sales breakdown was as follows:
- eBay – $431
- Mercari – $298
- FB Marketplace – $1,227
Now imagine that I chose not to post on one of three platforms above. I would have lost that profit because there is no guarantee that items that sell on one platform will sell on other ones.
One thing to be careful of is to not download every single reseller app and try to list each of your items on all of them. You’ll quickly be overwhelmed and lose track of where your flipping items are listed.
My recommendation is that instead, you download 4-5 apps, probably the ones I’ve listed here:
- FB Marketplace
Use these apps first since they are the most popular ones. See how your products do. Are people looking at your items? Are they liking them? Are they buying them? And ultimately, are you able to flip for profit?
If so, then stick with that platform.
If nobody is looking at your items on a specific platform, it might be time to rethink whether that platform is a good fit for the things you’re trying to flip for a profit.
If not, delete that app and try a different one. Repeat this process until you have 5 to 6 apps that consistently give you good results when you post your items.
In the end, choosing where to sell your items can have just as much impact as what you’re trying to sell so make sure you pay attention to what works for you and your products.
Secrets To Maximize Your Side Hustle Sales
It’s one thing to post your products on a selling platform. It’s another thing entirely to do it the right way so you can maximize engagement on your product listings and make the most money possible. This section will go in to detail on this whole process, from taking the right product pictures to writing engaging descriptions, and finally pricing your products.
The first section discusses taking high-quality photos that grab people’s attention so that they want to buy the product.
The second section goes in depth on what a good description should look like and how it can help sell the product.
Finally, we talk about pricing your products at just below market value so that buyers feel like they are getting a deal when they purchase it!
How to Take Products Pictures that get the Click
The most important part of your product listing is the pictures. You know the saying, “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” right?
Well this is definitely true in the resale game.
People scrolling online tend to have super short attention spans. That means that they won’t stop to read your product description or scroll through all of the pictures if the first one doesn’t capture their attention.
And the best way to get their attention?
By taking (and posting) high-quality photos that cause them to stop and make it hard for them to keep scrolling without at least clicking on your listing and checking it out.
OK, so what are some things to keep in mind when taking and posting your product photos?
Probably the most important thing to remember is that your pictures should really capture what people will be buying. The goal should always be for potential buyers not only see exactly how good or bad something looks but also feel like they are in control and can buy this thing right now!
Have you ever bought something online and when you got it, it wasn’t quite what it looked like in the pictures?
I remember that my wife once bought a Viking helmet that she was going to use for a halloween costume. A couple of days before the holiday, we get the package in the mail. We weren’t sure what the package was because it was the size of a coffee mug. We opened it up and pulled out the tiniest Viking helmet you’ve ever seen! Needless to say, we weren’t going to be using that for Halloween.
You don’t want to be that kind of seller. Not only is it not right, you have a reputation to uphold and in the online selling business, your reputation is the most important asset that you have.
All of the online selling platforms have ratings and you want to do whatever you can to make sure that your buyers have no reason to rate you poorly.
Because nobody wants to buy from a seller with bad ratings.
I would much rather point out flaws in the products I’m selling rather than try to hide them from a potential buyer because I wouldn’t want to have someone try to hide defects from me on products I was interested in buying.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to always try to take high-quality photos.
Nothing is worse than trying to buy something that has blurry photos that don’t really tell you anything about the products.
Here’s some tips on taking high quality photos:
First, take as many shots as you can of the product from different angles so there’s no confusion about how something looks in person. Since I sell mostly shoes, I’ll explain how I do this. I tend to take 7-9 photos of the shoes that I post. These are all the different angles and shots I take:
- front view
- back view
- picture of the soles
- side view 1
- side view 2
- picture of the tag
- up close picture of the brand name
- pictures of any big defects
Here’s an example of one of my postings:
By posting all these pictures, a potential buyer feels much more comfortable in knowing that the product they purchase is actually what they will be getting in the mail.
Second, focus on your product in the photos and keep the background distractions to an absolute minimum.
If you’re selling a purse, make the purse the only object in the photos. Make sure that there isn’t anything in the background of the photo. At best it makes your pictures seem amateurish and very unprofessional. At worst you could have something in the photo that you don’t actually want to be seen which could be embarrassing for you or worse if it was seen.
Third, use natural light whenever possible. Artificial lighting can distort colors. This will cause buyers concern over whether they’ll like an item enough if its color isn’t accurate.
For most photos, you can achieve the natural light look by taking your pictures outside or by using the light from a window that lets in sunlight. One thing you can do to make it easier is to set up a space where you can take all your product photos. This will save you time and enable you to post your product photos faster.
This should go without saying but stay away from using stark filters on your photos. They might be fine for Instagram but they won’t help you sell your products. People want to have a realistic idea of what they’re buying. Fake filters don’t help build up a buyer’s confidence in that area.
Finally, make sure the background of your photo doesn’t distract from the product itself. If there’s too much in the background of the photo, potential buyers won’t be able to fully focus on the product you’re trying to sell.
Also, be mindful of the background in the photo. For example, let’s say that you’re in the market for a used sofa. You look online and see two for sale that you like. The first one is shown inside the house, likely in the living room with clean carpet and no clutter surrounding the couch. The second one for sale has photos of the couch taken outside sitting by the garage.
Check out these two photos. Which one would you rather buy?
Which one do you think will get more views and ultimately a faster sale?
The one with the background showing the sofa being used as it should inside the house. When someone looks at the picture of the sofa outside, they subconsciously wonder how long the couch has been outside and if it’s even been well-taken care of.
How to Write Product Descriptions that Keep the Buyer Engaged
Once your photos have done the job of drawing a potential customer to click on your listing, then it’s time for the product description to take over.
The purpose of the product description is to verify that the product showcased in the photos is the product the buyer is interested in buying.
There are a couple of different approaches to writing a product description.
Some sellers choose to write a basic, factual description of the product, something like this for a pair of men’s shoes:
Gently used men’s Nike Air Jordan retro lows. Size 12. All black. No rips, tears, or holes. Comes from a pet-free, smoke-free home.
Sellers that use these types of descriptions point out that buyers only want to know the facts about the product so that they can make a quick decision on whether or not they want to buy it.
Other sellers tend to be more descriptive in their product descriptions, maybe adding a few sentences now how they came into possession of that particular item, or why it makes them happy and fulfilled in some meaningful way.
Check out this description and notice the difference between it and the one above.
The adidas Samoa, a shoe that celebrates the spirit of California. Unleash your creative and rebellious side in these men’s shoes made for skateboarding or just living life fast. Athletic canvas uppers with suede overlays at front are custom designed to sport the iconic 3-Stripes on both sides. And this design has an unusually large logo so you can show them off anytime, anywhere. Solid rubber outsole team up with a vulcanized construction and excellent board feel as well as padding make this one of they most comfortable yet durable skate-inspired men’s sneakers period.
These sellers suggest that the more personal you can make these descriptions sound while still being factual enough so as not be misleading helps create an emotional connection between you (the seller) on one side and the buyer who has just landed onto YOUR listing page because he was looking specifically at something like what YOU are selling!
Personally, I think that both of these approaches can be useful, depending on the product you’re selling and the ideal customer that you’re trying to reach.
No matter which approach you use (and you can even combine the two), be sure to include any information that a buyer needs to know, such as size measurements, color, general condition of the product, and any defects that might exist in the product.
How to Price your Products So You Walk Away with the Sale
The last step for maximizing engagement and increasing sales is to price your products appropriately.
To do that, it’s important to have the right attitude when it comes to being a reseller or product flipper, which is that you are providing a service. Your job is to find people that are looking for your product and sell them that product at a price that is fair and reasonable.
You should not go into reselling to cheat, fraud, or hustle anyone.
Now that doesn’t mean that you have to be a charity and give your inventory away. What it does mean is that if you buy a pair of shoes for $50 and the market now says that those shoes are worth $200, go ahead and sell them for $200 (or whatever you can get for them). Just don’t expect that you’ll be able to turn around and sell them for $10,000.
So what’s my pricing strategy?
I tend to buy and sell mostly used sneakers (both fashion sneakers and trainer-like shoes). I usually find them for under $10, clean them up, and then resell them anywhere between $30 and $50, depending on the condition, brand, etc.
My personal strategy is that I try to make at least $20 on every sale I make. Now sometimes this doesn’t work but that’s what I try to do. I know that most people shopping on online sales platforms are looking for bargains. If I price my sneakers too high, nobody will buy them and I’ll be stuck with a bunch of shoes I can’t sell. But I also know that I need to make a profit or there isn’t any incentive for me to being a reseller. So I tend to price my items on the lower end just so I can keep the inventory moving.
Again, this is what works for me.
Different resellers have different strategies when it comes to pricing their items. Don’t feel like my way is the only way. A lot of it depends on the types of products you sell and the audience of people who are interested in those products. The best way to figure out what works best for you is to try different approaches. Take notes on how long items tend to sit around before you resell them, how much profit you’re making, and the type of item you’re reselling. After you do it for a while, you’ll start to notice patterns that can help you refine your pricing strategy over time.
Getting the Shipping Right
When it comes to how to make money flipping products, shipping is often an overlooked step. While it may not be glamorous, shipping is a critical component that can make or break your business. There are many ways to approach shipping and we’ll focus on two tips that have been really beneficial to me starting out in the flipping business.
The first is providing free shipping on your items whenever possible. The second is locking in discounts on shipping expenses.
Why You Should Offer Free Shipping on Your Items
There are two approaches sellers have when figuring out shipping for their products. Some sellers prefer to have the buyers pay for shipping while other sellers prefer to offer free shipping to the buyers. I tend to do the latter. This section will explain some of the benefits that you’ll get by offering free shipping to potential buyers.
The biggest benefit to offering free shipping is the most important — you’ll have a higher chance of getting your products sold. A lot of people are hesitant to buy an item if they know that shipping costs will be high. Most buyers want to know what the total cost of the item is (including shipping) before they commit to buying it. When you make the buyer pay for shipping, it creates doubt in the buyer’s mind on the real cost of the item. The less doubt about your product that a potential buyer has, the more willing they are to actually buy the product.
Another benefit to offering free shipping is that it provides potential customers with another way of filtering on products and seeing yours among the thousands listed. Most online selling platforms have ways for buyers to filter on products. Usually there is an option to only see items that offer free shipping. Buy providing free shipping to potential buyers, you’ll increase the number of people that are actually interested in seeing (and possibly buying) your product.
How to Never Pay Full Price for Shipping
When it comes to shipping your products, there are three major companies you can use: USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
Each of these will get the job done but I tend to mostly use USPS for two reasons:
- It’s more convenient
- It’s cheaper
Let’s talk about convenience first. Post offices are everywhere. Usually there are multiple post offices in a single city which makes is much more convenient when dropping off packages.
In addition, USPS will now pick up your packages from your house for free! That means that you don’t even have to leave your house to send out your products. Neither UPS nor FedEx provide that level of service. This is the link to schedule a free USPS pickup.
Second, in the time I’ve been flipping products, I’ve found that USPS consistently ends up being the cheapest among the three. The reason USPS is the cheapest choice is because of the different shipping options. The three that I use most are:
- Priority Mail (general mail rate for relatively fast shipping)
- Priority Mail Flat Rate (one rate for anything that fits in the box as long as the total weight is under 70 pounds)
- Priority Mail first class packaging (shipping for light weight items)
Priority mail boxes are my go-to shipping option when sending out most of my products. Because I mostly deal in boots and sneakers, I use priority mail boxes because I can cut them up and shape them how I want to fit what I’m selling. (Pro Tip: Yes, you can cut up Priority boxes and resize them. You just can’t do that with Priority flat rate boxes, though.)
Remember that your shipping costs depend on three things:
- the distance between where you’re shipping from and where you’re shipping to
- the size dimensions of the box or envelope
- the weight of the box or envelope
These three factors together will determine your costs for shipping and changing these will determine how much profit you make.
For example, the farther the distance between the shipping address and destination address, the more money it’ll generally cost. Also, the bigger the package and heavier it weighs, the more money you’ll pay.
Finally, one of the great things about USPS is that they offer free priority boxes you can use for shipping. This is awesome because once you start shipping products, you realize that finding boxes can be tough. You want to use good boxes that won’t fall apart but buying a brand new box for $3-$4 every time you want to ship something will quickly eat into your products.
With USPS, you can go online to the USPS website and order different size priority boxes and envelopes for free and USPS will deliver them to you in about a week, also for free! Getting brand new boxes to use for shipping boxes has been a game changer for me, and when combining it with the convenience of USPS makes it a no-brainer to use their shipping services for most of my shipments.
OK, so if you’re interested in shipping with USPS, there is one other trick you should know. If you pay to ship your product at the post office, you’ll pay more than you would if you pay for shipping online. There a few different companies that offer discounted USPS shipping but the one I prefer (and use for ALL my shipping) is Pirate Ship.
Pirate Ship is a company that will let you print USPS shipping labels online and automatically calculate the best price for your package. It’s a pretty cool service because you’ll get discounts on every shipment, which saves you money (thus giving you more profit).
The service is completely free, although you do need to sign up for an account to use it. Besides being a lot cheaper than shipping directly through the post office, here are some other benefits to using PirateShip:
- print USPS labels with any kind of printer
- support for printing 2×7″ or 4×6″ shipping labels
- multiple shipping label file formats available
- share your labels through a private share link
- skip the Post Office line or schedule a free pickup
- pay-on-use return labels for easy returns
- keep track of your packages from start to finish
- pay with any credit card or instant bank transfer
- integrated shipment reports and receipts
- …and tons more!
One thing to remember, though, about using Pirate Ship is that it only offers discounted rates on Priority Mail packages which means heavier items cost more to ship than lighter ones do – this isn’t an issue for me since I mostly sell shoes anyway! However, if you ship super heavy items, this service probably wouldn’t work for you.
How to Make Sure Buyers Love You
One of the most important things to do as a seller is to make sure your buyers love you. It sounds so simple, but it’s not always easy. In this chapter, I’ll be discussing three tips that will help you make your buyers love you and want to buy from you again!
The first tip is to ship quickly. When your buyers order from you, they want their product as soon and possible! If the shipping time takes too long or if it’s delayed for some reason (like a natural disaster), then customers will be upset with how much longer than expected delivery took – which means that there are more chances of them leaving negative reviews.
The best thing sellers should do when fulfilling orders so fast? Ship out products within 24 hours after a purchase has been made. Normally, sales platforms give you a couple of days to send out the item you sold but the faster you can send it out, the happier your customer will be.
The second tip for how to make money flipping products is to respond promptly to buyers and potential buyers. This is important because when someone has a question about your product or wants to buy it, they want an answer as soon and possible so that the buyer can make their decision.
This means you should respond within 12 hours of receiving any messages from customers. This is the minimum time frame. Personally, I like to respond to any inquiries as soon as I get the message. By not responding promptly, buyers feel ignored and chances are high sales will decrease because if they can’t trust you to respond quickly to their questions, they won’t trust you to actually send them the item that they ordered!
Don’t Be Rude
The third tip on how to make money flipping products is to not be rude. This might sound like a no-brainer, but you would actually surprised how many sellers are out there that don’t realize they’re being downright nasty or unprofessional in their messages with buyers! Some sellers even realize it but do it anyways. You want your customers and potential clients feel appreciated which means avoiding any type of rudeness at all cost.
As a seller, you have to have thick skin. I’ve mentioned this multiple times but I sell mostly boots and sneakers. In all of my descriptions (and most of my titles), I always put the size of the shoes. You’d be surprised, though, at how many people message me asking me about the sizes! I could be snarky, rude, or sarcastic, but I choose not to. Instead, I answer each question sincerely because I never know who might become a buyer. I know that if I’m rude, that person will definitely not buy from me so I don’t want to alienate anyone.
In conclusion, I’ve found that the best way to keep your buyers happy is by shipping quickly, responding promptly, and being nice. If you do this, they will love buying from/talking about how great of a seller YOU are and will be much more interested buying from you.
In today’s day and age, there is an abundance of information available to anyone with a computer. The internet has made it easier than ever before for people to make money online by flipping products.
There are many different ways to make money, but one of the most popular is flipping products. The idea behind this is that you buy a product for a low price and then resell it at an inflated rate. The reason why people like to do this is because the profit margins can be quite high depending on how fast you can sell your product and what type of product you’re selling.
It’s not hard, but it does take a little time and effort on your part.
So give it a try!
FAQ – How to Make Money Flipping Products
Is Amazon FBA the same as flipping products?
No, it’s is not the same as flipping products. What is it? In simple terms, Amazon FBA is a service that allows Amazon to store inventory for you, ship the goods when they’re ordered by customers and handle customer returns.
Is a flea market a good place to find items to flip?
A flea market can be a great place to find items but they’re not always the best because you have no idea what condition an item is in or how much use it’s had.
What are some of the best items to flip?
Some of the best items to flip are clothes, furniture, shoes, and accessories. Other popular items include power tools, video games, name brands, sports memorabilia, or hard to find items. I recommend checking out garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, and estate auctions for better deals on products that haven’t been used as heavily.
How do I know if an item is worth flipping?
This depends on what you’re looking for in a product. If it can be resold easily at higher prices like clothing or jewelry products, then it’s a good deal. One of the best ways to find out if an item is selling is to go on eBay, search for your item, and filter on whether or not it has sold recently. If it hasn’t sold at all, then it’s probably not a good item worth flipping.
Is it illegal to buy and resell items?
As a general rule, it’s not illegal to resell an item that you have legitimately purchased, whether at stores or at garage sales/yard sales. Once you have bought something at retail price, it becomes your property and the manufacturer has little say in what happens after they sell their first product to a customer.
Can you make money flipping cars?
There are many different methods of flipping cars, but in general it is simply the act or process when you buy and sell a car for more than what was originally paid. In doing so – whether buying wholesale through bidding online with auction sites–or selling new aftermarket parts locally without ever having an original sale–there’s always money made either way! Cars aren’t the easiest things to flip but if you do it right, you can make good money. If you’re interested in other ways of making money from you car, check out the article on how to make money by advertising on your car.
Do I need a license to resell items?
In general, the sale of consumer goods as a side hustle is not subject to government regulation. This means that you do NOT need a license in order sell back your items at retail price (or more) once they have been used or are no longer wanted and/or desired by consumers for whatever reason!
What are the easiest things to flip online?
Surprise, surprise. The easiest things to flip online are usually the one’s with a high demand. These include fashion, music, furniture, toddler clothes, baby items, and video games! You can find this stuff at estate sales, flea markets, garage sales, and yard sales.
Can I successfully make a side income as an Amazon flipper?
Yes! The best part about selling items on Amazon is that it can be done from the comfort of your home. This also means you do not need to worry about a license and days spent at work in order make more cash money. In another article I’ll talk more about making money through Amazon.
Where can I find a yard sale near me?
You can find a yard sale in your local area by looking on Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook. Just search for “yard sale” and you’ll find them.