Author Topic: What do you flip?  (Read 11937 times)

SC93

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What do you flip?
« on: May 16, 2017, 10:46:40 PM »
Does anyone flip anything for profit? If so please share what you do.

spookytaffy

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 02:13:09 PM »
Things I find at yard sales and goodwill.  Plus size women's clothes (brand names) are actually pretty good sellers.  Goodwill frequently has things new with tags which are always the best!  Vintage items such as dishes and glassware are good, but packaging is a pain.  Textbooks if I can find them...anything I THINK I can make a few bucks on!

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 07:14:37 PM »
Cool. I'm not sure what town you live in but google and see where the nearest Goodwill OUTLET is near you. It is not a Goodwill store. Goodwill OUTLET charges by the pound. They have blue carts of everything and they push them out and you take what you want.... the cashier has you roll your shopping basket on to the scales and you get charged by what your items weigh. If you've never heard of this go to Youtube or google it. It's kind of funny.

I flip washers and dryers.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 11:12:11 PM by SC93 »

bwall

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 09:46:08 AM »
I used to flip used cars. Buy locally and sell on eBay. It's hard to know more about a car than the owner of that car, but I could do it about two or three times a month.

It was pretty tough, but what a great feeling!!

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 12:05:04 AM »
How long would it take to flip a car?

I can usually flip a washer/dryer set within a week for sure, sometimes within a day. I'm retired and do this to stay busy. My goal is 4-5 sets a week but it usually ends up more like 6-10 sets a week. I keep about 10 sets ready to go at all times. I rarely split a set up. I hope more people chime in... I know lots of you flip things or maybe you want to flip. Any questions?

Thinkum

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 12:57:52 AM »
I used to be a somewhat random flipper. Niche car parts, motorcycles and motorcycle parts, and bicycles. I have not flipped anything in quite sometime. A good place might also be the Free Section of CL. Sometimes you find good stuff that just needs a little TLC like grills and furniture.

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 12:02:47 AM »
Wow, I'm really surprised. I thought there were more flippers on this site. All y'all be missin out on a bunch o money :)

FIREby35

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 06:39:50 AM »
Ha! Maybe someday when I slow down on my current business (or retire) I'll start flipping stuff. I'll keep it in my back pocket for when I'm done with the law biz.

I can see why washers and dryers work great though. They are big enough that you need a truck and therefore becomes a hassle for the average person. But, they actually don't weigh much at all and people will get rid of them for minor defects or other non mustachian reasons.

bwall

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2017, 05:35:07 PM »
How long would it take to flip a car?

I can usually flip a washer/dryer set within a week for sure, sometimes within a day. I'm retired and do this to stay busy. My goal is 4-5 sets a week but it usually ends up more like 6-10 sets a week. I keep about 10 sets ready to go at all times. I rarely split a set up. I hope more people chime in... I know lots of you flip things or maybe you want to flip. Any questions?

Flipping was a great rush. Nothing quite like showing up at a stranger's place and knowing that you know more than they do about something that they own. Unless someone gets the wrong impression, many of my best flips have been when I gave the person their full asking price. I was the first person to show up on their doorstep with cash in hand. One time, I bought a used car from a car salesman (!) and flipped it one week later. I made $3000 just because I knew something that he should have known, but didn't.

Normally, I'd sell the cars before I bought them. Once I got the cash from the buyer, I'd go to the seller and pay for it and deliver. So, I'd flip in the same day. Once I flipped a BMW Z8 and made in one day what many people on these boards would consider to be a good month's salary.

Like many things in life, there are ups and downs. In the financial crisis these opportunities dried up. Greater internet penetration also meant that the 'knowledge gap arbitrage' that I engaged in began to shrink. I don't know if it's still possible to do it in the old style anymore.

I haven't flipped anything in a long time..... I miss the hunt. And, the excitement it brought. FI has it's downsides.....

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2017, 07:00:02 PM »
Ha! Maybe someday when I slow down on my current business (or retire) I'll start flipping stuff. I'll keep it in my back pocket for when I'm done with the law biz.

I can see why washers and dryers work great though. They are big enough that you need a truck and therefore becomes a hassle for the average person. But, they actually don't weigh much at all and people will get rid of them for minor defects or other non mustachian reasons.

Actually I bought a cheap minivan just for this business, no truck needed. Although my plan was to keep this very small, just something to keep me busy it quickly grew to 2 sales people and 1 guy working on the washers and dryers. But I clean, paint and deliver them myself. With a minivan it's so easy, I never strain a bit. Just tilt them over and push inside. I have some of the high-priced appliance dollies so if the buyer lives on the 2nd or 3rd floor, I supply the dolly and they supply the manpower. But you are correct about everything else. People get rid of them for some silly reasons. The guy that works on them for me is a retired engineer so he is a smart guy. Most smaller guys like us don't sell the newer models like we do but he knows how to work on them so we have an upper hand for the time being.

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 07:06:59 PM »
How long would it take to flip a car?

I can usually flip a washer/dryer set within a week for sure, sometimes within a day. I'm retired and do this to stay busy. My goal is 4-5 sets a week but it usually ends up more like 6-10 sets a week. I keep about 10 sets ready to go at all times. I rarely split a set up. I hope more people chime in... I know lots of you flip things or maybe you want to flip. Any questions?

Flipping was a great rush. Nothing quite like showing up at a stranger's place and knowing that you know more than they do about something that they own. Unless someone gets the wrong impression, many of my best flips have been when I gave the person their full asking price. I was the first person to show up on their doorstep with cash in hand. One time, I bought a used car from a car salesman (!) and flipped it one week later. I made $3000 just because I knew something that he should have known, but didn't.

Normally, I'd sell the cars before I bought them. Once I got the cash from the buyer, I'd go to the seller and pay for it and deliver. So, I'd flip in the same day. Once I flipped a BMW Z8 and made in one day what many people on these boards would consider to be a good month's salary.

Like many things in life, there are ups and downs. In the financial crisis these opportunities dried up. Greater internet penetration also meant that the 'knowledge gap arbitrage' that I engaged in began to shrink. I don't know if it's still possible to do it in the old style anymore.

I haven't flipped anything in a long time..... I miss the hunt. And, the excitement it brought. FI has it's downsides.....

Even with washers and dryers nowadays people want the model number and serial number. Then once we give it to them they make an instant decision if they want it or not..... I have no idea what they even wanted it for. For one, I know how to obtain info with those numbers but I doubt they do (people really aren't very smart). And two, anything they read on the internet that was giving original buyers problems was the reason they traded them in and now we fixed that problem. So there is no sense in them looking it up. I think you could come close to how you used to do it. Used car guys sometimes aren't too smart either. I have a friend that sold used cars for 47 years and when he came to me for a washer and dryer I turned his own words around on him and got more than I originally asked him for them. lmao It was a very good feeling knowing that I was a better salesman than he was because they said he was good before he retired. If you give it a shot again let us know if it still works.

CargoBiker

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2017, 08:23:53 PM »
Even with washers and dryers nowadays people want the model number and serial number. Then once we give it to them they make an instant decision if they want it or not..... I have no idea what they even wanted it for. For one, I know how to obtain info with those numbers but I doubt they do (people really aren't very smart). And two, anything they read on the internet that was giving original buyers problems was the reason they traded them in and now we fixed that problem. So there is no sense in them looking it up. I think you could come close to how you used to do it. Used car guys sometimes aren't too smart either. I have a friend that sold used cars for 47 years and when he came to me for a washer and dryer I turned his own words around on him and got more than I originally asked him for them. lmao It was a very good feeling knowing that I was a better salesman than he was because they said he was good before he retired. If you give it a shot again let us know if it still works.

I've flipped hundreds of washers/dryers.  I was only asked about a serial number one time, and it was a tire kicker, and I have no idea why they wanted to know that.

Charge extra for delivery/installation/hoses/vent clean out.  Then take away their broken one, fix it, and sell it. Repeat.

It was a good hustle, I learned a lot.
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SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2017, 10:46:02 PM »
Yeah, I wish I'd have found this a long time ago. Now that I closed my cleaning business of 19 years down I just wanted a little something to keep me busy but I now see that this washer & dryer business could be a very large and profitable business. We are going on vacation in 2 weeks and I'm going to decide how I want to spend my next 10 years.... cruising along or get back on the horse and go another round of a large business. I really like this business. As for the model/serial numbers, they ask us for them all the time. If I was 22 I'm certain I'd sell all major appliances and have a large store.... but I'm 52 and I'm not sure I want to do it all again.

CargoBiker

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2017, 05:12:29 AM »
It's back-breaking work.

6 Months was enough for me.  Definitely wouldn't want to do it in my 50s.
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FIREby35

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2017, 07:19:15 AM »
SC93 - Do you know any young go-getters? I would try to use it as an opportunity to set someone up in business. I mean, running a business takes a lot of stuff that you can't learn anywhere but in business and it is fun to show people.

I'll use myself as an example. I always have an intern and an associate attorney in my office. It's great for them because they actually learn the business. I'm teaching them how to fish rather than fish for them. For me, it's great because they make my life infinitely easier and are super eager to learn/work. If you look at it as an opportunity to keep busy and create opportunities for others rather than a traditional profitability motive it opens a lot possibilities.

I'm not FI btw, but I'm a mustachio 32 year old with NW of 700k and an extremely profitable business in a low cost of living area with little/no competition. So, I'm confident I can look for ways to make it easier on myself and give others opportunities. If you are totally FI and just stumbling on a great business, you might be able to change someone's life. Someone you think will make the most of it. Look for a hustler and show them the biz! It is a lot of fun when you find the right person.

ditkanate

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2017, 09:47:06 AM »
I used to flip tickets.  Concerts and some sporting events.  My best year was 2011 when I made about $30k doing it (pre-tax). 

It is a ton of work, though.  That $30k came from almost 900 separate sales, so I was only averaging about $33.00 profit per sale.  As the years went by I lost my motivation for it.  Ticketmaster started cracking down more and more on people who bought tons of tickets, and competition for tickets continued to increase as more people learned how to do it.  I still make a few hundred bucks here and there but for the most part I stay away.  You really have to be on top of a lot of information in order to not lose your shirt.  Which events sell.  Which cities.  Which seats at that event.  Then actually procuring those good seats.  Every once in a while there is an event or tour that is pure gold, but they don't come around super often.  When they do you can buy almost any ticket to it and flip it for profit.  The best one I can remember was a Hannah Montana tour back when Miley wasn't insane and people still would let their kids go to her shows.  That tour was nuts.  Ahh good times. 

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2017, 06:19:45 PM »
I can see where it is back breaking for everyone else but not how I do it. I have high quality 4-wheeled furniture dollies that I roll them around on in the shop. When I'm ready to load I roll it to the van, tilt it over and push a little... no strain at all. But yes, I see where all the other guys don't use what I use and they are breaking their back. No idea how they do it every day. And I have 3 different delivery charges, I charge $x amount for driveway delivery. $x amount dropping it off inside your house without hook up. $x amount for full hookup. But neither of these include any stairs. If there are stairs the buyer must provide manpower. I do offer my professional appliance dolly if they choose to use it.

Fireby35~ Your business is kind of on a higher level than the appliance business or the cleaning business. I tried for years to do what you are talking about in the cleaning business but no one is serious about it. Like you, I love teaching people and watching them become successful but as of yet, I haven't found anyone that really is a go-getter.... LOTS of talkers but no doers. Even people in other states I've tried to help with the cleaning business. I'd give them information that should have cost $1 million but most ended up not busting a grape in Mr. Welches' back yard.

FIREby35

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2017, 07:25:41 AM »
SC93 - Interesting what you say about how people just don't seem to appreciate the opportunity. I would actually push back on the idea that my business is "high level" and therefore different. Let me tell you a story about what I mean (mostly just for fun):

I had a "protege" who I had groomed for five years. She was extremely bright and dedicated. Fun to be around. She was a first generation immigrant and I helped her get through undergrad and law school (with no debt!) and gave her a job as an attorney on day one. I thought I was being generous by offering to split fees with her 50/50 and cover all of her overhead. Again, the idea of teaching her to fish. I was also supplying her the cases. To give you an idea, I had done this with another friend who made 60k in year one but eventually left to be an FBI Special Agent. She could have made literally hundreds of thousands of dollars a year within two or three years and been totally insulated from the business risks (I was covering overhead). It was basically, "How to be a successful law firm owner 101."

Anyway, about three months into working as an attorney (and don't forget after FIVE YEARS of building this relationship) she comes into my office to tell me that she is leaving the firm to go and work for a non-profit for $42,000 per year. She said she didn't like asking clients for money and was stressed about not having steady pay. The shocker is that we do the exact same kind of public service law! We work with immigrants, we take civil rights cases, we are 100% guided by our conscious and what we think is right. People forget, non-profits have to beg for money from donors. We sometimes ask for pay up front as fair value for our services and often go and win it for our clients and then take a percentage of what we win. Most clients don't even pay up front!

Over the years I have learned attorneys are also terrible at business. The new associate attorney is just on a salary. I will be giving him a karate kid style introduction to managing the firm - "wax on wax off" without really knowing that he is learning karate. In the mean time, he does most of the "work." It may or may not work out where he understands the business and really "gets it" but I'm enjoying trying to show him in the meantime.

Anyway, you read my other post about how I think all business owners are special. I happen to be an attorney. But I don't really identify with the title "attorney" because very, very few of attorneys get the small business angle. But, the owner of a cleaning company who "cleans toilets" does get the small business angle. Long story short, don't chalk it up to the difference in our industries. I think it is more about how rare a business owner personality actually is.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 07:34:13 AM by FIREby35 »

bwall

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2017, 07:55:01 AM »
FIRE: Interesting insights and tragic tales of smart, educated, otherwise insightful people not recognizing a golden opportunity staring them in the face.

I've long maintained that good attorneys, doctors, engineers, craftsmen, artists, etc. aren't necessarily good business people.
Oftentimes, the exact qualities required to excel at your trade are the exact opposite of those required to be a good business person. And very few people have overlapping skill sets.

FWIW, I'm surprised at the low number of entrepreneurs on these boards. I had always thought 'oh, it can't be that hard. If I can do it, anyone can.' I'm having to readjust that thought process.

CareCPA

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2017, 08:06:00 AM »
...
FWIW, I'm surprised at the low number of entrepreneurs on these boards. I had always thought 'oh, it can't be that hard. If I can do it, anyone can.' I'm having to readjust that thought process.
+1.
It seems like many people here are either comfortable in their high-paying job and are going to wait it out until they can retire early, or they spend more time trying to cut $100 a month in spending instead of working to dramatically increase income.
Don't get me wrong, optimizing spending is important, but once you get the low hanging fruit there is only so much more time you can spend on it. Put some of that same energy into starting a business and watch your net worth grow exponentially.
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SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2017, 08:26:48 AM »
Fire~ Yes, I've realized people are followers aka need a steady job with a steady income and 'benefits'. I had a lady that I did the same thing with except get this.... I GAVE her a complete business with 225 customers and 12 workers. FREE! Within 1 year she went out of business and started telemarketing for $12.60 an hour + benefits. She said she liked the steady pay and needed benefits. I said, "Well, your benefit could have been that you made $200,000 a year and could buy your own insurance!". When I found out she just let it dwindle away my knees got weak.

By the way.... an ambulance chaser huh? lmao I have a buddy in Omaha that's an ambulance chaser and he LOVES other businesses.

bwall~ I am also surprised at the low number of entrepreneurs. What I'm even more surprised about is this. I'm on another board and a guy was wanting to know about the appliance business. I Told him before I gave him some answers he needs to do a little home work and gave him 1 thing to do... just 1 thing. And then I'd give him some answers...... that was 3 days ago. Seems as though he is more a dreamer than a go-getter. I know that if I'm excited about a business and someone told me that they would give me all kinds of help and all I had to do was 1 easy thing.... I'd have had that answer within 2 minutes. But this happens all the time and has since I got on the internet in 1998. People want help and either aren't serious about making any more money than $12 an hour or they take your help, do their own thing and either never update you (That's all I've ever asked and not 1 person has ever updated me) or they turn out to be a flake and end up back at their $12 an hour job.

Real entrepreneurs are very hard to come by. LOTS of dreamers out there, but real entrepreneurs are few and far between.

WranglerBowman

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2017, 09:24:51 AM »
I flip anything I think I can make a buck on.  I started in 2010 just picking up small stuff here and there for $100 that I knew a little bit about (ie Summit Climbing Stands for Hunting), and knew I could get a better price.  It was a drug that I was hooked on and began getting really busy all the way up till 2015 when my wife just about lost it because our yard, my inventory, and my time was getting too congested and I wasn't getting things done around the house because I was so busy flipping stuff and chasing the next score and making the same amount of money as a drug dealer per se.  Why should I work on drywalling and finishing our basement when I'm averaging $142/hr flipping items...get the gettin while the gettins good!  I made around $22k profit in 2015, after flipping for just half that year, and was averaging about 8 hours of work a week on flipping.   Since 2015 I only flip a couple things a year that require very little time expenditure and average around $3k profit that I just use as play money basically. My biggest issue was having a good place to work on items and store items, a 2 car garage only goes so far and if you buy and work on just one item at a time it's difficult to make decent money, especially when there are so many good deals out there all the time.  I think flipping things is one of the greatest sources of wealth.  I can go to the dump today, come home with 5 items some idiot threw out because "it's broke", fix them and sell them in 2 weeks and make a grand having only invested 6-8 hours of time, and a couple bucks for parts.  Appliances are a great example of this.
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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2017, 10:00:26 AM »
Um, houses? Mostly we BRRR them, but occasionally we buy something that we don't intend to hold on to. I dig the idea of appliances though. We have a big garage, a truck and mechanical know-how. Something to think about.
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FIREby35

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2017, 10:54:20 AM »
SC93 - So the "janitor" calls me an "ambulance chaser." I see how it is! :)

I can't believe that story about letting an established business crumble like that. I'd be weak in the knees as well. Actually, the more I think about it, I can believe it.

Sounds like you have been down the mentorship rabbit hole many more times than I have. I might just have to prepare myself for repeat after repeat of associates that never get it.

I have also been on the idea of "I can do this so can everyone else." For a few years I had to have been downright obnoxious with my business-owner proselytizing that assumed every would or could do what I was doing. I was singing it from the mountaintops to every attorney I knew - and I know a lot of attorneys. For me, it was a rocket ride to the top. Financial success, independence, free time, everything. I mean, it was a decade ago I was putting myself through community college washing dishes at Pizza Hut for$ 6.25 an hour. I was (and continue to be) amazed at the opportunity small business ownership represents. I truly couldn't understand why anyone else would do it any other way. I suppose I still don't, but now I know I AM THE WEIRD ONE. So, I mostly keep it to myself and and have stopped the obnoxious proselytizing.

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2017, 01:08:15 PM »
Fire, Let me know if you don't receive my private response. I sent it but now I don't see where it sent.

NinjaSalad

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2017, 01:25:08 PM »
Our best flip was a VW bus - we are HUGE VW fans and own a 76 Westie ourselves. We bought it for $4k and it's worth $20K, but we're not selling her :)

One time we were at a garage sale shopping for baby clothes and spotted a 73 Transporter (bus) in the garage. The body was a bit rough in the typical places but the interior was original and perfect!

We started talking with the owner about what he planned on doing with it and found out he was thinking of selling it - $800 later the bus was ours. We spent the rest of the day washing, waxing polishing and making her shine. Two days later we sold her for $2300!

Best garage sale find EVER!!!

We also flip records. Most of the stuff at Goodwill is crap but every now and then we come across something worth a few bucks. We've found decent records at garage sales and estate sales too. We recently flipped 0.50 record for $25.00 - not bad.

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2017, 01:40:32 PM »
What state are you in Ninja?

InnTee

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2017, 02:10:00 PM »
I just flipped a fancy speakerphone that I got at Goodwill, for a profit of $127. That was cool. I don't think I have the patience for flipping clothes/books/other typically low-$ items, even if there is good money in it.

I see folks above who flip cars, washers/dryers, houses -- any other ideas for higher-dollar items that can be flipped?

stoaX

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2017, 02:21:08 PM »
When we lived in an apartment my wife found, over a period of 3 years, about 1/2 dozen pieces of furniture that were nice enough to take to a consignment store.   

NinjaSalad

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2017, 03:54:20 PM »
What state are you in Ninja?
We live in VA.

Dicey

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2017, 05:26:40 PM »
What state are you in Ninja?
We live in VA.
Hey, I like your name Ninja Salad! Does one prepare such a salad with a Salad Shooter? I see those a lot at GW and the like, lol!
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SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2017, 05:51:31 PM »
Gotcha, I was going to tell you where 3 or 4 VW buses are. The other day we saw a nice 23 Window pulling out of a gas station. It wasn't restored but it wasn't run-down either.

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2017, 07:37:28 PM »
Well, today it happened again Fire. There is a guy that has an appliance business and I reached out to help him last night and he hasn't even acknowledged that I wrote him. Yes, he has been online, a few times. Sucks for him too because I could have lead him to be the top guy in his area. Oh well... on to the next one. I think I'll start charging. I've noticed if I try to give things away people don't want help but if I charge, people are all over it.....

bwall

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2017, 07:52:29 PM »
Gotcha, I was going to tell you where 3 or 4 VW buses are. The other day we saw a nice 23 Window pulling out of a gas station. It wasn't restored but it wasn't run-down either.

Flag him down and offer $40k cash on the spot. He'll be flabbergasted and you'll make a killing.

bwall

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2017, 07:55:17 PM »
Well, today it happened again Fire. There is a guy that has an appliance business and I reached out to help him last night and he hasn't even acknowledged that I wrote him. Yes, he has been online, a few times. Sucks for him too because I could have lead him to be the top guy in his area. Oh well... on to the next one. I think I'll start charging. I've noticed if I try to give things away people don't want help but if I charge, people are all over it.....

Clearly, if you're willing to give it away, then it's worth nothing.... charge $25 and you'll have two people interested. Charge $150 and you'll have a line 10 deep.......

Someone once asked me why the price was so low, wasn't that too good of a deal. "I'll be happy to raise the price if that makes you sleep better." Sale didn't go through. I did raise the price $5k and sold it the next day. The customer was very happy.

bwall

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2017, 07:57:10 PM »
Our best flip was a VW bus - we are HUGE VW fans and own a 76 Westie ourselves. We bought it for $4k and it's worth $20K, but we're not selling her :)
Technically not a flip, but rather a 'good deal'. Until it's sold, it's just all pie in the sky............

NinjaSalad

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2017, 06:31:33 AM »
Our best flip was a VW bus - we are HUGE VW fans and own a 76 Westie ourselves. We bought it for $4k and it's worth $20K, but we're not selling her :)
Technically not a flip, but rather a 'good deal'. Until it's sold, it's just all pie in the sky............
We have no plans on flipping our Westie, but we did flip the Transporter. I just got carried away with our love of VWs and had to include the Westie in our story :)

bwall

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2017, 07:01:08 AM »
Our best flip was a VW bus - we are HUGE VW fans and own a 76 Westie ourselves. We bought it for $4k and it's worth $20K, but we're not selling her :)
Technically not a flip, but rather a 'good deal'. Until it's sold, it's just all pie in the sky............
We have no plans on flipping our Westie, but we did flip the Transporter. I just got carried away with our love of VWs and had to include the Westie in our story :)

I understand.... I couldn't resist being the Internet Flip Police for just one day.

v8rx7guy

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2017, 08:33:49 AM »
I flip cars mostly... but I have slowed down a bit.  I'm 32 and have owned about 25 vehicles in my life.  Best deal I ever scored was a '93 RX-7 for $8K that I sold later for $15K.  One of my favorites is finding 90's 4runners with blown headgaskets for less than $500, then fixing the gaskets and selling them for $2500-$3000.  Sometimes the headgaskets are even swapped out by Toyota for free under an outstanding recall!

ChpBstrd

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2017, 08:59:04 AM »
Re: why there aren't more entrepreneuers here.
1) They're too busy working 80h weeks.
2) They tend to be more excited about their business than FIRE. So the goal of retirement isn't as appealing to them as it is for a cubicle monkey like me.

Re: flipping ideas
There's a tradeoff between the amount of work required to do a flip and the price of the item. You can buy a used car that runs rough for $700, replace a $30 mass airflow sensor, clean it, and sell it for a $1500 profit 10 hours later. Or you can spend 50 hours at the thrift stores looking for $3 vintage t-shirts that you can sell on ebay for a $3 profit each. The big ticket item probably sounds easier to flip than 500 t-shirts (w/ shipping and all that). This is why the landfills are full of billions of dollars worth of low-price merchandise. It wasn't worth the trouble to sell.

So basically, flip high price merchandise or real estate IF you can discover an arbitrage edge, such as knowledge of finding, fixing, cleaning, and marketing.

E.g. our state government sells retired 5 year old computers for a couple hundred dollars a pallet. They're cheap because the hard drives are wiped and because nobody needs a pallet of them. Flippers buy a Windows enterprise license, do the installs en masse, and sell them on ebay for $65-80 each to people who need one, cheap, working computer. So a pallet of nonfunctional equipment + technical knowledge + marketing knowledge = profit.

Similarly, vintage cars and motorcycles are being bought - sometimes in running condition - only to be parted out online, because the sum of their parts is worth more than the whole.

I haven't done much flipping since I had a kid and since I started making semi-good money elsewhere. I've thought about doing a few cars though, and I've also looked at RE auctions.

FIREby35

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2017, 08:36:01 AM »
Well, today it happened again Fire. There is a guy that has an appliance business and I reached out to help him last night and he hasn't even acknowledged that I wrote him. Yes, he has been online, a few times. Sucks for him too because I could have lead him to be the top guy in his area. Oh well... on to the next one. I think I'll start charging. I've noticed if I try to give things away people don't want help but if I charge, people are all over it.....

It's not a bad idea to call yourself a small business consultant and charge. That is the difference between my legal advice and my personal opinion. It does amaze me that people will listen to my legal advice but totally ignore my opinions (being the same thing, after all).

That might be how you enjoy your FIRE. As a consultant, only people who want to "put their money where their mouth is" bother to find you.

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2017, 10:57:02 AM »
80 hours a week? Now that's a lazy entrepreneur right there. Or maybe that's the difference between the successful and non successful ones. The good ones put in 125+ hours a week while the 80 hour entrepreneurs are basically dreamers. But there is that old joke... us entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week to keep from working 40 hours a week for someone else.

Maybe someone such as yourself doesn't understand that being on a forum and getting all the information you can about building your business is what the smart entrepreneurs should be doing; even the 80 hour a weekers. I know that's what I did even though the internet was a small group at that time. The go-getters should be getting all the information they can and then their job is to siphon through it all and take out the best parts and then apply what fits to their business and plan.


You are correct, flipping the $3 item for $15 is a lot of trouble. My wife who has never had an entrepreneur interest before meeting me got a taste of it doing the low priced items though. She works at a famous museum and loves jewelry so I got her to buying jewelry from China and selling it to the ladies at the museum. It is not something the museum really allows anyone to do but being who she is, they let her by with it as long as she kept it on the down-low and in the back office sectionThey loved buying it and she loved selling it but nowadays she is just too busy to do it. One of the ladies on the board (that controls the museum) once saw a pearl necklace Samantha had for sale and asked how much, Samantha said $20 and the board member's jaw dropped and she said she would give her $50 for it because she just bought one like it and it cost $700. We only gave $3-$5 for them. Yes, I know the difference was the gold clasp but the pearls were exactly the same.

There are all kinds of pallet sales. Google Dirt Cheap Stores. Their whole business plan is buying and selling stuff off of pallets. They are a chain store that sells everything from clothes to coffee pots to tv's.

It seems to me that Fire is excited about business and not just retiring. He and I found out we have a mutual friend and that mutual friend is a heck of a businessman.

Fire~ Yes, I've thought about consulting for many years but then I'd take it way more serious and then I'd get p!ssed off at people when they failed.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 01:09:24 PM by SC93 »

Polish_Hammer

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2017, 12:14:30 PM »
E.g. our state government sells retired 5 year old computers for a couple hundred dollars a pallet. They're cheap because the hard drives are wiped and because nobody needs a pallet of them. Flippers buy a Windows enterprise license, do the installs en masse, and sell them on ebay for $65-80 each to people who need one, cheap, working computer. So a pallet of nonfunctional equipment + technical knowledge + marketing knowledge = profit.
I haven't done much flipping since I had a kid and since I started making semi-good money elsewhere. I've thought about doing a few cars though, and I've also looked at RE auctions.

I did pretty well with this in the early 90's.  Had my enterprise licenses for windows and office and ghost imaging software so I could just blow down an image over my home network and crank them out. 

gredenko

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2017, 12:55:37 AM »
For those of you who are getting stuff from thrift stores to resell, do you ever find the same things online as well? Do you ever buy and resell purely online? And how do you know whether to get something if you haven't sold it before?

I remember going through books and checking my phone to find out whether or not I should buy any, but it was quite a tedious process to find anything worth selling that isn't already sold for 0.01 on Amazon. I'm not sure how to go about that, so if anyone doesn't mind sharing their process with me, feel free to PM me.

gaja

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2017, 08:34:28 AM »
DH likes tinkering with old electronics, like Amiga and Atari computers, and synths. He buys them with missing or broken parts and fixes them up, or just cleans them. Usually he keeps too many to make any real money, but at least he sells enough to break even. Postage is too expensive here to make any real profit, which is a shame, because apparently there is a higher demand for some of these things in the US than in the European market. Especially since changing the language/software is relatively easy if you speak a couple of European languages.
Travelling southern Norway, Iceland and the Faroes in an electric car: http://travelelectric.blogspot.no/

bwall

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2017, 03:34:08 AM »
For those of you who are getting stuff from thrift stores to resell, do you ever find the same things online as well? Do you ever buy and resell purely online? And how do you know whether to get something if you haven't sold it before?

I remember going through books and checking my phone to find out whether or not I should buy any, but it was quite a tedious process to find anything worth selling that isn't already sold for 0.01 on Amazon. I'm not sure how to go about that, so if anyone doesn't mind sharing their process with me, feel free to PM me.

I've 'bought and sold purely online', also known as arbitrage in the business world. Sometimes I would have my supplier/competitor ship directly to the client. AND, I'd make more than they would on the transaction.

My product was books, but it's the same for any product. Here is the combination of what you need:

1) Limited supply (out of print books, in my case)
2) Interesting/in demand subject matter (no other books on the subject, so no competition which allowed me to have pricing power)
3) Good condition (who wants junk?)

You could do the same for electronics with yard sales being your source of supply and amazon being your sales market channel. You'd need:
1) Good purchase price
2) Good reviews on amazon
3) Functioning product. Plug and play; people are looking for solutions, not additional work.

Anything mass produced won't sell profitably on amazon (clothing, non-branded items, perishables, jewelry, etc.)





CareCPA

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2017, 10:05:53 AM »
Well, today it happened again Fire. There is a guy that has an appliance business and I reached out to help him last night and he hasn't even acknowledged that I wrote him. Yes, he has been online, a few times. Sucks for him too because I could have lead him to be the top guy in his area. Oh well... on to the next one. I think I'll start charging. I've noticed if I try to give things away people don't want help but if I charge, people are all over it.....
I've seen your appliance advice on two forums now. Curious - is population a factor in whether or not appliance flipping is viable? I'm intrigued by the process, but I'm concerned my area isn't densely-populated enough.
Always happy to help with tax or accounting questions - feel free to private message me.

I am a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania. However, any tax advice I give should be considered general information and not used in the avoidance of tax. There is most likely information about your situation that I do not know, and thus you should do your own additional research.

Yes, in case it confuses you, I did change my forum name.

Alf91

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2017, 07:40:18 PM »
Book flipper here! I don't invest a ton of time/effort into it, but can easily make a few hundred bucks a month.

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #48 on: June 15, 2017, 09:23:01 PM »
I don't do it to eat. I do it because I got bored and it ended up being fun to me. What town do you live in? If you want, send me a private message.

CareCPA

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2017, 04:44:42 PM »
I meant it as more of a generality than it came out. I have another business I'm working on growing, and don't want to divide my time.
I just thought maybe it would help others - I assume market size plays directly into need.
Always happy to help with tax or accounting questions - feel free to private message me.

I am a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania. However, any tax advice I give should be considered general information and not used in the avoidance of tax. There is most likely information about your situation that I do not know, and thus you should do your own additional research.

Yes, in case it confuses you, I did change my forum name.