Author Topic: What do you flip?  (Read 11938 times)

cheesecat

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2017, 06:04:16 PM »
I'm always envious of those who do appliance flipping - seems like such a great niche since appliances can be so bulky and hard for normal people to move around. As a woman without muscles to speak of (starting to work on that), even with a van/truck and a professional dolly I think it would be a tough job for me.

I did retail arbitrage for a while - I flipped things by buying clearance/marked down items at Walmart and places like TJMaxx and reselling on Amazon. I was flabbergasted that people would pay $50+ for a shower curtain online! Insane.

Did that on the side for a few months, but a) the research gets tedious, b) the record-keeping for tax purposes is annoying (I'm lazy), and most importantly c) it's not an easily-scalable business. There are people who do scale it (by hiring people to do the legwork, etc) but you still have to compete for the Amazon buy box with other resellers, since it's not a product you make.

I wound up researching more about Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) and starting a business creating my own products to sell. I know the big thing recently has been importing products from China for cheap and selling that way (wholesaling) but as many people rushing to do this find out, if your product sells, eventually you wind up competing with 20+ sellers of the exact same thing. So my products are household items that feature my own artistic (I use that term loosely) designs, which mean they're not easily copied. I own the buy box and can set my price, instead of competing with other sellers in a race to the bottom.

It's fun, and a business that can be built slowly - been doing it for a year and a half and have four products currently selling on Amazon (should be more, but again, I'm lazy, and also I made mistakes with a couple early products) with plans for several more by the end of the year. Eventually I plan for it to replace my day job.

So it's not quite flipping, but flipping got me started down this road and into entrepreneurship!

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2017, 06:08:50 PM »
What city are you in?

cheesecat

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2017, 06:58:45 PM »
DC metro area, which meant lots of stores for retail arbitrage. But it just takes so much time!

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #53 on: June 21, 2017, 08:17:21 PM »
I'm sending you a private message cheesecat.

nouveauRiche

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #54 on: June 24, 2017, 05:04:16 PM »
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.

I'm not an engineer but I am a STEM-topic office drone.  The main reason I never started a business before was lack of imagination.  It just didn't occur to me that I could.
 If it had, I probably wouldn't have been able to think of a business to start.

Now, the reason is that plus lack of time (job + kids). 

I don't have much in the way of specialized knowledge that would help me recognize a crazy deal.  I've sold things on ebay before and gotten burned when I didn't calculate the shipping correctly.  Even when that doesn't happen, the profit per item isn't that great. 

For my day job, I work part time and from home so I could literally work for an hour instead of fooling with ebay and get a pretty good return, guaranteed and hassle-free.

So that's why (in my case, at least).

Chriscal

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #55 on: June 25, 2017, 07:52:12 AM »
Hey everyone. Thank you to SC93 for this thread. Really enjoying it. I'm a new mustachian. I am not a flipper yet. Could you please tell me what are the mistakes (common or very damaging) I should avoid or be aware of?

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #56 on: June 25, 2017, 10:30:27 AM »
Cheesecat, a female could do this the way I do it. I'm retired so I do NOT strain myself. If it requires effort in moving it, I'm out. I have rollers so I roll the washers and dryers around and never have to strain. I bought a $1300 2001 minivan for the sole purpose of delivering. I do not go up stairs but I do have a professional appliance dolly that the customer can use if they wish to move them upstairs.

As for mistakes..... it depends what you are flipping.

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2017, 02:27:21 PM »
Used motorcycles, mostly because I have a problem with wanting a new one every year.... But usually I make $500 to $1000 on each one, plus I save a ton in fuel vs driving a car.... So its a productive problem to have : )
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Jellosalad

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Re: What do you flip?- clothes mostly
« Reply #58 on: September 06, 2017, 04:38:42 PM »
I admit to the disease of recreational shopping, or retail therapy. I only shop at goodwill or other similarly priced thrifts. I rarely buy stuff for myself anymore, but don't stress for the $10 splurge, knowing that I PURGE EVERyTHING I don't end up loving, and I buy anything, in any size, that I think is likely to sell well on consignment. I'll spend about $50 for an afternoon of retail therapy, clean and drop off my consignments the following week, and make about $100 back. I won't get rich, but it satisfies my shopping hunger, and it's fun. I net about $2k per year on this. The key is to find good consignment shops which pay good percentages, and to buy what sells there. Occasionally, I"ll find something worth the extra effort to sell on Ebay. (Frye boots)

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #59 on: September 06, 2017, 11:44:26 PM »
Chriscal~ Sorry, I didn't see your post before now. Not sure what kind of mistakes you are talking about. I'd say it depends on what you are trying to sell. Someone that flips clothes will probably have different mistakes than I do flipping washers and dryers.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2017, 04:35:22 PM »
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.

With you on that.  What limits me is that I'm Mustachian, so I'm never out shopping or chasing deals...so I only stumble onto them sometimes.  But I do love flea markets, auctions, and all for the potential of flipping - there's something about it that appeals to me.  And I don't hesitate if there's a steal on something I'm really knowledgeable about. 

craiglepaige

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2017, 05:01:35 PM »
Over the past two years I have flipped used cars, used car tires, car parts and bicycles. That plus any other Craigslist find that I think I can make money on.

Last year I made an extra $9800 on those side flips. This year I'm up to about $3800. I plan on stepping up my used car tire game this winter season, hopefully I'll make a few bucks.
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lexde

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2017, 05:46:05 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.....
How did you take buyer's money without immediately producing the vehicle? What did you do to gain someone's trust enough to do that? Did you do it with or without an LLC or other business?

elvizzle

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2017, 06:46:24 PM »
I used to flip "clicks".  I would buy advertising on Facebook, Google, MSN, and Yahoo and sell anything that would be profitable.  It's pretty easy to see which ads and which products work the best, so you can push more budget to those ads and products.  I stopped because the most profitable products are the ones that get banned the most on Facebook/Google. 

ChpBstrd

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #64 on: September 22, 2017, 01:52:30 PM »
My dad flips all sorts of crap he buys from auctions. He doesn't really have an edge in terms of knowledge and his success is intermittent, considering his time and labor. His best wins often occur when there is an outdoor auction scheduled during bad weather, hunting season, or football games (all 3 = good time to back up the truck).

Other win scenarios occur when he finds an object that most attendees are not looking for. E.g. an old motorcycle at a car dealer auction or a car at a building materials auction or antique furniture at a construction equipment auction.

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #65 on: September 22, 2017, 11:33:54 PM »
Yes, we used to have a great little auction house here but due to a death, it closed. We used to buy jewelry from him and would at least triple our money every time. But it was really just chump change.... $20 here, $30 there. We just had fun at the auction. Funny thing is that all the ladies that work at the museum used to love for the lil woman to bring it in. And once the auction closed she found.... ebay. She still sometimes buys ebay jewelry and sells it to the ladies at the museum.

aperture

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #66 on: September 23, 2017, 06:38:09 AM »
I hit local estate sales on Saturdays when they are 50% off and look for whatever I can get a decent return on through eBay.  It is mostly eclectic unpredictable stuff because it is hard to tell what any given estate sale will have that may be valuable. 

I have passed on some cheap washers/dryers and lawn mowers because they require more storage than I have.
Able was I, ere I saw Elba.

topshot

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #67 on: October 03, 2017, 01:23:45 PM »
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.
Seems pretty risky that it wouldn't be sold to someone else, but I'm more surprised that so many would buy a car sight unseen.

tinkertailor

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2017, 02:10:31 PM »
I love that there's so many appliance people here.  My day job is selling appliances (new, not reconditioned), and for the fellow women on this thread I'm 36 and have been doing it for decades, so that's no barrier at all.  I actually started out delivering washers and the like when I was 11, after school with my dad.  I'd turn up at customers' houses still in my school uniform and carry appliances up four flights of stairs - I definitely got some surprised looks, but couldn't at all fathom why back then!  (SC93, I'd be interested in asking you about your appliance dollies, if you have time?)

My side-flip is sort of related, sort of accidental.  I had a garage full of old, obsolete parts and decided to get rid of some on ebay.  To my amazement, they all flew off the shelf and I had people asking for more.  I learned that people were using them for a different niche purpose than they were intended for and figured out how to adapt something similar.  Now I sell loads of them and have no direct competition.

As an accidental side-flip, I also bought an estate sale house that came 'as seen' with everything inside.  It was a hoarder house in a completely disgusting, mouldy state and I thought everything was only fit for the tip.  Except when I scraped away the top layer of grime it actually turned out to be chock full of vintage items dating from the 1890s-1960s.  I've sold a ton of really fascinating stuff so far, but have also had immense fun researching the items and the history periods.  It's turned into quite the interesting and profitable hobby over the last couple of years and I still have lots to sort out.  Sometimes I get tempted to visit flea markets and the like with my newfound knowledge, but I can't bring myself to face the temptation when I've just made some decent space in the house!

SC93

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Re: What do you flip?
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2017, 11:01:23 PM »
tinkertailor, On Sunday night or Monday send me a private message. We just bought a new house and doing a little work in it this weekend. Plus we won the national championship for our class and will be racing this Saturday so I'm just a lil busy. :)

I have 3 types of dollies that I use.