What is your day job know and is it your only source of income? When I hear hourly income, i think contractor, part time job, state job, etc.
I do it on the side, but luckily, I like my job, but have seen some rainy days that I do this to be prepared and put extra away to take care of home and buy the slickdeals that I truly want. It can be overwhelming at times and its the luck of the draw finding deals that will create income, and if you do it well, then you have to report that income since Paypal is sending the IRS gross figures you collected through their services, and you'd have to do some bookkeeping to tell the IRS what the net income was, otherwise, you may regret not taking product flipping seriously as most do it moreso as hobby selling.
However, its good knowledge to have, say in a situation where you become unemployed, as you'd have knowledge to have side income til you found your next gig.
Thanks for all your replies and advices. I will be finding a new job and quitting this job very soon...
takes a ton of time and a high volume of what you're flipping.
my advice, if you have a hobby and know the prices in the field of your hobby you can do a little flipping on the side to supplement your income (and basically just pay for the hobby). i.e., i collect rare video games and comic books, know the prices pretty well, and have had good experience making a bit of money on the side and buying large lots of those and reselling some items at higher prices.
Rumble, young man, rumble. These are interesting times we live in. Punctuation is key. Fruit is nature's candy.
I would say it is much easier to be a flipper if your expectations are loooooow. If you're only looking to make $20k a year, it is much more likely to work out than if you are shooting for $75k a year in profit
Can you make a living/career from flipping items on SD? Possible, but highly unlikely. I spent a few years heavy on the coupon forums, doing the CVS, Walgreens, Target, etc. shopping. I would get TONS of items, some of which we would keep for ourselves, and the rest we would sell at the flea market. Understand that I also picked up about 40-60 newspapers per week (thankfully free Spanish versions of our local paper, but included all the inserts), and spent at least 20+ hours a week, in the evening after my day job, clipping coupons...talk about boring. I would do all the shopping and driving around toward the end of the week. And even though I'm in a large metropolitan area with 15-20 of each store in the area, there was still a LOT of driving involved. Come flea market time on the weekends, I would typically end up with about $400-600 cash in hand...but by the time you deduct the gas money, minimal amount of money paid for the items, and LOTS of time, I found that it just wasn't worth it for me in the long run. I value the experience, and learned many tips/tactics along the way, but I don't coupon for profit anymore...just for our own household items.
Trying to flip items you find in the Hot Deals section would be even harder IMO. Sure, there is a gem of a deal that comes along every few months or so, but for the most part, the "deals" are good enough for personal use, but not likely going to yield high profit margins. I don't think a career can be made out of it.
Now, what I know for a fact that you can make a career (or at least a very nice supplemental income) with is garage saleing or "picking"...like the TV shows. However, don't think that you're just gonna go out next weekend and make $1000. You'll need to find a niche, and learn extensively about a type or types of items (tools, jewelry, electronics, etc.). A friend of mine at work has been doing this for the past 10-15 years, primarily dealing in watches, cameras, and antique tools...but he makes a killing at it flipping the stuff on Ebay. He probably profits about an extra $20-30k year from doing this on the weekends. Again though, he has learned the ropes, learned the products, and knows what to look for (as well as spot the fakes). So, it's doable, but don't think it doesn't take effort and dedication (like pretty much any job/trade).
Last edited by AngryPirate; 04-19-2012 at 05:27 PM..
I believe I've found the solution to obesity in America. Hemispherectomy....no one uses it anyway.
While it is possible to get "LUCKY" and get in on a smoking hot deal which you could then turn into a profit on the reseller market, there are a lot of factors at play that would make it quite difficult to do this as a full time job that you could sustain yourself on:
1) As I stated above, luck plays a huge part. These special deals (with large profit margins) come and go randomly. You would need to make enough to sustain yourself during the slow times.
2) Timing. Years ago, before SD, FW and dozens of other "deal sites" became common knowledge, price mistakes and similar huge discount deals might last days. Now, within minutes every moron with a computer is at the store/website/etc. trying to get one, or calling the company to make sure it's not a mistake. If you don't get in at the ground floor, you probably won't get in at all.
3) Volume. Even on the great margin deals (like the $99 HP TouchPad that you could sell for about $75-$100 in profit), you would need to buy/sell in massive quantities to make enough to live on. Since supplies are limited, you are competing with tens of thousands (or more) of others who want these items too. And what if there is a purchase limit? Also, buying in bulk takes money. For someone who, by the sound of your post, has no money, I doubt you would be able to just drop tens of thousands of dollars on a hot item.
4) Competition. You aren't the only person who realized they could buy and resell hot deals. The best aftermarket prices are only around for a few hours or days after the deal hits. In a short period of time, the buyers stop paying a huge premium because they either know about the new pricing or the market is so flooded with items that people keep undercutting eachother to get the sale.
5) Shadyness. Unlike major retailers who can take measures to mitigate their losses, you as an individual don't have those luxuries. People are going to try and scam you, and if they do it right, they can easily get away with it. There goes a big chunk of your profits. And what if your sudden increase in sales (which will probably be in a high-fraud category such as electronics) suddenly get frozen by PayPal (who you will most likely be forced into using). It can take weeks or months to get them to release the funds in a worse case scenario. What happens if you can't pay your rent because of that?
6) The Dry Period. When you buy in bulk, you're counting on selling all of your items. What happens when there are no more buyers? You may wind up getting stuck with a ton of inventory, or being forced to sell it below costs. There IS a risk involved.
Reselling can make you a ton of money, but unless you have the resilience and resources to handle it, you won't be making a "career" out of it anytime soon. I would recommend focusing on small deals to make some quick cash while still keeping your day job.
You forgot the scenario what if you buy 50 of an item at $10 because it was a great deal until 31 days after you get them delivered it drops to $4.99 and you still have 40 you havnt sold.
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You'll need to find a niche, and learn extensively about a type or types of items (tools, jewelry, electronics, etc.). A friend of mine at work has been doing this for the past 10-15 years, primarily dealing in watches, cameras, and antique tools...but he makes a killing at it flipping the stuff on Ebay. He probably profits about an extra $20-30k year from doing this on the weekends. Again though, he has learned the ropes, learned the products, and knows what to look for (as well as spot the fakes). So, it's doable, but don't think it doesn't take effort and dedication (like pretty much any job/trade).
Yes, x1000. IMHO this is the only way to make ACTUAL money flipping products. You need to know the product INTIMATELY - when shopping for something to flip you should know at a glance what you're looking at, what the going rate is, how long it'll take you to turn it around, what (if any) work or maintenance you'll have to put into it before you sell it, etc. Examples of products you can do this with would be things like cameras, electronics, bicycles, laptops, game consoles/games, watches/jewelry, tablets, motorcycles, snowmobiles, etc etc. Anything with high value and/or high demand. You're not going to make any serious money flipping soap or toothpaste, even if you're getting it for pennies on the dollar. It's just too hard to turn around.
Further, you need to know the MARKET intimately. How does it fluctuate over time? When do products sell the best, and when does it slow down? Where is the best place to sell - ebay? Craigslist? Somewhere else? What is the best time to list it? Fixed price or auction?
I used to do this pretty extensively with a few different items and it takes a lot of work - I never made anything like the example above, but I was able to clear $3-4k of profit per year just doing this a couple of hours a week after work. If you dedicated yourself to it full time, there's no reason you couldn't make a living at it. You're not going to be rich, but it's more interesting than working at walmart for minimum wage.
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