Summer Side Hustle Idea: Garage Sale Flipping

One of my favorite reads when it comes to entrepreneurship and content creation tips has been Gary Vaynerchuk.  He has a great recent post with some tips about how you can make your way through summer garage sales and perhaps make a little side money on your own while you’re at it!

A lot of times when you go to a garage or yard sale, there can be oodles and oodles of items that are heavily discounted, usually because the homeowner wants to get rid of the items quickly to make room, make money themselves, etc.  What isn’t always realized though, is how much it goes back to the phrase of “one person’s junk, being another’s treasure.” 

Oftentimes, you can find items for $1-$2 that could be going for much more on sites like eBay and Amazon (check out our recent post about a course that gives you all you need to know about selling on Amazon!)

Here’s some of Gary’s tips about making sure you’re saving time and money when it comes to flipping items:

Search Town Wide Garage Sales by Median Income

I thought that this tip was really neat and something I probably wouldn’t have thought of.  So, head to Google and in the search box, enter “town wide garage sales.”  If all goes well, it’ll bring up all the garage sales in the area so that you don’t have to keep driving to other parts of town.  There are plenty of great apps that do something similar as well.

Take it one step further though, and search neighborhoods by “median income.”  The thinking behind this is that by doing this, it will help you to possibly find more expensive items that are being sold at a large discount.

When Negotiating – Use SoS – Sound of Silence

Recently I’ve been reading Ramit Sethi’s new edition of his book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and one of the interesting points that he brought up that I think gets lost a lot of times when it comes to saving money is negotiating.  The same thing is true with garage sales, flea markets, etc.  Gary mentions picking up 2 coffee mugs for $5 with projected sale prices of $20 each after clarifying what the price was.

 In another garage sale, he mentions asking one seller if they’d be okay going down to $5 for a vintage light display priced at $10, to which the response was “no.”  Then he went silent.  Shortly before leaving, he offered to buy it for $8, and got a “yes.”  He was able to re-list the item for $80.

Keep A Keen Eye Out for Stuffed Animals

Your miles may vary on this one, but another good rule of thumb is that stuffed animals can often be resold for a decent price.  He mentions having gone to another garage sale, but missed out on an almost easy $20 on a stuffed Hershey chocolate item.

eBay Is Your Friend

For getting the potential market value of an item, just search for the product’s name in the eBay search box on either desktop or mobile.  Such as “Darth Vader action figure”, swipe down and then check “sold items.”  This is key because you’ll get a much better idea for what the item actually sold for.  Keep in mind though when you select “sold items”, often eBay will automatically check the “completed items” box, which shows auctions that ended for that search, regardless if they sold or not. 

You can leave this checked though if you want, because then you can get a better ideas of potential trends of items that sell versus those that don’t.

Gary includes some additional tips, including if you want to scale your flipping business.  Again, your miles might vary on the different garage sales you might visit, and your experience with the sellers.  However, with some of these tips in mind, hopefully it should help save you both time and money while you’re at it.