Day #1 (Ash Wednesday)
If you know me well then you’d know that I love Jesus, my wife, family, friends, music, baseball, and… flipping. Here’s a standard dictionary definition of “flip”…
turn over or cause to turn over with a sudden sharp movement.
"the yacht was flipped by a huge wave"
synonyms: overturn, turn over, tip over, roll (over), upturn, capsize;
Now, here’s my definition of “flipping”…
turn over or cause to turn over a product with a sudden sharp purchase and resell.
“Jim-Bob has been flipping to make a little extra cash”
“Boo Radley flipped that sub-woofer for $100”
synonyms: reselling, picking, treasure-hunting, balling, good-looking
To put it a little more simply, I've picked up a hobby recently that involves me going to thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales looking for any good deals I can get my hands on. I source at these kinds of venues and resell through Craigslist and Ebay (mostly Ebay though… less weird people). I don’t go out sourcing for inventory everyday (I kind of have a job) but I do go out when I can. There are other Flippers that pull six figures doing this kind of work. Not me though, I just do it for fun. It’s nice to have a hobby that pays, that’s for sure. Some people like to fish, some enjoy brewing beer (like my brother in law), some like to work out (Jared Zimmerer), or some enjoy blogging about youth ministry (Edmund Mitchell), but my hobby happens to pay a little in the process.
I've been doing this for 4-5 years now but have been doing it as a legit hobby for roughly four solid months now and have turned a pretty decent profit. So, this year for my Lenten observance I've decided that every single penny that I make flipping is going straight to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in addition to normal tithing.
You might wonder how I got into this and the answer is really simple. When I was in high school I regularly searched Craigslist for some good deals on drums, cymbals, drum hardware, etc. I got better and better as a drummer and sought after upgrades to my kit which left me with my older gear which still had tremendous value. It was a simple as that. I got upgraded equipment and resold my old equipment to offset the price. Now, I’m aware that the example I just shared isn’t exactly “flipping” but what it did was teach me basic marketing and sales, which eventually has led to this becoming a hobby and has earned me a good chuck of supplemental income. I soon started branching out and began sourcing other items that weren't music related. I've flipped $10 items such as cue-stick cases, $200 baseball pitching machines, and all the way up to high end home theater electronics such as a Supernova Earthquake 12" Sub-woofer for $750, in which I paid $150 for at an estate sale (my biggest flip yet). I've learned so much since doing this and if you're wondering if you can do it, the answer is "yes, yes you can!" You just have to be smart about the value you're getting, know the market your selling to, and check to see if there even is a market at all. Now, my degrees are in Catholic Studies and Theology, so anyone who knows basic business methods can certainly do well. Anyways… yada yada, I’ll be doing this hobby/business throughout the season of Lent to offer up my time and earnings. This isn't a “40 day challenge” nor do I have a dollar amount in mind that I want to earn for the Church. I’m just making it very clear that everything I flip will be going to the Church in addition to my tithing. I’ll be blogging about everything I buy and will update on listed status, shipments, and completed sales.
HERE WE GO!
1st day of Lent (Ash Wednesday)
While out thrifiting I did a quick Ebay completed listings search and found that it had recently sold in used condition for $25 + $15 shipping = $40 shipped. Now, let me breakdown Ebay fees for you. Assuming I get the same kind of return here’s an example of how I figure my profits from selling an item specifically on Ebay.
Item: Quick-Sorter Royal Sovereign CO-1000
Ebay (10%): $4.00
Paypal (3%): $1.20
Total Fees: $5.20
$40 (final selling price) - $15 (shipping without discounts) - $5.20 (fees) - $3.99 (original price) = $15.81
USPS & FedEx also assist Ebay sellers with shipping discounts so the amount for paid shipping is a lot different than the amount the buyer actually pays. With that in mind my profit for this piece will likely be around $20. Since I've been doing this for a while I’m already well stocked with boxes, shipping supplies, and a scale which makes a world of a difference when calculating shipping. My expected profit in this scenario isn’t a homerun by any means, but it sure isn't bad for simply picking it up, testing it, posting it, and eventually shipping it. I don’t care who you are, $20 is $20. Let's say I picked up three items like this a week and made ~$20 for each. That's $60/week and $240/month. If that doesn't make a difference on your grocery bill then I don't know what will. In this case the $20 I would make is going straight to the Church. But for my particular unit, I think I’ll jack up the price just a tad because mine is the only one of its specific model on the Ebay market right now. If I were to list on Craigslist my profits could be a lot more considering I would be avoiding any Ebay/shipping fees and can list it up for $40 since the buyer isn't paying for shipping. But of course you get a lot of hagglers on Craigslist so I might bump it up to $50 just to account for that. Only limiting myself to Craigslist diminishes my chances of making a quick sell. With this particular item I'll probably list on both Ebay and Craigslist since I have it up on Ebay as a Buy-it-Now (BIN) option.
Current Lent Inventory:
- Quick-Sorter Royal Sovereign CO-1000. Paid: $3.99. Listed on Ebay: BIN $34.99 (w/ $7.55-$15.99 calculated shipping)
Current Profits to go the Church:
Day 1 complete. Stay tuned for more flips. I’ll be updating my Lent Inventory list along with Completed Listings as I go. In the meantime, have a blessed Lent!