Today, I have a very unique interview with Melissa Tonini of fleamarketflipper.com about making money by flipping thrift store items. Melissa started this as a side hustle and now she does this full-time.
She and her husband have made over $130,000 last year flipping items from thrift stores.
She has a superb course on how to start your own flipping business where she talks about how to find items, how to sell on Facebook,eBay etc. The course has tons of info on every aspect of flipping.
I never knew there is so much potential in flipping flea market items. This can be a great side hustle or even your main business.
Check out her interview to find out more about this side hustle.
Please tell me about your background and how you started in flipping business for extra income.
I learned about flipping flea market items from my husband. He has been doing it since he was 16! He started by buying Nordic Tracks for $10-$15 here in Florida and selling them on eBay to someone up north (where they exercise more) for around $200.
I guess you can say I married into it. If you asked me ten years ago if I thought we would be doing this to support our young family of 5, I would have laughed.
Not because I didn’t know that it could make us money, but because it wasn’t a ‘real job’. It turns out we don’t do ‘real jobs’ very well, and much prefer to work for ourselves, on our own time.
What is Flipping? Can you tell us in detail?
Flipping is the art of finding things that nobody else sees value in and selling for a profit! It is buying a used and second-hand item from the flea market (or yard sale, thrift store or auction), and then reselling it to someone else who is looking to buy that item.
Some items require a little love and elbow grease to get looking good or functioning well again, and some items just need to be marketed online to find the person who is looking for it. An excellent reference is American Pickers. They pick and they flip five. The guys of storage wars do it too.
They buy storage units full of stuff, and then sell it off in hopes to make a profit. We have never purchased a storage unit, but we buy from vendors that do.
How much money can you make with flipping?
This is like anything else; you get out of it what you put into it. If someone takes the time to learn some proper techniques and adopts a little time finding and posting some good items, you can make a full-time living off of it.
This is something we have been doing on the side for our whole marriage. Some months it brought us a lot of extra cash, and some months not as much.
We didn’t really keep good records of what we made until about three years ago. Part time in 2014 and 2015, we made just over $40K for each year!
Last year was crazy, we jumped into flipping full time in May, and totaled over $133,000 for the year! We were ecstatic when we totaled the numbers and felt so blessed from last year.
What are the costs involved in starting this business?
I love this question because it is really a lot less than people think. We recommend to our students starting out to invest $20-$50 at first.
They can buy a few items for that, get a feel for what they need to do to sell them, and make about $100-$300 on it. Then take that money, reinvest part of it and do it again to make some more.
We also recently wrote an eBook on how to get FREE items to sell for a profit. Rob gives 5 different ways you can invest nothing and still make a return on it. We use several of these practices weekly.
What is the best part about selling on eBay?
We sell on eBay, Offer Up, Facebook, & Craigslist, but eBay is our favorite because it reaches the broadest audience. The likelihood of someone seeing it who needs it is a lot higher.
We can also make the most money on eBay because things tend to be priced higher than the local selling pages and apps.
What are your tips for someone who wants to start their flipping business?
If someone is brand new, we ask them to start out with items they enjoy looking for or know about. For example, my sister-in-law loves anything with sewing and crafting, so she is always on the look out for good name sewing machines, and crafting supplies, she knows that can be expensive.
Another example is a mum selling baby and kid items. They are in that stage of like so they know what brands will sell the best typically.
Another tip I would give is to stay consistent with it for a couple months. Visit the flea market, thrift stores and yard sales each week and keep posting the items online.
Sometimes it takes a few weeks for an item to sell, so if you have a constant flow of items in and out, you will have a steady flow of money.
Can you please tell us about your course?
Absolutely! Last year my husband Rob and I decided to create an e-course called Flipper University to help people be successful in their flipping side hustles. A couple of the things it includes are:
- How to Sell Things From Home and Declutter Your Life
- How Saving Money is a Natural Part of This Profession
- Where to Find the Best Items
- How to Find Items of Value
- Negotiating the Sale in Person
- Negotiating the Sale Online
- Getting an Item Ready for Sale
- Taking Great Pictures That Will Sell Your Item
- Everything eBay
- Setting up Your PayPal Account
- How to Sell on Facebook
- How to Sell on Offer Up
- How to Sell on Craigslist
- How to Avoid Scams, Frauds, and Recalls
- How to Package and Ship Items The Most Cost Effective Way
- Keeping Track of Your Sales
- AND MORE!!!
We are euphoric to be helping people make an extra income from home, in their own time, and doing something they enjoy!
Here are some testimonials:
“I recently took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I called Robbie up to help me sell some of my things on eBay to help me fill my $1,000 emergency fund. He walked me through the whole selling and shipping process and with his help I now have my full emergency fund and am now working toward my savings of 3-6 months of expenses.” –Bryan T
“Robbie saw how hard I was working at my current job and all the long hours I spent working instead of spending quality time with my family. He approached me one day and said I should flip items like he does so I could spend more family time with my daughter. I was a little hesitant at first, but I agreed to go check out the flea market one day. He showed me what to buy and how to dicker with the vendors to get the best price possible. I ended up spending a total of $50 on several items and made over $450 profit. I have been hooked ever since.” – Bobi F (We have a whole interview post and a video with her here
“Years ago a couple of our friends asked us to go on a cruise with them. I didn’t have the extra money to go but my friend Robbie told me to come with him to a couple thrift stores and he would help me make the money I needed to go on it. I ended up buying three items and then he helped me set up an eBay account and taught me how to take pictures and list the items. I sold the three items for a $1,505 profit and needless to say I made more than enough money to go on the cruise and we had the time of our lives!” –James B
You can check out Melissa’s Flipper University course to get more details about this 6 figure side business. For the returns it gives, flipping is a great work-at-home option.
Get ready to start this highly profitable hustle!!