Today there are plenty of things you can do to create multiple income streams: affiliate marketing, tutoring, blogging, ride-sharing, etc. Then there’s my personal favorite: flipping items for cash. In this post, we’ll identify the best things to buy and sell for profit and where to find them.
Retail arbitrage, or flipping, means purchasing new or previously owned products and reselling them for more than cost. It’s one of the best side hustles that you can start and make money.
Things to Consider When Looking for Products You Can Buy Cheap and Sell High
To become a reseller, you don’t need any licenses, certifications, or credentials. If you have the desire to earn extra money, you’re good to go!
The benefits are many: low investment, minimal financial risk, minimal skills requirement, flexibility, and tax advantages.
You can find products you can buy cheap and sell high almost anywhere, but some places tend to have more stuff available than others.
Some of the places you can commonly find discounted items to flip include
- estate/yard/garage sales,
- thrift stores,
- storage unit auctions,
- retail store clearance sales,
- flea markets,
- going out of business sales,
- and of course, your house.
Thanks to the internet, selling and buying have become as easy as a few clicks. You can also try apps like Letgo, eBay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist.
There are two things you need to consider to succeed as a flipper:
Ease And Cost of Shipping
Thinking about selling office furniture or surfboards online? You might first want to consider the cost and logistics of getting those items to your buyers.
It may seem obvious, but it’s vital to keep in mind that if you wait for too long or pay too much for shipping, the profit earned will be less.
Shipping charges will directly influence your profits. Be sure to calculate how much shipping charges will be if you include them in your sale price.
Large, fragile, and heavy items are usually expensive to ship. When getting started, stick with smaller, non-fragile, and lightweight items.
Avoid Seasonal And Fad Items
When it comes to flipping, you can buy and resell virtually anything. But you want to sell items that have a consistent base of buyers.
While you can make some money selling winter clothes, Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations, you will probably end up with a ton of worthless inventory.
They all tend to sell at particular times of the year. Choose a timeless item that you can sell all year round; this will ensure a consistent income.
Best Things To Buy And Resell For Profit
Buying and selling for profit is nothing new. If you know what to look for, there’s money to be made.
Broke? You don’t need to resort to selling your much-loved possessions or designer items to make cash. There are plenty of products you can buy cheap and sell high.
When scouting for items to resell, it’s important to remember that another person might find value in an item that is of no value to you.
The saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ has never been more accurate. While it’s possible to flip pretty much any item, here are some of the best things to buy to make money.
Brand Name Clothes
Things like maternity clothing, kids’ holiday dresses, premium jeans, and seasonally-appropriate, gently used clothes are an easy sell.
When shopping for brand name clothing to sell from thrift stores and on clearance racks, only go for quality and well-made clothes.
You will never go wrong with vintage pieces and new clothes with tags from popular name brands like
- Polo Ralph Lauren,
- Calvin Klein,
- Michael Kors,
- and Gucci.
Look out for extreme alterations, damaged zippers, missing buttons, weird smells, and stains, because most sellers will not honor returns or refunds.
Clothing can take a little longer to sell but it has the potential for profits of $5 to $100 per item. Get a feel for what’s trending by researching sites like eBay. Some garments like a little black dress or a pair of blue jeans never go out of style.
Some of the best places to sell clothes are on Poshmark, eBay and other online apps.
Books are a favorite with resellers. The reason is simple – they never go out of demand.
You can start by collecting or buying box sets for popular books such as “Harry Potter,” “Anne of Green Gables,” “The Hunger Games” and “The Lord of the Rings” series.
You will be surprised by the number of readers waiting to finish up their book sets.
Next, you can go for individual books (First Edition books, vintage books, author-autographed copies, and other books in demand) from your local library book sales, flea markets, and in clearance sections at department stores.
There’s no such thing as too many shoes. But buying new shoes can be an expensive proposition for many. Sneakerheads are more than willing to pay half the retail price.
You can sell anything from sports shoes to casual shoes from sought after brands and lines like
- Air Jordan,
- Adidas Originals,
- and Vans.
You can sell rare sneakers for thousands (even if they’re used). To maximize profit in this category, familiarize yourself with what sells and what doesn’t.
eBay and The Real Real are good places to sell shoes.
Along with purses, sunglasses sell out almost every single time they’re listed!
People want to stay in fashion and look chic, but don’t want to spend a fortune buying sunglasses in boutiques or malls.
Some of the top-selling sunglasses include
- and shield.
You can find vintage sunglasses at flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales.
Watches are among the best things to buy and sell for profit. The reason is simple. A watch is one fashion accessory that seldom goes out of style.
It is possible to rake in some serious bucks by finding used watches, fixing them up and reselling them. Branded, vintage, and mechanical watches tend to bring higher profits.
Just a few weeks ago, a US Air Force veteran’s Rolex watch purchased back in 1974 for $345 was valued at between $500,000 and $700,000 at an antique show.
Many watch collectors buy watches based on how old they are and the working condition. Add a new battery if necessary and polish them up to bring them back up to par.
Backpacks are one of the best items to flip. From school going kids to travelers, everyone needs a backpack. They have a big marketplace for buyers and sellers.
With the number of travelers, gym-goers, and college students on the rise, I don’t foresee the demand for backpacks falling anytime soon.
For the innovative entrepreneur, there are various ways to sell backpacks and make a bundle. You can sell them in online marketplaces like eBay.
New Swimwear With Tags On
Another great item to flip is swimwear that is new with tags. If you buy swimwear in the offseason, you will make a decent profit selling during the summer.
Shipping should be easy because it’s pretty lightweight.
Best Items To Flip
Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your home to find items to flip. More than likely, there is stuff lying idle in your basement that you can sell for profit.
Here are top items that are recommended to sell by top flippers.
Quality wood furniture is an easy flip because there’s a constant demand. Every house needs some furniture.
It’s relatively easy to find old, unwanted furniture. You can buy furniture from thrift stores and garage sales at a low price and resell them to the right buyer at a higher price.
Quality wood furniture can last for decades. If you have a solid wood coffee table collecting dust in your garage, refurbish it and flip it to make some extra cash. Restoring wooden furniture just needs a bit of sandpaper and a fresh coat of paint or stain.
You can find wooden furniture at Facebook Marketplace, consignment shops, yard sales, or estate sales. You can also check out for “going out of business” signs to score great deals.
Go with small, versatile pieces. Small furniture pieces tend to appeal to apartment dwellers more. Avoid oddly shaped furniture and items with heavy ornamentation.
Sporting equipment like a bicycle is often priced quite high in stores. Thus many people prefer to buy used ones or trade-in their old bikes in exchange for something else at second-hand sporting goods stores.
Many garages are filled with scooters, skating boards, jet skis, ATVs, and bikes that are just not used anymore. Maybe you gave up on a hobby, replaced it with a newer model, or the kids went to college.
Whatever the reason, your clutter may be someone else’s ticket to a weekend adventure.
If you live in an area where people ride bikes, you can make money by buying, repairing, cleaning, and reselling name brands and vintage bicycles.
Avoid bikes that need significant repairs as this requires some basic level of mechanical skill. Instead, go for those that need just a little cosmetic TLC.
Concert t-shirts are surprisingly highly sought-after, especially by collectors. These can often be bought during concerts, and they almost always sell quickly on online marketplaces.
If you find a concert t-shirt for an old band that is a few decades old, you’re in a great position to make a quick profit.
Be the middleman that capitalizes on the demand to make a profit. Just ensure that the concert t-shirt is in wearable condition and free of any unsightly stains.
Vintage Board Games
Along with concert T-shirts, vintage board games are usually quite popular in the resale realm as many folks are in the market to buy them solely for nostalgic purposes.
You can find vintage board games at thrift stores or garage sales, as most folks tend to have one or two sitting unused in their houses. It’s always worth raiding your basement or garage and having a quick look at what they’re selling for on eBay.
If the board game is open, check if all the pieces are in the box.
Sports memorabilia like vintage jerseys from favorite teams or players, autographed baseballs, bobbleheads, and other figurines are hot ticket items on eBay.
If you’re lucky to find a buyer who is a hardcore fan of a specific sports team, you have a good chance of making a good profit.
Power tools such as electric saws and drills are essential in every home.
When people declutter, upgrade to new tools or move houses, you can score power tools at bargain prices. You will be able to flip them for a good profit.
Before you buy, test every item to see whether it works as intended. Ask for a user guide or manual if you don’t know how to operate a power tool.
After buying, give it a light cleaning and grease if it needs greasing. Putting in some effort can make a substantial difference in the price it will fetch you.
Photography can be an expensive hobby. That photography gear sitting in your store collecting cobwebs might be worth more than you think.
Camera gear can include
- camera bodies,
- lighting equipment,
- and tripods.
Camera lenses, for instance, are a great item to flip as people outgrow their midrange lenses and search for something more professional.
New photographers can be overwhelmed by the prices of new lenses. That means that there are likely to be in search of gently used ones.
Try reaching out on photography forums and social networks like Facebook and Twitter to see if anyone wants to offload their photography gear for a cheap price.
Best Things To Sell On eBay For-profit
eBay is an e-commerce site where people buy and sell stuff. Whether you’re buying luxurious or common, rare or trendy, new or used, you will find it on eBay.
You can select between an online auction service or a buy now option.
The online market has a whopping 183 million active buyers worldwide.
Popular items on the site include
- home décor,
- branded tech,
- garden accessories,
- and watches.
Rarer items, however, tend to bring in the highest bids. If you have an item you want to get rid of, eBay is the ideal place to sell it. Just use good pictures and write enticing product descriptions.
Here are some of the best things to sell on eBay for profit:
Although technology has advanced, old electronics like
- certain film cameras,
- record players,
- VHS players,
- first-generation cell phones,
- and video game consoles
can be sold for a decent amount of money.
While newer electronics, like laptops, are among the best items to flip for profit, there is a ready market for rare and limited items. Do a quick search on eBay to find what vintage electronics are most sought after.
Whether its nostalgia or something else, people are willing to offer some good cash for an electronic that reminds them of their childhood.
This Sony Video Walkman goes for $999.99 on eBay.
You will find vintage electronics at estate and garage sales at a low price. In this category, it is best to sell on eBay to reach the most buyers.
If you investigate, you will find that collectible games are some of the best things to sell on eBay for profit.
If you’ve ever visited a vintage toy store, you probably know what I’m talking about. There is a vast marketplace of buyers out there looking for
- Star Wars movie characters,
- American Girls dolls,
Even though vintage seems really old, toys from the ’80s and early ’90s are considered vintage today. Your reluctance to let go of your old toys could finally pay off.
Search yard sales, thrift stores, or flea markets to find vintage toys. eBay is the best place to sell to toy collectors.
Ink and Toner Cartridges
Ink and toner cartridges are an excellent candidate for a flip, even if they are expired.
Often potential buyers will set up alerts on sites like eBay so they are notified as soon as the ink or toner that they need is listed; this means you can often sell these quickly.
Thrift stores and the junk drawers in your house are an excellent place to start looking for unused printer cartridges.
Vintage Sewing Patterns
Remember, when as a kid, you visited a fabric store with your mom to buy a couple of patterns to sew your next new outfit?
Well, there’s still a vast marketplace out there full of folks who collect vintage sewing patterns. If you have some patterns from yesteryears sitting around, you could be missing out on a huge profit.
Often, you can find these at garage sales or thrift stores. Many people assume vintage sewing patterns have no value.
To make a quick buck, buy the vintage sewing patterns on the cheap ($1-$3) and resell them to a crafter or collector at a higher price. The selling price depends on the sewing patterns brand, but you can make anywhere from $12-$25.
Besides offering a good profit when selling on eBay, vintage sewing patterns are also very easy to ship.
Vintage Trucker Hats
Finishing us off in our list of best things to buy and sell for profit is vintage trucker hats. There’s something about them that makes them appealing.
Maybe it’s because they’re no longer manufactured, and this allure makes people want them. Don’t judge them by their looks; vintage trucker hats are some of the most highly coveted items on eBay.
People love old stuff, and nostalgia has a funny way of affecting an item’s value.
They can be a bit harder to come across than most things we’ve listed above, but if you find one for a reasonable price, you can resell it for two or three times the amount you paid for it.
Depending on their value, you can sell vintage trucker hats individually or as a set.