This post is a guest post from Daniella who writes at iliketodabble. Over the past few years, Daniella and her wife have been making money through flipping guitars and other items found online, or at thrift stores. In this side hustle guest post series, I’m looking to inspire others with unique stories of how people are making some extra money. Starting a side hustle as a flipper might be for you. Read on below to learn how to start a flipping side hustle!
My wife and I started our flipping side hustle together back in 2017 around the same time I started iliketodabble.com. Flipping is whenever you purchase something you know you can resell for a profit.
We flipped items on our own before we ever met each other, but they weren’t nearly close to the volume we’ve done since we met.
My wife is a huge guitar collector, and when we were thinking of ways to make extra money on the side, we turned to the guitars. At the time, we were also in the beginning process of decluttering, so we were also looking for ideas of what to sell.
It was like a light bulb went off in her head. Just like that, she got me on the bandwagon.
There is this thing with flipping. Whether it is online or thrift store flipping, etc; it is addictive.
It is a rush when you can find something for $5 at a store and can resell that same thing for $100 online. Like when she finds an underpriced guitar on eBay listed for $250 that she knows she can resell it for $850+, things get REAL.
A $600+ profit just for buying something, and then selling it for more? That’s what I’m talking about.
In the rest of this post, I’m going to share with you our story of flipping guitars, how you can start a flipping side hustle, and my recommendations for flipping underpriced items.
How to Get Started Flipping Guitars and Other Underpriced Items
First, let’s talk about how we got started with our flipping side hustle.
At the beginning, my wife started listing a couple of guitars and accessories for sale on her eBay account and they went quick. After this, we bought a couple more off of eBay with some of that money.
We only were looking for lower priced guitars that we knew would sell for much more than they were currently listed for.
How did we find them so cheap? With some knowledge of the guitars, we could figure out when a seller doesn’t realize the brand and rarity of the guitar they’re selling.
After figuring out our acquisition and pricing for a number of different guitars, we started to branch out from eBay, We got acquainted with some other marketplace apps to get the listings in front of more eyes on apps including:
- Facebook Marketplace for larger items we don’t want to ship, such as guitar amps
After figuring out how to flip guitars successfully on multiple platforms, we then branched out with computer accessories, collectibles, and even designer handbags (which I love!!)
For the designer handbags, I started following her advice for finding lower priced items to flip on eBay. I also used apps like Poshmark and Mercari (as the people on those apps browsing for designer brands are much greater than eBay for certain brands). Here are some more sites and apps for selling using this list.
How to Price Items to Make a Profit Flipping
Before buying an item, you want to figure out what price you will look to sell at to see if it’s worth the purchase.
We price items in a variety of ways, but always start with the eBay search function and filtering on “Sold items” to see what they were recently sold for. Then we work around that price.
We always go a bit higher than what they were recently sold for (and this has seemed to work for us).
You can also use specific product knowledge to get an estimate of the sales price. My wife has a lot of knowledge of guitars, and knows what certain guitar brands are selling for at Guitar Center, other music stores, and other apps.
Using eBay’s search will help, but also important to compare prices across platforms.
If an item doesn’t sell right away, it is ok. We have busier times and slower times. Usually the summer and holidays are pretty strong, whereas March and April are sometimes a little slow.
What sort of skills do you need to be a “flipper”?
Flexibility for communication with buyers and patience are must have skills for this side hustle. Also, it’s important to have a passion for research and basic photography skills.
Finally, try as hard as you can to stand firm on your pricing.
Buyers will jerk you around and try to convince you that what you have isn’t worth the price you list it for.
Don’t believe them when they send you an offer of $30 on an item listed for $100.
I always send those offers back with the original price. I might drop it by $5 or $10 if the item has been sitting there for a while and not getting any bites. It’s possible I may drop the price more though if I want to just get rid of the item (I have less patience than my wife does who hardly ever gives deals for guitars.)
If we get “low balled” on a guitar, we always counter with the original price but offer to throw in a freebie like guitar pics or a soft case.
Again, communication is very important for flipping, and staying firm on your price will allow for higher profits and income over time.
How much money can you make with flipping thrift store items?
The potential for how much money you can make flipping depends on the products you flip. Flipping guitars works great for us because we can flip 1 guitar and make $500 off of it. I would have to buy and resell a lot of bags and clothes from the thrift store to equal that.
Something to consider is any repairs or modifications before listing.
There are times where we have to make minor repairs or modifications on guitars before listing. This way, we can we can list them higher. We do take these repairs into consideration, because time is money, right?
The less effort you have to put into a flip, the better.
We recently sold a Gibson Firebird for $525 (not including shipping). We bought it at $316, giving us about a $200 profit. This isn’t as high as other guitars, but there was no work required on it what-so-ever. With zero effort on our part, besides packaging and shipping it, $200 is pretty good.
There have been months where we made over $2,000 flipping guitars and other items, and then other months like April where we made a little less than $300. The most expensive guitar we sold was a Gretsch for $950.
For us, our profits have depended on how much we have listed, how quickly we can get new ones listed when others sell, the demand and timing.
We are not flipping geniuses either. We make mistakes.
One example of a mistake was when I pressured my wife to sell a guitar she got a fairly good offer on. I was being rushy as I normally am (I am a restless Virgo that has no patience – I am working on it ☺ ). A couple of months later that same guitar was selling for $400 more than what we sold it for!
Take that lesson and know if a sale doesn’t feel right to you, and you know you can make more if you wait, then wait.
Guitars are definitely a sort of investment where their price can grow over time with certain brands.
Our Recommendations for Your Flipping Side Hustle
Disclaimer: Guitars are expensive. Don’t try to buy a random one you found for cheap to flip without researching as much as possible about that certain guitar.
Flipping guitars isn’t a common side hustle, but isn’t a hard one if you know what you’re doing.
You have to really love guitars to know the exact pricing for some of these brands depending on where they were made, when they were made, how many were made, rarity, demand, specific modifications, etc.
Whatever it is you want to try flipping to make extra money, make sure you like reading about it, researching about it and browsing for it online and in stores. The item has to be something you truly love. I don’t love guitars, so my wife does all the research for them.
I do however love taking pictures, helping with packaging and shipping.
For me, I love browsing for designer items and collectibles to add to our flipping inventory, and focus more of my research and purchasing on these things.
When I start researching, there are a number of things I look out for when purchasing an item to flip:
- The item’s condition
- Is it a special edition or rarity?
- What is it currently selling for (or sold for) on eBay?
- How much profit do you think you can make?
- How will you package and ship the item and the costs of that? Be sure to charge enough to cover these costs.
- Are there any additional fees involved if you are selling on an app (yes, eBay charges selling fees)?
With these things in mind, then I will go ahead and purchase, or move on to the next item.
At the end of the day, flipping is a lot of fun and can be done by anyone with a little bit of capital!
Are You Interested in Flipping? Being a Flipper is so much fun!
Flipping has been around forever and isn’t going anywhere. If you have an addictive personality, you will do GREAT at this side hustle. However, with many things in life, patience is key.
There is always opportunity to earn more by gaining experience and knowledge, and applying that knowledge. If you see a great opportunity, go for it.
The more you flip, the more you want to flip.
We started with guitars. Now, with over 40 guitars and accessories, we are flipping anything from guitars, hard drives and Funko Pop! to Prada handbags and records.
Like I said, it is pretty addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
There are so many amazing side hustles out there in the world. I’ve found a side hustle I love, and hope you can too!
Readers: what do you think about this side hustle idea? Would you want to become a flipper to earn some extra income? What do you think about starting a flipping side hustle?