When you have a huge “million dollar idea” that you’re nursing from scratch, you may do hours, weeks, and months of work without seeing a single dollar of return. I know firsthand that this can be extremely frustrating. You want the product to be finalized as fast as possible, but these things take time. Once your design is done, you want to roll it out right away, but you might find that it has to be done in phases.
Sometimes, it’s nice to just make some “quick & dirty” money while you wait for the big plans to come to fruition.
And no, I’m not implying you should become a stripper, although I heard strippers make a ridiculous amount of money a year. I really have to credit the podcast Side-Hustle School for helping me adopt this hustle mentality. You can create a side-hustle literally in a few hours and start acting upon your ideas. For me, flipping items for a profit (also known as reselling) became my side-hustle where I started seeing really good returns with little time and money invested.
One way to make easy, fast money: flipping, or reselling, for profit
To get into specifics, I flip products that I find for huge discounts at garage and estate sales. Sometimes there are warehouse or business sales when they are trying to clear out old stock or if they are shutting down. I price check similar or the exact items online to ensure there’s enough profit margin in there for me to feel like it’s a safe bet. One of my favorite flips was when I found 2 pairs of hiking shoes for $25/pair and sold them for $120 each on eBay within a week. I also had a Buddha statue that I bought for $25 and sold for $100.
More recently, I came across a small cell phone accessory store that was selling some plastic bins and tables. The plastic bins, as I learned later, are actually called “bus tubs.” They were for sale for $1/piece. I bought 5 just since they were so cheap, but I didn’t think much of them. Within 10 minutes of posting these on Facebook Marketplace at $5/piece, I had five people who had messaged me who were interested. I immediately knew I could raise this price to at least $10/piece. I found the same, exact bus tubs for sale on Amazon at $18 a pop, so even at $10/piece, people would be getting a steal. I sold the 5 the next day for $25, profiting $20.
I returned to the store and bought 77 more bus tubs (everything that would fit into my Honda Accord). $77 for 77 tubs. It’s taking some time to sell, but I know that it’s an item people want and can use for storing various things. If I sell them for $5 each, I’ll make $308 in profit. If I sell them for $10 each, I’ll make $693 in profit. I’m aiming to meet in the middle, to sell some for $10 when people are willing to pay that and others for $5 if they’re looking to pay a little less.
Flipping can be easy, but you have to develop a knack for finding the deals without spending too much of your time. You also have to start learning what types of items will sell quickly and which ones you might want to avoid.
The Bottom Line
Of course, flipping isn’t the only side-hustle out there. There are other ways you can make money as well. You can offer services with skills you may have, but you have to market yourself so others can find you. The beauty with selling products is that you don’t have to convince people of their value. The value and price is defined by the marketplace. Where I might have a tough time selling someone on my ability to transform their website, they don’t really think twice to purchase brand new hiking shoes for $120 that I have in the original box (and paid only $25 for 🙂 ).
Find yourself a side-hustle if you haven’t already, and try to find something you enjoy that makes you money, preferably. At least find something that helps you make a pretty decent amount of money per hour when compared to your regular job. I probably spent a total of 2 hours finding the hiking shoes, taking pictures of them, and then boxing and shipping them once they sold. I profited $190 for 2 HOURS of my time. That comes out to $95/hour of “income.” Fun fact, if you were to get paid at a job at a rate of $95/hour, your annual salary would be $190,000. Sure, you’re not working or getting paid for 40 hours a week with the side-hustle, but it’s money that you didn’t have and made in a short period of time.
Let’s do some math. Assume you have a “good” job and get paid $30/hour. You’d have to work 3 hours to get paid $90 (actually, a little less after taxes and all that good stuff). Imagine having a side-hustle where you’re averaging $95/hour profit or more. You would be profiting close to 3 times what you’re getting paid at your day job per hour of time. Can you see the potential here? It’s not just about money, it’s about time. If you can make more money in a shorter amount of time, you can clear up more time to do things you love and want to do. For 8 hours of your time at a good job at $30/hour, you’d make $240 in one day. That’s only $50 more than you could have made if you flipped the two pairs of hiking shoes like I did.