From Flip With Love, The Beginning

Congratulations, you're reading the first ever Flip Weekly; you're early.

Welcome.

My goal has been set, to make $1,000 per month part-time from eBay in 2024. January has been and gone, my total sales for the month were $1,842.21. Not bad. I surpassed my eBay sales goal by 84% but it wasn’t just a matter of buying cheap stuff from yard sales and thrift stores and listing on eBay. You need to buy items that sell.

I set myself a goal of $1,000 per month. I surpassed it by 84% in month 1.

How do you know what sells? Well, I want to not only teach you but have you follow my journey as I learn along the way. Full transparency. Learn from my sales, learn from my mistakes, replicate what works and disregard what doesn’t. I’m not an expert, in fact if you read my story I’m an amateur flipper, however I think I can share some value which is why I started this newsletter. Anyway, here’s what you can expect from today’s newsletter:

In This Newsletter

What’s Sold

As this is the first ever Flip Weekly newsletter I want to talk about the types of items I buy and what has sold well for me in the past. In the future this section will be dedicated to items sold within the past week and be much shorter with a focus on imagery over text. The types of items I like to buy would be classed as the unusual. I like to pick up anything that you don’t see every day. I don’t want to buy and sell a Harry Potter book or a Beyonce CD. If the Beyonce CD was signed? If the Harry Potter book was a first edition? I’m definitely picking them up. Standard Billabong t-shirt? Pass. Sports jersey from 2003? I’m buying it. Basically I’m looking for my eye to catch something you don’t see everyday.

Let me give you an example. Kath and Kim is an extremely popular Australian television show. You can find it in your local thrift store media section and pay $2 per DVD like this person did and make a $10.00 profit.

$2/DVD, $10 total, sale price of $30.00 for a $10 profit. Is it worth it?

For me? I don’t want to pick up 5 DVD’s to make $10 profit. The alternative is picking up something like I did earlier this month. I ventured to the same media section of the thrift store, looked past the standard DVD’s and found this Kath & Kim gift pack on the shelf for $5. No comps online. It contained only 1 DVD and an oven mitt and yet it sold for more than double the 5 DVD pack above did. Why?

Paid $5, sold for $76. Thrift store staff classed as a standard television show DVD.

The answer is because it’s not something you see every day. It ended up being one of two gift pack’s that was sold in 2003 exclusively on the ABC gift store and is now extremely rare. 1 pack had an oven mitt and 1 pack had an apron. All official merchandise. The show wasn’t a massive worldwide hit so these items weren’t mass produced. In fact, doing a Google search in the thrift for similar types of products you would find Reddit threads where people were talking about the apron and oven mitt and how devastated they were that they never got a chance to buy it.

The show was a cult classic and fans were bummed out they didn’t get official merch.

I saw these threads and decided buying the pack was a no brainer and I knew it would sell. It did sell. It sold for $75.00* when I bought it for a mere $5.00. Now this isn’t to say that you’re going to come across this type of stuff every day in the thrift, but let’s examine a few things which we can and will apply to other products and categories later on.

Firstly, why was it so cheap?

  1. Staff saw that it was a DVD based on a television show and marked it like that. Depending on the thrift store, these DVD’s can range from $1-$5 per season.

  2. It wasn’t in 100% pristine condition - the thrift store worker would have seen a tear or two in the plastic and decided it wasn’t worth marking the product up.

  3. I’ve found in most thrift stores that the workers do not distinguish between sealed, boxed and loose. A VHS that is fully sealed can sell for hundreds and yet a loose VHS can be sold for less than a dollar. This is an advantage we have.

Which brings us to why did it sell for a premium?

  1. It was rare. This gift pack was released in 2003, only available on the official show website and didn’t garner a ton of purchases.

  2. The show went on to become a cult classic and fans never got a chance to pick up official merchandise.

  3. It was unusual and not something you see everyday. It was so rare that it didn’t have any comps on eBay for the past 90 days.

The lesson here is look for the unusual. People pay a premium for items they can’t get everyday. And you know what? *The DVD within that gift pack was Region 4 meaning it can only play within the AU/NZ area. Know where it was sent to? Burbank, California. Total order amount? $123.48AUD including shipping.

What I’ve Bought

I wanted to focus this week on a criminally underrated category: books. When I first started visiting thrift stores I would skip over this section. My thought process: who wants an old book? Aren’t libraries still a thing? There’s hundreds if not thousands of books per thrift store, I don’t have enough time to go through all of them. And yet now? I make sure to stop. So what am I looking for?

One thing I’m looking for is signed copies of books. These types of books fetch a premium on eBay and are surprisingly easy to find in thrift stores. In my experience the books that are signed are hard cover biographies. Think politicians, sporting legends, anyone in the public eye that would hold a signing event. I’ve always done well with these books. Take a look at my sold copy of Former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull’s book which sold for $59.95 when I bought it for $5.00:

Sold for a cheeky $59.95.

Versus the other copies of Malcolm’s book, all the exact same features minus the signature. They’re all hardcover. They’re all “A Bigger Picture”. They’ve all got their dust covers. They’re all in good condition:

Total price of all 3 including shipping: $59.13.

You could sell all 3 of these books and they still don’t make up my selling price. Why? The signature matters! You might be thinking of course the signature matters however from my experience not many people do these deep dives that can turn a book from $5 into $50. You don’t need to spend a lot of time looking, just pull out a hardcover biography from the shelf, scroll past the first 2-3 pages and if you see an inscription take a look, and if you don’t put it back. It’s that simple. You don’t even need to pull out every book, pull out only the books that you think could realistically sell if they had a signature.

Now in terms of purchasing them, find a thrift store that usually has consistent pricing. I have multiple around me and each have their own distinctive features. For example one does all mugs for $1, another has no shirt over $5, another further out has all books $2 and if you’re lucky you can find the odd event that has a “fill a bag of books for $5“. That’s your chance to strike.

Resources

I’m going to give a shoutout to a website I use all the time, it’s aptly called eBay Fee’s Calculator and you can visit it here. As the name suggests, the website helps you work out your profit after eBay fees including the promoted ad rate. The website covers eBay Australia, US, UK and so on. I’ve had the website bookmarked on my desktop and my phone and I check it constantly. If it doesn’t cover your country let me know and I could be goaded into coding up our own version for Flip Weekly subscribers.

This website has helped me out a lot, and it’s completely free.

User Submissions & My Challenge

If you have any user submissions, jump on over to our website hit the Get In Touch button and fill out the form. We’re looking for your best thrift store and garage sale finds to feature. Even better if you include the original price tags and listed price.

Now my challenge to you the reader. I talked a lot about books, mainly signed autobiographies. I challenge you to visit your thrift store, go to your garage sales and find a book that is signed. I want to see prices, I want to see front covers, I want to see signatures and I want to know what you’re going to sell it for.

What’s To Come

I’d love to talk more about books (and there’s a lot more to talk about) but I really need to end this newsletter for the week. I’m extremely excited for what’s to come including:

  • My best garage sale purchase: turning $20 into $1,000 within 24 hours.

  • Lucking out at a thrift store and buying a one of a kind sports jersey.

  • Toys that are bought for $1 and can be flipped quickly for $50+.

  • An entire bag of 1970’s Star Wars figures for $12!

  • Turning a $5 signed football into a $200+ signed football using signature verification.

  • Boring is profitable: item’s that I’ve picked up regularly from free boxes that consistently sell.

  • How to talk to yard sale sellers: words to avoid and phrases to use.

  • eBay, Facebook Marketplace and other selling platforms: what items to list on each.

  • Avoiding fakes: what to look for when buying popular name brand items and how we can verify them.

Honestly I could keep going on but I’ll leave it there for now. Thanks again for subscribing, I hope you enjoyed this weeks Flip Weekly and I hope to see you again next Thursday. Bye for now!