Garage Sale Flipping for Profit

Thrift Wars cover


Atari 2600 pacman photo

Flipping vintage video games is a popular and productive niche option for younger flippers.

Garage Sale Flipping is a fun and exciting way to make money doing something that you enjoy. The great thing about flipping garage sale finds is that you can find great items to resell at very low costs. You have almost zero start-up costs, and you can be making money within a week! The great thing is that you can “flip” anywhere, from small rural towns to urban metro areas in any part of the world.

  • All you have to do is find your niche, and start buying low priced items that have potential for high returns and start listing items on eBay and Amazon.
  • You may also elect for some immediate “fast cash” to get you going, and take some items to a pawn shop or antique dealer. Just bear in mind that you will never get as much money selling your items a pawn shop as you will selling them online.
Here is a nice web page on the Live Well Network. Check out the video on the top of the page. It has some good information on beginning to flipping garage sale finds. I will teach you how to refine the information provided on the page and garage sale video, and I will give you some specific information, as we continue on this page and into subsequent pages. Make sure that you close the window, and return here after viewing the page and video.

Garage Sale Flipping: Start-Up Guide

Getting started yard sale flipping is very easy and cheap. But, it is important that you accomplish several things BEFORE you start

vintage tube radio components

Selling vintage electronics and components is very profitable and has low competition levels!

buying inventory to sell:

  1. Find your picking niche: What do you like to do? Locating inventory should be fun and interesting! Do you like garage sale sailing and yard sale picking? Do you shop a lot at second-hand stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army? Maybe you like to find free items and fix them up, part out collectible items, or sell scrap metal [*].
  2. Find your inventory niche: What do you want to sell? Figure out if you want to specialize in one particular area like collectibles, used media items, used clothing, kids clothes and toys, outdoor goods, etc. It’s easiest to sell in a category that you already have background knowledge in. You may elect to buy in a variety of categories. That’s how I started flipping garage sale finds, but we will get more into that later.
  3. Storage: The room you have for storage may determine your inventory niche. If you have lots of room for storing large items, you can sell whatever you want. If you are confined to a small closet or set of shelves, you will have to sell small items that you can sell quickly. If at all possible, work on finding yourself a good sized storage area, so that you can add bookshelves to store media items like books, DVDs, CDs, and records.
  4. RESEARCH: Garage sale research is where you can really get a leg up on your competition, and is covered in-depth here on this blog. Start looking at completed eBay listings and Amazon pages to figure out what to look for that you can make good fast money on by flipping garage sale finds.
  5.  Budget and Accounting: Figure out how much money you have to spend on garage sale flipping each week. Make yourself a spreadsheet on Excel, or a similar garage sale organizer, so that you can keep track of how much you spent for each item you bought, when you bought it, and how much you sold it for. You will want to keep track of extra expenses like gas, meals, item cleaning supplies, packaging supplies, etc, too. You need to know how much money you are actually making, not just the per item profit. You can write off many of the expenses on your income taxes [*], as well.
  6. Start gathering packaging materials and boxes! If you sell used goods online, you are going to have to package lots of breakable items. Everything that you don’t have to buy means more profits. Start keeping sturdy boxes and packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and styrofoam when you get items in the mail, or buy stuff from stores. have your friends and neighbors do the same. Get on the USPS website and order a selection of Priority Mail boxes. They are totally free, with no shipping costs, so order different sizes and shapes, and also some flat rate padded envelopes and boxes. I have not had to buy shipping boxes in 12 years of selling, besides specialty size 12×12″ vinyl record shippers. The rest of the boxes were free. You WILL have to buy padding materials, especially bubble wrap. Buy the 12″ wide, perforated rolls of wrap. Buy them on eBay in bulk and you will save yourself a lot of money.
  7.  Make sure that you have a functioning digital camera, and high-speed internet is well worth the cost, if you have to upgrade from dial-up. You can also write the business portion of your high-speed internet service off on your taxes.

Motivation and Common Sense, Please!


My wife and I started flipping garage sale finds 12 years ago, as a supplemental income. We sold vintage collectible items and antiquarian books that we found (95% of the items costed us 25 cents or less) on eBay for $5-200. That’s quite a profit margin, eh?  As more and more re-sellers starting selling vintage items on eBay, we looked for other ways to diversify. We expanded into selling mostly media items, as they are easy to store and ship, and the profit margins are excellent, if you buy the right inventory.

We bought from a variety of sources, including second-hand stores, sales, book sales, and online at eBay and Craigslist.We built our modest start into an eBay and Amazon inventory of over $40,000, along with selling $200-500 a week. Our garage sale and thrift shop flipping has allowed my wife to stay at home with our two children, instead of working at a traditional job. I built this garage sale business while working a demanding full-time job and having two small children to cart around to Little League games, soccer, and the like.The moral of this story is: If we can make money garage sale flipping and yard sale flipping, SO CAN YOU.

  • You ARE going to have to work at it. This gig is just like any other home-based business. YOU CAN MAKE MONEY, but it’s not going to be automatic, or given to you. You are going to have to research items to buy at garage sales, until you get good at recognizing good items at rummage sales.
  • You are going to have to put in the time learning how to sell the items effectively on the internet [*] (we will talk about this on other pages). This is going to be YOUR BUSINESS. If you want to succeed, you are going to have to motivate yourself to succeed.
  • If you want to make good money, you are going to work harder and be smarter than your competition. Remember, there are a lot of unemployed people right now, and eBay reselling can be done by anybody, anywhere. Then again, perhaps your competition has not been on the Garage Sale Academy like you have, so you have the advantage of hearing from somebody that has been flipping garage sale finds for years, right?


Well, what are you waiting for?! Get busy preparing!


Article Name
Garage Sale Flipping for Profit
Garage sale flipping tips and yard sale flipping tips by veterans of 15 years of selling yard sale items online on eBay and Amazon. Learn to pick like a pro.
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