If you want to make money flipping, the basic premise to find products you can buy cheap and sell high. Simple enough, right? The key is know what to buy, and fortunately, there are dozens of things you can start flipping for money.
Flipping is honestly one of the best side hustles to start right now because you don't need any specialized skills or experience. It's a great way to make money if you're a bargain hunter, thrifter, or simply looking for an easy-to-start side hustle.
You can find free things to flip in dumpsters, sitting on the curb, in junkyards, or even from friends who are decluttering their houses. Once you're ready to invest a little cash, check our garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets, and auctions.
This list is going to explain the best items to flip and where to sell them:
Clothes are some of the best things to resell when you're first starting out because it's really easy to find affordable clothes to flip. All it takes is a trip to your local Goodwill or thrift store. Here are a couple of tips to make money while flipping clothes:
- Pay attention to quality: Check for stains, rips, or areas that have become threadbare.
- Know what sells: You can look at sites like Poshmark, DePop, ThredUP, and Mercari to see what brands and trends are selling. These are the same sites where you can sell your flips. Designer, vintage, and brand-name clothing items will bring in the best prices.
- Look for new with tags: Occasionally, you'll spot something that still has the tags on it — these are excellent finds.
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2. Exercise equipment
Equipment like dumbbells, benches, weights, stationary bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals are all some of the best items to flip. Not only is exercise equipment expensive brand new, you can find good deals from people who are looking to get rid of bulky equipment.
Garage sales and thrift stores are good place to find items to resell, and Facebook Marketplace and eBay are some of the best places to make money flipping exercise equipment.
Supply chain issues have slowed down the delivery of new appliances, and this has created a huge market for used appliances. You can make money flipping fridges, dishwashers, dryers, washing machines, toaster ovens, stoves, and more.
Pay attention to sites like NextDoor and Facebook for people who want to easily offload their used appliances. Usually, they're upgrading to something new, and there's nothing wrong with the old appliance. They simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting rid of it. You'll need a truck, dolly, and maybe a friend to help you haul off your finds.
4. Used books
It's incredibly easy to learn how to flip used books on eBay, and there's no cost to setting up a basic eBay account and start listing. Sourcing books takes a decent time investment, but if you know what to look for, you can make money flipping books.
Here are some of the best types of books to flip:
- Bibles, the more ornate or old the better
- Book sets or series
- Niche books, think ones targeted to a specific audience or interest
- Books with interesting covers that can be used as home decor
5. Sports equipment
Because new sports equipment is so expensive, you can make pretty good margins flipping things like hockey sticks, golf clubs, skis, baseball mitts, bats, and almost any other type of well-maintained sports gear.
There are even stores that specialize in selling used sports gear, like Play It Again Sports, which should tell you how big the market is. Your primary selling audience will be parents looking to buy gear for their kids or adults looking to start a new hobby.
There is a lot of demand for limited edition sneakers. You will have to stay on top of trends, and you'll need some capital to get started. Manufacturers have create the market by not making enough shoes to fill the demand, so there's a considerable amount of money to be made if you can get your hands on limited edition sneakers.
You can buy sneakers new from major retailers like Footlocker or Eastbay, and there'a also the SNKRS app for Nike shoes specifically. Then, you can make money flipping your finds on sites like GOAT, StockX, or eBay.
7. Vintage jewelry
This is a great niche to make money flipping if you have an eye for finding vintage and finely crafted costume jewelry. The most important part will be knowing how to spot knock-offs and knowing what types of items are currently on-trend.
Some sellers find that they do well selling in sets or groupings because they can keep the costs for customers low and offload items that might not sell otherwise. It also means fewer listings to keep track of.
Marketing will be really important here too, from where you're selling to how. Etsy is a great spot for flipping vintage jewelry, and you can utilize keywords in your descriptions to show up better in searches.
8. Wood furniture
Well-made wood furniture is one of the best items to resell because the quality is there. You may need to tighten up screws and do some sanding or staining, but this can be fun work for some people. Most buyers understand that this kind of furniture can last a lifetime, and they're willing to pay a premium for it.
9. Upholstered furniture
Surprisingly, you can also make money flipping upholstered furniture. You may need to be prepared to do some deep cleaning or reupholstering, but you can turn used or vintage furniture into something beautiful that looks almost brand new.
You can sell on sites like Etsy or Chairish, but pay attention to shipping costs so you're not losing money on your flips. If you want to avoid shipping, you can sell on Facebook Marketplace and specify local pick-up only.
10. Vintage video games
It sounds crazy saying "vintage video games" if you're a child of the 80's or 90's, but those old Nintendo and Sega games you grew up playing are now some of the best items to flip on eBay. Collectors are willing to pay a premium for them, and you can occasionally find them at yard sales for cheap.
11. Vintage electronics
Similar to flipping vintage video games, you can make really good money flipping vintage electronics like boomboxes, Walkmans, cassette players, VCRs, and record players. You can often find inexpensive ones to flip at garage sales because some people think there isn't much value to these items, but there is!
This one takes very specialized knowledge, but you can make good money buying and selling cars, scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, trucks, RVs, etc. You must be able to identify vehicles that are worth reselling, what kinds of repairs need to be made, and how to make those repairs.
There are also some states that have specific requirements about the number of cars you can sell a year without having a dealer's license. You can learn more in How to Make Money Flipping Cars | A Guide to Buying and Selling Cars for Profit.
Antiques will probably always be one of the best items to make money flipping. This is a very broad category, and you'll need to start doing some research to find out what kinds of items sell (and that changes over time).
Besides selling online, some antiques flippers do well with hosting a booth at local antique malls. You have to rent the space, stage it, and then keep replacing items as they sell.
14. Sports memorabilia
Sports fans go nuts for memorabilia related to their favorite teams and players — think ticket stubs, jerseys, vintage t-shirts and hats, championship rings, figurines, cards, bobbleheads, and more. eBay continues to be the best place to make money flipping sports memorabilia.
15. Musical instruments
What's cool about flipping musical instruments is that you can make money flipping them for home decor or for people who are interested in learning how to play. You can sell non-working instruments on Etsy and market them as home decor, but eBay is good for selling ones that are in working condition.
16. Cameras and photography gear
Cameras, tripods, lenses, and camera bags can bring in a nice profit. High-quality camera gear can last for many, many years if it's kept in good condition, which is why these are some of the best items to make money flipping.
Photography can be an expensive hobby to get into if you're buying things new, so flipping used camera gear gives people an affordable way to get into the hobby.
Even vintage or antique cameras sell well to collectors and those who want to use it as decor. Just make sure you market your flips properly to find the right buyers.
Buying and reselling vintage and high-end watches can be a great way to make money flipping. It can take a substantial investment, but collectors are willing to pay top-dollar for specific watches.
18. Vintage glasses
Vintage sunglasses, reading glasses, and other types of eyewear also sell really well online. Designer glasses are some of the best items to flip, but you can also make good money selling funky and eclectic glasses because they're great as statement pieces.
Used bike sales have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. People were staying at home and wanting good ways to get out and get some exercise. This drove up the sales of new bicycles and subsequently used bicycles. Many bike stores still haven't been able to keep up with the demand for new bikes, which is why the used bike market is still so hot.
Knowing how to do basic maintenance or repairs is the best way to make money flipping bicycles because you can find old ones and fix them up for customers.
20. Baby gear
Parents collect so much stuff when they have a new baby, and most of it is used for such a small amount of time. That's why baby gear is one of the easiest things to flip for profit.
Pay attention to quality (kids are messy) when you're flipping clothing. But gear — baby carriers, bouncy seats, walkers, monitors, etc. — doesn't get nearly as dirty and retains more value.
Strollers fall under the category of baby gear, but strollers are profitable enough to demand their own category. You can buy them for cheap at thrift stores, garage sales, or local buy/sell groups and flip them for sale on eBay.
High-end strollers are status symbols for some parents, so these can be super lucrative flips if you can get your hands on them for cheap.
22. Lawn equipment
If you know much about small engine repair, you can make money flipping yard equipment like lawn mowers, leaf blowers, tillers, and more. What makes this one of the best items to flip for profit is that so many people literally throw away their broken lawn equipment because they're not interested in repairing it themselves.
23. Power tools
People often buy power new power tools to use them once or twice, and then they get rid of them to declutter or when they're moving. But there are just as many people who want to buy them used to save money because power tools are so darn expensive. This is why you can make money flipping power tools like drills, saws, sanders, grinders, compressors, and more.
Rugs are expensive brand new, and it's something that people often replace when they're ready for a new look — not always because the rug is damaged. And because others don't want to pay full price for rugs, you can make good money flipping them.
You want to avoid rugs that smell like smoke or pet urine (these smells are difficult to remove), and anything that is too stained should be considered carefully. But most rugs are still in good enough shape to flip.
25. Commercial equipment
We're talking big equipment like pizza ovens, boom lifts, riding lawnmowers, etc. Think big, heavy duty equipment that's used by businesses. These types of items aren't for everyone, but if you have storage space and can make a can make a larger financial investment, the return can be substantial. Sellers are typically pretty motivated to get rid of these items because they take up so much space.
Rob and Melissa of Flea Market Flipper specialize in flipping stuff like this on eBay, and here are some of their flips:
- Commercial machine belt: Bought for $20 and flipped for $399.99
- Escalator cleaner: Bought for $25 and flipped for $1300
- Plumbing valve: Free from a dumpster and sold for $500
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26. Retail arbitrage
Retail arbitrage is when you buy things on clearance and sell them for more. The types of items can be anything from leggings, bamboo toothbrushes, plush toys, and more. The goal is to find products you can buy cheap and sell high.
Most sellers utilize Amazon FBA (that stands for Fulfillment by Amazon) to resell their products. The way it works is that you list the items on Amazon, ship them to one of Amazon's warehouses, and Amazon handles the rest of the process. There are higher selling fees but less work.
Where to resell the best items for flipping
The internet has made it easier to reach customers all over the country (and world), which is why most of the best places are online. However, you can don't have to be willing to ship. There are several sites that allow for local selling too.
- Facebook Marketplace: It's simple and free to sell through Facebook Marketplace. You can sell locally or offer shipping, and you can you also boost your listings with a little cash investment.
- Craigslist: Commercial equipment, appliances, lawn equipment, and cars may sell well on Craigslist.
- NextDoor: This is a good platform to do local sales of baby gear, clothing, lawn equipment, furniture, and more.
- eBay: Anything niche, vintage, or high-end generally does well on eBay.
- Amazon: New items and used books sell well on Amazon.
- DePop: This site specializes in on-trend clothing and is geared to the younger buyers.
- Poshmark: Another site for selling clothing, but the market is much broader on Poshmark.
- Etsy: A great place to make money flipping clothing, jewelry, accessories, vintage things, and more.
- Mercari: This site is for selling pretty much anything and everything. It's especially good for clothing, collectibles, vintage flips, luxury goods, and tech items.
The final word: Is flipping a good way to make money?
Flipping is one of the best side hustles if you want to make extra money because anyone can do it. The barrier to entry is low, and you can start with stuff you already have around your house.
If you want to know how to make money flipping, the basic idea is to focus on products you can buy cheap and sell high. But the most successful people will find a niche or two. Maybe you focus on designer clothes or sports memorabilia — find a specialty that interests you or something you know a lot about.
Clothes are some of the easiest things to flip for money because you can find clothes to flip for cheap at Goodwill, thrift stores, and even your own closet. Then you can make money flipping them on Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, Depop, Mercari, and so on.
There are too many variables to say that you can make a living flipping. It’s a great side hustle where you can realistically make $500 to $2,000 extra a month or more.
Start small and work up from there. Focus on items that take a small investment and get your feet wet before putting too much of your money into flipping for profit.