Searching for the very best things to buy and sell for profit? Yearning to quit your day job, work for yourself and achieve true financial freedom? With flipping, you can.
Reselling things for profit is easier than ever! There are more online platforms to sell on, more social media to advertise items and more places to find that all important merchandise to sell.
Need proof? Natalie Gomez, a 35-year old makes over $100,000 a year flipping second hand designer clothes.
Elliott Stout, a 26-year old school teacher, made an extra £42,000 a year reselling pre-loved books online, with just 10 hours of work a week!
Or, this mum who turned kid’s old clothes into a £1.5 million business by selling on Ebay!
There’s no shortage of success stories to inspire you to buy and sell things for profit!
Whether you’re a student, a mom or a keen side hustler looking for a new income stream, this in-depth guide will help you uncover the best items to resell, where to find them and more importantly, how to sell them quickly!
BEST THINGS TO BUY AND SELL FOR PROFIT ONLINE
Based on retail trends, these are the best things to buy and sell in 2021. These items have some of the highest profit margins, and/or are quick to sell.
1. INK CARTIRDGES
My dad used to say that printer ink was more precious than gold, and he wasn’t wrong. Printer and toner cartridges are notoriously expensive, so there’s a huge resale market for unopened and untampered sockets.
Even if the cartridge has expired, they still sell extremely well on places like Ebay and Amazon.
Did you know that buyers even set up notification alerts when a cartridge that fits their printer hits the market? You’ll likely sell these within hours.
Profit: $25+ per cartridge
Where to sell: Ebay
2. DESIGNER LABELS
80% of clothes that get donated to thrift and charity stores are either dated or downright ugly, but if you have the stamina to sift through the racks, you might just strike gold.
Designer labels, items new with a tag or premium, well made jeans are the best clothing items to resell for profit. They naturally command higher mark-ups and are more desirable to customers.
Profit: $15-$50 per item, depending on brand
Where to sell: Poshmark, Vinted, Depop, Ebay
Books are tricky. You’ve got to know which ones are in demand, and which ones are currently tumbling off the charts.
Believe it or not, the books that were once bestsellers are the hardest to sell, unless they’re a special or signed edition.
Use bookscouter.com to see what buyers are currently willing to pay to determine whether or not to take that book to the cash register.
Textbooks, guidebooks or medical reference books also are hot sellers – I made $70 from just one medical book last year.
Profit: Anywhere from a couple to a few hundred dollars.
Where to Sell: Ebay, Amazon, Rare Book Shops, Online Auctions
4. CHILDREN’S & BABY CLOTHES/GEAR
The average parent will spend $450,000 on a child before it reaches 18. It’s no wonder parents are searching for ways to save money.
Children’s and baby clothes are fast to resell – after all, kids grow so fast they’ve barely had time to wear them! Baby grows, toddler clothing and practical accessories all sell fairly quickly.
Profit: $5-$80, depending on item sold
Where to Sell: Mercari, Kidzen, Facebook marketplace, parenting groups, Ebay,
5. HEAVY DUTY SCHOOL BAGS
School bags usually get replaced every academic year, which means you know they’ll always sell. Heavy duty bags that have good litre capacity are the bestsellers amongst high school and university students.
You can buy these bags in bulk for as low as $7.00 a unit on wholesale sites.
Profit: $25-45 per bag
Where to Sell: Ebay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace
6. ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
Kettles, toasters, mixers, the list of what you can sell in this arena is endless. Just remember that smaller items are easier to shift and will have a lower shipping cost than say a bulky fridge or freezer.
This seller makes millions scouting Walmart for on sale electrical appliances and flipping them on Amazon.
Profit: $20-$90 per item
Where to Sell: Ebay, Craiglist, Amazon
7. LEGO SETS
Have you seen the prices on LEGO sets recently? I was shocked to see one of the smallest ‘booster’ sets retailing for a whopping $45!
Second hand sets that are in good condition are all the rage right now. Clean them up and resell for a handsome profit.
Profit: Anywhere between $20-$100, depending on the set
Where to Sell: Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Local Adverts
8. NEW AND USED SHOES
Keep an eye out for new or like-new shoes, especially if they come with tags or are a designer brand.
Nike, Air Jordan, Gucci, Prada, these are all brands people are willing to shell out a pretty penny for. If you can sell them for half the retail price and still make a decent profit, you’re onto a winning product.
Where to Sell: Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Vinted
9. FASHION DRESS SOCKS
Ever heard of Sock Club? They turned funky fashion dress socks into a whopping $1 million a month business. Yes, really.
There’s a ton of money to be made in unconventional dress wear. Find yourself some stylish colourful socks and hone in on a marketplace that captures that audience.
Profit: $10-$30 a set
Where to Sell: Ebay, Etsy
Jewellery is a tricky niche. You’ve really got to know your trends to become a successful reseller.
Pieces that are always en vogue are designer brands such as Michael Kors, Chanel, Cartier, Tiffany’s etc; these items will always have an audience just waiting to snap them up.
If the jewellery is antique or vintage, only sell when the prices are in your favour; older pieces go through periods of price fluctuation.
Costume jewellery is a bit hit and miss, and if you’re not careful you’ll wind up with a lot of unshiftable inventory on your hands.
Profit: $5-$100+ per piece
Where to Sell: Ebay, Etsy, Bonanza, Highstreet Retailers (High End Jewellery)
11. COLLECTIBLE PLUSH TOYS
Collectible TY beanies and even normal plush toys and teddies sell well online. If you can offer personalization on basic toys, you’re onto a real winner, especially on marketplaces like Etsy.
This seller made an extra $1,000 a month selling plushies and toys on Ebay with just 10 hours a week to spare.
12. WEDDING DRESSES
Not all brides want to pay thousands of dollars for a dress they’re only going to wear for one day. Second hand wedding dresses are a hot market and can sell for up to 50-70% of their original retail value.
Profit: A couple hundred dollars
Where to Sell: Sellmyweddingdress.com, Bridalreloved.com, Craiglist, Ebay
13. CAR PARTS
Spare tires, jacks, air filters, brake discs, you name it, some home mechanic or dealer wants it. Stick with the named dealer parts and you’ll rake in the profit.
Whilst these items are more expensive, the ‘knock-off’ replica parts can be hit and miss, not to mention unsafe in some cases.
Profit: A couple of dollars to a few hundred dollars
Where to Sell: Ebay, Local Listings, Online Auctions
14. CAR MEMORABILIA & TOYS
Dinky toys, emblems and service manuals are all hot collectors items. The more obscure the model or make, the better.
Do your research before buying these items though as some collectors are looking for certain years, makes and models more than others.
Make sure you’re also buying an original and not a remake – remakes are mass produced and have little to no resale value.
Profit: Anywhere from a few dollars to a couple hundred dollars
Where to Sell: Ebay, Specialized memorabilia auctions
15. HOME FITNESS DVDS & GEAR
There are always people looking for their next fitness program or hobby; be that couch potatoes or ultra-fit gym goers.
People like home fitness programs and DvDs because they add a little variety and spice to a normally bland routine. Look for programs created by big names such as Jillian Michaels, Beach Body and Davina Mccall for a quick resale.
Where to Sell: Ebay, Amazon
16. POWER TOOLS
Home DIYers and crafters are always on the lookout for deals relating to power tools, especially with brand names such as Bosch.
As long as the item is in good condition, is a full set (if applicable) and works, you can guarantee someone online needs it.
Where to Sell: Ebay, Facebook Marketplace
17. MALE HYGIENE APPLIANCES E.G. RAZOR CARTRIDGES
The oddball on the list, razor cartridges and similar male grooming appliances sell extremely well online.
The key is to make sure they’re brand new, even whilst still being technically second hand. You’ll find these items at retail clearance sales and arbitrage sales.
Where to Sell: Ebay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace
Candles are hot sellers and can quickly turn a side hustle into a blazing business.
Major name brands such as Yankee Candles are the most sought-after candles for gift sets, baskets and housewarming gifts, but if you can get your hands on large pillar candles, crystal candles or votives, you can make money fast online.
Profit: $10-$30 per candle
Where to Sell: Etsy, Amazon Homemade, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Groups
19. VIDEO GAMES & CONSOLES
Not all video games and consoles are made equal. The latest games and consoles are obviously hot sellers as are vintage and retro style consoles e.g. gameboy, original nintendo etc.
However, there’s a lot of competition in this field. You’ll really have to do your research to make a killing in this niche.
Profit: $15-$60 per game or console
Where to Sell: Ebay
20. DOMAIN NAMES
You aren’t just stuck to reselling physical items either. Flipping domain names is a lofty task, and you’ve got to make sure the domain names you’re buying have a high perceived value and aren’t red listed under any bans or penalties.
There are success stories though; this seller turned $100 into $15,000 with one domain flip. As the article states though, this doesn’t happen with every domain you buy.
Profit: Anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand
Where to Sell: Domain auctions with big hosting companies e.g. GoDaddy
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU MAKE FLIPPING ITEMS?
It’s fairly realistic to expect to make anywhere between $500-$2,000 a month flipping items online. Although, it’s not unreasonable to make $100 dollars a day or hit the $4,000 to $6,000 mark either.
If you hit on an item or 2-3 items that give you a steady stream of sales across the month, you can easily snag those extra couple thousand dollars.
Don’t let those figures stop you from climbing for higher profits though; it’s not unheard of for businesses using the flipping and reselling model to make $10,000 to $100,000 or more a month!
HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?
Whilst it’s possible to buy and sell things with less than $50, you’ll cap your own earning potential.
You’ve also got to remember that if something doesn’t sell and you were relying on that resale profit to buy more items, you’ll be stuck with inventory.
With a reasonable investment, $300-$1500, you can purchase 2-3 types of different items and have a much higher chance of making quick sales.
WHERE TO FIND THINGS TO RESELL FOR PROFIT
If you’ve never flipped before, you might be wondering where on earth you can find low cost, high quality items to resell.
Luckily, there are lots of options available to you that don’t require huge down payments or bulk orders!
Here are the best places to find things to flip for good profit:
- Thrift or Charity Stores (Goodwill, Heart Foundation, Community Run Stores)
- Mom-and-pop Stores
- Wholesale Retail Stores e.g. Walmart, Home Depot, Target
- Online Liquidation Sales
- Storage Auctions
- Clearance & Discount Stock at Retail Stores
- Ebay, Craigslist, Poshmark, Offerup, Letgo & similar sites
- Library Clear Out & Book Sales
- Speciality Stores e.g. Mothercare, Toys R US
- Wholesalers & International Retailers
If you’re struggling to find clearance items to resell, don’t rule out flipping for profit just yet. In this case, your best bet is to try the dropshipping model.
This is where you find wholesalers who will ship your item straight to your customer after a sale. Some wholesalers have a minimum order, so make sure you check before you decide to sell that item.
HOW DO I FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH SOMETHING IS WORTH?
Good question! Serial flippers have a few key apps on hand when checking what to buy and sell for profit.
Do a quick search on;
- Ebay – a great starting place to see how much sellers are charging, as well as how many sales they’ve made on that item in the past 6-12 months
- Amazon – these are usually resellers, especially if you see the little ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ note on the item
- Specialist Online Retailers – e.g. Mercari & Kidizen for children’s clothing, Bookscouter for Books, Etsy for candles & handmade items
Download these apps/bookmark these sites onto your phone and do a quick search on the items you find before heading to checkout.
Believe me, this research will save you so much money and heartache.
WHERE TO SELL THE ITEMS YOU FIND FOR THE BEST PROFITS
The key to making good money online is to pick a money making app that has a high number of visitors, has low(ish) selling fees and has customers who might be looking for the type of items you sell.
- Poshmark (Clothes)
- Etsy (General, Specializes in Handmade or Curated Items)
- Ebay (General, Everything)
- Swap.com (Clothes)
- Bookscouter.com (Books)
- Mercari (Children’s Clothes)
- Kidizen (Children’s Clothes)
- Craigslist (General)
- Amazon (General)
- Amazon Handmade (Creative, Handmade Items)
KEEPING TRACK OF LARGE INVENTORY – BEST SOFTWARE
There are lots of inventory tracking softwares out there for small-medium sized businesses.
Just getting started? You can opt for a free tracking software such as inFlow Inventory Tracker or Fakturama.
If you’ve generating around $1,000 a month, I recommend investing in a more long-term solution such as Quickbooks.
Quickbooks is a highly reputable and easy to use software that allows you to track stock in real-time, stay on top of orders and it alerts you when you’re running low on your bestsellers.
Plus, it syncs perfectly with Shopify, Amazon and Bigcommerce. For the tracking feature, you’ll need to select their ‘pro’ or $17 a month plan.
TIPS FOR A QUICK AND SUCCESSFUL FLIP
#1 KEEP SHIPPING COSTS LOW AS POSSIBLE
Did you know that shipping products to customers is one of the biggest expenses a reselling business faces?
That’s why you’ll want to choose the smallest and lightest items to ship that still command a decent markup.
Tech items, clothes and small memorabilia all fall into this category, whilst furniture, cars and large gardening tools don’t (it’s why they’re not on this list).
#2 DO YOUR RESEARCH, KNOW WHAT’S WORTH BUYING
Not everything you lay your eyes on is worth buying, even if it is on sale. You’ve got to make sure your item has a good profit margin, even with packaging, shipping and listing fees.
Many newbies forget about the added little extras that quickly add up.
Before heading to a shop or sale, make an action plan, noting your budget and prized items.
If you spot something that’s not on your list, quickly pull up Ebay or Amazon on your phone to check the current market rate to see if it’s worth buying.
#3 CLEAN & RESTORE ITEMS FOR HIGHER PROFITABILITY
No-one wants to buy a dirty, dusty looking item.
If your item can look better with a polish, dust off and clean, do it – you’ll increase both the item’s desirability and perceived value.
Of course, if you’re dealing with antiques or vintage memorabilia, you’ll likely already know that collectors often want these items in their original, unrestored condition – even if that means they have more wear and tear- so always think about what your customer wants in the product before attempting restorations.
#4 SET THE STAGE FOR PHOTOS
Customers want to see what they’re getting, and that means your photos must accurately show the item from all angles.
Remember to create a minimalist background where the product takes centre stage, some props are okay, but let the product do the talking!
#5 ANSWER YOUR CUSTOMER’S BURNING QUESTIONS!
Think about the questions your customer might be asking; how big is it, what condition is in it, how old is it, does it have any marks worth noting?
Make sure to fill out every section of your item’s listing with lots of detail. This can make or break your sale so it’s worth the time and effort.
#6 BRAND YOUR PACKAGING FOR A MORE MEMORABLE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
This is completely optional, but as you make more money, it’s worth investing in your brand experience.
In a recent survey, over 65% of customers say they can tell whether the item they’ve bought will be of high quality based on the packaging and branding alone. Turns out people really do judge a book by its cover!
Adding small details such as a sticker with your logo, business card and personalized thank you note can quickly turn one off buyers into loyal regulars.
#7 DOUBLE UP ON HOT SELLERS
It goes without saying but if you’ve discovered a product that’s selling like hotcakes, double up on your stock.
You never know when you might get an influx of orders, or worse, the seller you bought from has a temporary shortage.
FAQ – YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Is FLIPPING ITEMS ILLEGAL?
No, not at all! Reselling items for profit is completely legal. If you recognise the value in a product, you’re legally allowed to buy it for a cheaper price and resell with a higher markup.
This is how the big businesses and brands you know and love operate too.
CAN I FIT THIS SIDE HUSTLE IN AROUND MY FULL TIME JOB?
Absolutely. There are many success stories online which show people who’ve started this business idea alongside having a full or part time job.
Many moms with a packed and busy schedule have turned this idea into a money making success.
CAN YOU MAKE A LIVING FLIPPING ON EBAY?
Yes, you can turn flipping into a full time income, and then some!
Matt and Amanda Clarkson started selling DvDs and books on Ebay from their spare room; within 2 years, they were making $750,000 a year!
Brandi Tolley finds and sells clothing for big and tall men in sizes that are typically hard to find in shops – she now makes $200,000 a year selling on Ebay.
You can absolutely make a living flipping on Ebay, even if you just do it as a creative side hustle.