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But what if you can make a living doing it? This is exactly how Melissa and Rob Stephenson make a living and a really good one at that! They earn over six figures a year flea market flipping treasures that they find.
If you have never watched Flea Market Flip or heard of flea market flipping let me answer some common questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is flea market flipping?
Flea market flipping is when you go to flea markets and find items at low prices which you can then resell online or locally to make a profit. It’s a simple concept, buy low and sell high so you can make money.
Where do you sell you flea market flips?
You can also flip items locally as well, by having a garage or yard sale, listing items for sale on Facebook, or even reselling the items for profit at a flea market.
Is it illegal to buy and resell items?
No, in many instances, it’s not illegal to buy and resell items so there is no need to worry. Just think about it, just about every store you shop at buys products from manufacturers and resells them for a profit.
In very few cases there may be a reason for concern, you can check this article for more information.
What can I sell to make money?
The possibilities are almost limitless on what you can sell online to make money. You can sell furniture, electronics, sports equipment, clothing or just about anything that will make a profit.
How much can I make flea market flipping?
How much money you make flea market flipping is all up to you. Selling flea market flips is not a get rich scheme, but with that being said, you can realistically make over $100,000 a year with hard work and dedication.
How Do I start a flea market flipping business
If you want to know how to start a flea market flipping, then you are in luck! Melissa has agreed to let me interview her to find out exactly how they earn money flea market flipping items and how you can get started making a living doing the same.
Melissa shares her tips on how she and her husband find profitable flea market flips, how to get started flea market flipping and what flea market flips are most profitable.
Interview With a Six Figure Flea Market Flipping Family
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Melissa Stephenson and I help my husband Rob with our Flea market flips/eBay business as well as help him run our blog, Flea Market Flipper.
I’m also a stay at home with our 3 young kids (ages 1, 3, and 5) and do my best to raise them well while running our online flipping business.
How did you start flea market flipping?
I married into the flea market flipping world. My husband Rob has been flipping flea market items since he was 16 years old, which means he now has over 20 years experience (and also means we are getting old….)
Rob loves going to the flea market, thrift stores, auctions, and finding good deals online too. He is slightly addicted. Ha! He has worn off on me over the years. Now we go to the flea market as a family almost every weekend.
What kind of items should new flea market flippers be on the lookout for?
This one is a tricky question because it will vary with different people. We always tell our Flipper University students to start with items they know and like.
For example, if they are a parent, then they would know what baby and kids brands are more expensive. You can start with that. If they are into sports they may know what sports items are more collectible and can look for those items to resell. If you know a lot about antiques, then start by flipping antiques.
A person doesn’t have to stick with these items forever, but they are great when starting a flipping business.
Another great place to find items to start making money with is in their own home. It can feel great decluttering the house, while also making some extra cash and getting your feet wet with flea market flipping.
What kinds of items are the most profitable to flea market flip or are the best money makers at flea markets?
We typically search for larger items now. Commercial kitchen equipment, exercise equipment, patio furniture, lawn equipment, etc. We sell mostly on eBay and ship the large items freight.
That isn’t always doable for everyone, and there is definitely money to be made on smaller items as well. The key is finding the top brands that sell of a specific item. For example, when we can find top brand baby strollers for a good deal, they always sell well on eBay for a good profit.
Certain higher end brands of kitchen appliances, clothes, shoes, electronics, baby items, and so many other categories will sell online well.
Check out this YouTube video to see what Rob & Melissa flipped to make $3000.00 in one week!!
How much income could someone starting out expect to make flea market flipping?
We do this flea market flipping for a full-time income, and last year made $133K in sales. Obviously, that is with experience and we don’t promise those kinds of numbers starting out.
For someone starting out, it’s realistic to be able to make an extra $300 – $1,500 in a month with flea market flips and grow from there. Anyone can eventually end up flipping for a living with a lot of work and determination.
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What tools would a newbie need to start flea market flipping?
There really aren’t a lot of tools needed to start a flipping business.
The biggest tool that we use is our smartphone. It takes pictures, can post items on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up. We also use the smartphone to look up items on Google. We can find out more details, what it sells for retail, and if there are any of them listed on eBay.
Another tool would be a vehicle or a way to transport flea market flips. It doesn’t have to be a huge truck or anything; you can fit some good stuff in a truck or back seat of a car. We used to do it all the time.
Sometimes items need cleaning or fixing, so they would require cleaner or maybe a specific part.
What types of challenges should a new flea market flipper expect?
I think there are two main challenges to someone just starting to sell online. They are finding items to resell, and then being comfortable and using eBay to create the best listings.
There are so many great places to find good items: flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, auctions, Offer Up, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and more. It can get overwhelming at first, so sticking to a few at a time, and looking for a couple types of items is the best way to go starting out.
A lot of people get overwhelmed by using eBay. It can definitely be scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not that bad. We recently wrote The Beginner’s Guide to Selling on eBay to help people who want to start using eBay but aren’t exactly sure how.
How much money is needed upfront to start a flea market flipping business?
Flipping items can really have a low start-up cost. We usually recommend starting out with $50 and growing from there. With a $50 investment, someone should be able to get $100-$300 for a flip.
A person can even start out with $0 out of pocket. There are several ways to find free items, such as browsing craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for stuff that people are ready to get rid of.
Another way someone can start with no money out of pocket is to start selling items out of their home as I mentioned before. This is a fantastic way to declutter and make money at the same time.
Where do you sell your flea market flips?
We sell about 90% of our items on eBay. We cross-post everything to Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Offer Up, but eBay is always the top income earner.
How long did it take you to turn flea market flipping into a full-time income?
I said my husband was doing this when I met him and he has done it on and off full time since we have been together. We didn’t start taking it seriously as a business until about 2 years ago. Before then we treated it more like a hobby, our flipping income was used for a vacation, savings, and whatever other extra money we might need.
What advice do you have for newbie flea market flippers or someone interested in flipping?
My biggest advice is to stay consistent when looking for items. We are able to have a steady income because we consistently go to the flea market and browse Offer Up for deals.
We’ve had friends come with us to the flea market because they wanted to see for themselves all these amazing deals that we get, only to be disappointed by the lack of deals that we find that day.
We don’t find 20 amazing deals every weekend. Some weeks are great, some not so great, but because we are consistent in finding and listing we can make a good income at this.
How much money can someone expect to make from flea market flipping?
This will depend on each individual. Their skills, drive, and time and effort put into it, all play a part. I would say that someone starting out should be able to make an extra $300 – $1,500 in a months time and grow it from there. One of our course members recently made $2,500 in one month after about 6 months into it.
Tell us about Flipper University, what topics are covered and how a newbie will benefit from your course.
We created Flipper University to help people get their flipping business started, or take it to the next level. It takes a person through setting up their eBay and PayPal accounts, finding items of resale value, deciding which platform to sell your items on (Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, Craigslist and eBay), to packaging and shipping small and large items, and then keeping track of your business records. There are 6 modules and 28-course units that make up the course.
We also have a Facebook group for our course members – where we can help them with any questions they have as they go through the course and start selling items. And we now do some one on one coaching as well to help people get their flipping business off the ground.
Our goal is to help people be successful in their flea market flipping business so they can make extra money for a vacation, savings, kid’s activities or even paying the bills.
Thank you so much, Melissa, for this interview. It’s great that you are sharing your journey to earning a full-time income flea market flipping and helping others hoping to do the same!! If you want to learn how to make money at flea market flipping, you can check out Flipper University here.