What are the best products to flip for a profit?
Buying low and selling high is a mega-popular business for side hustlers and big corporations alike. (I mean, this is the basic model that powers Walmart and Amazon!)
With product flipping, you can turn bargain-hunting prowess into profits. In this post, you’ll learn how turn your love of flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores into an extra income stream.
Stick around to read:
- Where to find some educational and inspirational free training on flipping products
- The most popular marketplaces to resell your items
- The most profitable types of products to be on the lookout for
Fun fact: You don’t need any money to begin flipping items.
Instead, start with what you already have collecting dust in your own closet, attic, and garage.
There’s also free stuff available online from buy/sell sites like:
- Craigslist’s Free section
- Facebook Marketplace
If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, you can also find free items to flip by looking through curbside garbage, junkyards, and even dumpster diving.
You can reach out to friends and family to see if they have any stuff they no longer want. You’d be surprised how many people will offload their “junk” at no cost just to get rid of it.
Side note: junk removal is another legit side hustle too. Maybe you could even get paid to source some inventory!
When it comes to finding free stuff, your only limitation is your imagination.
Once you’ve exhausted ways to get free items to flip, you can branch out to other places to find bargains, including:
- flea markets
- estate sales
- yard sales
- thrift stores
- websites and apps
After all, buying low and selling high is one of the fastest ways to multiply money. You can do this strictly in your spare time or on weekends, too.
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The Best Items to Flip for Profit
Flipping, or reselling, is a popular side hustle since anyone can do it and it doesn’t require a big investment.
However, not all items are easy to resell. You need to concentrate on products that are in demand. Focusing your flipping efforts on more popular items means that you can sell faster and easier.
Your location and personal preferences will also affect your choices of what to flip. In addition, you’ll want to consider logistics, shipping, and storage.
It also helps to know the value of what you’re selling. Stick to product categories that you know and find interesting.
(For extra credit, be sure put your purchases on a business credit card and earn rewards!)
To get started, here’s a list of the best items to flip.
1. Clearance Items
Finding deeply discounted items is the first step toward a profitable flipping business. One place to source that inventory is the “clearance” section of nearby retail stores or websites.
The key is to find goods that are highly desirable and worth enough money to make a profit after expenses.
Be on the lookout for popular brands, seasonal items, and limited editions. Branded items are especially desirable because people will pay more for the brands they already use and like.
Reselling on Amazon
One way to resell clearance items is to become an Amazon reseller. You can shop for good deals, send them into Amazon’s warehouse, and let them take care of the fulfillment when someone buys. You don’t have to worry about returns, product descriptions, or shipping to customers.
Check out my podcast interview with Jessica Larrew to learn more about reselling on Amazon. When we spoke, she and her husband had sold over $1 million worth of products on Amazon!
(I did this myself for a while and earned over $650 very part-time.)
Jessica also has a free course on how to become an Amazon seller that’s worth checking out if you want to learn more.
One thing I didn’t like about my clearance arbitrage side hustle was the actual shopping trips. There where times where I’d spend 45 minutes in a store and leave empty-handed!
The way around that is sourcing your inventory online, with online arbitrage. The idea here is to find wide enough pricing gaps between products on Amazon and the same products sold on other websites.
Thankfully there are software tools to help with this like Tactical Arbitrage and OAXRAY.
2. Bed-in-a-Box Mattress Returns
Most online mattress companies offer a 100-night satisfaction guarantee. But what happens when customers are unhappy with their purchase?
That’s where Sharetown comes in. Sharetown is a “reverse logistics” company that coordinates mattress pickups and their subsequent donation or resale. As a local Sharetown rep, you’ll be dispatched to:
- pickup (often) like-new mattresses
- clean and sanitize them
- re-list them for sale on places like Facebook Marketplace
You profit on the spread between your resale price and the amount you owe Sharetown for sourcing the product. But what’s cool is you don’t have to pay for the mattress until it sells. This makes it a very low-risk side hustle as long as you have the means to transport and store these bulky items.
Staci Aburto, a Sharetown mattress reseller in Phoenix, reported earning $3,000-$4,000 a month doing this part time.
Flipping furniture is a super popular side hustle. There are always people moving as well as people wanting to downsize or redesign their space. In these cases, people are typically quick to sell, which means the possibility of buying low.
Whether it’s wood, upholstered, or outdoor furniture, you can usually find someone selling it and someone looking to buy it.
And, good quality used wood furniture has a long life span with lots of potential. Many times people don’t want to bother putting in the elbow grease it takes to make old furniture new again. With some work, you can increase your flipped furniture’s value to turn a profit.
4. Sports Memorabilia
There will always be sports fans! Be on the lookout for memorabilia like:
These items are great to flip on eBay because people buy them as gifts or to add to their own collection.
5. Sports and Exercise Equipment
Sports equipment is another category to be on the lookout for.
Bulky items like home gyms, treadmills, and exercise bikes can actually resell for pretty good prices. And because they take up so much space, sellers are often happy just to get rid of them.
Well-maintained bikes, skis, golf clubs, and even hockey equipment is worth a look, since buyers may be starting a new hobby or purchasing for their kids.
6. Musical Instruments
Musical instruments in good working condition are another item to flip. Both kids and adults frequently outgrow or abandon their hobby.
Once they’ve moved on, you can find musical instruments at a low price to resell for a decent profit. In fact, one Side Hustle Nation reader built an entire eBay business flipping guitars.
7. Power Tools
There’s both demand and availability when it comes to flipping power tools.
New power tools are expensive, so secondhand tools are attractive to people who want to save money.
Look for name brand tools, as buyers will often search by brand name. People sell their power tools when they’re done with a project, moving, or buying a newer model.
8. Baby and Kid Gear
No question—kids’ stuff is expensive. Plus, kids grow quickly, which means they outgrow their gear quickly too.
That’s why budget-conscious parents are often on the lookout for gently-used baby and kid gear, such as:
- high chairs
- diaper bags
Specialty websites like Kidizen cater to parents looking for designer items for the kiddos.
Pro Tip: Find grandparents selling their young grandchildren’s stuff. These things were probably used infrequently at grandma’s house and are likely to be in great condition.
Alternative: Instead of flipping baby items, you could rent them out through a service like BabyQuip. That way a single asset turns into a recurring revenue stream.
Appliances are big, bulky, and heavy, which makes them hard to get rid of. That presents a potential opportunity for you to swoop in and take that problem off their hands. Of course, that’s as long as you have a truck or other vehicle to pick them up and move them.
And since new appliances are expensive, there’s also a healthy market for used ones. So, after you work out the logistics of the transactions, there’s money to be made in flipping appliances.
Ryan Finlay made a full-time income flipping items, including appliances, on Craigslist. His advice for people getting started was to try and find a fixed dollar amount (like $50 or $100) of profit each day.
Suggested Playlist: Flipping Profits
Buying low and selling high is the fastest way to multiply money. Here's how to get it done.
10. Limited Edition Sneakers
If you’re interested in shoe trends and fashion news, then flipping sneakers may be up your alley.
Manufacturers intentionally don’t produce enough sneakers to meet the demand, creating scarcity. For premium brands like Air Jordans, the high demand and short supply fuels the resale market.
Although you need some capital to get started, sneaker flipping can be lucrative and one of the best items to flip. In fact, Side Hustle Nation reader JV Ortiz reported earning $10k a month flipping sneakers.
Reselling sneakers allows you to piggyback on the success of a brand and tap into a pre-existing fan base. As such, you don’t have to build your own brand or following.
11. Name Brand Shoes
You don’t have to be a sneakerhead to profit from reselling shoes. In fact, there’s a great market for gently-used name-brand shoes of the non limited-edition variety.
I know I’ve shopped eBay for particular models I loved that changed or went out of stock.
Shoes also have the advantages of being:
- relatively small and light to ship
- easy to clean
- readily available at deep discounts at yard sales and thrift shops
A typical purchase price for a pair might be anywhere from $5-15, but can sell for as much as $50-300 depending on the brand and condition.
For example, Beau Hunter shared how you can easily make $250-$1,000 a month flipping shoes. He said large size men’s shoes sell particularly well!
Despite the rumor that people don’t read books anymore, there’s still a market for used books. You can flip books at local used book stores and online at Amazon (for a fee).
Flipping books requires sourcing books, so you’re limited by your time and book inventory. But don’t let that discourage you.
On The Side Hustle Show, Charlie William reported earning up to $4000 a month flipping books!
Textbooks and hard-cover non-fiction books tend to be worth the most. Charlie recommended the ScoutIQ app for serious book flippers to quickly scan barcodes to find the profitable titles.
Think you may have a first edition or a desirable rare book? You can use the free Bookscouter tool to scan barcodes and see what titles on your shelf might be worth selling.
13. Vintage Clothing
Whether it’s the desire to capture a trendy look or to save money on out-of-season couture clothes, vintage clothing has a place in the resale market. It’s not a passing fad.
According to ThredUp, the United States secondhand apparel market is forecasted to almost double by 2027 to $70 billion. (With the resale sector driving the growth.)
The resale market has grown 5 times faster than the broader retail market in recent years.
Although sites like depop and eBay make selling secondhand clothes easier, flipping vintage clothing does take time.
According to Keely Stawicki—who’s sold $270k worth of vintage items—thrifting is labor intensive. Your profit margin needs to make the effort of sourcing, rehabbing, photographing, listing, and shipping the items worthwhile.
Check out the free Flyp app to get access to brand-name clothing on consignment. When you sell it, you split the profits with the owner.
Whether as a hobby, a fixer upper project, or as a mode of transportation, used cars are still popular.
The goal is still to buy low and sell high, but in this scenario you’ll need a bigger buy-in than most other items on this list.
Flipping cars works best as a side hustle for those who:
- love the thrill of negotiation
- can find undervalued cars
- are somewhat mechanically-inclined
Important note: Some states have regulations on car ownership and sales limitations before you’re legally required to register as a “dealer.”
15. Designer Eyeglass Frames
Prescription eyeglasses are expensive, so people often go to eBay to find designer frames at a discount.
Your profit will depend on the brand, style, and popularity. Still, selling a used pair of prescription glasses for $30-$70 isn’t a bad flip, especially if you have them laying around the house or were able to score some inexpensively at a garage sale.
16. Collectible Jewelry
Authentic Bakelite jewelry and finely crafted vintage costume jewelry from designers like Monet and Trifari are still sought after in today’s thrift marketplace. Plus, these items are small, lightweight, and easy to ship.
Etsy is a good website for reselling costume jewelry.
The value depends on the quality, demand, and style. And, you need to make sure you’ve got the real deal and not a knock-off.
You can resell jewelry in singles or groupings, depending on the level of effort you want to go through in the selling process. Grouping means fewer listings and some buyers prefer to buy in groups to reduce costs.
17. Tech: Electronics, Smartphones, and Computers
When it comes to the best items to flip, not all tech gadgets are created equal.
Some brands and models are far more popular and retain their value, such as Apple iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads and Samsung Galaxy phones. These used electronics sell for hundreds of dollars, with MacBooks commonly selling for $1000 or more.
In general, smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and computers/laptops are highly desirable.
That doesn’t mean other brands and certain older electronics won’t sell. People may want to save money or acquire parts for their old gadgets, such as Nintendo game consoles. Some online sleuthing will give you an idea of what’s hot and what’s not.
Popular websites for flipping electronics are Craigslist, eBay, and Swappa, the latter of which can help you find the going rate of your items.
For a few pointers, Side Nation Show guest Jeff Duhon shared how he flips 20-30 used iPhones a week, targeting $100 in profit per flip.
18. VCRs and VHS Tapes
I was a bit surprised by this one, but according to Scott Voelker, both VCR players and VHS tapes can be hot sellers. The reason is scarcity—people either have a library of tapes and a broken machine, or a working machine but nothing to watch.
Both items can be found at giveaway prices at garage sales.
19. Commercial Equipment
What do riding lawnmowers, scissor lifts, insulation blowers, and pizza ovens have in common? They’re all items Rob Stephenson has flipped for a profit!
(The Genie boom lift he bought for $3500 sold for over $10k.)
When he comes across one of these items, the first thing he does is try to find out the retail price. He knows that selling one used, he’s likely to get 50% of the original price.
And because these are often super heavy, bulky, hard-to-store items, many sellers are motivated to get rid of them for far less than that. If you have the storage space and means to transport these things, don’t overlook them when you’re sourcing!
Check out Rob’s free online training to learn more.
20. Rare or Retro T-Shirts
The clothes we wear are part of our identity, and some people love to find cool retro shirts. In this category, sports teams merchandise and bands can do really well.
Sure, you might have been a toddler during that 1988 Metallica concert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock the shirt hard :)
These are good items to look for at garage sales and thrift stores.
21. Board Games
My family loves finding and playing new board games, but sometimes fun games go out of production and can be hard to find.
That’s what makes this a popular category on eBay and other marketplaces. People may be looking to relive a childhood favorite, replace missing pieces, or just try something new.
22. Vintage Items in a Set or a Collection
Not everything “vintage” is worth money. Nostalgia plays a role in value as does rarity and demand.
But there are some brands and items that command interest and popularity. Typically, the older the better—especially if the items are unique, limited, and hard to come by.
And when you can combine items like this into a set or a collection, the value increases. (You’ve seen Storage Wars, right?)
Pins, sewing patterns, patches, cards, stamps, video games, vinyl records, silverware, china, watches, artwork, and dolls are just some of the collectibles people will pay for in a set or a collection.
Fans of iconic brands like Disney, Star Wars, Vogue, Barbie, the Beatles, Kiss, Hot Wheels, and Tiffany’s are out there just waiting to purchase their next collection.
23. Scrap Metal
Coach Dom Costa shared how to scrap metal for money, a side hustle that earns him $400+ per month. While it can take a literal ton of metal to make any serious cash, you can often score your “inventory” for free.
Recycling centers pay to take it off your hands since it reduces landfill waste and the need to mine new raw materials.
Costa explained that Craigslist, local businesses, and your neighbors are all potential sources of scrap metal. Non-ferrous metals like copper, brass, and aluminum tend to be worth the most.
24. Domain Names
Here’s an asset with no physical inventory to store! Domain names are digital real estate that can be bought, sold, and flipped like any other product.
I sat down with one domain investor who (on average) buys names for $40 and resells them for $2800. That’s a pretty nice return, right?!
The downside is he only sells 2% of his inventory each year, so he has a lot of these domain names sitting around collecting digital dust.
Cash-flowing websites are bought and sold every day on marketplaces like Flippa and Empire Flippers. A typical purchase price may be 20-40 times monthly earnings, which means you can “fix and flip” a site just like you might do with a neglected house.
If you know how to increase traffic or improve the existing monetization of a site, you may find some quick wins and earn a great return.
26. Stocks and Options
I’ve always considered stock market investing as a long-term game, but others take a more active approach to trading stocks. Like other side hustles, be sure to do your research and educate yourself before making any big moves.
Option Alpha has a tremendous library of free resources, and you can set up a practice trading account before putting any real dollars at risk.
27. Raw Land
Flipping raw land involves finding motivated sellers to buy parcels of land on the cheap. Then you can either resell those parcels for a quick flip or as an owner-financed sale.
There’s a lot involved in flipping land, including upfront investment and know-how. Check out my interview with Roberto Chavez, who was bringing in $10k a month flipping land when we recorded.
Next, grab your free land investing launch kit here.
28. Trading Cards
One of the hottest side hustles of the past couple years has been flipping trading cards, particularly Pokémon and baseball cards.
In this article, my friend Ben breaks down how he spent $100,000 on Pokémon cards during the pandemic. He reported already selling $112k worth of cards, plus is sitting on approximately $70k more in inventory.
When Shannon Houchin reached out to share her peach flipping business, I was intrigued! Over the last 10 years, she’s built quite an empire of roadside produce stands — and says you can flip $300 worth of peaches into $1000 in a weekend.
What kind of local produce could you resell?
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Where to Sell Your Items
Now that you’ve collected items, it’s time to sell them. There are lots of options, but here are a few well-known online marketplaces.
- eBay – This long-running marketplace has over 160 million users. That gives you good visibility on items, but requires selling fees and sometimes listing fees. (More on how to make money on eBay.)
- Facebook Marketplace – Great for selling items locally, with no fees and no integrated payment processing. I sold my old car on Marketplace; the buyer paid cash.
- OfferUp – Free online selling app for local transactions. There are various service fees, but none for in-person exchanges. The app uses Stripe for payment processing of shipped goods.
- Craigslist – A holdover from the early days of the Internet, this online classified advertising platform still fuels a lot of local sales transactions. No integrated payment processing, but most postings are free.
- Mercari – A free app that lets you sell new or used items from your phone. No in-person transactions, all items are shipped. Sellers are protected with a payment guarantee and shipping insurance. Listings are free but there’s a flat 10% selling fee.
- Poshmark – A free app for selling fashion and home-related items from well-known, upscale brands like Coach, Michael Kors, and Louis Vuitton. Think of it as an online consignment shop. Selling fees are $2.95 for sales under $15 and 20% commission for sales of $15 or over.
- VarageSale – This “virtual garage sale” is made up of communities where members can buy and sell items locally with no fees.
- Specialty Marketplaces – Depending on what you’re flipping, there are other online and in-person marketplaces for selling, like forums, swap meets, Etsy (for vintage goods), Autotrader (for vehicles), and consignment stores.
Free Product Flipping Training
This post wouldn’t be complete without a mention of my favorite “Flea Market Flippers,” Rob and Melissa Stephenson of Florida.
This husband and wife team consistently earn thousands of dollars a month by flipping items part-time, enough to support their family without getting a “real job”!
They put together this free online training on how to get started and make your first sales in as little as 2 weeks.
Check it out to learn:
- whether or not flipping items is a good fit for you
- how flipping can lead to freedom and security
- insider secrets on how to grow your flipping profits
Final Thoughts About the Best Items to Flip
Although the resale market is a growing opportunity, items fall in and out of popularity based on trends and current events. Always research first!
As most resellers advise, stick with what you know and like. And, even if an item’s cost is super low, don’t forget to account for shipping and other fees.
Your level of interest and a good profit margin are important in determining your best items to flip.
Have you flipped any items to make extra money? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
Looking for More Side Hustle Help?
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best items to flip for a profit?
The list on Side Hustle Nation contains commonly-found items like exercise equipment, books, and shoes. Used electronics, furniture, commercial equipment, and sports memorabilia are also popular among both hobbyist and professional resellers.
What are the easiest things to flip?
Start with “free” inventory — stuff you already own or help friends and neighbors sell their stuff on consignment. That way you’ll learn if you like the process before purchasing more inventory. Flipping isn’t an easy business, but name-brand merchandise in great condition will always move faster than generic products.
Where can I find items to flip?
Resellers source profitable inventory from thrift stores, garage and yard sales, estate sales, individual sellers, wholesale vendors, and even online outlets and retail stores. The key is being able to quickly spot a deal and find a new buyer.
Big thanks to Meghan Monaghan for researching and drafting this post!
12 thoughts on “The 29 Best Items to Flip for a Profit: $50-5,000 a Month Part-Time”
Selling ladies clothing from size 12 to 20, instant cameras, books, picture frames and pictures in frames, electronic items, aquarium motors, tools, blank white and colored 8×10 papers, Bookshelves, camera and equipment, old phones, old VHS movies, office storage equipment, greeting cards, picture mats, office supply and so much more
Many items have been accumulated over a lifetime, some from the business.
We like to sell the items to a reseller. Where can we find a reseller?
Thank you kindly for a reply,
This was very interesting and informative for someone is just starting to flip.
Thank you. Much appreciated.
This article is an excellent resource. Thank you so much!
Question 1): What are your suggestions on a good inventory management software that tracks across multiple platforms? eComDash, which allows for integration of Intuit seems like a good system but is a bit pricey for my limited start-up funds. Thoughts, anyone?
Like the the commenter, ‘Ursula’, I have inventory similar to hers, which I previously sold through CraigsList, flea markets and a pop-up store. However, since the pandemic. I am preparing to sell it all mostly through Etsy, eBay, Giselle, Tradesy and Amazon (books).
I have soooo much inventory (from self, Mom & grandparents) that selling through Amazon FBA is very appealing. Right now most stuff is overflowing my stored in an entire bedroom at home and in a storage unit.
Question 2): For Amazon FBA, are 300 books enough to be worthwhile?
I have about 30%-35% which are past hardcover fiction and nonfiction from bestseller and prominent authors. About 30% are business, technical (grant writing/fundraising, K-12 teaching materials for english and reading), and various personal finance and real estate investment topics.
About 10% are grad school textbooks; 20% or so are a variety (cookbooks, healthy eating, paperback thrillers, romance, historical novels, etc.) with less than 5% that are true account/historical anthologies/narratives.
Any feedback will be appreciated.
Unless the books are selling for over 50 dollars probably not
FYI – Items that are gotten from Freecycle are not supposed to be re-sold.
That’s not correct. As long as you fully disclose prior to getting the item, that you are planning to resell it, you are covered. There is no reason someone who wants to put the time and effort into refurbishing, cleaning, listing can’t get it free. As a reseller there are some items I just don’t care to take the time to relist. I’ll be happy to give it away to someone who does. People need to keep their eyes one the bigger picture. We are keeping it out of our landfills.
I have been selling on eBay for 20 years now. I mostly sell my own items and my kids stuff that we just don’t have use for anymore. I joined Poshmark and offerup about 2 years ago. I occasionally make a sell on offerup and eBay. I think I have sold more on Poshmark in 2 years than I have on eBay in all 20 years. Even though Poshmark charges 20%, I do price my items a little higher to make up for it and also can take lower offers. I also like that if I refer others with my referral code lisalisamm they get $10 off their first purchase, and I get $10.
I have also sold stuff through a company called Just Between Friends. They have 3-4 day events where you take all your stuff and they sell it on consignment. If you don’t want it back you can donate it and get proof for taxes. They take about 30% of your profits and seems that only the stuff I prices low sold. But I have done it twice and make close to $600 each time. I still feel Poshmark makes me the most money for my items, even if it takes longer to sell.
I really like the idea in your article about renting out baby stuff. I am going to look into that further.
All of these are great ideas for someone like me, a stay at home mom at the moment with 2 kids, 1 of which is being homeschooled. Thanks for the article.
If you are selling YOUR items, you are not making any money, you are losing it. Re-selling used items will not bring you 100% ROI when you also factor in commission fees and shipping. You are simply getting back SOME of the money you originally spent on your stuff, which is better than donating it.
Great information! Facebook is a great platform for online sales of items. I also advise installing software called cucomm but there are others too. The program automatically sends messages to users and saves a lot of time. It’s simple, convenient, and safe.
Bed in a Box Returns, who would have thought that’s $3-4k a month part time! I never imagined people would pay up for much for a used mattress, I guess supply chain issues are feeding into that.
Another item to flip: outdoor gear/seasonal equipment. You’d be surprised how many people buy brand new tents, skis, outdoor grills, etc and then decide they don’t want to deal with it anymore. Sad note, REI stopped their garage sales after the pandemic started, at least our local one.
Hopefully they start back up soon!
Thank you so much for this information. This is honestly by far the best information post on reselling I’ve read and I’ve read A LOT.
smart people used to buy used phones rather than brand new, I myself just bought iPhone 13 pro max used from phonedaddy.com. so I would say used phones is a great business