This is the second post in a series wherein which someone who works with me (Dylan) is attempting to make $1000+ in 90 days, starting with no money and just 5 items he already owned. This challenge is the central theme to the course Flipping For Profit.
If you haven’t done so already, you are welcome to join the fun and post updates along the way.
Week 1 (Day 5) Update…
I can’t believe I’m already 5 days into this challenge.
If you read the first post, you know that I started on Monday by picking 5 items and listing them on Craigslist right away. The 5 items I picked (+ what I thought I could get) were:
- A 63” plasma TV from 2011 that doesn’t work right ($50)
- A lightweight plastic bed frame for a queen bed ($20)
- An 18-speed purple bicycle ($40)
- A double stroller ($60)
- A pair of brown Chaco sandals, size 12 ($30)
I started by listing them on Craigslist because I’ve sold a few things on there before when cleaning out my house.
Brief adventures with Facebook
I woke up early on Tuesday so that I could get set up on facebook marketplace. Coming into this I have 0 experience with it, and I didn’t even have a facebook account. One day in and I already hit my first wall – they don’t let new accounts use marketplace. It gets worse too. I researched the topic some and found an entire Facebook help thread on the subject with many people reporting not getting access despite waiting for 3+ weeks. You can see that thread here.
Some people report not having access despite being long-term members too…
This means that I’m stuck with just Craigslist for now. I’m not going to let that stop me from completing the challenge but after reading about Facebook marketplace, I definitely see how listing on both would have helped me move items a lot faster. I’m going to try to get approved sooner rather than later. For
Share in the comments if you are also blocked.
Updating original posts
So instead of spending Tuesday morning creating posts on Facebook, I shifted my attention to taking the “Creating a good ad” lesson from the course so I could update my existing Craigslist posts. The lesson is broken down into 4 sections: titles, descriptions, photos, and pricing.
I had significant room to improve in all four areas. Some of the points made in the lesson seem obvious in hindsight but that didn’t stop me from making the mistakes when I initially created the ads.
Over the course of an hour, I went through each post and updated them in all four areas, including adding more and better pictures for each item. One of the main things I kept in mind after reading the lesson was “Am I answering all of their questions?”
A slight twist that I added was “and am I making them want this?”
Addressing fears and making them want to buy…
For example, when I was updating the TV ad, I spent some time thinking about what objections people may have to
I didn’t know all that much about the TV. It was something that was left behind by the original owner of my house because “it didn’t work right”.
I decided my best route forward would be to include the exact details for the TV, including why I had it and what I knew about. To decrease the potential risk, I took a video of the TV playing a youtube video through a chromecast and told anyone interested that I would send the video via email so they could see the TV working.
These updates were like flipping a switch on the post. After not getting any responses for the first day, all of a sudden my email inbox was flooded with people who wanted it.
By Tuesday night, the TV was gone.
I had it listed at $125, and the offers I got for it ranged from $50 to the full $125.
The two offers over $100 both needed me to deliver the TV over 30 minutes away, which I did not want to do. The TV was heavy and transporting it presented a risk of it breaking before I was able to sell it.
There were 4 offers at $50, and one at $75.
The $75 offer wasn’t able to pick it up until this weekend, so I ended up selling it to a guy who was willing to pick it up that night for $50. I could have gotten more for it, but I was excited about getting the first sale, $50 was my target for it to begin with, and I had just finished the lesson on speed. So I opted to move it quickly instead of waiting.
The second sale followed close behind the first. To my surprise, it was the queen bed frame. I had it priced at $25, and someone contacted me on Tuesday and offered to pick it up the next day with no negotiation over the price.
This went extremely smoothly. A local delivery guy picked it up and had the money. I got his business card because I could see it being useful in the future. I have a truck for picking my own stuff up, but I don’t want to spend too much time delivering things. I’m going to refer people to him if they need something delivered outside the range I’m willing to travel in the future (this could have helped get more out of the TV).
Yesterday I sold both the Chacos and the stroller. The Chacos went for $25 and the stroller went for $60.
For the four items that I have sold out of my original five, two went for the exact prices I had hoped, one sold for $5 more, and one went for $5 less – so I am exactly on track.
This means that after 4 days, I already have $160! I’m feeling pretty good about this, and I’m hoping to sell the bike this afternoon. There is someone interested for $30.
Last week Monica suggested in the comments that I should make sure that I keep track of time as part of this challenge. I think that is a great idea, and I’ve been doing that this week…
- Creating and updating ads: 90 mins
- Meeting with buyers: 45 mins
- Reading lessons in the course: 3 hours
- Answering messages: ???
I spent about 90 minutes on the 5 ads overall. This is a lot more time per ad than I expect to spend in the future, a lot of this was because I updated the ads after learning some ideas for making better ads. In the future, I will be starting off with good ads.
I met with 4 buyers this week, and only spent about 45 minutes to do it. Two items were picked up at my house and only took about 10 minutes each to help load the items and talk briefly with the person who picked them up. The other two I met at a plaza about 5 minutes from my house.
I also spent three hours reading lessons in the course, which I would say counts towards the overall time I’m spending flipping.
The one thing that I did not track is time spent answering messages. I did my best to answer all messages as soon as I saw them, so this time happened in increments ranging from a few seconds to a minute or two for some of the emails. I would guess this would add up to about 20-30 minutes, though it could have been less.
Current Status of Challenge
Here is a quick rundown of my stats so far.
Items Sold: 4
Items Currently Listed: 1
# of days into the challenge: 5
Time invested: ~ 5 hours 45 minutes
These are the main things I could think to include here. If there are other stats that you would like me to keep track of and include, let me know. These could be a good base to include in your comments as well.
I plan on spending at least an hour on reading the lessons on buying tonight and making a list of sales, stores, etc… to go to over the next 90 days. Tomorrow will be my first official day “sourcing”, and I will make sure to write about that in detail for next week.
My goal for the next week is to go sourcing at least 3 times, and sell at least some of the items that I buy over the weekend. I’d be more specific if I could, but I don’t really know how many items to expect to buy.
I’m also hoping to get Ryan more involved with this. He is having me do the challenge because he wants the results to be representative of a beginner, but I personally think it would be interesting to see what he could do with his skills and a similar challenge. We’ll see…
What about you?
How did you do this week? Comment below to share anything that you’ve accomplished or questions you may have.
If you have ideas for what I should include in the posts, please share that as well. Thanks again to Monica for the idea about tracking time.
If you haven’t gotten started yet, don’t let that stop you from joining in. Today can be Day 1 of the challenge for you.
Looking forward to hearing updates!