Flipping Challenge Week 2: I Should Have Followed Directions

I’m now 12 days into my Flipping Challenge, and it’s time for another update! If you are new to the Flipping Challenge, the goal is to make $1000 in 90 days, starting with $0.

You can read the first 2 posts here:

Week 2 Update

Last Friday I was only 5 days in and already had 4 sales and $160. If you would have asked me then what I expected to have by today, I would have told you some number considerably higher than what I actually have.

The early sales came fast and relatively easy, and that tricked me into thinking that I would have an easy time the whole way through the challenge. If the last week taught me anything, it’s that this is actual work and I need to stay focused.

With that being said, let’s dive into the details.

My First Attempts At Sourcing

Round 1

With $160 ready to invest (the potential bike buyer never showed up last Friday and it still hasn’t sold), I was able to plan my first attempt at sourcing last weekend.

In the Flipping For Profit course, there is a lesson that recommends that you create a list of all the stores and hours you can find in your area, plus a schedule of all the sales like flea markets. I didn’t do this yet, and I regret it.

This is a screenshot of the main image for the lesson in the course. If only I would have listened to the tip!

Instead, I decided I would start by going to the closest thrift store to my house. I saw that they were having a bag sale, so I figured this would be a great opportunity to get a bunch of stuff for cheap.

For those of you that don’t know, a bag sale is when you buy a bag for a fixed price and get anything that you can fit inside it for no additional cost. There are usually some rules regarding what type of items are allowed in the bag.

If I had been smart and checked the schedule, I would have known that I was going to the store on the final day of a week long bag sale where they were trying to clear out all of their winter clothing. The last day of a weeklong sale where people can literally grab anything they want is not the day to go. The first day is.

In other words, the place was completely picked over. No spring stuff was out yet, and the racks were sparsely filled with the things that no one wanted. People were checking out with not-completely-filled bags before taking the stuff that was left.

Round one was a complete bust.

Round 2

I left the thrift store a little after noon on Saturday and was determined to turn the day around. At first I thought that I would go to some other thrift stores in the area, but then I remembered a flea market around 35 minutes from where I live that is open every Saturday.

I hadn’t been there for a long time, but I remembered it as an absolutely massive warehouse on the side of the highway where you could find literally anything. I talked my wife into an adventure, and after getting some lunch we were off…

To a flea market that closes at 2PM during the winter.

Round two was an even bigger bust.

Takeaway

I was pretty discouraged by these two failed attempts to source more products to sell, but in hindsight, it was entirely my fault.

I read the lessons in the course on the importance of creating a plan and schedule, but I wanted to jump right into buying. The result was a lot of wasted time that was completely avoidable.

If I had taken the time to look up schedules, I would have known that the bag sale was on its final day, I would have known that the flea market closes early in the winter, and I could have focused my efforts on better opportunities. For example, I found out after the fact that one of the empty department stores at our local mall had a massive consignment sale for kids stuff. I completely missed it.

Planning Ahead

With that in mind, instead of running around randomly on Sunday, I decided to focus on completing the store and sale identification exercise that Ryan recommends.

I did this two different ways.

The first was using a Dollar General monthly planner.

This planner was mentioned in the course. It was only $1 and has everything you could need for planning this type of stuff.

I got this calendar because I generally prefer to use paper over screens for planning and note-taking.

With that being said, Ryan and I just started using an app called Notion for organizing and planning, and it has been a game changer for me as far as productivity goes.

It also happens to be perfect for all the documenting that needs to be done as a Flipper.

Setting Up A Flipping Workspace in Notion

If you haven’t heard of Notion before, you aren’t alone. It is only a couple years old, and I just heard about it for the first time this year. The goal the creators have for Notion is to provide a workspace where you can do ALL of your work and planning in.

It is the most powerful productivity tool that I have personally ever tried, and I have tried a lot of them. It’s like Google Drive, a calendar, a to-do list, and every other tool you may use wrapped up into one very clean and distraction free workspace.

But using it is the opposite of intuitive. You can do almost anything with it, but it really takes time to wrap your head around how you should use it.

I got started by creating a database in the form of a table. I just called it “Schedule”:

For every store or sale that I found, I added it to this table. For each entry, I set it up so that I can indicate what type of sale it is, where it is located, if it is happening on a specific date or if it is open on specific days of the week, what the hours are, and if there is a phone number. As you can see above, you can “OPEN” any entry and it has it’s own page where you can make notes, create to-do lists, or anything else you may want:

You can add as many properties as you want to each entry.

Now comes the really cool part. You can create a seemingly infinite amount of different views for each database based on the properties you give to your entries. So by using the setup above, I am able to create calendars that show all the dates for non-store sales, or a list of every store and sale open on a specific Saturday, a list of just thrift stores, or anything else I want.

But I plan on taking it even further than that. One of the things Ryan recommends is to keep very good records for all your buying and selling. I am going to do this within Notion as well, and mark the source of each item and sync it with my database of stores and sales.

This will allow me to create additional properties for each store that will track how much I buy from there or even the exact amount of profit that I have made from items purchased there. This information could be incredibly useful in the future, because it will give me insight regarding where I am making the most money and where I am just wasting time. I can even use this system to show me what types of sales are providing the most profit.

I don’t want to get too into detail about Notion in this post though. If you are interested in learning more about using it, let me know in the comments and I will put together a separate guide about all the stuff above.

Striking Gold

While putting together the list above, I checked the craigslist garage sale listings to see if there was anything good. As it turns out, there were a ton of local estate and moving sales listed here that weren’t listed anywhere else that I checked.

Check here for local sales that may not be advertised elsewhere.

As I was going through them, I happened across an ad that was updated to say that the guy had to get rid of everything left over immediately and that most of the stuff was free to the first person to come get it.

This was pretty close to me, so I decided to just go over and check out what was left in person. I ended up leaving with all of the following:

  • A Whirlpool Minifridge
  • A huge collection of records, 8 tracks, and cassettes
  • A bunch of bar signs and two mirrors
  • Several boxes of bar-type cups and glasses
  • A Keurig
  • A really cool trolley decanter that plays music

The minifridge needed to be cleaned out, but it works and seemed to be in good shape so I grabbed it.

I grabbed the music collection because I figured this would be a great opportunity to learn what old music is worth something and what isn’t. There is so much of it to dig through. The condition of the record sleeves range from non-existent to bad to good. I will probably throw away all of the cassettes.

Here are some pictures:

The bar signs, clocks, mirrors, and glasses seemed like they potentially had some value. Some of the signs/clocks in particular seemed cool to me:

There are at least a dozens other signs. I have no idea what that stuff will sell for, but I’m excited to find out either way.

And then here is the trolley decanter set:

This is also a music box. When you lift a decanter out of the trolley, the box starts to play a song called “How Dry I Am”. You wind it on the bottom. This was really dirty when I got it, but it cleaned up nice.

I spent some time cleaning and getting things ready at the beginning of the week, but the only two things I actually got listed were the Keurig and the minifridge. I would like to get at least $45 for the minifridge and $25 for the Keurig. They are probably worth a little more, but there are a lot of each available on Craigslist. I’d rather get them gone fast than sit on them for a few weeks to make an extra $10. There are multiple people interested in both, and I expect to sell them by tomorrow.

Another Interesting Opportunity

I found out about another interesting opportunity yesterday. An estate sale is planned for one of the neighboring houses to mine, and I’m going to be able to take a look around before things actually get catalogued.

I have no idea what is in the house, but this could be a great buying opportunity.

FREE GOAT (Finally Listening To Directions)

There’s one other thing worth talking about from the past week…


The reason this caught my eye is that the night before I saw this flyer posted, I saw an ad on Craigslist for a $1000 goat. I know absolutely nothing about the going rate on a normal goat, but I figured if there are goats out there that command $1000, a normal goat has got to be worth at least $50.

My wife saw me looking at this and said “Absolutely not, get in the truck.”

Animals also make Ryan’s list of things to never, ever flip.

Getting this goat would have been bad for everyone involved (especially the goat), and I’m happy to say that I finally started listening to directions.

Current Status of Challenge

I should have made more progress, for the most part my numbers are very similar to last week. Below you will see my totals (and I’ve indicated the change from last week in parentheses):

Cash: $160 (+$0)

Items Sold: 4 (+0)

Items Currently Listed: 3 (+2)

# of days into the challenge: 12 (+7)

Time invested: ~ 9 hours 45 minutes (+ 4 hours)

But those numbers don’t tell the whole story. I have at least another $100 in inventory to sell, and potentially significantly more than that.

Looking Ahead

The main things that I am going to work on over the next week are being more organized and timely. There is no reason to not have everything listed already. If I had listed everything immediately, I would have at least a couple more sales by now and probably more.

This weekend my main priority is going to be the pre-estate sale browsing I mentioned above, but I will also be going to at least two other stores/sales. I have not chosen which ones yet, but I have my eye on a moving sale that starts tomorrow morning.

It may be a bit ambitious considering how much I got done this week, but by next week I would like to at least double the amount of items I’ve sold and the current items I have listed. That means I will have sold a total of 8 things and have 6 more listed.

What About You?

Share your progress or struggles over the last week in the comments below!

A new update will be published every Friday.

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6 thoughts on “Flipping Challenge Week 2: I Should Have Followed Directions”

    1. Sound good Rich! I’ve been starting to use Notion too along with Dylan and really like it. We’ll add it to the list of potential posts to create.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  1. Thanks guys! I just got started on Monday and already sold my first five items!

    Bike – $50
    Set of 4 folding chairs – $20
    Nearly full bottles of expensive plant fertilizer – $30
    Suit – $50
    Chain saw with broken clutch – $30

    Total $180 (Plus a lot more space in my garage)

    I’m probably going to sell more stuff in my garage and I’m also going to reinvest as much of this as possible this weekend!

    This is awesome!

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