Flipping Challenge Week 3: I have over $500 in inventory already!

I’m now 19 days into my Flipping Challenge, and it’s time for another update. If you are new to this series, make sure you go back and start at the beginning.

The goal is to make $1000 in 90 days starting with $0, and everyone is invited to participate. If you haven’t started yet, make today your Day 1. If you’ve started and don’t feel like you’ve got much done, commit to doing more this weekend!

Week 3 Update

In case you forgot what was going on last week, I had failed to sell anything beyond what I had moved in my first 5 days, but I did get a bunch of cool stuff for free from a guy who was moving, including:

  • A Whirlpool minifridge
  • A Keurig
  • A bunch of old music (records, 8 tracks, etc…)
  • Bar cups and classes
  • Bar signs, mirrors, and clocks
  • A cool trolley decanter

My goal for this past week was to sell at least 4 more items and have at least 6 items up for sale.

Let’s see how I did…

Two Quick Sales…

As I expected, I was able to move the Keurig and the minifridge quickly by undercutting the price of everyone else.

I sold this Keurig for $20.

I sold the Keurig for $20 and the minifridge for $35 last weekend. While I could have gotten a little more for them, I got them for free and only spent a little bit of time cleaning them (about 20 minutes total), so I’m very happy with that $55.

My first sale in this challenge was a TV, and one of the things I did to increase interest in it was offer a video of it in action. I did the same for the Keurig by taking a video of a “cold start” so that anyone interested could see the machine heating up and brewing a cup of coffee.

This only took me about 3 minutes, and the eventual buyer said that this was one of the reasons they chose to buy mine as opposed to the others that were also listed. They knew that they wouldn’t waste time coming to pick up something that didn’t work. I highly recommend that you think of ways to do this with your own items if there is some amount of risk you can mitigate by showing the item in action.

Both of these items were gone by Saturday morning, and that brought my total cash on hand to $215. Not bad considering I hadn’t spent any money up to this point (other than gas, which I will cover later).

Sourcing

Pre Estate Sale

Last Saturday I had an opportunity to look around a house while they were getting ready for an estate sale. There was a lot of interesting stuff, but the people weren’t as willing to part with things early as I had hoped. The only thing that I left with were 3 used air conditioning units that all work.

I picked up this Haier 5000 BTU AC along with two others for $50.

I got the air conditioners for a total of $50. The BTUs per hour of them are:

  • 12000
  • 10000
  • 5000

I looked up all of them and the two big ones each retail for over $200 a piece, so I figured that I should be able to get a decent profit out of these three. I found similar models selling for around $125 to $150 used on Craigslist, so I’m thinking I should be able to get at least $200 for the three ($75 each for the big ones, $50 for the smaller one), which would be a 400% ROI. Not bad!

I’m also glad I went because I’m thinking that I’ll do even better when the sale is over. While they want to make sure they get as much as possible out of all the stuff, there should be a good deal left over when it is all said and done – and they know I’m ready to buy.

Thrift Stores

I also went to three thrift stores over the past week. One was a St. Vincent De Paul, one was a Good Will, and one was a local store. All three were complete busts.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. I went into each fully committed to buying something, but I couldn’t find anything that I was confident would yield a good ROI. There were some suits that looked like they had potential, but I don’t know enough about brands and condition to make a good decision, so I passed on them for now.

Another free find!

The highlight of the week was definitely another free find like last week. There was a small catch, but it turned out to be a great arrangement.

The free stuff was a bunch of pool equipment.

The small catch was that the actual pool had to go with it.

The pool was a small above-ground pool that had seen much better days. The metal exterior had rusted along the bottom creating large holes, and the liner on the inside had disintegrated.

But the equipment that went with it was in great condition and only a few years old. This included a set of stairs, a sand filter, and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff like toys, an umbrella, and other stuff like that.

Armed with nothing more than gloves, a drill, a cutoff wheel, garbage bags, and my truck, I was able to have the whole thing down and packed in just one hour. I took the plastic stuff to a dumpster I currently have access to and took all the metal to the scrap yard. Since it was made of steel and not aluminum, it wasn’t worth all that much. I still got $18 though.

The real value is in the stairs and filter though. I’m hoping to get at least $250 out of them (about $200 for the stairs and $50 for the sand filter). The other stuff might be worth another $25, though I’m not going to be too worried if it doesn’t sell.

This took about 2 hours and 15 minutes of my time altogether, and I should get at least $275 out of it. If it all works out, that will be over $100 an hour.

Listing and Selling

Right now, I’m averaging about 2 days between acquiring an item and getting it listed for sale. I would like to get this down to under 1. There really isn’t any reason I can’t get things listed immediately, especially right now when I’m dealing with a relatively small amount of items.

As of right now, I have a total of 9 active listings. That includes the bike that never sold from the beginning, and all of the things that were mentioned in this post so far. Several ads include more than one item – like the three air conditioners, the lot of bar signs, and the bar glasses.

I think that doing this makes sense in some situations, but I need to break the air conditioner ad into three separate ones and just mention that I have others available in each one.

I wasn’t able to sell any additional items after last Saturday, although I have several buyers lined up for tomorrow.

Saving time with better ads…

There are a couple things I’ve already learned about creating better ads.

One is to include “If the ad is still up, this is still available. I will remove the post when it is actually gone.” Or something else along these lines. A ridiculous amount of messages I’ve been getting start with “Is this still available?” And when I answer, less than half actually follow up.

A few examples of recent messages…

The other thing is to always suggest a price. I put up the collection of music and didn’t suggest a price at first. I thought people would ask for specific records or suggest prices. They didn’t. Every single person asked something like “how much are you trying to get for the records?”

Tracking

Last week I mentioned creating a guide for how to use Notion for Tracking, and I decided to go ahead and do that in case it will help you. I expect to finish it by the beginning of next week.

I’ve been tracking all the obvious stuff from the beginning, but this week I realized that I should also be tracking gas usage. I’m going to do that by keeping a sheet of paper in my truck and noting down the mileage before and after any flipping-specific driving that I do.

At the end of each week, I’ll then add up the mileage and divide that by the average miles per gallon I get to get a rough estimate of how many gallons of gas I used. This isn’t perfect, but it is definitely better than not factoring it in at all.

Even with my wasted trip last week to the flea market, my total gas usage right now is still under $10 for the entire 19 days.

Current Status of Challenge

Here are my stats so far…

Cash: $165 (+$5)

Items Sold: 6 (+2)

Items Currently Listed: 9 (+6)

# of days into the challenge: 19 (+7)

Time invested: ~ 14 hours 30 minutes (+ 4 hours 45 minutes)

Gas Used: 3.14 gallons

New category:

Estimated value of current inventory: $500-$600

I’m adding this category because I’m realizing it is an essential part of the challenge. Since the goal is to keep reinvesting money, having less money on hand is arguably better.

Looking Ahead

My goals for this upcoming week are:

  • Complete eBay module in Flipping For Profit
  • Go sourcing at least three times
  • Sell 5 items

Up until this point, I have exclusively sold on Craigslist. I am still not eligible to sell on Facebook Marketplace, and I haven’t tried listing anything on eBay yet. I’d like to start selling on eBay soon though.

My first goal for this week is to read all the Flipping For Profit lessons about eBay in preparation for selling there.

I’d like to start selling on eBay soon because I think it will help me move some of the items I’m sitting on right now like the trolley decanter and the records.

For sourcing this week, I’m going to focus on a few moving sales happening near me. One idea I’ve been kicking around (especially because of the estate sale and last week’s free stuff) is going to local moving sales and working out deals on the stuff that doesn’t sell during the actual sale. I’m not sure if it will work out, but it could be a great way to get a bunch of stuff cheap or free.

I’m also going to go to a Habitat for Humanity store to see what they are like. Altogether, I’d like to go sourcing at least three times.

I’ve only sold 6 items so far, and I’d really like to get that number higher. That’s why my final goal is to sell 5 items between now and next Friday.

What about you?

If you are participating in the challenge, you should share what you’ve been doing – even if that isn’t a whole lot. I’m up for talking about anything – goals, problems, roadblocks… whatever is on your mind. Let’s hear it!

A new update will be published every Friday.

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9 thoughts on “Flipping Challenge Week 3: I have over $500 in inventory already!”

  1. I still have my 5 items up on Craigslist. They have been up for 10 days now. Still no takers and and comments asking about them. I really have no experience selling on Craigslist. My 1 item on Facebook Marketplace has had no traction as well. So, $0 still for me on this challenge. I think I will throw them on eBay and see if there is any more interest.

    1. You may have already done this, but if not, make sure you renew them. Once they have been up for 48 hours, you can renew the post which brings it back to the top of the category pages and search results. But I can definitely see how the things you have listed would do better on eBay than Craigslist. I wouldn’t think to look for a ferris wheel kit on craigslist, for example. If you haven’t done it already, you could try putting some more general search terms in your ads that may help get them more exposure. For the ferris wheel: kids toy, kids toys, lego, legos, blocks, etc… It would get the post more visibility among the people who are most likely to buy it at least. Just an idea!

    1. That’s great! Do you mean that you have about $650 in inventory on top of the $327? So about $977 in total?

      1. yea. i would say between $900 and $1000 in total…. i have a wrestling collectable that could put me over 1k if i get paid good for it the number i’m using in my estimates is the one a shop gave me to buy it on the spot i figure i can get more selling it on my own but so far i havent had much luck finding a buyer…. havent tried ebay yet tho prob gonna do that next. got it at an estate sale cause they didnt now what it was…. never even been to 1 before this

        1. That sounds like the type of thing that would do better on eBay than locally, assuming it is something people might be looking for. Are you willing to share what it is? Or any details about what you paid and were offered?

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