Flipping Challenge Week 4: Getting ready for eBay

Today is day 26 of my Flipping Challenge, which means I’m a little over a quarter of the way done.

If you are new to this, the goal is to make $1000 in 90 days. And you have to start with $0.

Once you earn your $1000+, the idea is to continue reinvesting it and use it to grow your business. If you want your own business but have been waiting like most people do to get started until you have more money to invest in it, this challenge was designed with you in mind.

If you haven’t started already, you should jump in today.

You should also go back and start reading these flipping challenge updates from the beginning. I had no idea what I was doing coming into this, but I’m following the system and it’s working.

Now for this week’s update…

Week 4 Update

If you’ve been following along from the beginning, then you may remember that my first five items were:

  1. A 63” plasma TV
  2. A lightweight plastic bed frame for a queen bed
  3. An 18-speed purple bicycle
  4. A double stroller
  5. A pair of brown Chaco sandals, size 12

I thought that the bike would be an easy sale.

It’s in above average condition, and a generically desirable style. It’s one of those mountain-bike style bikes that aren’t really meant for mountain biking. A good bike for a teenager who isn’t necessarily going to stick to roads and crushed limestone walking paths but not what you want for flying up and down mountains.

I was hoping to get about $40 from it, but I couldn’t get anyone to actually commit. Lots of people sending messages about it, but no one actually showing up for it.

I really wanted it gone this week so I could move on and stop wasting time on messages about it. I offered a couple different interested parties a great deal last weekend – $25 if they could get it the next day.

I went with the first one to jump at the offer. Monday came and they had to reschedule for Tuesday. Then Wednesday. Then Thursday.

I still have the $&%#@&% bike.

Note: That is not the bike in question.

I’m giving it until Sunday to be gone. If it isn’t gone by then, I’m going to donate it and be done with it.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere, probably several.

Getting Ready For eBay

One of my main goals for this week was to get ready to start selling on eBay.

I’ve never sold anything on eBay that I can remember, although I did have a plan for a wholesale empire when eBay was first getting big. I bought a “wholesale list” and started pestering Sony reps about bulk ordering PS2s when it launched, which would have been right around 2000-2001.

I had to do this through my mom’s name because I was way too young to even have an eBay account, and to my great frustration, I wasn’t able to convince anyone to sell me the PS2s in bulk. I have no idea where the money would have come from anyway.

The essence of my brilliant strategy.

So here we are 18-19 years later.

To learn what to do to sell on eBay, I completed the eBay module in Ryan’s Flipping For Profit course.

If you are doing this challenge or even just planning on trying to flip a few things, I highly recommend enrolling in the course – and Ryan isn’t making me say that.

The lessons have saved me time, saved me money, helped me sell things faster, and helped me sell things for more than I would have otherwise. As of right now, it’s only $20 to enroll, and you can make up that money from a single lesson.

The biggest value I got from the eBay module of the course was clearing up some confusion I had regarding the right way to list items. Should I use auction or buy it now? How do best offers work? What’s the right way to charge for shipping? How do the fees work?

I have a much better idea of what I should be doing now.

If left to my own devices, I definitely would have started off with auctions. From the memories I have of bidding on things as a kid to the Weird Al eBay song, I have a rosy view of eBay auctions. Apparently, buyers don’t for the most part.

For the things I currently have to sell, I now plan to start with buy it now listings with free shipping.

My plan is to create at least 10 of them before next Friday, plus 2 auction listings just to get a feel for how (and if) they work. These 12 items will be a mix of the bar signs and records that I talked about in a previous post. If I have time, I will list even more than this.

Bought & Sold This Week

Buying

After last week’s disappointing thrift store results, I avoided them entirely this week and focused on moving and estate sales. I also went to a Habitat for Humanity store. Here are the items I acquired this week – the price I paid (and the estimated value):

  • Large free-standing cabinet from the 60’s – $25 (~$25-50+)
  • Wood Louisville Slugger bat – $2 (~$15)
  • Wood kitchen island on wheels – $5 (~$35+)
  • A box of glassware – $1 (???)

I didn’t find anything terribly exciting this week, although I have been leaving my name and number at all the sales I’ve been going to about buying leftover items. This hasn’t turned into anything yet, but it doesn’t cost anything and has huge potential in my opinion. I will keep you updated regarding this strategy.

The wood island needs cleaned but should be worth at least $35. I think it could go for even more based on the other results I see locally on Craigslist.

This needs cleaned, but I think it should bring in $35.

The cabinet may have been a bad purchase. I had seen something similar at a thrift store for $100, but this one isn’t in as good of condition. It’s also very big and takes up space. We’ll see.

The rest were small but solid buys I think. The glassware was just to add to the bar collection that I already have. There were some martini glasses and whiskey tumblers in the box that will go well with the beer mugs and other cups I already have.

Selling

You already know I didn’t sell the bike yet. Here’s what I did sell (and the profit on each item):

  • 10,000 BTU A/C – $80 (+$60)*
  • 8 albums – $15 (+$15)
  • Bar mirror – $15 (+$15)

*I bought three air conditioners for $50 total. I’m considering the cost of the two bigger ones at $20 and the smaller one at $10.

Those were the only three sales. The 8 albums were to one person and for a small amount, so I consider that a single sale. I fell 2 short of my 5 sale goal.

Current Status of Challenge

Here are my stats so far (plus the change from last week)…

Cash: $242 (+$77)

Items Sold: 9 (+3)

Items Currently Listed: 10 (+1)

# of days into the challenge: 26 (+7)

Time invested: ~ 17 hours (+ 2.5 hours)

Gas Used: 3.89 gallons (+.75 gallons)

Estimated value of current inventory: $500-$600 (no change)

Looking Ahead

I’m doing good, but I could be doing a lot better.

The biggest thing I need to do is invest more time in this.

I also need to do a much better job at reinvesting the money I have on hand. I’m letting too much of it sit. When it is sitting, it’s not earning more money.

I need to be faster about responding to interested buyers as well.

For the upcoming week, my goals are:

  • Invest at least 7 hours
  • Get 12 items listed on eBay
  • Purchase at least $150 worth of inventory

My stretch goal is to reinvest 100% of the $242 I have right now.

What about you?

If you are taking part in the flipping challenge, let me know how you are doing in the comments below.

If you aren’t participating yet, now is a great time to get started. The weather is getting nicer, garage sales are being planned, and there is a lot of money to be made!

If you think you are ready, comment below to commit.

A new update will be published every Friday.

If you would like to be notified about each new post, enter your email to the right.

9 thoughts on “Flipping Challenge Week 4: Getting ready for eBay”

  1. Hi Dylan- I am certainly enjoying your posts and look forward to them every Friday. Ryan is actually my nephew and I told him as much when I recently saw him. I am going to follow you to the end, but you just about have me on board. (p.s.- I must admit, I was worried early on when I saw the poster for the free goat!-ha) Good luck this week!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you are enjoying the posts. I’m having a lot of fun doing it so far, and it really hasn’t taken up much of my time so far. It’s getting nicer, so I’m looking forward to going to some auctions and yard sale type events. For the record, that goat did end up finding a home!

      1. Looks like you are on track Dylan. I am really enjoying following this challenge also. I will say I find great stuff at garage sales that have huge profit margins. I sell mainly on Amazon but have been branching out and learning eBay so I can expand what type of stuff I buy. I think it is always great to have multiple income streams when doing this type of business.

  2. thanks to wrestlemania i was able to move my big item yesterday afternoon. some guy was having a party and thought it would be a cool thing to show off. i’ll say that it was a very high-quality replica belt that was autographed by a major star. bought for $5 sold for $450. +$445.

    1. Just saw this. That is an awesome flip! That is definitely in the lead for best flip so far. My best right now is the pool stairs which I got for an hour of labor and turned into $250.

  3. I listed my 5 items 2 1/2 weeks ago first using FB. My items were:

    Sunbeam mini fridge ($25),
    Coach handbag ($50),
    a bunch of new acrylic paints/canvases/brushes ($45),
    10 Alex and Ani Bracelets ($100 for all),
    tickets to a Broadway tour coming to my local theater ($128)

    The fridge sold in less than 1/2 hour for my asking price and the handbag in about 24 hours for the asking price. The bracelets garnered alot of interest but everyone wanted to buy them seperately. I really didn’t want to drive all over the city for $10 bracelets as I did for the handbag and fridge. The art supplies got no interest and FB wouldn’t let me sell the tickets 🙁 I listed the remaining stuff on Craigslist and sold the tickets in a couple of days but I’m still stuck with the art supplies and bracelets (I have now listed them seperately). What are your thoughts on other marketplaces like OfferUp and Letgo? This weekend I’m going to go sourcing. I can’t wait for these other items to sell.

    1. Great job! I personally have no experience with either of those. I’d be open to trying them and seeing how they compare though. Right now I’m only selling on Craigslist and soon eBay. Good luck with sourcing this weekend! Let me know how it goes.

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