Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Beginner's Guide to Flipping Goods from Goodwill and Other Sources

Before I started blogging I was a full-time flipper for 6 months of my life.  What is flipping?  In short it is buying low and selling high or at least selling moderately higher than what you bought it for.  It is a very hit or miss business, but if put in the time and have a little bit of cash ($100 is enough, $500 is ideal) it can be lucrative.

It's also a fun thing to do and provides a rush you aren't likely to get from a desk job or a manual labor job.  Of course the best part is you are working for yourself which is the goal of course.  It can also be extremely addicting, which can be dangerous as it can lead to accumulating a lot of stuff you can't sell just because you were intrigued by an item.  With the warnings out of the way let's start.

Where to Buy

-Goodwill/Savers/Salvation Army/Church Donation Stores - I only have experience with Goodwill as there aren't any Savers or Salvation Army's in my area.  Here's the deal with Goodwill, it all depends on if the ones in your area want to move product like they should want or if you have a pricing manager in your area that for some unknown reason prices things like a retail store.  Occasionally a manager will get upset if a flipper is being blatantly obvious and that's when prices start to go up.  So mind your manners and go about your business and what you really want is to make friends with the people working there.

-Yard Sales/Garage Sales/Church Sales - Relaxing weekends are not something that is going to happen if you want to be a successful flipper.  Saturday morning you need to get up early and plan a route.  The key to yard sales is employing a little haggling because an item may be overpriced at first, but the sellers usually want the items gone so make an offer, not an insulting one, but one that you know will net you a profitable flip.

-Online Sales - You probably used to make fun of people who would stay up till 3am to be the first to add items to their imaginary shopping cart, well now that's you.

-Craigslist/Facebook Groups - To be honest these are better places to sell than to buy, but you can find the occasional deal.  The problem is people overvalue their stuff because they don't take the time to research so they post a price and they are unwilling to budge because they think it's a deal.  Also, these places are filled with other flippers.

-Retail Arbitrage - The practice of Retail Arbitrage is going to a retail store and scanning items to see if they are going for more online.  Thus you buy the item and resale it online.  This is more for the established flipper, but beginners can get in on the action too, especially if there is a good clearance sale.  The best example I have for this is I found packs of puppy pads at a Gabe's going for 8 dollars each, the same pack going for 32 dollars on amazon so I bought all of them and they were a quick and easy flip on amazon.

-Estate Sales - You need to find estate sales that are being done by the owner of the home because if they hire a company to do it you can bet it will over priced.

Where to Sell

-Amazon - I will give plenty of resources at the end of this article so you can educate yourself on what it takes to get approved and to be a successful amazon seller.  Amazon is the best place to sell if you find new items or just slightly used items, but always compare prices with eBay to see which place the item is being sold the most for.

-eBay - Older used items sell best on eBay, especially the collectibles you find.  You want to buy some stuff first to get some positive feedback for your selling account.  You want to be diligent in trying desperately to keep negative feedback off of your account.

-Etsy - I never did get on the Etsy train, but it's clearly the new popular kid in town so definitely sign up for an account.

-Facebook Groups/Craigslist - When I was flipping I reserved these two for heavier items because shipping costs would be outrageous.

What to Buy

-Old Video Games - The easiest items to buy, sell, profit, ship, and sell quickly.  The children that grew up playing NES, SNES, and N64 games are now adults with disposable incomes.  Nintendo specific titles and RPGs sell best.  Head over to the Video Game Pricing Guide to see what titles to look for.  It definitely helps to have some knowledge in this arena, but you can certainly educate yourself.

-Guitar Hero Controllers - The key to selling these out of production, but in-demand plastic instruments is to figure out the shipping.  They are plentiful at Goodwill, usually for 1.99 and they will sell, you can bank on that, but they are a pain to store and ship so find a system that works for you.

-Old Starbucks Coffee Mugs - These puppies can go for a lot of coin depending on the year, but even the normal ones can net you a nice little profit.

-Nerf Guns - Another tricky one to ship, but easy to sell and profit.

-Board Games - Rare board games pop up frequently at Goodwill and Yard Sales and can fetch a premium online.  Here are 10 to keep an eye out for.

-Graphing Calculators - TI-84, TI-83....these are things you will become familiar with when flipping.  These calculators are some of the best things to flip because they are small, sturdy, and can fetch up to $100 online, especially during back to school.

-NIB aka New in Box Items - If an item that you find at Goodwill for $1.99 is new in the box, especially video games, your profit can skyrocket.

-Shoes and Clothing - This is where the big boys play.  If you can master the art of selling second hand clothing online you can conquer this business, but it is extremely difficult.  If you have previous experience in the fashion industry and you know what sells this is a great business to get into.  I don't, but I was able to find some good flips with men's dress shoes because I knew a little bit about them.

-Anything and Everything - I could list 1000 more items, but this is a good starting point.  You need to research, trial & error, and develop sort of a sixth sense about what items could be profitable.


The most important aspect of this business by far is keeping shipping costs down.  There are online companies out there that can streamline everything for you for a price, but the cheapest way is to just figure out your own system.  Amazon and eBay offer great discounted shipping options.  Don't ever pay for boxes, go to your local walmart or dollar store and just ask for them.

Best Resources

Reddit Flipping Community - Honestly this could truly be the only resource I list and it would be enough.  The information here is staggering and so much of the advice is from flippers who are much more knowledgeable and seasoned than me.  Subscribe to this subreddit, participate and ask questions, the community is amazingly supportive.

Searching eBay Sold Listings - This is the best and easiest way to figure out what your item is worth and will sell for.  Just go to advanced search on eBay and click the sold listings option and search your keyword.

Reddit Fulfillment by Amazon - Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA is a service in which you send items to an amazon warehouse and they handle everything else.  This is the best way to flip items because it takes the potential customer service issues out of your hands.

Bottom Line

It isn't for everybody, but for those who have mastered it flipping is one of the best ways you can earn an income working from home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Is Mturk Worth Your Time?

I get asked this all the time.  The short answer is not really, but it's more complicated.  If you just want to make an extra $200 a month to put away for whatever then yes it can be perfect for that.  If you want to work full time from home then I would suggest building something for the long term.

There are people that work full time on Mturk and kudos to them because I just don't think I could do it.  You need to put in a ton of time if you want to settle over a $100 a day which is a decent living. Now if you have that time to put in and you are comfotable sitting in front of the computer all day and even all night sometimes then more power to you.

Adversely, you could spend some time making cash on Mturk and the rest of the time building a blog about something you are passionate about.  That would be my suggestion if you want some sustained income.  Mturk is addicting, it sucks you in because you are actively making money and almost instantly receiving it in most cases.  Don't fall prey to making it the only thing you do online.  If you need the money right away then fine, but spend maybe an hour a day working on your CAREER. Something that makes you money when you are away from the computer screen.

I have some posts I'll be rolling out later this week for suggestions about how to setup your blog and market it.  In the meantime subscibe via email so you don't miss anything by Clicking Here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Find That Damn Niche

The best way to make money online is to simply start a blog on something you know a ton about. I do mean A TON! If you have any kind of expertise, even if you don't think you will have an audience, it is likely that you will.

 It also could be something you got into recently that you are obsessed with now, this happened with me when I started my MMA blog. I became obsessed with fights, any fights I could find, I became obsessed with techniques, certain fighters. Now that didn't make me an expert, but the passion to learn about one subject will shine through to people reading what you're putting out. It is very important that you don't fake being passionate about something, people can see through it.

That's my food for thought for the day, I will be posting daily now, onwards!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Play an Instrument or Have Knowledge of Anything? There's Money to Be Made on Youtube

One of the most rewarding ways you can make money online is to teach beginners something you know a lot about. You don't have to be some incredible expert, you just have to be good at something and have a youtube account. I use musical instruments as an example, but it could be anything from how to make a pineapple upside down cake to how to change an air filter. A lot of people make good money on youtube by utilizing some skill they have acquired and teaching it to random people who are eager to learn.

You only need a Youtube and Google Adsense account, and your first video to get started. Personally, I can play acoustic guitar and I focus on videos that I think would've helped me when I was first starting out.

Specifically, I like to post instructional videos of popular songs, but with simplified chords because something all beginners want is to be able to play some of their favorite songs.

Doesn't need to be guitar, anything that you believe could have been useful to yourself when you first started doing a particular skill or hobby.

In your youtube account navigate to your video manager and on each video there will be an option to monetize it, you can choose the pre-roll ads and the little pop-in ads.  Of course comply with the copyright laws, use descriptive tags, and make sure your headline is something you would search for.  Youtube will review the video and usually within a few hours approve it as long as there is no copyright problem.

If you want to promote the video find some related forums and use the video as your signature or just post it there if the forum allows.  The most important thing is to post a new instructional, at the very least, once a week.  You want subscribers to your channel, you want a following, so keep up with it.

For recording I just use an Ipad, but if you have deeper resources than me, use them, better quality videos have a better chance of becoming popular.  Speak very clear and be positive.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Make Money with Adfly

Adfly is a link shortening service that pays you for clicks and pays well.  A little over 7 dollars per 1000 views for U.S. clicks.  Users who click will see a full page 5 second ad then can skip it to go to their destination.  This is very effective for people who have a large social media following or frequently post on popular forums, if the forum allows for it.

If you don't have a popular blog to post links on or many social media followers there are still ways to get clicks.

If you provide valuable information for anything you can get links.  One way I've found to be effective is to join Amazon's Mechanical Turk program and let people know about valuable HITs.  A great way to do this is the join the Reddit community HITsWorthTurkingFor which receives tons of traffic everyday with people looking for good HITs.  Follow the community rules and they allow you to use Adfly to point users to HITs.

This is a good way to earn extra cash and it isn't very time consuming if you do a little research over at Mturk.  Refer to this post for more info about how to better use Mturk.

Click Here to Sign Up for Adfly

Thursday, January 30, 2014

3 Survey Sites You Should Care About

The "make money taking surveys" craze started a long time ago with promises stating you could make thousands a week just by taking surveys online.  Well like most things that sound too good to be true, it is. There are quality survey sites, but you will not make thousands a week and you won't be quitting your job to take surveys.  There are an incredible amount of scammy survey sites, but these 3 sites that offer surveys do actually pay and pay better than most.

Survey Savvy - This is my number 1 recommendation because although you take surveys sparingly they actually pay you good money for the ones you qualify for.  You may only get 2-3 surveys per month, but you can make anywhere from $40 to $90 off of that.

Mturk - Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a great place for surveys as well.  Check out the reddit comminuty HitsWorthTurkingfor for good easy cash with surveys or the many other tasks you can do there.

Cash Crate - Cash Crate has good survey options.  .70-.90 cents for very short surveys and most enter you in big sweepstakes as well.  Many of them also allow you to take them on a daily basis.

Of course you can make much more money with these sites (except Mturk) by getting referrals.  Check out my article- Top 3 Ways to Get Referrals for some help in that department.  Remember to maximize your time and don't get impatient.

Quote of the Day

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Night Inspiration - A Story of Quitting a Job for All the Right Reasons

It's Wednesday night, and it is -1 degrees where I live.  I just wanted to write some encouraging words for the people that want to make working from home a reality.

First of all if you work at a big corporation and are absolutely miserable working there you owe it to yourself to make a change.  Awhile back I worked for a very large corporation.  Now I was just looking for a night job to go along with my 9-5 job which I happen to like.  So I fill out the application to basically just be a labor worker doing the physical tasks.  The problem was they liked my interview and said we will pay you a dollar more to work inside the store.

I'm like fine so I took the job.  So I started their mind numbing computer training and realized they wanted me to be a salesman on the floor.  I'm talking real selling, upselling, all that bs.  So I go to the supervisor and say "am I a salesman?", she said yeah.  Now they were paying me $8.50 an hour at this point.  So I asked her, "what's my commission?", she replies "we work on a scale where if everyone in your department reaches a certain quota there are cash bonuses".  Basically I could sell 20 products for the month and still receive $8.50 an hour.

This isn't fair of course and this is how corporations make billions because payroll is any company's biggest expense.  Of course the first video I had to watch for training was an anti-union video.  It's like this at many corporations, employees work their butts off to sell something and 100% of the profit stays in company hands.

Long story short, I asked the supervisor how in the world this is considered fair?  She said it's "team building".  And if your department happened to make the quota that month?  $50 extra on your paycheck, thanks for nothing.  So after I told her how absurd that was I just quit and walked out.

If this seems like a similar situation that you are in right now then make a damn change.  Start putting in the time it takes to get out of that situation.  Get up early, write a blog post, get through the day at work, come home write another blog post or do some surveys and make that extra cash.  Picture yourself getting out of that horrible cycle that so many people find themselves in.  Once you start putting in the work necessary you will start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top 3 Ways to Get Referrals

The most lucrative way to make money from sites that are based around tasks or surveys or rewards, ala Cash Crate or InstaGC, is to rack up a bunch of referrals.

Referrals are people that sign up using your link.  You receive a percentage, usually 10-20% of everything they earn.  Basically they become your employees except you're not paying them, the company is.  This can be lucrative and it's basically the easiest way to make money because there's very little work involved for you.  Of course the methods I list below can also be used for actual affiliate sales if that's your thing.

1. Rent an Email List - No one wants to drop cash, but if you have a little dough to spend and you want to build up some referrals, Rent-a-List is really the way to go.  They send your pitch out to very targeted audiences and guarantee you a 40% click through rate, which is really good. This works particularly well for make money sites since there are tons of lists for this certain niche.  Their pricing is very fair (21 bucks for the lowest package), give it a try at least, it might be for you.

2. Forum Signatures - Being an active forum member and using your signature to get referrals is an amazingly effective practice.  There are many forums related to making money online.  If you actively participate and get well respected within the community people will be inclined to check out the stuff you promote in your signature.  Popular forums rank very well in google as well, so you also expose your promotions to much more traffic than you may think.

3. Start a Blog - A boring suggestion.  An obvious suggestion.  But it works.  The best advice I can give is NEVER give up.  Make a post every single day.  Give out some good advice.  Of course link your referral sites wherever you think they will receive the most exposure.  For more blogging advice and a little inspiration check out the 4 posts below I did earlier.

Never Run Out of Post Ideas by Fringe Blogging

Need a Flood of Traffic - Write a List - A Crazy Story of Success

Don't Neglect Other Types of Blog Posts

You Can Work from Home on the Internet

Monday, January 27, 2014

Need a Quick $100 - Write a List for Listverse

Listverse is a hugely popular site that compiles the internet writer's best friend, lists.  Listverse will pay you $100 cold hard cash directly into you Paypal account.  Below you'll find the best practices to get your list accepted directly from the listverse crew.

The rules are: there are no rules. As long as your list (and we do mean yours—don’t steal other people’s stuff) is over 1,000 words you can choose any topic you like. Just remember—if it’s good enough to publish (by our standards) you get 100 bucks—simple as that.To help you out with some ideas, the lists that our readers love the most (and the ones we will most likely pay for) are usually offbeat, looking at something normal in an unexpected way (top 10 ways college makes you dumb, for example), hidden knowledge (things most people don’t know), misconceptions, facts, and just really really good general knowledge about anything—science, for example.
If accepted you can also link to your blog or social media site, which can be fantastic exposure. Just believe in your writing that's the best advice I can give. Plus if you don't get accepeted, Listverse doesn't own it, you can still post it on your own blog or Medium is a always great exposure too.

Click here to Submit a List

Never Run Out of Post Ideas by Fringe Blogging

"Fringe Blogging" is not a thing, I'm not making this a thing.  It's just a golf analogy that's been beaten to death, but hey it's the best I can do.

What I mean by fringe blogging is to look slightly outside your chosen niche for post ideas.  It is every blogger's worst nightmare, to run out of ideas for a post.  That's why it is important to fringe blog so to speak.  For example on this blog I've posted inspirational things because although it doesn't pertain to a particular way of making money, it is a very important to keep a positive attitude towards what you're trying to accomplish.  Otherwise you will stop working or think "I'll just take a few days off".

As I mentioned I used to run a mixed martial arts blog.  When I started doing it it was a fairly small niche, events would happen maybe twice a month.  So to keep the flow going I would make posts pertaining to other combat sports like boxing or K-1 kickboxing.  There were always a few readers who would make a snarky comment because it wasn't MMA related so to speak, but 99% of the readers loved those fringe posts and even thanked me for opening them up to another world.

It really is a simple idea that can be overlooked by beginning bloggers because it's not laser targeted to their niche.  Your niche is very important of course, but it pales in comparison to the number one goal; entertaining your readers.  So have a blog about movies?  Throw some TV or video game posts in there.  A blog about playing guitar?  Make a post about the banjo.  Etc. Etc.