There is no doubt that everyone and their brother (and sister) could use some extra income these days. One of my favorite ways to make money as a side hustle or even full time is by buying and selling items online – also known as flipping items on Amazon.
If done correctly, there can be a lot of money made with just a few easy clicks. The hard part, of course, is finding the best things to flip & to get started.
As someone who has been flipping products online for years, I see opportunities all over the place. I can also remember that I used to have a hard time finding the best items to flip for profit when I first started selling.
That’s what this flipping for cash guide is designed to help you with. Getting you to see potential opportunities that are right in front of you to make money.
It’s like giving you 10 years of experience in less than 10 minutes.
So sit back, take some notes, head to the thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, garage sales or even Walmart. Open up your mind to finding new ways to make money online and flip for a profit.
Books are how I got started in the online selling game and they hold a special place in my heart. Specifically, I got started buying textbooks from a Facebook group and selling the books to trade-in companies. I actually paid for my first set of new golf clubs with the profit and took my girlfriend (now wife) to Jamaica to an all-inclusive resort with the money I made.
In the online world, there are plenty of places to search and hunt for books. After years of trying different tools and methods, my favorite is using the Library Search feature of Tactical Arbitrage. It allows me to set up a search and it looks for any potential flips along the way.
If you like to get hands on, I also recommend searching in Facebook Groups and Marketplace, your local thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, yard sales and even book sales.
This takes a lot more effort, but gems can be found all of the time in thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets. Make sure to have your favorite scanning apps ready (I use eBay, Amazon, and Bookscouter) and start scanning away.
Personal Tip: I love textbooks if you couldn’t tell. Don’t limit yourself to just flipping items to sell on Amazon. Make sure to also check and see if you can trade-in the book for a guaranteed profit.
2. Store Exclusive Items
If you look at any given online store, you are bound to find a few items that are only sold in that store. Any time you see this phenomenon, you should start thinking about a potential flip for profit. Store exclusive items are great items to flip because they come with built in scarcity.
Economics lesson: When there are fewer of an item available, it becomes scarce. Scarcity is great for sellers, particularly when the item is in high demand. This allows the seller to sell the item at a higher price.
I have found great success in Funko Pop figures and other toys during the holiday season. I keep an eye out on Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Walgreens for store exclusive launches and I make sure to be ready to buy when the items go live online.
Another angle to this idea would be to search for limited release items. The same concepts apply, but it might not be limited to just one store.
Personal Tip: Don’t think that “store exclusive” items have to have a sticker on them to be worth something. One of my favorite stories that got me started selling on Amazon was the sellers who bought and sold Trader Joe’s Bagel Seasoning for $30,000. Items can be store exclusives just because you can only buy it in one location. Smart sellers create listings and bring these items to the bigger customer base of Amazon.
3. Items Not Sold On Amazon
If you were reading above, I left a huge piece of advice in my personal tip.
One of the most profitable ways to find items to flip on Amazon is to look for items that aren’t even being sold on Amazon.
You: This makes 0% sense. How can I sell something that isn’t being sold?
Me: That question right there is half of the answer.
If an item isn’t being sold on Amazon, there is an opportunity to create the listing and sell the product yourself. This takes some extra effort, so most online sellers skip these items all together. I have learned over the years that when people skip over something because it takes extra time, that’s always an opportunity to make money.
The hardest part with this type of item is knowing what will and will not sell on Amazon. This takes some trial and error, but over time you will learn what works for you and your business.
4. Video Games
I have never been much of a gamer, but I did play some crazy Madden 2005 on my old school Dell computer back in the day.
That being said, I have made some serious money on buying and selling video games over the years. You don’t have to be a gamer to be able to see that there can be money made by flipping video games.
I like to say there are two approaches to flipping video games:
- Finding new video games that are being discounted and flipping them as new games.
- Finding gently used games and flipping them on Amazon or eBay.
Video games are awesome because they are light and they ship really cheap using First Class postage from USPS. Plus a lot of games are sold each and every day.
Used games can be worth a fortune and the best items can sometimes be found at thrift shops & yard sales. It is tough to scale, so I prefer to hunt for new game deals using Tactical Arbitrage.
Since my brother has always played on an Xbox, I tend to keep my searches related to that gaming platform (for familiarity sake). I like to look for Best Buy or Walmart to discount games and I flip them on Amazon.
Personal Tip: Always keep an eye out for “exclusive” game sets or specialty versions of a game. I have stumbled into a few of these opportunities over the years and they are extremely profitable. This is where having an inside knowledge of the gaming world could be helpful (because I couldn’t tell you much about the rarity of any given character or bundle).
As my grandpa used to say: “If one is good, twenty is better.”
Over the years, I have learned that people who buy on Amazon are overall just strange. I have seen buyers spend more money on buying a large multipack of things instead of just one of the items at a lower price point. Regardless of the reasoning, this is a great place to look for potential flips.
I have found that multipacks are especially profitable in grocery, health, beauty, and baby products. Basically, any type of use good that is consumed and needs to be restocked on a regular basis makes a possible multipack option.
I like to look at stores like Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Costco, etc for brand name or generic deals to save money and flip for profit. Once I find a deal, I ship the things to my house and put together the multipacks using polybags and some stickers. Then I send the packs into Amazon and let the magic happen.
Personal Tip: Don’t always think you have to put things together to make money. Sometimes you can flip for profit just by unassembling multipacks and selling them as individual things to flip for profit.
I have done this numerous times and it still is one of my favorite ways for flipping things online. Nothing is better than finding a discount in bulk and breaking it down to make some money.
If you know me, you know that I pretty much only wear one style of shoe (Crocs – flip flops for the warm months and dress shoes for the cold months). I’m not the most savvy shoe shopper in the world, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make a profit off some shoe flips.
I like to look for shoes to flip on TJ Maxx and Kohls and then flip them on eBay. I have known many people who love to search eBay and flip to Amazon. I’m not an expert in this field at all, but I know that I have seen a lot of money made if you take the time to know your shoes.
Personal Tip: This tip is going to take some additional research on your behalf, but I know there is a world of raffles and limited releases related to shoes (specifically – Air Jordan shoes). I don’t know much about this world, but I do know that a lot of money can be made if you are able to win a chance to purchase a pair of exclusive shoes. I have tried a time or two, but haven’t been lucky enough to score my chance yet.
7. Amazon Warehouse Deals
When I shop on Amazon, I am expecting to order and receive a product that is in perfect condition. When something doesn’t meet that standard, I tend to complain and send my item back to the warehouse. Amazon doesn’t just throw that item in the trash, they actually attempt to still make some money off it by selling it through Amazon Warehouse Deals.
This provides a perfect opportunity to find Amazon to eBay flips. Since you can post your own pictures and list the condition of a product on eBay, you can flip Amazon’s rejects for a profit by buying low and selling high.
If you have never checked out these deals, you can do so here.
Personal Tip: I love to do this with tools and other higher price things to make money. I find that people don’t care about a small ding or scratch if it saves them some money.
I also love to buy Amazon Warehouse products that just have an issue with the packaging and flip for a profit. This way the product is still new, but you can still save money.
8. Hallmark Ornaments
This is one of my deep dark secrets that I rarely share. I love to buy a lot of Hallmark Ornaments each year. I love it for a few different reasons.
- There is a new line of ornaments each year (which makes the last year’s collection rare)
- People love splurge on Christmas gifts.
- If you find one style that sells, you can rinse and repeat each year.
I have been buying these things to flip for the last seven years and I plan to keep buying them for as long as I can. Keep an eye out on the catalog when it is posted and try to scope out the “hot picks” for the year.
You might even find some vintage ones at yard sales to flip for cash.
Personal Tip: I’m a long term seller of these and I like to collect sets. Each year, I keep a few of each style back and put together a pack that I will sell the next year (when a new one in the line is on sale). This allows a buyer to purchase the whole set at once and gives you a new listing to create (that sets you apart from other sellers).
9. Clearance Items To Flip For Profit
When a store can’t sell all of their inventory, they tend to put it on clearance to try to generate some cash. The thought is simple: Sell this inventory at or below cost to get cash and use that cash to invest in better selling inventory.
If you have heard of online arbitrage, you might want to check this out.
Online arbitrage is the practice of finding items at a low selling price in one marketplace online and selling them for a higher price on other online marketplaces. It’s almost identical to the process of retail arbitrage, but it is not limited to a geographical location or clearance section at your local Walmart retail stores.
When finding flips online, clearance items are one of the first go to methods for new sellers. Since this is the case, it tends to be hard to find awesome flips (it’s possible, but it takes a lot of time and effort).
Personal Tip: Save time searching and use software like Tactical Arbitrage to do the heavy lifting for you. I have been using it for years and it keeps paying for itself month after month.
10. Seasonal Items
You know how those Christmas decorations always go on sale at the end of the season? Same thing happens after each and every holiday. Smart full time and side hustle flippers know this is a perfect time to stock up on items at a discount and hold them until the next year.
Stores don’t do this as they have to prep for the next holiday, but you most likely have some space in your garage or basement that can hold an investment for 9-10 months.
The best way to find the items that rebound year after year is by checking out the pricing history (through Tactical Arbitrage or Keepa). If you zoom out to a year view, you can see the ups and downs that happen with each holiday season and know what will retain its value over time.
Personal Tip: I love doing this with Christmas trees from Home Depot and Lowes to sell. I have been flipping these for years and I always have made money when the next holiday season arrives. Even better, you tend to see a spike in sales around July as people celebrate Christmas in July.
What goes together better than cheese and wine? Well more wine, but that is besides the point.
When two things compliment each other, people often buy things at the same time. Smart online sellers use this to their advantage and can create bundles that make shopping a one stop trip.
Many people only look for single brand name things for flipping and sometimes over crowd a listing. Adding another item to your bundle sets you apart and can help reduce the number of other sellers fighting for the sale.
Personal Tip: I already mentioned one bundle above (hint – Hallmark), but another one I like to do each year is related to school supplies. I buy backpacks and stuff them with pencils, crayons, etc and create a listing on Amazon. This helps parents save time and it gives me a competitive advantage.
12. Store Promo Code Sale Items
I feel like Kohl’s has a 30% off sale every week and hands out Kohl’s Cash like it’s candy on Halloween. If you are looking for the best things to flip for profit, this provides a perfect opportunity to score products at a discount.
Many people who get started with online arbitrage learn this as one of their first ways to find things for flipping. There are the best opportunities if you keep your eyes peeled.
Personal Tip: I like to combine this method with clearance items and other techniques like bundling or multipacks. Everyone can search for a deal with a promo code, but it takes that extra bit of effort to add it to another method. That’s where the real money can be made.
Bonus Personal Tip: I never pass up Kohl’s cash and sometimes I even buy and sell products at cost and use the Kohl’s cash as my profit.
13. Pricing Mistakes
One of my best Amazon stories of all time happened a few years back. I was watching Keepa and I noticed that a seller had listed a 24 pack of K-Cups for $1.21 a pack. My guess is they were really supposed to be $11.21 a pack, but I saw an opportunity. So I bought 100 packs for flipping.
My UPS guy delivered the packages that next week and asked me: What in the world is in all of these boxes?! I said coffee to sell. He laughed and I ended up handing him a box of K-Cups for him to take home.
Pricing mistakes happen. Sometimes it is a computer error and sometimes it is a manual error. Regardless of the reason, these are always the best opportunities for flips. Being able to buy quickly and get alerted before anyone else is really the best way to find these deals, but if you strike gold, you can make a lot of money.
I flipped those K Cups for a hefty sum and I kept a lot of them to drink at home.
Personal Tip: Join Facebook groups that share pricing mistakes or other best deals for flipping. You never know what might pop up. I have a few favorite groups that share deals 24/7 and sometimes I get lucky.
14. Low Profit Flips
When looking for the best online flips, most people hear the crazy stories (like the one mentioned above) of finding something dirt cheap and making 1000%+ return on their flipping investment.
Don’t get me wrong – I love those kinds of flipping deals, but in reality, you don’t find many of these deals to sell or make enough profit to be worth it.
A lot of sellers have flipping criteria that tell them what they should and should not buy and sell. Most of these lists have a checkbox for a profit margin. It isn’t uncommon for some sellers to only find these to buy and sell if they can make 100% or more in profit.
That’s where the opportunity is. Low margin items for flipping.
Some items that are still profitable. but not up to par with most sellers are great to sell. They are perfect for those who like to find items for flipping that fly under the radar. Most of the time they sell quickly and you can quickly reinvest your profits into making more money.
Personal Tip: I try to keep my ROI around 30% or higher most of the time. If I know an item is going to sell really quick, I am more than willing to drop to 10%-20%. Profit is profit and I’m willing to sell anything that will make me money in the long run.
15. Out of Stock Items
Sometimes Amazon runs out of stock of an item. When this happens, money signs should start flashing in your eyes if you are tuned into flipping.
Most sellers online use software to compare prices of one site to another. Smart flippers use the same software (like Tactical Arbitrage) a bit differently.
They actually search for products that are out of stock on Amazon and try to find them in stock on another online store. Once they find a new supplier, they can quickly buy and sell their item for a profit. Flipping the Out of Stock way is Next Level.
Personal Tip: I create a list of items I personally buy that I notice go in and out of stock a lot. When I am on another store’s website, I always take a look at my list and see if anything is in stock that can be flipped on Amazon.
We just covered 15 different things to flip for profit Amazon or eBay. I just scratched the surface of the flipping profit possibilities.
Learn how to flip. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but is all around you if you know where to find the best things to flip. Just get started with flipping as a side hustle if you already work full time.
Take some of these flipping ideas and put your own spin on it by doing something a little different.
And you will make some flipping mistakes. I have made a lot of them over the years. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on. That’s how you learn and grow and come up with new and innovative ideas. Regardless of the method or things to flip you find, keep this in mind: Always put in the extra effort to craft your flipping skills. That’s where the real profit is to be mad and is how you level up.
And I’ll promise you this. Once you start finding flipping deals, it’s hard to stop seeing them. And it’s hard to stop making money.