You may have watched people on television make money buying used items and selling them for a profit but have you ever given the idea of trying it yourself some thought. I didn't either till my wife wanted me to get rid of some of the "junk" that I had bought. Most of it I bought at secondhand stores or at yard sales. All of it was treasure to me and taking up space to my wife. I agreed to get ride of some of my stuff but I wanted it to go to a good home. I started looking online for people who wanted specifically what I had. I was amazed with what I found. I had several older video game cartridges that I had bought for $1 to $5, I sold every one for no less than $10 apiece. I bought an old Walkman for $2.50 and sold it to a collector for $105.  I was not able to sell everything that I had in this way but I did make a good profit on what I did.  I am not telling you that you can buy anything at a secondhand store and turn around and sell it.  You need to be careful or you will end up in the red.


Don't Buy The Shop Out


Before I go any farther I need to make some things very clear.  It has never been and never will be a good idea to go into your local stores or yard sales and buy everything that you can put your hands on.  You will end up with a massive junk pile in your house and an empty wallet.  This is how hoarding happens.  You may have a bunch of stuff and some of it may have been worth money at one time, but in this state it will end up damaged and worthless.  That is not your goal in trying this.  Next you cannot just buy anything that you think is cool and try to sell it.  It needs to be something that people are actually going to buy.  Shopping this will lead to the first problem.  You also actually have to look for a buyer, no one is going to ask to buy your stuff or make you an offer if no one knows you have it.  If you don't listen to this bit of advice you wont end up making any money of any sort and you will run out of space in your home quickly, if you don't run out of money first.  Your goal is to make some money here not turn your home into a storage space for used items so if you plan to give this a try, keep these things in mind before you buy anything.

Knowing What To Look For

pile of junk

There are a couple of ways you can go about looking for items to sell.  You can go in and browse with just your general knowledge of what people are looking for, but this is the least reliable and trustworthy way of shopping for profit.  More reliable but more cumbersome is using a book or magazine to follow what people are buying.  My problem with this is finding the books or magazines and once you have them keeping they up to date.  The next best way would be to use the internet to find what people are looking for before you go shopping.  If you go this route look at prices from several sources to verify them.  Just because one person is willing to pay $100 for your lamp on eBay it doesn't mean that anyone else is willing to pay that price.  Write down ideas of what you might find and go shopping.  I find this unreliable.  The best way that I know how to do this is with a smart phone.  You have the access to internet so you don't have to remember everything you saw at home and if you find something that catches your interest you can look it up to see if it catches others attention.  The trick in all of this is knowing where to look for buyers.  Try to find multiply avenues for this step. 

Keep Yourself Grounded And Have Some Fun

It is very important that you keep your head out of the clouds when doing anything like this.  I do not believe in get rich quick schemes and this is not one.  Making money takes time and energy, nothing is for free.  If you want to make money at anything you are going to have to trade your time and energy to do so.  You may also want to think of flipping used items as an investment.  You put your thought into and try to figure out what is going to work.  Then you spend your money on the investment.  You hold onto it until you can sell it for a profit.  Keep in mind that it doesn't always go that.  Even if you find that an item you have is valued at a certain price it is just taking up space until you can sell it.  Also, please don't think that you can count on this for a steady source of income.  You may find some great stuff one month and make a killing on the stuff.  Other months you could find a bunch of stuff but no buyers.  You also must depend on the stock at the stores and sales that you are visiting.  This could be very difficult if you are from a small area or an area that doesn't have a lot of stores to create a variety for you.  

For me this is just a fun pastime that can earn you some extra money.  Even if you don't find something to sell at a profit you never know what you might find for yourself, just don't keep it all.  Just look around you never know what you will find.  So get out there and dig through those cluttered shelves and find some treasure.