The 2017 Flip Challenge
I didn’t come up with it. So, I can’t claim total credit for it but I can tell you it’s working for me.
The 2017 flip challenge was something I first heard about from a now Internet famous entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuck. I could spend this entire blog post writing about how he’s inspired me but to get to the point, you need to check him out. He will inspire you to hustle your ass off for whatever it is you want.
Ironically, my boyfriend Craig and I were already talking about how we wanted to make some extra cash to travel more in 2017 and we’d been spitballing ideas for weeks. We had talked about selling clothes on eBay, since I was really good at digging through thrift stores and finding pieces that still had tags on them! But, at this point it was just talk.
Then, a few weeks after our conversation, Craig and I saw Gary’s video on his Facebook page. He was telling people they should take part in his 2017 flip challenge. He suggested people use an ebay account, Facebook page or a website to resell items that other people would want to buy.
And Gary said everyone taking part in the challenge should make it their goal to reach $20,170 this year!
Say no more, right? Craig and I were pumped after watching the video and Gary’s energy moved us to action.
We are about a month into the challenge and we’ve made about $250. Yes, we realize we’re going to have to make much more in a month to hit that goal of $20,170; however, right now we’re just focused on doing this RIGHT and learning from any mistakes we make that cost us cash. And, even if we don’t hit the goal, I don’t know about you, but I can definitely think of a few ways to use that extra $200 every month. This month, we bought a brand new duvet and new sheets and pillows for our bed. Next month, we’re planning to buy a new desk.
So let’s get into what we’re doing to make that cash. Craig and I are a team and this works because we split up the work so this is a manageable side hustle. I’d say right now, we spend about 15 hours a month doing it.
Thrifting is an absolute passion of mine. I love going to stores like Goodwill or The Salvation Army and combing through racks of clothes to find something unique. I’ve been doing it since college and back then, it was the only shopping I could afford, so I got damm good at it. I have to give a shout out to my college friends (Alex Hotchkiss, Beth McVeigh and Meg Nickman). They taught me everything I know now.
Every Saturday Goodwill has a $.99 clothing day (all of their clothes except for some jackets, are on sale for a dollar a piece), and I wake up at 8:30 a.m. and I drive to the Goodwill on Apples Way Dr. so I’m there when it opens at 9:00.
And when that store opens, it’s GAME ON.
I’ll spend about an hour and a half combing through every single rack of women’s clothing there is and I probably have a very serious look on my face because when I’m thrifting, I mean business.
At this point you may be thinking, “Natalie, you are sincerely nuts and I could never do that.”
NO you definitely can! I’ve trained myself to know what it is I’m looking for so I go wicked fast. I can get through one aisle with clothes on both sides in about 7 minutes.
I know EXACTLY what makes me cash: brand name pieces of clothing or unique, striking pieces that garner interest on ebay.
When I’m going through each rack, I look for colors, textures or patterns that catch the eye and I specifically look for anything brand new with price tags still on it. While I’m clearing, I grab anything I think looks like a piece that can sell and I throw it in my cart. Then, before checking out, I go through and check for stains, rips or signs of wear and tear. I’ll even go to my ebay app and search for what items similar to the ones I have in my cart are selling for. I want to be absolutely sure that if I spend $15 on 15 different items, that 80% of what I bought will sell.
After I buy everything, I go back home and Craig helps me take pictures and post each item. We always post everything on a Saturday or Sunday because the ebay gods say those days are when most people are active on ebay.
Fast forward to a week later when some of our stuff has sold! We usually ship items out at the USPS at the grocery store, since every couple of days we’re stopping at Hy-Vee anyways to grab fresh veggies or deli meat. The staff is awesome and they help us tape up each box.
It works out really, really well.
So that’s how we make money with a little hustle. And, if you’re not scared off by what you just read, let me tell you what I’ve learned and how I suggest you take a crack at doing this yourself.
- SELL WHAT YOU KNOW WELL:
The reason this works is because I have an understanding of what other women my age are looking for on ebay. I’m the consumer so it’s easy for me to put myself in their mindset and find the pieces I know they love. Gary Vee recommends you do market research on what’s selling and what’s hot on ebay and you 100% should! But, if you know the comic book industry inside and out and you know exactly which comic books are worth a lot of cash, then you may find huge success going to garage sales or estate sales! If you’re an expert in fixing computers, you know what parts you may need to pick out from a garage sale to make a computer that can sell for a couple hundred on ebay.
- RESEARCH WHAT’S SELLING:
Now that I’ve had some items sell, I have a better idea of what sells quickly and what I should be looking for at Goodwill. Brand name pieces seem to do better but specifically blouses from The Limited and Ann Taylor. It might be because The Limited closed its retail stores not too long ago or it could be that Ann Taylor is just popular. I also keep an eye on what doesn’t sell too. I know that even if a top is just as cute as something from Ann Taylor or The Limited, it still won’t sell because it’s not a brand name. And, I don’t just look at what it is I’ve sold or I’m selling, I also look at how my competitors are listing their items. You can always tweak your listing to sound better than theirs. =)
- START SLOW BEFORE YOU INVEST:
My last piece of advice for you is the most important thing you should know. It’s easy to get excited about doing something like this and go overboard. But just take it slow! You don’t want to buy thousands of dollars of comic books and then not be able to sell them on ebay within a reasonable time frame. Right now, I’m only spending $25 a month at Goodwill because I know I can make that back easily and then some. If you start slow, you can easily build up from there when it’s not so risky.
Okay that’s about it! Feel free to ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about this! Good luck!