Strapped with a ton of homework and very little time, typical college student right? Yep, and honestly you just get busier and busier as life progresses and you take on your career.
But, I wanted to travel more and that meant I needed more money. I don't have time for another job, I did have a little extra money sitting in my bank account from my summer job though, so I started doing what I had been doing since the beginning of high school to make a little extra income, selling drugs! Just kidding haha. I went back to reselling low priced items as I figured it was better than having that money sit in my bank account doing no good, why not find some low priced items that I knew I could sell and start flipping them for some extra cash.
It would give me something to do other than just homework all day everyday and it was actually something I really enjoyed, as you can't beat the rush you get when you get a notification on your phone that you have just made a sale! It's a rush like no other and you really don't understand until you try it for yourself!
Well, It Actually Started in High School
I actually stumbled upon what some call flipping, reselling or retail arbitrage, during my first job ever in high school at a retail store called Shopko. Since I worked there, I was constantly looking at prices and I always knew what was on clearance because we had to put those products out each and everyday. It wasn't until I was setting a product on clearance, that the store was getting rid of completely and I actually knew was worth way more, that I started to think about maybe buying it and selling that online.
The products were Beats Solo and Studio Headphones and during my break I went to the handy eBay app to see how much I could sell these for. It turned out that I could make around a $40-$80 profit on each pair, so after my shift I bought all the Beats, my logic being that if worst comes to worst I knew I could sell them at break even if it didn't work out.
After that, I was hooked, constantly looking for more and more things to resell during my breaks and even while I was working if we had nothing to do. This lasted throughout high school and up until my freshman year of college, where I took a short break to "enjoy the college experience," as kids say, but that break didn't last more than 6 months.
Little Time, Enough Profit Potential
Since I have always been in school while doing this, and holding a job most of the time as well, I really didn't have a ton of time to try anything that would take up more of my time. Since high school is all day long and then college classes give you more free time but they are usually packed with homework, outside of class.
This made reselling perfect for me, because I didn't have to spend every hour of everyday doing it, I just found the item, listed it and then dropped it off at the post office or to a local seller near me.
This is unlike some things that you could start, such as a business, that has a much higher profit potential but also takes up a lot more of your time.
Side note: I actually started my first "business," more of just a website, called Profiting Tools, in high school, which was a collection of all the best business resources, courses, mentors, etc. I didn't make much money from it, but it sure taught me a lot!
Low Barrier To Entry
Another thing that drew me to reselling was the low barrier of entry that it had compared to some of the other side hustles and businesses that you needed a large up front investment as well as continued expenses such as marketing. The only expenses, other than time obviously, were the products you had to purchase in order to resell as well as the shipping supplies, which you could, and still can, find at Walmart for dirt cheap.
This really helped me out because an average high school or college kid is not rolling around in money, unless you are some of the kids at my school, it is actually crazy haha
This means that anyone can really get started, as long as you have a car or can find someone to go with you that has a car and a little extra time. You don't even need that much extra money to start, you can start finding things at Goodwill or garage sales, that are very cheap and then slowly start working towards those higher profit items.
How I Got Started and How You Can Too
Like I touched on previously, I got started by going to the clearance section of the stores I was familiar with, and you can do the same as well to get started. Just be aware that many big box retailers won't always have the most profitable items for you, even if they are on clearance. That is why I usually stick to stores like Goodwill or TJ Maxx for those good deals.
All you need to do is to put a little money in and then reinvest the profits you make in order to buy more items and then keep doing that as you build your inventory more and more and start to figure out what items work best and what items don't work as well for you.
It's pretty simple to get started, it is just all about you wanting to take action or not, it is not up to me!
(Be sure to stay tuned for future blog posts where I can actually break down the strategy for you rather than just give you an overview).
Some of My Best and Worst Weeks
It has definitely not just been smooth sailing this whole time, so I figured I would share some of my failures as well, as I have lost thousands of dollars in the past learning lessons so that you don't have to.
The first lesson I want to share is that if someone tells you to change their address to a crazy different address in another state, and they are not a trusted eBay profile with a lot of reviews, never do it. I changed it once because I was young and trusting and sent them whatever item I was selling at the time, I forget what it was, and then after it was delivered they put a claim into eBay that they never got the package and since their profile address was different than the one I sent it to (that they asked for before the purchase), they got their money back and they got my product.
Next, always bring someone with to a local sale or meet in a very public place, ideally indoors. This scenario actually happened not too long ago when I was meeting a buyer at a McDonald's, which I thought was public enough, so I met in the parking lot (it was dark so probably not my best idea), and he ended up giving me fake money, so I called him out and grabbed my product and started to leave when he snatched it out of my hand and ran. He was super fast too and had a car waiting once I chased him around the corner, so I had no chance. I was out a product but at least I got some cool money that says "for motion picture purposes" on it now for content lol. If I would have made him meet inside, that would have never happened likely.
Thanks for stopping by and reading, can't wait to hear some stories of you guys increasing your income! Leave some comments below and let me know if you have any questions. And ONE MORE THING... If you are starting to sell anything online, you have to know how to spot the scams to save yourself TIME and MONEY.
I made a quick guide for you here >>
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