I Flipped Over…. Freebie Flipping Tips

For the first time in almost 5 years I recently acquired a vehicle. One truly has no idea how much you appreciate your car until you don’t have one, but I’ll save the horrendous details on that for another post. What I am dying to tell you about my adventures in finding unwanted items and turning them into cold hard cash.

I Flipped OverIntroducing my new series of posts… I Flipped Over…!

We’ve all heard the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. If you put your mind to it, the truth of the saying actually should be “one man’s trash is treasure for two” – cash for you and a perfect item for someone else.

It all started back in the summer while searching Kijiji.com for a personal item. For the first time ever, I checked the ‘Free Items” listings. All I can say is WOW. It is truly amazing what people give away for free! Granted there is tons of junk, but there are also some fabulous finds.

Most of these items are from people cleaning house, moving, or emptying storage units, and they just don’t want to be bothered with the hassles of listing an item for sale. It simply may not be worth their time. For me, as someone who works from home, it’s not a problem to schedule someone to pop by and look at an item. Especially considering I have a wonderful, huge detached garage on my property for the storage. Combine that with my awesome sized Ford Expedition and I have a win-win scenario for making some extra cash.

This series of posts will detail how and what I have found free (or really cheap) and then “flipped over” for cash. Here are a few tips to get you started treasure flipping:

Freebie Flipping Tips

  1. Research first. Take a few hours to look through your local online classifieds to see what is selling. If a category is full of posts listing TV entertainment centers, chances are there is not a high demand for this type of item. It most likely will not be worth your time and storage space to pick one up.
  2. Be selective. It will be very tempting at first to run around and grab every freebie or “curb alert” you see, including all the kittens and puppies! Depending on your storage space, being selective about what you take can make all the difference.
  3. Watch the Wanted Ads. If you decide to use Kijiji, they have a wonderful Wanted section. People are searching for all sorts of common and unique items. Watch for trends and then keep your eyes open when picking freebies up, or out at garage sales.
  4. Use Garage Sale listings. While the garage sale season is winding down, this is an excellent source of tremendously cheap items. I have flipped many items picked up cheap at garage sales for a tidy profit. Often people have no idea about the true value of their items, or they simply want to get rid of them. Use this to your advantage!
  5. Pre-purchase garage sale items. Often you will find a garage sale listing with photo’s or a list of items being sold. Consider contacting the owner prior to their sale with an offer!
  6. Watch the buyers. Take a few Saturday mornings and cruise around local garage sales and just watch what people are buying, and what they are paying for these items. You can learn a lot about your local market by watching what others are doing.
  7. Visit local antique and flea markets. Familiarize yourself with what these markets are looking for – especially antique markets. Some of the prices on these items will astonish you! Your own junk may be worth much more than you think and a reputable antique market will either purchase directly from you, or be willing to take items on consignment.
  8. Create a quest! While the whole purpose of picking up items for free/cheap is to make money, make it fun as well! You can easily do this by starting a family collection or have a specific goal in mind. For example, our family is on a mission to acquire a complete set of Reader’s Digest Condensed books, from 1950 to 1997. These books are everywhere and people just want to get rid of them. There is no great value in the collection itself, but it gets everyone involved digging through boxes trying to find them. It’s our family treasure hunt!
  9. Set a goal. It’s easy enough to say your goal is to ‘make money’, but by setting an actual goal, and keeping the money you have made aside, you are more likely to stick to it. For example, all money earned from our treasure flipping is going into a mahogany jewelry box and whatever we have accumulated come next July will be our family vacation money. We all work together in order to then benefit together.
  10. Clean up your finds. Have a treasure kit handy to make your items look even more appealing. This could include some furniture polish, dust rags, a soft paintbrush to clean out small or carved areas, CLR for rust removal and some diluted cleaning solution. Don’t forget to vacuum or spot clean upholstery. These little efforts make your item much more appealing to a potential buyer.

Hopefully these tips will inspire you to clear a spot in your garage and put it to good use!

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