Our Flipping Road Trip

Our Flipping Road Trip

One great thing about my favorite side hustle is it is something I can do anywhere.  We are currently on a road trip from Florida to New Jersey to Tennessee and then back to Florida. We are visiting family and friends but also stopping at thrift stores and flea markets along the way. It gives our little girls a chance to get out and stretch their legs, but also for us to find some items to buy for resale.  Our goal is to find enough items to sell for profit to pay for the whole trip. 

On our way up to New Jersey, one of our hotel stays was right next door to a Goodwill AND a Habitat for Humanity! Coincidence? I think not. It was even the grand opening day for the Habitat store so they had all kinds of goodies they were giving away and the girls left with a couple cool toys to keep them occupied in the car.  Oh, and they left with a cookie. Can't forget the cookie. 

We also found a couple good stores in New Jersey where we were visiting my wife's family. We found a Salvation Army and across the street was a gem of a store.  This store was jam packed to the brim with stuff. At first glance it looked like one big room, and then as you walked you noticed a hallway to another room, then another, then a stairway down to a basement with 4 more rooms full of items for sale. The girls had fun looking through the toys and even found a ginormous vintage-looking Minnie Mouse. My eldest decided she wanted a hug for the road. (It's a good thing she didn't try to bring her with us, not sure our seats could hold her size.)   

Minnie Mouse

So far on this trip we have found a couple items that were worth buying for resale. Oh, and I forgot to mention I hauled up our trailer with us with some toys (4 wheelers) to play with at my wife's grandparents house, and left plenty of room to bring back some good deals.  On the list of purchases so far has been: An expensive special needs jogging stroller, a Nordic track, another nice regular stroller, and a baby winter sleeping bag. We invested a total of $77 for the four items and are estimating a resale value of $600 for them all. That should help a big chunk of our gas bill, and we are only on the first leg into the trip! 

Looking forward to seeing what else we can find our our way into and in Tennessee! Hoping to make a visit in Nashville to Antique Archaeology in from the reality show American Pickers. Does anyone else love that show as much as I do? 

 

Rob Stephenson
rob@fleamarketflipper.com

I grew up in Central Florida and have lived here my whole life. I first got into buying and selling items when I was 16 years old, and have been hooked ever since. It has mostly been a hobby that makes some extra cash, but sometimes it serves as my main income as well. I don't plan on stopping any time soon. I find too many fun toys for my family (or myself), and just love the whole process.

6 Comments
  • naima
    Posted at 05:41h, 21 September Reply

    Wow, nice trip. I like your pan to manage money to pay for your whole trip. Next time I will follow your plan. But how you manage people to buy your item on the trip?

    • Robert Stephenson
      Posted at 20:35h, 07 October Reply

      people buy our items we have listed on eBay while we are away. We let them know it will be longer for shipping time and as long as they are ok with it, then it’s fine. (most people are fine with it as long as there is good communication.)

  • Tom Thomas
    Posted at 14:56h, 09 October Reply

    So nice to hear about about your trip. It’s a pleasure meeting travelers like you. The place is also good. I had been to New Jersey three times. Love that place and would visit again if possible.

    • Robert Stephenson
      Posted at 20:29h, 09 October Reply

      Thanks Tom! We try to visit my wife’s family in Nj whenever possible. 🙂

  • Michael
    Posted at 22:41h, 26 January Reply

    Your bio says – It has mostly been a hobby that makes some extra cash, but sometimes it serves as my main income as well.

    So what is your main income source. I thought you said elsewhere that you don’t have a 9 to 5.

    Thanks

    • Robert Stephenson
      Posted at 05:53h, 23 February Reply

      Hi Michael,
      Yes, sometimes it has served as my primary income and sometimes just a side income at different points in my life. When I first met my wife 10 years ago, this was all that I did, along with flipping houses (until the market crashed in 2007). For the past 5 years I have been a home owners insurance inspector, where my company gives me houses to check each week and I go and take pictures and write reports up for the insurance companies. That worked well for me because I could still make my own hours, I just had to get my work done each week. It also used to pay me well. The past two years the workload and pay have drastically decreased (sometimes less than $200 a week!) so I have been flipping items more again.

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