From Trash to Treasure: Turn Unwanted Items Into Cash!

From Trash to Treasure: Turn Unwanted Items Into Cash!

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” How many of you have heard this trash to treasure saying?

Melissa’s dad used to say this all. the. time.

There is a lot of truth to it — especially when you are in the business of flipping used items.

And what’s even better than finding a great deal on an item is finding items to sell that you got for free!

We love finding free items, and tend to spot them almost on a weekly basis.

We make it a point to walk to our downtown area (about a mile away), about 5x per week. Melissa and I really enjoy that time to either plan out our day (if it’s in the morning), or recap our day, and plan the rest of the night and week, and come up with new ideas (if we walk in the evenings). And just to clarify – most walks are with our three kids in the strollers. They are with us pretty much all the time. 🙂

On these walks we regularly find things in the trash. Since we are walking we can only pick up things that will fit in the stroller, so if it’s larger we try to come back with the car and pick it up.

Just this week we found $1,500 in the trash!

We found:

  • A golf bag case (worth $50)
  • A Dyson DC 35 hand held vacuum (worth $200) 
  • 5 teak wood patio chairs (worth $1,250)

Check out us going back and throwing the items in the back of the truck.

And here is a clip from what we found last spring on another walk.

Trash to treasure flips

Just a couple weeks ago we were walking down the road, and Melissa noticed a toddler bed in the trash. It appeared that a family had just moved out and dumped a lot of stuff on the side of the road in their trash. The toddler bed was a blue plastic and she was familiar with the brand. Once we got home, I drove back in the truck to pick it up. She posted it on Facebook  and sold it for $40.

trash to treasure

Another freebie we got was this Barbie Corvette kids’ car. My sister was moving and she was going to throw it in the trash because she didn’t have room at her new place, and her daughter had outgrown it. I was helping her move so I just took it home with me. We posted it online and sold it for $100!

trash to treasure

Just recently we had two free items referred to us by friends who know what we do for a living.One was a cinderella princess bed.

One of Melissa’s friends who deals with property management let us know that this was at a property and it was going to the trash unless we wanted to pick it up.

We told her YES! And went to pick it up. We had sold one of  these a few years ago, so knew that it would sell for decent profit, but had no idea it would go for $589 on eBay!

The other free item was a play set that was given to us by a friend of a friend. This friend was moving and needed this play set gone ASAP. We basically had that afternoon to pick it up because they were moving out the next day and putting it on the curb.

We were able to sell this children’s play set for $300.

And after our kiddos had played with it for a week. 🙂

Another recent trash to treasure item was this power chair battery charger we found on a walk back home one evening. We were able to sell it for $50 on eBay!

Those 5 flips alone were $1,079! And all out of the trash!

We basically had to take the items home, take pictures, then post them. Not too bad for an extra $1,079.

These are just a few examples of some items that we have gotten for free recently.

Basically we are always keeping an eye out for items and sometimes those items find us. 🙂

Figure out when trash day is for a few neighborhoods in your area and take a drive through. You never know what you will find!

Ready to jump into flipping and make some serious money? Check out our FREE hour-long workshop to see if this is a great fit for you!

Further Resources

Make Your First $100 Flipping In 7 Days (Free Video Course)

Free Workshop How To Turn Your Passion of Flipping Items Into A Profitable Reselling Business

Flipper University

Related Posts:

Free Find of the Week

Free Flip of the Week: $400 Profit

How to Find FREE Items to Resell for Profit

How to Sell on eBay for a Profit



Rob Stephenson
[email protected]

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.

  • Saima
    Posted at 14:21h, 05 August Reply

    Very enjoyable post and but in this video they cannot be told us how they make the chair!

    • Robert Stephenson
      Posted at 12:53h, 20 August Reply

      Hi Saima! We didn’t make any chairs – they were being thrown away.

  • Mandy Smith
    Posted at 17:16h, 21 July Reply

    On my way to an antique last week, planning to buy a bird bath base for $25.00. Found one beside the street waiting for the trash truck. Got it, took it home added a large, pretty bowl on top. Looks great in my flower bed, for free!

  • Tyler Vera
    Posted at 04:45h, 10 May Reply

    That’s so cool! This is what we need to do, we need to recycle or refurbish our belongings or just basically give to people who need them. I’m going to do this with my family before we move to our new condo. You are so awesome to share this! Thank you so much, I hope other people see this too!

    “A man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

  • Sharlene Andrade
    Posted at 00:45h, 06 May Reply

    Learning how to recycle the things that we thought of as trash already can be converted into money and help us. Thank you for sharing this.

  • sheila easterling
    Posted at 00:56h, 22 February Reply

    Do not have to walk or drive . Use resources that bless. to donate for many causes .Sit it all outside and yes some times people take

  • Paul S
    Posted at 13:00h, 23 October Reply

    Great post!

    When you pick up stuff like that charger, or other electronics, how do you handle offloading it? Like, I imagine that stuff is sometimes broken and you might not always have the means to test it. Do you sell it with a disclaimer in that case? And if so, do people commonly ask for a refund if it doesn’t work?

    Thanks Rob!

    • Robert Stephenson
      Posted at 10:01h, 31 October Reply

      If I can test it I do, if I can’t then I write “As-Is, untested” and sell it for parts. You will be surprised how many people will buy things for parts! I think many people who are handy at fixing things will check eBay for parts before buying things from a store.

  • Redrose1
    Posted at 20:10h, 08 March Reply

    Hello! Great blog… my husband and I are going every Tuesday in our neighborhood and picking up free stuff at the curb.. He list it on craigslist and to date he has made about nearly $1000.00 since last year… Cannot believe what people throw out.. We call it Trashing Tuesday’s… He has pick up more free lumber to turn into honey to do list projects that are dang good… He is a whiz with the electric saw… He made all his bird houses and bird condo’s with free wood. We even picked up a nice big yard bird bath for our yard…yap brought it home set it up in the front yard filled up with water after he fixed the hole in it and planted flowers around it… what we like about this is it is free. We even got in on someone cleaning out her grandmother’s house and had set lots of good stuff at curb free we capitalized on that one filling up van. Selling a lot of it… Some of the stuff had not ever been used… Her Grandmother had died and she did not want the stuff because she was getting ready to sell her house and move into her Grandmother’s house. We also do well at Garage sells at our home.. I even was selling food from a crockpot I had going inside the garage people would ask what smell so good I told them and they had to have a plate of it LOL

    • Robert Stephenson
      Posted at 02:32h, 09 March Reply

      haha, that is awesome!! We are amazed at what people throw out! Our Thursdays are trash days, so Wednesday nights there are some great finds! Sounds like you are having fun!

  • Angie
    Posted at 12:02h, 19 October Reply

    This is something that I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I also work full time but I am trying to set up a business that will earn enough profit to transition to full time self-employment. Right now, I am earning some extra money selling crafts that I make. But my one true passions is doing exactly what you are doing. I even named our business Flippin Fanchers just because that’s what I’ve been wanting to do!!! It’s taking a long time but I know that with time, I’ll be able to fulfill that dream. I’m so glad that I found your site. I can’t afford the University classes right now but I have been enjoying reading your blog. Thanks!

    • Robert Stephenson
      Posted at 18:14h, 05 November Reply

      Hi Angie! So glad you found us! I love to meet people who have a passion for this kind of hobby/job/lifestyle. There is an element of thrill that comes from the whole process, which makes the ‘job’ of making money much more fun! Be sure to subscribe for updates because occasionally we run a special on the course. There may or may not be one coming up soon at the end of the month. Happy flipping!!

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