September 11, 2020 This Working Mom Paid Off 10 Years Of Debt With Flipping Side Hustle
Now more than ever, I am seeing posts and articles about people desiring to pay off debt. Americans are disillusioned with carrying debt and the negative effects it has on their lives. And there is a big reason for this.
Carrying debt of any kind can bring these negative aspects to your life:
- Makes you a slave to the bank
- It brings stress in your life
- It limits your options
One category of debt that can be a limit your options is having a car payment. Statistics show that 44% of all Americans rely on a car payment. Studies show that the average car payment in the US is $554 a month!
This is a lot of money to be paying out each month! Paying out this kind of money from your monthly income can add up to a big percentage of your monthly income, especially if you have a two car household.
In recent years, so many Americans are deciding to pay off their car loans and dig themselves out of debt completely.
Why? Because it gives you so much more money to work with each month and it brings a lot of freedom!
Thankfully, Melissa and I have not had a car payment our entire 14 year marriage and we don’t ever plan on having one. We pay cash for a nice used car and we’ve done well with this through the years.
Today we have one of our Flipper U course members, April, who paid her husband’s truck off a year early and their camper off 8 years early! We were so excited to hear her journey. While she continues to work towards being debt free, we wanted to share her success with you, our readers!
Welcome April! Share a little of your history with us.
My name is April and I have been happily married to my husband Pat for 15 years. We have a 14 year-old daughter named Bailey and a sweet, one-year-old Rottweiler named Payton!
I’m originally from upstate New York. Since I despise the cold, snowy weather, I decided to make my way south where the weather is better. I lived in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and now currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina.
My day job is working full-time in an Human Resources Department in the quartz industry. I have my degree in marketing and I worked my way into the position that I am in now.
I enjoy my job. However, I would not be opposed to going full-time flipping if the opportunity presented itself.
Growing up, we were always thrifting and collecting things. I had a collection of metal lunch boxes when I was a kid, many of which I’ve been selling off on eBay today!
I grew up with an older brother and a sister and we always called my parent’s house a museum. We still call it that today. There you can find all sorts of collections of dolls, cookie jars, Alice in Wonderland, silhouettes, and much more.
As of today, my mom still has a booth at her friend’s antique store in upstate New York. I love going into the store when I visit. I also enjoy going to the thrift stores and consignment shops with my mom when I am visiting New York.
How did you end up joining Flipper University?
For 8 years, I was an extreme couponer. While I did really well making and saving my family money, there is a limit to how much you can really make and save. I didn’t want to limit myself so I started searching the internet for another stream of income.
We were really wanting to start our journey to pay off debt we had at that time. Our family created a goal to be debt free by 2025.
At that time, I had a truck and camper payment, two student loans, and our mortgage. I was looking for something that could bring in some side income to meet our first goals of paying off my husband’s truck and our camper.
My searches included investing, real estate, and craft shows. During this search, I came across flipping items. This peaked my interest as I already enjoyed thrift stores and yard sales and picking up free stuff from the side of the road!
As my search continued, I came across Flea Market Flipper blog via a Pinterest pin. I followed you on social media for about a year watching all of your videos and any new blog posts that came out. After that year, I decided to enroll in the course and joined the group.
This really helped me start reselling.
How has Flipper U helped you branch out with your reselling?
I was selling things on Facebook Marketplace long before I started selling items on eBay, even before I had found Flea Market Flipper.
Years before that I had done yearly garage sales to sell my unwanted items. After a few years I stopped, mostly because we live off the beaten path in a rural area. There isn’t much traffic, so my yard sales weren’t getting enough traffic.
I got turned on to Facebook Marketplace and found that selling things on that platform was much more convenient and my items were selling better and for more money.
At that time, I never thought about sourcing items for resale. I was just selling things from around the house.
My initial step before I take them to be donated.
This is a simple way to recoup a little cash that I had spent on them. Every dollar we made we put towards our goal of working to pay off debt.
Before finding you guys, I never had thought about actually sourcing items to make money!
Now that you’ve gotten more seasoned selling, what items are you focusing on for resale?
Honestly, I will sell anything and everything that I think I can make a profit off of. When I source from thrift stores, I typically go for the things it seems everyone is passing by.
Most people are not interested in picking up something that is simple. Most people gravitate towards items that look special or are unique.
I have found scrapbook items, knife sharpeners, faucet replacement parts, books, and undergarments that people walk right past.
Little do they know, these are the valuable items that sell really well! Every dollar adds up when you are focused on a goal. Especially when that goal is to pay off debt.
With all that said, I’ve stuck to selling mostly small and medium sized items on eBay. Any of my larger items, I sell locally on Facebook Marketplace or other local selling platforms.
I haven’t ventured into sourcing, listing, and shipping freight items, but that is my next goal. I know with the help of the course and also the members group, I will be able to overcome the fear and take on that challenge.
As a side note, I was TERRIFIED to sell on eBay because of the shipping and also the tax implications of making money on eBay. I am super thankful for Flipper U and the course members group. They gave me the “hand holding” and confidence boost I was in need of to get started. Now I am well on my way to being an eBay seller!
What progress have you made flipping since taking Flipper U?
I love the Flipper U course and the facebook group especially.
The course itself helped me overcome a lot of my fears because it literally walked me through the steps of getting everything set up between eBay, PayPal, how to look up comps and price my items, shipping – all of it has been a HUGE help.
I adore our Facebook group (I do belong to several other groups where you’re afraid to ask questions or people are always bringing their negativity). This is definitely not the case with our flipping group.
From the beginning, I’ve always felt comfortable asking questions and our group is full of encouragement! I love that people aren’t afraid to show what they’re finding and selling as it gives me ideas of what to look out for. We really are such a diverse group of resellers that have a lot to offer in many areas
I also love that you and Melissa and our group admins are quick to jump in the group and make videos on the fly, to provide encouragement, or demonstrations for packing items, host listing challenges or to provide answers to questions.
It’s been so helpful and has moved me past being scared to start to becoming a regular seller on eBay.
Moving past this fear has helped me earn some extra money and dump my husband’s truck and camper payments.
It’s always nice to be able to pay off debt like cars or other large bills. It would not have been as easy or possible without flipping.
What are some of the crazy items you’ve sold for a good profit?
The first item I ever sold on eBay was discontinued shampoo. I had been paring down my couponing stockpile of shampoos and selling them for $1 on Facebook and Offerup.
This is when I received a message through Facebook from somebody asking if I’d ship the items to them in another state. This request made me question why on earth someone would want me to send them some cheap drugstore brand shampoo.
I then asked our members FB group and was told they were a discontinued product – and discontinued products become very valuable! When I checked the selling prices on eBay, I was astonished!
That post turned my $1 shampoos into $25 each! Since then, I’ve sold several discontinued products now, including some discontinued Bath & Body lotions for $100!
Picking Up Freebies
One day after work, I found a set of 4 grain sack covered chairs at an apartment complex next to my work. My coworkers thought I was crazy for saving them. I stored them in the office for a few days before I could get them in my husband’s truck to take home.
I ended up selling them on facebook for $75 in less than a week!
One other crazy thing I sold (that surprised me) was a mismatched women’s outfit! The shirt and pants were different sizes! I never thought it would sell because it looked like something a scarecrow would wear and the sizes didn’t match! I used the word “Halloween costume” in my listing and it ended up selling!
I’ve also sold books I’ve picked up for free – including an 8-book series on the microscope for $120, a signed Chic-Fil-A book for $100, magazines destined for the trash, a remote for a ceiling fan, Cuckoo clock weights, women’s undergarments and many other seemingly random things that didn’t seem to be worth money.
Tell us a little about your paying off your husband’s truck and camper loans?
My full-time job provides money that pays all of our normal bills. I have been able to use the money I make from flipping to buffer our savings account and also to reinvest back into new inventory. As well as working towards our goal to pay off debt by 2025.
Since we have the extra money to add to our savings, my full-time income can now be used to pay extra on our bills. Last year, I paid off my husband’s truck a year early. This year, I paid off our camper 8 years early!
Now, we only have a couple old student loans that remain and our mortgage left to pay off. My ultimate goal is to be debt free in the next 5 years AND take a nice nearly vacation to someplace we’ve never been, to buy season tickets to the theatre, and have a rental property for another stream of income.
Flipping has helped us meet our financial goals now and the ones we have for the future.
What are some things you enjoy about flipping?
We definitely enjoy the extra income that has come in every month since I started in August 2019. Each month my sales have been steadily increasing. This gives us a sense of security having money in savings and this provides me with a great deal of comfort.
I love learning new things, especially having hobbies that make me money! That’s why I enjoyed couponing in the past. I love the challenge of having a goal and making or beating that goal. It certainly was amazing to have the extra money from flipping to pay off our vehicle loans.
Before the quarantine, I was bringing things home faster than I could list them. Now I’ve had time to go through those piles and list and organize. At this point, I’m not afraid of running out of inventory before the quarantine ends! I have so much stuff that I am going to be listing and selling.
What are some negatives of flipping that you have had to work through?
Storage space is one of those struggles. I have one bedroom in our house allocated as my office, which includes the storage space for the items I sell. To most people, it does look like a complete mess (although I know where everything is). The mess does drive my husband crazy, but he doesn’t complain as much when things are selling.
I don’t have the room in my house to store large freight items. I’d love to be able to source and sell that too, but my husband will not let our garage become a storage shed until we build him his shed on our property. I am currently flipping items and saving to make that happen!
Lastly, I could spend hours at the same thrift store, putting things in my cart to look up comps and researching new items (I see this as a pro). Like I said, I love learning, but my husband and daughter have put time limits on the amount of time they’ll spend in the store if they come with me.
I’ve compromised by stopping by the store on the way home from work, on Fridays and spending as much time as I want there. On the weekends, we’ll find a flea market or thrift store, but will move through much quicker than my normal speed.
So time is always a challenge, but nothing I can’t work around by a little compromise!
You’ve said you’ve overcome two fears to become better at flipping. What are they?
My first fear, believe it or not, was the fear of the tax implications of reselling. I’m still a little unsure of the tax implications, mostly since my taxes aren’t finished yet. But I think the benefits of the extra money from flipping will outweigh any extra work I have completing my taxes.
We’ve also had some great discussions about taxes in the facebook group and it really comes down to just keeping good records of sales and expenses to give to my accountant.
The second fear was that of shipping! This is actually a pretty common fear. Through experience and gleaning information from the facebook group, I feel I have a good handle on the shipping.
To make things less complicated for me, I make sure I have everything packaged and weighed when listing and I also use calculated shipping. This has given me the confidence to really be able to pack and ship any small or medium sized item.
In all honesty, the fears I had when I started are not the same fears I face anymore. I am grateful for all the support I’ve received from my fellow flippers and Flipper U members.
Final question. What words of wisdom do you have for someone ready to get started?
My suggestion for those getting started with flipping is to begin selling items that you already own. Even ones that you can pick up for free. In my opinion, this is the best way to start. It’s free to start and gets you the practice you need without taking a lot of risk.
People don’t realize how much stuff they already have just laying around. It’s also amazing what you can pick up from a trash pile or free listing online!
There is so much value in your own garage or on the side of the road on large trash pick up days.
It really takes no money to become a flipper.
My second piece of advice is joining Flipper U and the course members group. This was the best decision I made to get started. Like most of the flippers that get started with Flipper U, I made my money back within 2 months and kept growing from there.
However, if you don’t have the funds to take the course, there are also many free resources and groups on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube that can offer help and knowledge for flipping.