Recession-Proof Jobs: 9 Reasons Why Flipping Flea Market Items For Profit Is Recession-Proof

Recession-Proof Jobs: 9 Reasons Flipping Items Is Recession-Proof

Recession-proof job. What exactly does that mean and how does it affect you now or in the future?

If you have been watching the news lately, or even scrolled through a form of social media, you have been hit with a huge dose of reality. A reality most of us did not see coming. In the news, there a lot of negative “ doom and gloom” style reports about jobs, finances even future of our country as whole.

It would be a lot easier to click our heels and skip ahead past the upcoming trials of life. BUT this would mean skipping growth and progress. Even in difficult times, there are always burst of joy, hope and new opportunities.

As we transition into a time of recession and struggles, we also transition into a new era of life. In some cases, not returning to our mediocre jobs but finding fulfillment.

So what exactly defines is a recession?

If you are like me, it’s hard to wrap my head around what a recession actually is, but Dave Ramsey has defined it as

“When the size of the economy shrinks six consecutive months, then you have a recession

If the economy is not thriving or moving things around, it will go into recession. The factors that are considered in this are high unemployment rates, slow real estate market, and sluggish profits from retail.

On top of all that, Corona adds a huge curveball to all of this.

Companies will start restructuring and reimagining the previous status quo. Schools being out, some closed until next school year, causing many loss of work and wages need to pay our every day expenses.

Not to mention the added stress of dealing with unknowns and being stuck inside. Anyone else thankful for the small wins, like sunshine or beautiful weather?

I’m not a financial guru by any means and numbers are not my favorite thing. But I do believe that the media can make things sound terrible and we can become victims of our own destiny.

The good news is you don’t have to be a victim to any recession. You can have hope!

It’s our desire by this post that we can encourage you that recessions don’t have to break you. They don’t have to ruin your financial situations. They don’t have to be the end all. You can actually thrive during a recession, believe it or not!

The truth?

Flipping items/reselling is recession-proof!

We survived the previous recession in 2007/ 08. Instead of it breaking us financially, we along with many others in the flipping business, did quite well during those times. There are a few reasons for that and that’s the main purpose for my post today.

We believe you can survive this season of life and the recession to follow. In fact, we know you can!

Here are a few reasons flipping is recession-proof. These are from my own personal experience of flipping through many dips in the economy over the past 22 years.

Don’t let the fear of a recession scare you. You don’t have to become a victim of the media’s doom and gloom in anticipation of the upcoming financial challenges(or changes). You can survive it and not only that, you can prosper through it!

Below are 9 reasons you can actually look forward to the future with hope if you are in the flipping business!


#1. People are Looking to Buy at a Discount

For the most part, during a time of financial instability, people have less money to spend. Less money to work with, means they are looking for ways to buy items they need at a deep discount. I know for us, when money is tight you can bet we are spending less and looking for a good deal.

Sluggish retail spending is actually one of the causes for a recession. People lose jobs and take a cut in pay, money gets tight, and they stop buying retail. Plain and simple.

Everyone follows the simple laws of supply and demand, especially during a recession.

“The law of supply and demand is a theory that explains the interaction between the sellers of a resource and the buyers for that resource”


What does that mean for YOU?

Simply put – People come to me during a recession to buy my picks

For the most part, I sell expensive items at about 50% of retail. Because my prices are lower, the demand for them becomes higher.

Best part?

It’s not just me – but anyone who flips for profit during a recession will thrive!

This makes what we do recession-proof. If someone is in need of an item, and I have that item available for sale, I am supplying the item that they are in demand of. This happens over and over again.


#2. People are Selling Unneeded Items For Cash

People who are being hit with the economy start figuring out how to stretch their paycheck (or lack thereof) and see that it is not enough money!

What do they do?  They start selling!

They look around realizing they can now live without those luxury items they have purchased. Paying the electric, a grocery bill even car payment becomes the main focus.

When money was abundant, they bought toys for entertainment. But they quickly realized now the toys were lying around unused, or they no longer have the money to enjoy them.

A flipper can benefit by this because these items are priced right.

The owner is motivated to sell and move the items. That is where you come in!

During a recession, even now during the current circumstances we are all facing, we can not recession-proof your current job. But we can take the time to acquire some items with little to no investment and create some cash flow.

This helps create a recession-proof way of adding income into our pockets. We can not control everything that happens to us or around us, we can however create something new.

During the last recession, I scored a tanning bed that someone needed to get rid of quickly. This also happens to be an item I sell quickly with little to no effort on my part.

I bought this item for $100 and sold it to a local gym for $1,000. A great deal for them and I made a great ROI on my investment!


#3. Unnecessary Entertainment Expenses Get Cut

One of the biggest budget busters Dave Ramsey talks about is the high cost of eating out. We know full well how expensive it can be now eating out with a family of five. Those effected by the economy come to terms with the fact that they can’t afford to spend $10-$15 a plate eating out at a restaurant like the old days.

What’s the alternative?  Eating at home!

This is great news for me!

I’m not sure of how many refrigerators, cook- tops, backyard barbecues, fire pits, and other kitchen appliances I sold during the recession. People wanted to get their kitchens and backyard barbecues going so they could cook at home.

They didn’t have the cash to be able to buy brand new, so Facebook Marketplace and eBay were booming with backyard barbecue grills, furniture even kitchen appliances.

When I say kitchen appliances, I am even referring to the “smaller” style ones.

Unnecessary expenses include driving through Starbucks on the way to work for your morning pick me up.

Do not over look coffee pots or k cup machines. Items like instant pots or crockpots will be a big hit as well.

When saving money by eating more at home, people will turn to cookers that help them save time and money. They are also looking for items that create value, like a yummy meal they did not work all day to prepare.

Is it better to spend $40 on a meal out or $40 towards a kitchen appliance?

Think to yourself, “If I would buy it or use it, some one else will feel the same way.” Just make sure the investment is worth the reward.

I benefited from this on both sides.

People were moving quickly here in my home state of Florida, so I was buying the appliances and barbecue equipment for a lot less. Reselling them on eBay and local markets to new families. This was a win-win for all of us.

Cooking at home is another great example of the way people recession-proof their income. During a recession, we take our time making choices on where to spend our money correctly. We also re evaluate where we have been spending money in the past and how much of a benefit it brought us.


#4. Forget the Gym Memberships – Workout at Home

Working out and taking care of our bodies is a great thing. Many people invest hundreds in their health, including very expensive monthly gym memberships.

When Melissa was a personal trainer, she witnessed so many people paying for expensive gym memberships. In fact, the average price is $40 to $50 a month just to go to the gym.

When financial circumstances arise, people come to the realization they can’t afford to pay out that much money every month. This causes them to have to think of other options to keep themselves in shape – Like a home gym!

I sold a large number of exercise bikes, elliptical, treadmills, and steppers to many people during the recession. During their time of financial struggle, it made more sense to invest $600 in an exercise bike one time than to pay $50 a month going to the gym. They found a way to afford their exercise equipment because their health was important to them!!


Item sold during lockdown. 4/2020



#5. Families Downsize to More Affordable Living Space

If you’ve been hanging out with us for any length of time at Flea Market Flipper, you know Melissa and I take our kids on daily walks through our neighborhood, often picking up amazing items for free on the side of the road.

Just think, some people are downsizing from a 3000 sq. foot house to 1500 sq. feet!  When people get hit with the economy and a job crisis, the first thing they start thinking about is getting into a home that’s affordable so they can keep a roof over their head.

Many are looking for homes that are smaller.

You wouldn’t believe the amazing things we find that people are just tossing or selling for pennies just to get rid of it so they can move.

This definitely keeps a flipper in the game during recessions!

I can’t even being to count the amount of high-end cooktops, microwaves, and pieces of furniture we have bought. Someone was moving and needed to get rid of them, we picked them up and sold on eBay for (usually) a 10x profit!

eBay isn’t the only option you have.

To avoid shipping or any extra cost, we have used Facebook Marketplace, Next Door, even OfferUp.

Finding and using alternative ways to sell items, whether to neighbors or friends, helps to keep your profits up as well as your side business recession-proof.

For large items, some times local is best, depending on your situation. People move fast and will be looking for a deal. There are lots of platforms out there to use and operate from.



#6. Flipping is Mobile – You Can Do it From Anywhere

During the economic downturn in 2008 and even in the upcoming uncertainty of the months ahead, Melissa and I had witnessed so many people lose their jobs and be forced to take new positions in other cities just to support their family.

It is truly unfortunate how many families we knew that were put into that tough position. I know Melissa and I would hate to move from our little Florida town because we love where we live.

Another awesome thing about flipping for profit during a recession – You can do it from anywhere.

Flipping is mobile! Not just a recession-proof job or income source.

In fact, when Melissa and I travel to other cities, we are constantly buying items along the way – Great items that we can make a great profit from.

Some think maybe all of the deals are here in Florida. Not true. You can flip from anywhere.

All we need to do our business is a computer with internet. We can access all of the selling apps and eBay from anywhere in the world – And we know from experience that every place we have ever gone has as many great deals as we do here in Florida! You can move around to any place and be successful at this!

Our hope is you are not forced by a recession to move to a new place you don’t like when you can flip items at a profit anywhere you want to live. We believe you should move because you want to NOT because you have to.


#7. Thrift Stores Thrive During the Recession

Thrift stores are a must for 2 reasons.

  • People are getting rid of their items to downsize so they are donating a lot of valuable items.
  • Others who are struggling financially are in the market for a good deal without paying full price.

During these times when the economy is not good, the thrift stores are rocking it and stock full of great sales! The amount of quality resale items you can find is amazing.

Remember, the thrift stores are constantly moving stuff out of their store to bring new items in. When there is an overload, they will drop the price to get rid of the item to put a new item in its place.

Be sure when they drop the price, you get there quick to snag some great buys!

Dips in the economy actually benefit the flipper because there are so many great, inexpensive items to choose from.

The great thing is – Because thrift stores thrive during recession – which means my flipping business is thriving too. Thrift stores help my business grow and stay strong while keeping us recession-proof.

There is no shortage of amazing flips you can come up with by visiting your local thrift store on a regular basis.


#8. You Don’t Need to Compete for That One High Paying Job (No 4-year Degree Required!)

Our hearts were saddened when so many people lost their jobs during the recession in 2007. We can only imagine the impact that our world will face as we continue to go through this crisis.

Back in 2007, We had many friends who lost jobs they loved. We knew others whose companies decided their worth – Dropping their pay significantly without warning. We are sympathetic to people in these situations having faced a similar circumstance – Which is why I went full-time with flipping in the first place.

My job, at the time, decided to cut my health benefits. Which coincided with the last few months leading up to our youngest being born.

Without warning, without a plan for the future, we suddenly had NO benefits.

Talk about hitting us right when it would hurt the most.

With the loss of jobs, the major reduction of both pay and benefits during the recession, thousands were forced to look for other jobs.

In turn, real estate died, construction stopped, and spending halted.

There would often be one job and with thousands of applicants hoping to get some positive news. These weren’t good odds for those looking for employment.

I can’t imagine how much pain or shame was felt when they were put into a corner. A position they loved was now being judged by their employer who had to decide if they were worth keeping.

recession-proof job


The greatest thing about flipping, you don’t need to fight over one job ever again.

With flipping, there is plenty of work for all of us. There will always be more items as long as supply and demand exists. Recession-proof also means laid-off proof. There will always be more to go around.

If you want to earn more, you can do that too! You don’t need a four-year degree to make a six-figure income. You just increase the quantity you buy or you broaden your horizons and sell bigger and better things.

In fact, those of you who know me well know I really struggled in school and college was not going to be my thing. Did that leave me out in the cold? Nope.

When jobs are scarce during a recession – You can make a great living – No degree, no interview, no resume – No problem! Honestly, Rather than being on someone else’s clock while they decide what I am worth, I would much rather earn six figures by flipping items on my own schedule. I hope you feel the same!

For some this starts out as a temporary option, another way to bring money in and keep food on the table. Many have seen great results from all the hard work and energy put in to making this “side hustle” into something more. Making more money in an alternative way is a great way to recession-proof your income.

We may not be ready for a “ new normal”, what ever this world looks like once things have settled a bit, but some will need more than one income to survive. Why not invest into something new that can change your life now and for the long term.

#9. Not Everyone is Affected by a Recession

This is a hard one to believe. After watching the recent events unfold, we have watched countless jobs be shut down temporarily, seen our schools and libraries close, it is hard to see that some are not fully affected by this.

Some Americans had very stable jobs that pulled us through this unimaginable circumstance.

Everyone around the US is grateful for Doctors, Nurses and anyone in First Response jobs including Police Officers and EMT. The US even identified smaller, previously unglamorous positions such as Grocery store clerks and mail carriers even warehouse workers.

Many of these individuals took time away from their families to make sure our country and our personal needs were met.

Whether they restock shelves or packed even delivered 100s of thousands of packages of goods. We are able to make it, to survive to another day, to have food on our tables to enjoy because someone else in some other job position provided it.

This is something most of us take for granted, at least I did before all this began.

People who prepared for the future were ready

In a case of a financial crisis or turmoil, some people did not panic over what happened. They prepared for their future, financial or otherwise. They made decision to recession-proof their life by creating a plan to protect themselves from any future unknown.

This group of people will help our country rebuild and kick start the economic upswing.

People who’s jobs we all counted on are going to be just fine and have a job to keep doing to make our lives run as smoothly as possible.

The teachers will go back to work and teach our youth. Even tech companies will go back to job, however some of that will be forever changed by this situation.

This crisis definitely affected a lot of people – but not everyone.

The biggest platform for resale, eBay who as of January 2019 reaches 182 million users worldwide, you will find some of those financially fit people.

Plenty who are still in the market to buy including some new stream of buyers looking for deals and learning how to manage this new season of life.

What does this all this reminds me of?

My career of flipping items is very recession-proof!

There you have it!

Flipping is totally recession-proof – Not just for me but for anyone who learns how to do it.

The next time you feel doom and gloom when you watch the news predict how our economy is currently shifting into a recession, just know you can flip for profit right through that recession. Turn those purchases into profits.

You can make a great living at it, where you live where you want, choose the life you want to live, and be your own boss – and no recession can take that away from me or anyone who chooses to flip items for profit! In a time where we are clinging to stability, this business creates stability, which puts you in control again.

If you are ready to learn the ins and outs of reselling NOW and be prepared for any economic downturn, recession or an unforeseen crisis, then check out Flipper University!

We want to hear from you!

Did this abrupt shift in normal routine hit you and your family in a significant way? Did you have a plan? Do you have a recession proof job? Comment below and share your experience with us

 Further resources

Free 5-Day Intro To Flipping Video Course 

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

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Robert Stephenson

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.

2 thoughts on “Recession-Proof Jobs: 9 Reasons Why Flipping Flea Market Items For Profit Is Recession-Proof”

  1. Hi Ron, the recession in 2007-2008 was at a time when we were going to start new business which didn’t happen for several other reasons. We were both out of work for over 6 months and ended up using our 401 and savings account to live off. I’m seriously looking at flipping as a way to build up our savings again before we retire which is happening in the next 10 years! I appreciate your flipping information that you’ve been sending. Will let you know how it goes!

    1. Hi Geri! Sorry to hear that happened to you. But it sounds like you are moving forward with a plan! If you enjoy thrifting and checking out yard sales and flea markets then it can be a great way to build up your savings! We currently have a student who is saving up for an RV – she is at $12,500 in just over 6 months. It definitely can be done! Keep us posted on your progress. 🙂

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