How This Corporate Dad Makes $6K/Mo Flipping Used Items

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What’s up, guys? Today, we have the honor of introducing and interviewing Adam Smith, who has just recently within the last year jumped into flipping, but he’s made some, sweet flips and he’s made some awesome progress towards this reselling a side hustle, or profession, whatever you want to call it. So we’re very honored, very glad to have Adam to the show. Adam, welcome. Thank you so much for jumping on here.

Adam: Oh, thank you, Rob and Melissa. It’s great to be [00:01:00] here.

Melissa: Awesome. Thanks so much for being here. So tell us a little bit about yourself. Give us a little background of you.

Adam: Well, sure. I’m 41 years old. I have two young children, and two and four months, and I work a boring corporate job.

And about a year ago, I, got into flipping, with the help of my mother who’s been selling on eBay for years and years as a hobby and having fun. And she came and visited, for the holidays and we’ve said, well, let’s sell some of this stuff around the house. And that’s how I kinda got going, just selling stuff around the house.

And, I had so much fun with it that I said, well, I’m going to start going to the thrift store. And I started selling stuff from the thrift store. And then, you know, I like to research stuff and I started a, what the heck is this reselling stuff? What the heck is flipping? And then that’s how I found you guys and your videos on YouTube.

And then that’s really where it [00:02:00] launched, there. You know, a couple months after I started with my mom, I had found you guys. And I said, wow, we can really, I can really make some extra money at this. And this is really super fun. So that’s probably more than you wanted in introducing myself, but…

Rob: No, that was great. That’s exactly what we want. We want your backstory, what you’re doing, kind of how you found this career, this side hustle, whatever it is for everybody. So no, that’s great. And you said one thing that throws a wrench into anybody’s flipping business. You have young kids, you have a full-time job and you’re still out there and you’re doing amazing at flipping.

So, yeah, that’s awesome. Very, very exciting that, that is part of your journey and that’s where you’re at right now. So, yeah. Awesome. Awesome.

Melissa: The kids take a lot of time. We know, very well, how much they take from your time, and we love it obviously, but it there’s a lot less time left in the day to do anything else. So.

Rob: The other thing I liked about what you said is you started from the stuff that’s in your house. And a lot of people they find out about flipping and they think they have to go out and invest all this money, and then they have to have [00:03:00] all this inventory that they’re not sure if it’s going to sell, but you started with stuff that you had. That’s kind of the way we teach people as well, stuff that you have sitting around the house, that you’re not using anymore and start selling it, learn how to do the flipping and then you can actually expand and get bigger and go buy stuff that, you know, that’s going to sell. So, yeah. That’s awesome that that’s how you started, for sure.

Adam: Yeah, like I…

Melissa: Go ahead. Sorry.

Adam: Yeah, just having, you know, when I started, we had one, our first child, who was about two. And so I had quite a bit of extra time still, compared to what I have now. Now we have a four-month-old baby around the house, so it’s really put a crunch on the amount of time, free time that I have to go out, you know, yard saling or thrifting, or just, you know, searching on Facebook marketplace for items. But I’ll say it, it’s still, I think the max I put in on a weekly basis would be 10, you know, 15 hours at the most. And I’m able to squeeze that in, you [00:04:00] know, after everyone’s in bed, I’ll, you know, do some listing of items or packaging up of items and stuff at night.

So I, and I still get to bed at a reasonable hour. And then of course the kids have me up at 5:00 or 6:00 AM or something. So yeah, I think my sales in the first month, half of the year, we’re really, really strong before baby came in June. And then it really tanked from June, July, and August. I really didn’t have a lot of time cause baby was so young.

But now that we’ve kind of settled into a routine and I can have that time at night and a little bit in the early morning to do flipping stuff, I’m right back to where I was in the beginning part of the year.

Melissa: Awesome. So when you, you’re saying around 10 to 15 hours, when you’re on your kind of normal schedule, so what is that usually average a month when you’re on the normal schedule?

Rob: Income wise, that, that brings up a great point because a lot of people want to know if I can throw an extra 5 hours, 10 hours at this business, what can I expect? And you’re like you said, you’re [00:05:00] a new flipper within the last 12 months you’ve been actually doing this. So, kind of give us some numbers, you know, maybe averages, that you’ve been able to do on the selling side of it.

Adam: Yeah, my average sales per month are around I think between $5,000 and $7,000 a month, I would say.

Rob: That’s awesome. I love it.

Adam: Some months are better than like I said, June, July, August was a little, a little slow just because I didn’t have a lot of time to list and, and stay on top of it. But I have, I have no doubt that if I, if I went full time at this, I could completely replace my corporate income and more. So like, this is my first year.

I think I will end up around $70,000 to $80,000 in total sales and that’s with just starting slow too. Cause I didn’t find you guys until January or February of this year and that’s when things really took off.

Rob: Dude, you’re you’re, you’re blowing my mind and I have so many questions [00:06:00] right now about just this $5,000 to $7,000 a month. The next question is kind of what’s your niche? What, how are you getting to that’s a substantial amount of money for a side hustle. What exactly are you doing? Like, what is your niche that you’re doing to get to move the mountain on that? To make that money?

Adam: I would say the two categories I do the most are appliances, you know, cooking cooktops, ranges, and then Sleep Number beds is probably the, the second category where I do really, really well. And what I’ve kind of moved into now, especially after, baby came in June is it’s been harder to move larger items like ranges and stuff like that. So I started parting out cooktops and ranges and stuff that, cause it’s so much easier to ship, you know, a small switch or a burner, and the money, the return is really good on those. Cause you can [00:07:00] often pick up a little bit older appliances that all the components still work, but you know, they’re not the newest model or whatever, all the switches and valves and stuff like that still work on them.

And I just part them out in the garage at night and then I list all those items and I sell them for a really good profit, you know, so I can take a range that I pick up for free or for less than a hundred dollars and, you know, flip it and make $500 to a thousand dollars on the parts off that range. So that’s where I’m really kind of niching down into right now is, is, is the parting out appliances.

Melissa: That’s funny. We actually just went to dinner with one of our other course members the other day, and she brought up a point. She had a cooktop and it was or a range, I don’t know if it… was it a range? She got it and it was missing one knob. She’s like, it’s fine. I’ll go. I’ll just purchase the knob. And she went to go purchase the knob and it was $300.

Rob: $300.

Melissa: And I think that’s what she paid for the whole thing. And she’s like, all right, well now, but then she ended up selling the [00:08:00] other three knobs for $300 or $400 each. So she was like, she just parted it out. It’s like that. There you go.

Rob: And I want to call attention to this. This is a great point. Some of you guys that do know Melissa and I, we do large items and it sounds like Adam does some larger items too, but he’s also found a niche where he can part out items, sell smaller items and still make great, great money at it. So, yeah, that that’s really, really an awesome point.

Melissa: Sky’s the limit.

Rob: It is. You do not have to do super large items. And that’s the big thing Melissa and I found with what we do, it’s less time than selling tons and tons of small items. But if you’re getting into these smaller items that have a higher profits on them, because…

Melissa: Your knob is worth $300.

Rob: Exactly. Adam’s probably talking about appliances there, you know, maybe anywhere from 5 to 10 years old and people have one thing goes bad on it and Adam’s got the replacement for it for a good price underneath what it would be for a retail price, if they had to go and order it from Whirlpool.

Melissa: And half the time you can’t find them anymore because they’re older.

Rob: Exactly. Exactly. So that’s a great, great piece of advice, Adam. I love that, that you’re actually thinking [00:09:00] outside the box and you’re making some great money on smaller items, but higher profit, smaller items. So that’s awesome. Great tip.

Adam: Yeah, it’s kind of enabled me to, to also limit the amount of time you spend listing and cleaning up some of those older items. And so now with the appliances, if I’m going to sell it and flip the larger cooktop or a full range, I pretty much will, I want to make sure they’re in good condition when I buy them. So I still go for that, whatever profit I want to make, you know, 10 times profit is kind of what I look for, based on your advice.

But if it’s going to take me five or six hours to clean up that older thing, it’s, it’s just, doesn’t become worth it. So I’ll just part it out, it’s easier to just tear it down. I can do that in an hour. I can tear down range an hour and, you know, to spend less time on it. I don’t know if that makes sense.

Rob: It does. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Categorize it and take it that tear down. There’s only so many pieces to these, these appliances that you’re working with. You, you know, you have wires, you have boards, you [00:10:00] have knobs. So there’s only so many pieces that are really worth the money to flip. And it’s another point to it that you didn’t even say you, once you do it, you tear it down.

You can get rid of the big components. You’re not even storing that stuff. You take it to the scrap yard. You throw it away, whatever you do. So it is a lot easier in some aspects to do that. So, yeah. That’s awesome. I love how your brain’s thinking and working this whole, this whole process out. Cause you’re doing yeah, you’re doing amazing. So I’m super excited.

Melissa: That’s funny.

Adam: That’s another fortunate thing is my local community has a waste diversion center where I can recycle all the other components for free. I just dropped them off, you know, all the big metal components. So that’s, that’s worked out really well.

Rob: I love it. I love it. That is that’s amazing.

Melissa: So if you have to reflect all the way back for this last year, I think it’s awesome that you’ve only been at it for a year. What would you say are a couple of things that have contributed to your finding success, maybe like habits?

Rob: Great question.

Adam: That’s a good question. I think [00:11:00] just kind of the discipline of, of even though when you’re tired and, and, and don’t want to go out to the garage and tear down a range or whatever, just making sure I, you know, you set goals of, I want to list one item per day. That’s one thing the group has been really helpful with holding me accountable. We have a lot of challenges in the group, you know, we have the 30-day listing challenge, so that sticks in my head. I’m like, well, I got it. I don’t want it, but okay. I gotta go out and do that cause I want to be able to post in the group that I made my listing for the day. Staying positive too, because there are challenges that have come up this year where, you know, for example, I had someone return a thousand dollar cooktop.

They returned a different one than I had sent them. And, you know, they had, you know, it was a big scam. They were trying to, you know, it was fraudulent of course. And that was really stressful because it was, you know, I had paid the shipping. I had had to pay for them to ship it back to me cause I, [00:12:00] and so there was a lot of money on the line.

So working through that, staying positive, knowing that everything can be kind of figured out and like it’ll work out, in the right way in the end. That’s not really a habit though. You can take that part out.

Rob: But it’s good. No, no, no, I like that. That’s good. That’s honest. We’re working through a return right now, and that’s one of the things that people, it does happen. There’s bad parts to business. There are, there are bad parts that you do not want to deal with. And we’re doing the same thing right now and you have to figure out the best way to do it, the best way to do it ,the best way to work it. And then you learn from every single situation.

So even that return that you did, I guarantee you learn some stuff out of that return that you’re not going to do the next time around. You’re going to do it differently. So sometimes, I mean, we call it. It’s not our coined phrase, but stupid tax to where you maybe acted quick out of something or you did something you learn from that, and I do the same thing every time I have something like this happens and you learn for the next [00:13:00] situation, how to handle it better.

Melissa: To know is that those things they don’t happen very often. Unfortunately, that’s what keeps people from doing a reselling side hustle, because they’ll think, oh, I don’t want you know, to lose money on returns, but like that’s the first return we’ve had in a year and a half.

Rob: Yeah.

Melissa: You’re going to have that part of business in any business you do.

Rob: And I’m sure you’re the same way as a $1,000 cooktop, if you’re making $5,000 $7,000 a month, you’re not dealing with these all the time.

Same with us. We’ve made probably $150,000 and ours was the same thing. A thousand dollars. A $1,300 that we’re dealing with. And we’ll come out okay with ours because I’ll have insurance claim on it because it was damaged. But at the same time, it’s just a little bit of red tape that you have to go through.

So, I think that’s great advice for people listening. This is not all hunky-dory. You still will have to work in there’s some, some situations that will come up. It’s how you shine through those situations and how you learn from them.

Adam: Yes. Yeah. I would agree with that. That maybe the discipline or the habit there is just treating each situation as a, as a learning. You know, really, [00:14:00] since I’m in my first year, It’s really, I’ve done a lot of stuff like that, where I’m going to just going to try this because I want to learn what it’s like. You know, I want to learn how to do this. I obviously, I didn’t try to do a return or a, a scam, but,

Rob: You learn how to handle it though. You learned that it is, that stuff happens. Not that often. Trust me. I’ve never had,

Melissa: I’ve never heard that with that big of a cooktop.

Rob: No.

Adam: It was a pretty gutsy move by them to return a completely different, it was the same model. Thankfully, I, I had taken pictures of the serial number and those were in the posting and, you know, we had to go, I had to go through the whole thing of filing a police report and all of that.

And eBay did refund me. I did, I do think the buyer did probably, he got refunded automatically, you know, when, when he returned the thing. So, I don’t know if he got flagged in the eBay system or not, and taken out, but they did refund me as well after I filed the police report and gave them the evidence. It all worked out in the end, you know, it was, you know.

Rob: And that’s, [00:15:00] that’s a good lesson. It’s a good lesson. You might’ve done a couple of things different than you did, but you had the proof that it was a different cooktop that he returned. You filed a police report, you got to the end of it. And you got your money back on the situation, on the, on the sale. Trust me, it’s a headache, but everything is a learning experience. So like I said, you probably would do a couple things different or you probably know next time it happens.

Melissa: But he had the pictures that was a big part of it.

Rob: Exactly, it’s huge to be able to have that. So, no, I, I kudos to you. I think that’s awesome.

And you’re in your first year. A lot of people will roll over when something like this happens and go, oh, I’m outta here. I’m not flipping anymore. I can’t do it when this is the result. And, it doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen sometimes. You have to be able to roll with the punches.

You have to learn from it and you have to move forward. So, that’s awesome that that’s, that’s your mindset and that’s where you’re at right now. I, yeah, I applaud you for sure.

Adam: Yeah. I did feel that way that week, you know, I had several returns that we could, another damaged cooktop and it was, it was pretty low point and it was thanks to the group too, you know, Stacy,I don’t know if I can [00:16:00] say her name on this public… Stacy really helped me through both of those events. And if it weren’t for the group, I think, you know, I really would have considered like, maybe this isn’t for me, but yeah, she really supported me a lot of time on Facebook messenger. Like, this is how you do that.

This is, you know, this is what you should do, a lot of great advice. So, I’m Immensely grateful for not only Stacy but the whole group too on getting through stuff like that.

Rob: Good, and

Melissa: something to say about having a like mind, like just encouraging people to do it at the same time. So when you do something like that, or have something like that happen, then you do have people alongside of you and you can figure it out.

Rob: And some of you guys not know the group he’s talking about. We actually have Flipper University. We have a core members, a members group Flipping For Profit, that everybody who goes through our university, we have a free members only group, and that’s what he’s talking about. We have close to a thousand people in there. Like-minded people that do exactly this, [00:17:00] they’re flippers. So it’s really, really cool just to be able to interact and I’m sure there’s other groups out there like this, guys. Well, ours, isn’t the only one, but get involved in one, if you can. That’s, that’s one of those things is being around like-minded people who can help you. You know, we have all different stages in our group, people that are just starting, and then professional flippers, like us, that are doing it full time. So you have great advice from everybody, which is awesome.

Melissa: Yeah, so let us know what is one of your more memorable flips aside from maybe that cooktop?

Adam: Let me see. More memorable flips. I think you guys have asked me this question before, too. I don’t know that this is a great one for me, because everything seems so boring. You know, it’s all like,

Rob: Yeah, maybe a high profit, one of your highest profit flips. That, I mean, that’s what sticks out to me when I think about stuff.

Adam: Well, I think you guys both know about this one, but, one of, one of a more recent one that was really fun is I picked up a cooktop for a hundred dollars on a [00:18:00] Sunday afternoon. And it was in great shape, hardly had any use. I, I brought it home, wiped it down, took my 12 photos, posted it on eBay. It sold the next morning for $1,300. I shipped it out like two days later. So like turning around $1,200. Well, it wasn’t all $1,200 profit, but turning that around, within like a couple of days, it was pretty amazing. That was one of my fastest flips I’ve ever seen.

Rob: I love it. That is a great one. And it is memorable that when you make those flips, yeah. You’re, you’re proud of yourself. I mean, you found a good deal you got it on, you gave somebody else a really good deal for the cooktop. So, no, that’s awesome. I love it. And yeah, cooktops, are they’re a lot of fun you, if you know what you’re doing, and you find those right cooktops to flip, you can make some serious, serious money as Adam’s showing us right now, for sure.

Melissa: If you had to have, like, if you wanted to give a tip or two, like for somebody just getting started in this, like what would be like one thing that you maybe wish you would’ve known when you first started that like, [00:19:00] okay that you would give to somebody?

Adam: A good tip, I think it just, you know, find the reseller community online, whether that be Flipper University and the group that we’re in or whatever it is. There’s so many resources out there available for free to get you going. That would be my first bit of advice, beyond the standard of, you know, start with stuff that’s in your house and that will help you learn the process of eBay or whatever platform you’re using to sell on. And it’s low, really low risk. And then, but finding that online community of support. It is priceless. It’s gonna, they’re going to help you through everything from listing to shipping, to dealing with difficult customers or difficult returns and, all of that stuff. So, that would be my, if someone’s serious about it and really wants to do it, it’s find the community.

Melissa: Awesome.

Rob: That is great advice because it is, it’s not, you’re not doing this alone. And you’ve learned that. When you have people around you who are there to [00:20:00] build you up, when you’re having that bad day of, hey I had a return or even a bad week of I had a couple returns and I’m trying to figure out what’s the best, what’s the next step in these returns, you have those people around you that are building you up and helping you stay focused and work through these situations. So you get past them, you get through them and then you just can keep going on. So a community is a huge thing and that’s really cool that you’ve seen that.

Because it does, it helps a ton in this business, if you have the like-minded people around you. For sure. So a great, great tip. Great advice for sure.

Melissa: I’m not sure if we asked this though, before, what are your major platforms that you’re selling on?

Adam: Pretty much, I would say 90% on eBay. I do sell a little locally off of Facebook Marketplace so or OfferUp, and that’s mostly items I don’t want to ship, or it’s just easier to flip locally. So yeah, 90, 90%, 95% on eBay.

Melissa: Yeah. That’s about ours, same.

Rob: Awesome, same as us. Yeah. eBay’s our main go just because of the people that it reaches, that’s it. And then local. So awesome. Well, [00:21:00] Adam, thank you so much for jumping on here and giving us all this great information. You are, you know, you are, you’re a year into it, but you have so much wisdom and knowledge in that year.

I’m super excited to watch your, your journey unfold, and all the flips that you’re gonna make in the next year. So. Congratulations. Thank you so much for, just giving, everybody, some great, great tips and some great advice on how to, how to further their reselling business. So thank you, thank you.

Melissa: Thank you.

Adam: Thanks Rob and Melissa. It was great to be on. Thanks for all you’ve done for me too.

Rob: Of course, of course. All right. Have a great day, Adam. Thank you so much.

Yup. Thanks guys. Bye.

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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.

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