Sourcing Higher Value Inventory And Shipping By Freight

Sourcing Higher Value Inventory and Shipping By Freight: Interview W/eBay For Business Podcast

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Earlier this year we had the opportunity to go on the eBay for Business Podcast! We had a blast chatting with Griff and are going to share some takeaways from the podcast. It was fun being the ones interviewed!

Where Do You Find The Time To Grow Your Business?

It does help that there are two of us. I typically focus on the sourcing and eBay side, which I’ll do in retirement too because I love it. And Melissa focuses on the behind the scenes stuff we do such as our social media, podcast, and admin. We never really set out to be influencers, we just wanted to share our passion. We have a passion for flipping and selling on eBay so we wanted to show others how to do it so they can grow their own side hustles.

How Do You Do This With Your Kids? 

We have three kids, 11, 9 and 7 years old. They keep us busy and we do get them involved as well. All of them are excited to sell on eBay. We opened an account that we run for them, but they mostly find and sell the items and it’s been fun.

How Did You Get Started Flipping?

I’ve been reselling for 30 years. I grew up in a big family and have six older sisters. I’m the youngest and only boy and my parents’ side hustle was going to yard sales on the weekend, buying items for cheap, and selling them in the classified section for more money. I got modeled this resale business at a young age as a side hustle.

And then as eBay came out, that’s where my mom jumped into it and started selling baby clothes on eBay. And I got introduced to that when I was 16 years old. From 16 to 30-something, I did it as a side hustle and had a blast doing it. Then we jumped in full time nine years ago.

Before Melissa met me, she was riding horses, doing jumps on them, and then she got into personal training. She has a bachelor’s degree in health science. And then once we had three kids, she quit her job to stay home with them and that’s when we went all in on our eBay business. At part-time we were making $42,000 a year. In our first year with both of us flipping full-time we made $130,000.

Sourcing Higher Value Inventory and Shipping By Freight: Interview W/eBay For Business Podcast

What Were The Obstacles In The First Year?

Once it’s not your side money anymore and it’s your full time money, you have to pay bills and it’s a little more stressful. Prior to that it was always our extra money to go on vacation. We also had to learn to navigate the dynamics of working together. 

How Did You Decide To Start Coaching? 

Our friend actually was the motivator behind that. She started teaching people in 2014 how to proofread as a side hustle. And she came to the flea market with us a couple times and she loved thrifting. And she’s like, you’re good at this. You should totally teach people how to do this online. She taught us how to start a blog and we bought our domain in 2015. We offer private coaching, teaching people to do what we do and we’ve developed a large flipper community. 

How Big Is That Side Of The Business?

We spend more time doing coaching than flipping. On average, we probably spend between 5 and 10 hours a week on the flipping aspect of the business. The rest is between our kids, videos, coaching, all that other stuff, that’s where the majority of our time comes in.

How Important Is Your Social Media Following To Driving Sales?

 They’re pretty separate, actually, because we don’t do live shows. Our following really doesn’t have anything to do with our eBay sales. We’re selling more commercial equipment and stuff that people are just going on to specifically find and get shipped to them. We do higher profit items and lower volume. Last year we sold a total of around 46 items, but it was just under $100,000. Last year our average was $2,000 per item.

Sourcing Higher Value Inventory and Shipping By Freight: Interview W/eBay For Business Podcast

What Was Your Biggest Sale In The Last Year? 

A year and a half ago, I found a cruise and I brought it to Melissa like I always do. I said, hey, this looks amazing. It’s going to be an epic cruise. And she goes, okay, uh, we don’t have the money for that. So if you find something to, to flip or find the money through flipping, we could do it.

I found a TurboChef oven that a sub shop would use and it was worth $30,000 retail. I paid $150 to a guy who was redoing his commercial kitchen and I sold it for $6,200 and paid for our entire family cruise for 17 days with that one eBay flip.

When You Started Out Flipping, What Were You Selling?

When I first started flipping I was selling NordicTrack ski machines. My mom was into selling baby clothes and from there she did car seats and strollers. That’s when I jumped to exercise equipment.

I didn’t do freight shipping back in the days when I was really learning eBay. I did them locally and I made really good money doing that.

When we learned how to do freight shipping, it just opened up the doors to a massive amount of buyers that were willing to pay the money for the items.

How Do You Handle Returns With Freight Items

Typically the item has to be priced right for us to ship something freight. That means it has to be $750 at the minimum because the buyer is going to have to pay shipping as well. It has to be an item of enough value to where they’ll want to pay that shipping. 

The cool thing about high profit items is that returns aren’t the normal. When somebody spends $750, $2,000, $5,000 on an item, they’re not a tire kicker. It’s not like an Amazon buyer who’s gonna buy something and then try it out and be like I don’t like it. I want to send it back. When they’re spending that kind of money on something,typically, it’s a qualified buyer who just needs the solution to their problem.

If it was a loose wire or something that came out in shipping, having good customer service and communication can help. If you under promise and over deliver you’ll leave most people happy when they receive your item.

Show Notes

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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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