Hey everyone! Today I’ll be sharing an interview I had with Melissa Stephenson from Flea Market Flipper. We talk about how she got her start with flea market flipping and how others can get started too.
I’m really excited to share her story and tips with you since she and her husband really are experts at what they do!
If you’ve been looking for different ways to make an income from home, then I’d definitely suggest reading this interview.
While taking care of three children, Melissa and her husband, Robert, were able to make $128,548 in their first year of full-time flea market flipping! They’ve turned their side hustle into a full-time job, and they’re definitely loving it.
In this interview, she gives real advice for people who want to get a start in flipping. So definitely take notes while reading!
How to Become a Flea Market Flipper
1.So how did you and your husband first become interested in flea market flipping? What’s the background on how you guys got started?
My husband Rob is the one who first got started with flipping items. I married into it. He has been flipping items since he was 16, and used his parents’ garage to store his finds. He started with buying Nordic Tracks from the newspaper classified ads. We live in Florida and people from up north would move down to retire, and then would sell their Nordic Track because they could be outside more to exercise. He could pick them up for $15-$30 and then sell them on eBay to someone (usually up in the northern states), for $200-$300. That started his passion for flipping and it grew from there.
When I met him I didn’t quite understand what he did for a job, and now I help him with our flipping business.
2. How do you choose the items you flip?
We buy all sorts of things. One criteria is it has to make us a good profit. An item has to make us at least a $100 profit for it to be worth it for us now. There are a lot of people who sell on eBay and Amazon and sell many lower priced items. They still make some good money sometimes, but it’s a lot more work to pack and ship 50 $10 items, than 5 $100 items.
Usually our profits per item are even higher than $100. I should take an average of our sold items, but if I were to guess it would be around a $300 average per item. Another thing we look for is brand-name items. For example, there are a few high- end stroller brands that sometimes turn up at the flea market or thrift stores. If you can find brand name items, they usually sell better on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
3. What goes into the process of pricing the items you buy?
We look at what the items are selling for retail and on eBay. If we know the retail price we will price it lower than that depending on the condition of the item. If we know what things are selling for on eBay, we price it around the same or a little lower. Some of our items are more unique and may not have any competition for a little while. Those are items we tend to sit on for a little while because it takes the right buyer, but they are also the ones that usually bring us more money.
I prefer to price items a little lower and have a higher turnover, but Rob prefers to sit on it and wait until he gets the price that he wants. He does go through phases of liquidating everything, and then the prices get dropped.
4. How would you suggest someone else get started in flee market flipping? What would be some of their first steps?
We tell our Flipper University students to first look for items that they know a little about. For example, if they have young kids, they may know more about what baby and kid items are worth more money. If they love sports and the outdoors, then they know what equipment is worth more money. This goes for any hobby or interest or phase of life.
They shouldn’t limit themselves to those items because it’s fairly easy to find a price for any kind of item, but it’s a good place to start so they aren’t overwhelmed.
Another thing we recommend is to set up an eBay and PayPal account if a person doesn’t have one already. We also recommend getting one of our favorite apps called Offer Up to find great local deals.
5. How much should someone invest when they first start flipping?
One thing we love about flipping items is you can do it with a very minimal investment. Rob even wrote a short e-book on 5 Ways to Find FREE Items to Sell for Profit to show people you could do it starting with nothing. We recommend taking $20-$50 to start and find a couple items that could be sold. With that amount, a person should be able to make $150-$300. Then they keep some of it for flipping more items and continue to make their profits.
6. What’s your favorite thing about being a flee market flipper?
We love the freedom and flexibility flipping gives us. We make our own hours and are able to spend quality time with our three young kids (ages 4,3, and 1). We like exercising outdoors and usually take the kids on a walk, run, or bike ride most days as a family, which we wouldn’t be able to do weekday mornings if we had to be at a traditional job.
Robbie also LOVES the treasure hunt of finding items. He wakes up on the weekends with a little pep in his step, all ready to hit the flea market. He really gets so excited looking for new items to find for his next flip.
7. And lastly, what’s your biggest tip for potential flee market flippers?
I think the biggest tip I have would be to stay consistent. People think we find all these great deals from going to the flea market one day out of the month. The reality is Robbie is there almost every weekend, Saturday and Sunday (the kids
and I usually go on Saturday as well). Some weekends we get skunked and find nothing, and other weekends can turn out to be gold mines. It’s still only a couple hours per week that we spend finding items, but they are consistent every week.
It’s like with anything you do, if you take the time to learn and apply yourself to it, you can do well.
I hope you liked reading this interview and got a lot out of it like how I did!
When looking at her different tips, did this interest you in becoming a flea market flipper?
Make sure to check out Melissa and Robert’s site for more info on flipping!Join my Saving Money & Making Money Facebook Group