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GOLD! How I earned money (hustle arbitrage) to start a real business.

Discussion in 'Hustles, Freelancing, Bootstrapping' started by B_Mac, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. B_Mac
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    B_Mac Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    TL;DR Buy stuff. Sell stuff.

    I've seen some posts on here and other places saying something like "I don't have the money to put into my idea right now," or "If only I had $XX,XXX I could get going."

    I understand. I've been there myself. So I thought I'd share how I turned $500 into $40,000 in just 8 months (I swear I'm not selling anything.).

    I've been flipping all my life, started in 6th grade with War Head suckers. Buy a five pack for 55 cents and sold for a quarter each at school. Every day before different classes, I had a small line going. I felt like a king.

    Off and on through the years, I kept it up, selling anything I thought I could make money on. I also always had being an entrepreneur in back of mind, action faked a few times and made $0. Went back to flipping and made decent cash.

    In April, read TMF, and decided to get my sh*t together. Decided to start looking for where I could add some value and also flipping to get some cash going that I could put toward any ideas I had later. Also decided to do it without taking anything out of my bank accounts. So, I sold a bunch of stuff I had laying around the house, put together about $500, and went to work on Craigslist, Offerup, Letgo, ebay, yard sales, flea markets, and anywhere else people sell junk.

    I would buy and sell just about anything. Not an exhaustive list, I sold:
    -Camping / Hiking equipment (backpacks, stoves, tents, etc)
    -Video game systems, games, and accessories (controllers, memory cards for older systems)
    -Collectible bells
    -DVDs (Not recommended)
    Underwear (New, about 60 packs of compression drawers from Goodwill. However, in my travels around the internet, I also learned that used underwear sales is a thing. I did not participate in that niche.)
    -Cell phones (made ALOT of money here, especially around product launches. iPhone 11 coming out? Used iPhone 8s can be had relatively cheap)
    -Baby items (At my local Goodwills, Target donates new in box stuff, I could usually get it for 50% retail and sell for 75-80% retail in a day or two)
    -Printers
    -4 wheelers
    Alot of other things, but you get the point.

    Just as important as the what, is the how:

    First, buy something.

    - Pick a site (i.e. craigslist).

    - Go through listings. Every single one that falls into your spending budget. Many people concentrate on things they "know." I am not an expert on most of the things I sold. You don't need to be. You DO need to be diligent in the next few steps.

    - Find something with sh*tty pictures and terrible description. Or something that stands out to you. Look for the same thing in other craigslist ads, look for it on offerup, on ebay sold listings.

    - You need to form an idea of what you could get for this thing and where you would sell it to get that much. Sometimes your local craigslist will be better and sometimes ebay will be better. I live in an area near the Appalachian trail. So hiking things came up for sale all the time, and prices were always low. Those things went for MUCH higher on ebay.

    -Text the person. Start with any questions you have. Might throw in "Why are you selling." Could gauge how quickly they want to sell.

    - This is the part MANY struggle with. You know what you can get for it, now you need to buy right to make a profit. How? NEGOTIATE. HARD. But with kindness. With kindness? What? Let me explain. I bought a used iphone 6. Had it list for whatever amount. Girl on facebook messaged me an offer of 1/2 my asking. I responded, simply, no thanks. She responded with well how much. I gave my original asking price. I wasn't budging. She sent me back something snotty and I blocked her. NO ONE responds to you if you belittle their stuff.

    So how do you get it? With kindness. I'll give you an example. Guy on facebook was selling a brand new with tags 75L Osprey backpack for $175. A good deal already. I sent him a message saying I could do $75 today. He said no I can't go that low. Told him I understood, it was a great bag and worth what he was asking, but I've got $75. If you change your mind, let me know. He said ok.

    10 minutes later he messaged me. "I'm tired of people not showing up. If you are at this address at this time, I'll take $75." I was there on time, got a great bag for $75. Sold it for $225 cash in about a week.

    Now you bought something, time to sell it.

    - Take a TON of pictures. Every angle, inside and out, imperfections if they exist.

    - You should already know where you are selling. Start a listing. Title should grab their attention. "Hiking backpack." = sucks. "BRAND NEW Osprey 75L Volcano Red Backpack" = good.

    - Body should be exciting. Just putting the details of the backpack is OK, but you can do better. I put a picture in their mind. "Spend any time on a trail with serious backpackers, and you will see hundreds of Ospreys. Padded waist belt supports the weight. AirFlow technology keeps your back cool as you push hard on a summer day." You get the point.

    - Give your phone number if the platform permits it. Answer calls and texts. You will get spam calls. You will get stupid low ball offers (don't be mad, you were doing it too). You will get trade offers. Don't discount those, I've made some decent trades and ended up with more money than I otherwise would have.

    - Stay patient. If you have a good price on a good product, hold out for the price. You don't have to take the first offer that comes along. If you hold an item for a while without selling, then you can accept a lower price and move on.

    - Be on time to your transactions. Be courteous. Be professional. You will hear sob stories. People say they don't have much / leaving abusive relationships, etc. You are not a charity. Tell them you hate to hear about their woes. Then remind them of how much they owe you. Be able to make change. No one carries cash. Everyone goes to the ATM before coming to see you and they receive $20s. If you are selling for $50, you will need a $10 to make change. I guarantee it.

    Why be on time and professional and have change ready? Because at the end of the deal, let people know you buy and sell things for people. Ask if they are selling anything else. Ask if they are looking for anything. Try to find out their budget. Come in under their budget and you have another sale. I've had plenty of people call me and offer me great items at low prices because they know I will show up, with cash, and I am normal (more or less) and they don't want to deal with all the weird sh*t craigslist people have going on.

    One thing to add. Be prepared to travel to get stuff. If you stay local only, you are limiting yourself badly. I traveled from Richmond to Atlanta to Jacksonville to Charlotte, Asheville and everywhere in between buying and selling. You will need to learn a little logistical planning to achieve your best results. Set stuff up along your path. Like I said about the hiking stuff in my area, something cheap in one place might be a hot commodity in another.

    A little about luck.

    You have to make your own. I have a full time job. A wife and 5 year old twins. I work 8-10 hours a day, sleep for 7. I spent every free second I had looking for things to buy and posting things for sale. No TV, no other BS.

    To be totally honest with you, $500 to $40k in 8 months probably won't happen for most people, and I doubt I could replicate it. It did happen to me for a few reasons. Partly, because I have been doing it for awhile. But also because I was spending so much time in the resale world, that I found myself in a situation for a great opportunity, that I capitalized on.

    Between April and October, I had turned the $500 into about $13k. Below is how I went from $13k to $40k with one item.

    I live in a small, country town. I would occasionally attend auctions. There was an auction for the estate of a doctor who had passed away. There would be a huge collection of old guns, arrowheads, Civil war currency, and gold and silver coins.

    I have spent significant time studying coins, so I thought I'd go. I am milling around, looking at some coins, and get to a gold coin. It is a St. Gaudens double eagle. Its in a little coin holder marked 1927. A 1927 double eagle is worth slightly more than the price of gold. I start to look the coin over, and realize it is a 1927 S double eagle. My heart skips about 4,000 beats. My hands are shaking. I have a million thoughts running through my mind. Two main thoughts are "Does anyone else know what I know?" and "Is this thing real?" Understandable if you don't get what any of this means. Take a minute to look up the difference between a 1927 and 1927 S double eagle.

    I have all of my $13k with me. I get a drink and step outside to take a minute to collect myself. After 20 minutes. I decide I am willing to bid up to $7k on this thing. Bunch of other stuff sells.

    We get to the coin. Honestly, my heart was pounding as the bidding started. Someone goes $1,000. Someone else $1,100. A third $1,200. Around and around. Up to $2,000. Bidding has slowed. $2,400. I jump in for $2,500. Another guy is hanging with me. $3,000. My heart is pounding harder. $4,000. I know he knows and he knows I know. $5,000. f*ck, this guy is a dealer and I can't roll with him. Back and forth, and I bid $6,000. He looks at the auctioneer. Shakes his head no. I think he is lying and will jump back in. I know I am ready to go another thousand. Auctioneer starts his countdown and tries to get the guy to jump back in. He doesn't bid and I take the coin for $6,000. Holy sh*t. I bought some other coins, spending about $12k that day. I am nervous.

    I have it authenticated by a local dealer. I begin shopping it around for sale. Go to Asheville,NC. Down to Charleston. A few offers, very low. Most people say I don't have a customer who can afford such a coin. I visit Nashville to look at some stuff. Visited a coin shop and got an offer on the coin. Consign it to the owner, who says he has a buyer. We do a little paper work and I head home. A few days later, he calls me. SOLD! After his cut, I take home $34k.

    I got lucky here, to be honest. The auction house didn't know what they had. They didn't advertise it at all. Most Appalachian folks don't have more than $6k sitting around to drop on a coin. The likelihood that such a thing happens again is LOW. And while I was lucky, I also created my own luck by being in the right place at the right time.
     
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  2. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    My favorite post on this forum! :thumbsup:

    Okay, a few questions:

    1. How do you find auctions? Do you usually type on Google, “local auctions?”

    2. When selling on eBay, do you mail out the items to the customer? (Obviously I think yes but never understood selling used stuff on eBay.)

    3. As I’m working on my current project, I was wondering to myself... how can I make extra income? Should I start on the Craigslist platform first? Or letgo? I’m in NYC by the way.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  3. B_Mac
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    B_Mac Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Glad you could get some use.

    1. To find auctions, I recommend auctionzip.com. You can sort by "normal" auctions, foreclosures, storage, etc. They usually have pictures, but not always great.

    2. Yes, I mailed out my items. I always used Buy it Now instead of auction format. I used slow mail on most things, but occasionally got requests for expedited shipping. Not related, but to help on costs, start looking for boxes. Once you get going, you will notice them everywhere. Free is cheaper than buying them. Most people are glad to let you take whatever you want. You can print shipping labels through ebay and its (a little) cheaper.

    However, ebay and paypal charge fees, so thats cuts down your profit. Just figure fees into your decision of where to post.

    3. I noticed that every area had a preferred platform, or some that just had no life to them. For example, craigslist may be hot in one city and but nothing but junk in another. Also, some categories may be hot on one platform and slow on others, even in the same city. An example of that would 4 wheelers are huge on my local craigslist, but you can't find a 4 wheeler on letgo locally. I couldn't give you good advice on what will work for NYC, as I have no experience there. I would go through every platform for buying and selling when you start. You will learn what your market wants, and can back away from a platform if it doesn't work for you. For me, I noticed that letgo was nearly useless locally (small town) but when I got into larger cities, had better experiences on letgo.

    You may find you can do well staying in New York without traveling like I did. And may find that boroughs or parts of the same borough prefer different platforms.

    Final thought. I enjoy working with furniture, but most of what I had access to was mid range at best. NYC strikes me as a place that amazing furniture could be had for cheap, because it can be such a headache to move and people with more money will let headaches go for cheap. If you have a way to move it, you might explore that. Here is a website that throws out some places that may be useful to you if you want to explore furniture at all. 9 Websites To Buy And Sell Used Furniture That Aren't Craigslist
     
  4. minivanman
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    minivanman Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    We rarely go these days but we both love auctions. The wife used to buy jewelry at auctions and sell what she bought at the museum to other ladies in the office. She also used to do this with jewelry from ebay that she would buy. She loves doing it and they love buying it. She had these pearls that she bought for $5 on ebay (free shipping), one of the ladies on the board at the museum said she would give her $200 for them.... SOLD!! There is a film maker from NYC that goes to the museum every couple of months and the 1st place he heads is to her office to see if she has any jewelry because his wife and daughter love it.

    I used to flip all kinds of things.... it's fun! But a guy told me this, so that is when I got in to the appliance business. I was making $3-$11-$75..... he said you can sell 10 things at $10 profit and make $100 or you can sell one high ticket item for $100 profit and make $100. So after debating with myself if I actually wanted to have a real business again or not, I woke up one morning when the wife was gone out of town and when she came back, I had bought a washer & dryer ($150)..... her words were..... "Not again.....". These days she doesn't mind and actually keeps my books for me. $50k is an easy year in this business, I'm thinking I want to double that for 2018 just to show people it can be done. But if it gets to be too much of a pain in the a$$, I will go back on cruise control.

    Furniture is a great thing to sell. My friend and her husband actually bought a different house so she can have more room to buy and sell furniture. She likes tables and chairs. She doesn't do much work to them, maybe clean and spend a few minutes making it look good. If she buys it with a broke knob, she cleans it, makes it look way better, takes great pictures and sells it with the same broken knob. Just be sure to tell people if something is broken.
     
  5. B_Mac
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    B_Mac Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Auctions can be a good place to buy something. But you can also get caught up and go way overboard. Good auctioneers make the auction exciting, and the desire to not lose can set in, making you spend way more money. Go enough, and you will find yourself rationalizing just one more bid.

    I agree that high profit / high dollar items are way better than a dollar or two profit. Starting out, if I didn't expect to make at least $20 profit, I didn't touch it. Over time, I raised that to $50. Still too low for some, but I was going after as much money as I could make without wasting time.

    I never went into appliances. I felt like there was good money there but I was unsure if I would have the mechanical and electrical skills needed without sinking alot of time into learning. What was the learning curve like for you? Do you focus on older models without all the electrical components of more modern machines?
     
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  6. minivanman
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    minivanman Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    At first I was just buying from Craigslist, cleaning them up a little, spray a little paint on the scratches and sell. I learned a little about the old washers.... it's not too hard to change a lid switch. Now it's a little different. I have a guy that works on them for me and 2 people that sell them. We only sell the newer type matching sets (no front loads). I do not sell just a washer or just a dryer because that doesn't make me enough profit. I turn those sales down every day. We have better sets than most large appliance stores. I don't think I've had a buyer yet that has not said, "Wow! These look like they are new!". I've found a way to make them look better than when they came from the factory. So as far as a learning curve to repair them, it didn't take long with the older sets. If it was major I didn't bother. The bad thing about Craigslist is that every washer and dryer set on there works PERFECT according to the owner..... until you get it home and find all the things wrong with it. On the newer sets I couldn't stay at their house an hour to let the washer go through all the cycles so I had to wing it for awhile.
     
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  7. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Cool. Thanks for the useful tips.

    I have a few embarrassing questions.

    After I read your thread, I went to CL to find some stuff to buy and flip.

    However, one person asked me a question I didn't know how to answer.

    Look here:

    [​IMG]
    I admit, I copied the words from your post because I believe they work.

    Did I get too crazy with my asking price? The original price she was selling for was: $125.00

    I offered $55. Too low?

    Another seller got mad/insulted when I offered $400 for his MacBook Air.

    [​IMG]

    I kinda laughed to myself how blunt he was lol.

    All in all, is there a right way to approach these sellers? Or do I keep negotiating?

    Also, is it all right I buy stuff from Groupon and then resell on Craigslist? For example, lets say I buy a knife set for $15.00 but sell for $50.00? Am I outrageously making these prices too high?

    I was also considering buying electronics from amazon then reselling on CL for a profit. Let me know, thanks. By the way, this is fun.

    P.S. Sorry if it seems like I'm hijacking the thread. Just some questions I'd like answered.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  8. B_Mac
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    B_Mac Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    No worries, hopefully I can help get you going on this.

    For the first person, what do you think you could ultimately get out of the item? I'd like to see the whole chat history you have with the person, to see how you started out. If you cut way too much, they may not be inclined to sell. My response would be something like "Wasn't trying to be rude or anything, $55 is just what I am able to do right now." Then leave it at that. I've had people come back a day later, a week later, a month later and say come get it if I'm still interested.

    For the Macbook. You will have some people who get insulted. But if you led with hey "Ill give you $400 today", most people will peg you as someone who is just trying to flip, and will get pissed. Some people want to feel like you are a real person, and will have a problem thinking someone will make money off them. Also, I think you may have negotiated too low on the macbook. Higher priced items come with a lower % profit but overall dollar value is higher. Look back at what @minivanman said about higher ticket items. If the macbook is worth $800, try $650 (not on this guy though, you're not getting anywhere with him now.)

    Most of my exchanges went something like this:

    Me - Hello, do you still have the macbook for sale?
    Them - Yeah
    Me - Everythings works? Keyboard is good? Screen cracked?
    Them - Its in great condition
    Me - You have the charging cord?
    Them - No
    Me - Dang. I really need the charging cord, expensive to buy another.
    Them - Our cat ate it about 3 months ago, been dead ever since.
    Me - The cat or the computer? I'd really like to get it, any way you could take $650 for it.
    Them - HAHA, the computer. But no, it goes for $950 new. Charging cord is only $50.
    Me - I understand. It looks like its in great condition, and I think you can get $800 for it if you hold onto it. $650 is just what I've got right now. Just let me know if that would ever work for you.


    Maybe I should have said this in my original post (it was long enough) but you won't get every single thing you ask about. Not even close. Lots of no. Once you get a no, move on. They may come back, they may not. Doesn't matter. Don't get stuck on a single thing. There are a TON of things for sale.

    And don't expect to make a profit every single item either. I've bought things that I broke even on and lost money on. It'll happen. You learn from that, and either don't buy it again or buy lower next time.

    On the groupon to CL thing. I never tried that. No idea if it would work. If the same knife set is selling on CL for $50, you might have something. What does that set go for on eBay sold listings? People won't buy just because you are selling, its got to be a useful item for them and at a reasonable price.

    You'll be slow starting out, that's just how it goes.

    I think Amazon to CL would be hard. Most people are just going to buy from Amazon instead of paying you more for it. I never say never though. My product mix was probably 95% used 5% new.
     
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  9. minivanman
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    minivanman Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Back in the day I used to get some very good deals on high priced items. If someone was selling a washer & dryer on CL for $650 and I knew all I could get was $650 then I would low ball them. Why not? It's the only chance I have at getting it. I'd just say.... I don't mean to give you a low price but all I have for your washer and dryer is $300. I can pick up anytime you want. I've got some great deals go my way.

    I don't remember the exact prices now but I got a heck of a deal on one. He wanted like $800 for the set, I offered $300. He said no. And like above, I said if you can't sell it just let me know. Thank you and good luck on your move. 2 weeks later he contacted me and said he would take $300..... now I have him over a barrel hehehehehehe..... I said, "Oh dang, yesterday was my grandson's birthday and we spent some of the washer and dryer money on him. I have $250 and I can come pick it up right now". He said to come get it. I wiped it off and sold it like 2 days later for I think $600-$800.

    By the way, I never lie. All I had for that washer to begin with was $300.... I never said that's all the money I have, I said all I have for your washer and dryer. And, we did spend $50 of my washer & dryer money that night, I just hadn't replaced it in the correct envelope yet.... I'm never too quick to replace money in the BUY envelope just for such a reason.

    Buy it on Groupon and sell it where ever you can for as much as you can.... it's the American way!!! Isn't it beautiful? Buy it for $15 and sell it for $115 if someone wants to buy it!!
     
  10. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Awesome, solid post. Lol at the dead cat haha.

    For the first seller, I started off with:

    “Hey I can give you $55 today. Let me know why you’re selling it.”

    After that she posts what you see in the screenshot.

    I feel stupid but I wrote her I need it for a gift for Christmas and it’s all I have right now. She said she’s not a charity/donation but can text her back with a better offer. I don’t want to spend anything over $55 for that coat... so I’m gonna pass.

    For the groupon to CL thing, on Groupon there’s a smartwatch for sell at $18.

    I checked eBay for they same smartwatch and it sells for $60.

    If I buy 5 watches at $18, total is: $90

    Sell each watch for $60, profit is $210.00.

    In the end, is this viable? Also, there’s a market on letgo and CL, so the demand is there. I just want some opinions before buying these watches or anything on Groupon to sell on CL.

    Also you’re right, a lot of the seller ads are horrible, bad pictures and bad descriptions/benefits. I can outperform them by making my ads more attractive/professional.

    Thanks for the feedback/advice.
     
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  11. minivanman
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    minivanman Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    For every item you ever want to buy......

    Just because it is for sale for $x amount does not mean it will sell for $x amount. I have my van for sale for $100,000 to the first person that wants to buy it. That doesn't mean I will sell it for that much.
     
  12. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    Excellent post, marked NOTABLE.

    Just an FYI, everyone thinks their sh*t is worth more than it actually is.

    Sometimes it's just downright amusing. Yet, sad.

    I don't care if you paid $399 at Costco 2 years ago, it's not worth $350 now you sh*t-stain.
     
  13. Argue
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    Argue Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I needed these words of encouragement. :)
     
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  14. HustleHard
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    Hopefully this can help some people out...

    Help Each Other Reach Our Dreams

    Appliance Flipping

    https://recraigslist.com/2013/03/10-best-things-to-buy-and-sell-on-craigslist/

    https://recraigslist.com/2011/10/i-earn-my-entire-living-on-craigslist-ask-me-almost-anything/

    The Craigslist Hustle- Tax Evasion at its Finest!

    Flipping Appliances for Profit

    Check out this guy's you tube chanel

    View: https://youtu.be/yxckW-eUJEc


    Mikeyjd's Appliance Sales and Repair Journey

    Make a Modest Living or Side Cash Buying and Selling Used Appliances

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.th...-used-appliances-one-man-makes-2000-week/amp/

    http://hustlerskungfu.com/how-to-make-a-million-dollars-a-year-on-craigslist/

    https://appliantology.org/blogs/entry/972-servicing-vs-appliance-sales-i-may-have-found-an-answer/

    If you really get into selling used appliances, Google wholesale used appliance warehouse and buy them in bulk to resale. Get them delivered or rent a Uhaul truck and pick them up.

    http://nmbwholesale.com/wholesale-appliances/ Example

    Below I will copy and paste an email exchange I had with a very successful used appliance dealer...



    Hi my name is Adam and I'm interested in the used appliance business, if you could answer a few questions for me when it is convenient for you I would really appreciate it. I live in the south east so no worries about competition.

    I would have messaged you on appliantology but it seems they won't let me without a subscription. Anyway it seems from reading a couple posts by you in the fast lane forum that you took the appliance school training program by Ryan from recraigslist.

    Did that program really seem to help you and would you recommend I look into that for myself?

    Do you know if I could join the forum at applianceschool even without a subscription to the program?

    When first starting out would you recommend concentrating mostly on selling washers and dryers or do you think stoves and fridges are worth doing as well?

    Where do you get your appliances for resale from? Mainly craigslist and offerup? Or appliance wholesale warehouses? Contracts with appartment complexes for their used units? Other?

    When you first started out where did you store your inventory?

    Do you think now that you have a shop you'll be able to make a lot more sales as opposed to just selling on craigslist and offerup?

    Do you think that you close a lot more sales by offering a warrenty as opposed to if you didn't offer one?

    Have you thought about renting out your appliances in addition to selling them?

    Do you think adding a service division to your business would be profitable?

    Did you first start out selling appliances under the table for cash and then eventually register your business as an LLC or other structure?

    When you deliver appliances on your own and have to deliver up or down stairs do you use a stair climbing dolly such as one of these below?

    http://www.m3-shs.com/product-line.html. looks like some really nice ones here

    http://m.northerntool.com/products/...MjkOyCV5L7lR6NNTsZtAEDvDs5yusR1Ub3RoCDG3w_wcB

    Any other tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!



    His answer:


    The program is a very good baseline. A lot of the material is covered in his blog (maybe 70%), but there's some good stuff in the material. I think it's easily worth the nominal $100 cost considering how lucrative this business can be. You're likely to cover it in the first week just based on time savings if you value your time at $20/hour. The forum is probably the most valuable part of the membership and is for members only as far as I know.

    I think it's easier to get started with washers and dryers from a refurbishing standpoint, mainly because the Whirlpool direct drive system is so plentiful and easy to master. I started on stoves and fridges by flipping working ones. You can make a lot of money by just cleaning/transporting them.

    I started getting everything on Craigslist. Now I only search specific machines off craigslist. I have an app that searches for stainless ones (along with specific niche vehicles I like to flip). I mostly buy from a few wholesale relationships I've cultivated along with a network of about a dozen scrappers that bring stuff to my shop.

    I started out in a single bay of my dad's pole barn. I spent about 6 months leasing his 3 car garage at $300 per month. After that, I rented several storage units before we got our current shop location.

    The shop has made a difference in sales, but I think it's mainly because we're able to process a lot of units compared to when we were in a smaller location. I think I could do the same thing out of a pole barn if the location was convenient enough for people.

    The warranty has been very key in landing several of my largest repeat customers. I have one account that's purchased $25k worth in the last 18 months and it's hard to say if they would have been willing to even give me a chance without the warranty being involved.

    I've considered a rental program and even had a proposal drawn up for a larger client who owns roughly 25 rentals. In the end, my monthly price was higher than what he wanted to pay. I'd be willing to do it, but the terms have to make sense.

    I advertise in home repairs and service. It makes up about 10% of my business, which is how I prefer it. I clear about $80/hour including drive time on my service calls, whereas I'm netting closer to $120/ on my sales. The service business, in large part only exists, to support the sales business and increase networking.

    Originally I ran my appliances through my flooring LLC, which allowed me to take credit cards and checks immediately without worrying about text liabilities. Of course, there are always cash deals in this type of business. I currently have a separate LLC for my appliance business.

    I like to have 2 people any time an appliance is going upstairs or in a basement. You get into a lot of situations that won't allow for the use of a dolly. Unless you're a champion power lifter you're probably going to need a 2nd hand at least occasionally if you offer installation services.
     
  15. HustleHard
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  17. HustleHard
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    Good places to buy and sell, Facebook marketplace, craigslist, offerup, letgo, ebay, amazon.
     
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  18. minivanman
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    minivanman Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Just a quick note without going in to anything.... do NOT pay for any type of appliance school. I won't mention any names from above but one may be light years out of date. You can learn anything you want to learn without paying from Youtube and it will be up to date with the new type of machines.
     
  19. banjoa
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    banjoa Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Why does this kind of topic resonate with people?!

    Arbitraging.

    Because it's simple and dead straight-forward.

    There is no way you could complicate this even if you try.

    Buy stuff for a dollar, sell for two.

    I used to actively invest in stocks. But when I realized how its all the same with this, I switched.

    For one big reason:

    It all falls back to fastlane mentality - CONTROL.

    When you buy a stock for low, you are nevervous as hell.

    Why?:

    One: You don't know if your valuation analysis is right. Are you smarter than all those people selling?

    Two: You don't know what you can even sell for. or if the stock is truly mispriced. Or, if you can even sell at a profit at all.

    The market might never agree with you even if you are right.

    But with good ol' physical product arbritrage you don't have any of these problems.

    I told you, dead straight-forward.

    Buy that limited retro Chicago Bulls Jersey for $900 and sell for $2,500 on eBay.

    Buy price and sell price always can be deduced fairly accurately at any one time.

    Just focus on the margin of safety. Make the price differences larger than you think it should be.

    And the returns can be phenomenal.

    Yeah, it's pure hustle but many other money making models - even some of the more accepted business models - will envy its fast acceleration of capital (ROI wise) from a very low starting point.

    You could go literally from $1000 to $100,000 pretty quickly (not easy).

    Yeah I agree with another poster. Best thread for me on the forum.
     
  20. B_Mac
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    B_Mac Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Yeah, I don't recommend saying something that's not true (Christmas gift). Even if for no other reason than she may not contact you later. Remember, people may come back to you weeks later and say come get it. But if she thinks you wanted it for Christmas, she probably won't contact you after Christmas.

    I hesitate to tell you what to do on the Groupon thing. If eBay has SOLD listings for $60, maybe, but that doesn't mean the market won't change after you order and drop down to $15. I've had it happen to me. It looks good in theory, but it doesn't mean anything until money is in your pocket. All I can tell you is, decide if you are comfortable losing that full $90, if yes, take a chance and see what happens. If not, don't do it.

    I will add a note about my personal taste in products. Things like a macbook have a very defined market, and there isn't much pain associated with keeping it around waiting on a good price. A macbook with certain specs and a certain age is going to be worth about the same across all similar macbooks. Likewise, he may be selling just to get a larger screen or whatever, but it likely still works fine right now. So he knows its value and he isn't anxious to get rid of it because he can still get functionality out of it, so he won't come down much. .

    I liked things that were useless to someone. I used to ride through a mid sized town that was a little more than an hour from a popular place to kayak. People in the town bought kayaks thinking they would use them often. After driving an hour plus each way a few times, they were over it. Now they have this large piece of equipment sitting in their house / garage / wherever and no desire to use it. What's that? Take this thing off your hands for 1/5 of retail right now? Oh, OK. I probably picked up 20 kayaks out of that place and took them to a few other places and sold them for at least $100 profit each time.
     
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  21. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    Nice, now packed with more resources.

    Upgraded to GOLD.

    The actual cognitive bias you're dealing with...

    Endowment effect - Wikipedia

    So when looking at prices, you have to get beyond the bias, and get the decent deal.

    So you're negotiating against two items: The person, and the person's endowment effect bias.
     
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  22. minivanman
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    I travel some and I always stop in at used appliance shops. I've figured out why I sell so many so easy.... my place is so clean you could almost eat off the floor. Even over at the shop things are nice and neat for the most part. I'm in Austin this week and I went to 3 shops yesterday. Well, I attempted 3. The 1st one was so muddy in the parking lot I didn't end up going in. Even on a good day, I don't really know who would want to stop in and buy anything as the place looked almost haunted. The 2nd place was basically like a junk yard.... about the only thing better than the 1st was no mud. It was at the end of this gravel road and all rundown. The 3rd was atleast clean. Their machines were old but they did put some effort in to the operation. So the moral of the story is.... if you want to sell appliances and people are going to be coming to look at them, don't look like Fred Sanford. A clean, well kept area will make you money almost every time.

    Oh wait, I forgot about the very 1st guy I tried to go looking at his machines. He worked from his house and here is exactly what he told me.... I'd rather just send you pictures because it is really soggy here. So he sends me pictures and I reply back.... are these sitting in water? He said, "Yes, they are sitting on the side of my house in wet grass and a little water". ......LMAO what kind of sh*t is that? I didn't say that but I thought it. He wants people to pay $400 for a washer and dryer that he has outside sitting in wet grass and 2 inches of water. <<<< Don't do business like this.
     
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  23. Raoul Duke
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    @Argue

    Not to derail the thread. With my experience from buying off of craigslist or wherever. It is better not to talk price through chat. Talk price face to face. Money talks, bullshit walks. You can get a better sense of urgency from the person who is selling the item. You can play into that. How many potential buyers have actually meet the seller?
     
  24. Edwin Fernandez
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    Great post @B_Mac , I can relate to this hustle…

    Summer of 2016 while I was looking for work, I flipped furniture and appliances on Craigslist and earned $1,653 net, in like 3 months, part-time. When you are starving this is a good hustle.

    I targeted free or very low cost electric dryers and couches. I cleaned them up, made them look pretty took great pictures, and a good sales advertisement as B_Mac said. I scoured the Craigslist free section, Facebook yard sale (I used my wife's FB account for this to my advantage, think, wouldn't you rather have a hot chick show up at your door instead of some sketchy dude?, They assumed she'd show up until they saw my mug at their front door, lol, but it worked!), and lastly the good will store(s). People literally give away valuable items, and your service to them is taking this perceived trash from them and turning it into your treasure.

    I kept good records during that summer, take a look at the numbers I did in the link. ME USED Appliances
    The highest profit item sold was $230, after tipping my buddy $20 to help me out for an hour to pick up the sectional. I picked up this exact sectional for free, that was retailing for about $600, sold for $250. And the guy I sold it to was thanking me for the bargain.

    I also bought a gently used Breville 800ESXL Espresso machine at the good will store for $7 freaking bucks and sold for $190.

    Once I landed a slave job I stopped, but this is a great hustle for starting out. Although it violates the law of scale, that could be tweaked with some HR, possibly.

    Here is one advertisement I found from an old listing that netted me $190 from selling the Espresso machine mentioned above. The remainder of this post is the old Craigslist ad, hopefully it helps someone out there!

    Breville Espresso Maker - Model 800ESXL - $200
    FOR SALE:

    Breville Espresso Maker 800ESXL

    This machine is in excellent condition, it works great, and makes an amazing espresso. It can also steam the milk. This will be great for a small coffee shop or a luxurious home drinking experience.

    This comes complete with everything you see in the picture: (from the Breville website)

    -15 Bar Italian Pump
    -Purge Function: Automatically adjusts water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature
    -The Triple Prime Pump releases 3 bursts of hot water to moisten the ground coffee resulting in greater build-up to extract the fullest flavor
    --Thermoblock Heating System
    --75 Fl.oz (2.2L) removable front-fill water tank
    --Espresso machine with ThermoBlock heating system and 15-bar Triple Prime pump
    --Durable stainless-steel housing; selector dial for espresso, steam, or hot water
    --4-1/2-inch cup clearance; swivel steam wand with frother; 75-ounce removable water tank
    --Filters, tamping tool, cleaning tool, and stainless-steel frothing pitcher included
    -Measures 12 by 10 by 12-1/2 inches

    We are selling because we stopped drinking coffee and switched to Yerba Mate. We no longer use it.

    This machine retails brand new on Amazon for $340. I am asking $200 OR BEST OFFER. Thank you.
    Also, I recorded a video of this machine making a coffee as proof everything is functioning normally. I can provide the link to this video upon request.
     
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  25. minivanman
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    I've actually found a way to scale this (used appliances) and even go nation wide..... if I was younger and wanted a big business. This would be a very good thing to franchise if done correctly.
     
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