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

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Edwin Fernandez

Freedom
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Feb 7, 2018
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Can you get back into it now? Yes, the traveling can be a headache, but if you don't want to deal with large items like appliances and furniture, you don't have to. You aren't wrong for taking on a job to have consistent income, especially since you had a kid. I read the first post of your intro, what's your plan to not be like the 63 year old dude beside you who can't quit? You don't have to make this a permanent thing if you don't want to. Maybe the job pays enough to take care of your responsibilities and put something towards starting a business, but if not, I think this is a great way to get some money that can fund your "Don't be that guy" plan.

Thanks for the reply B_Mac. My momentum has been driving towards software/web stuff. I am trying to identify where I can serve people here, and I am finding a lot of great stuff in these threads. So far, I created 3 websites for friends and family who have their own hustles to help them and myself simultaneously.

However, honestly, I cannot say I have a solid plan right now, the road from where I am now to my desired destination is not really clear. My only goal is to get an actual paying client doing something by this summer. And then adapt from there. Vague as f*** I know but I am desperately working on it…


I might put in 30 hours a week and this year my taxable income will probably be $75,000 after everyone is paid and all is said and done. But, connecting this answer with what I was going to tell B Mac, I have a perfect situation and have a few things figured out that I don't think any others do. For example, I can only use a small percentage of 1 sales channel that I have because it works so well. I've figured out how to manipulate a certain social media so I can basically do what I want. I can post 80 ads a day if I want.... problem is, I do not want to hire a delivery guy so I basically can't post that many because my sales would be sky-high.... but I could if I wanted. That small percentage of my ideas to market bring in so many sales it's hard for me to keep up. And no, Craigslist is not what I'm talking about. I put about 5 ads a year on Craigslist. And no, I'm not breaking the rules on this social media platform. I actually spoke with them and they basically told me if it's working.... keep on keepin on. The reason I spoke with them is because I didn't want to be relying on this and then get booted. I also have a leg up on supply. Where lots of guys pay $70-$90+ per washer or dryer, I get them for $40-$50 each. It's really tempting to make it a big operation but I really love no stress, staying up till 2am and getting up at 11am. We don't 'need' the money.... we can only do so much with so much money, I just do it because it's fun and gives me something to do. Oh yeah, if I ever do get the wild hair to franchise this, we would add on refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers which would bring in o-so-much more profit. I actually bought a brand new refrigerator today for $400 delivered and will sell it for $900 pick up only. No type of delivery because I only lift light stuff.

@minivanman those are good numbers for ~30 hours/week.
 
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Shepherd

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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.
Color me interested if you ever have the inclination to mentor, minivanman.
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.
As a guy with a truck, storage space and a decent back, I'm really tempted to throw my hat in the ring and give this a shot. My time is at a premium, but man I see the potential and love to hustle.
 

minivanman

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You don't need a good back. I keep all the washers/dryers on blue fiberglass 4 wheel furniture dollies so they roll around where ever I want them to be. I have two 2-wheeled dollies that are perfect for the job. Most every customer comments on one dolly or the other. If they come to pick a set up, they love that I have them on 4 wheel dollies. If there are no stairs involved and I deliver, I use my $19.99 file dolly that folds up. If there are stairs involved I use the big dolly, which technically has 4 wheels but I only use 2. Either way.... no matter if they are male or female, they can buy a $499 washer/dryer set but they are usually more interested in the dollies than their washer/dryer. lol
 
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Zefty

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Feb 14, 2018
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is there a way for me to do the buying and the fliping of the product without meeting the seller or the buyer since i live in a different country ? you said i need to go and meet the seller to collect the products. is there a way around this? @B_Mac
 
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B_Mac

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is there a way for me to do the buying and the fliping of the product without meeting the seller or the buyer since i live in a different country ? you said i need to go and meet the seller to collect the products. is there a way around this? @B_Mac
Do you have a local for sale paper or website in your country? You can still meet people wherever you are. If you are trying not to meet people anywhere, I guess you could try buying and selling on eBay, although I think that’s different strategies than flipping locally.
 

Zefty

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Feb 14, 2018
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Do you have a local for sale paper or website in your country? You can still meet people wherever you are. If you are trying not to meet people anywhere, I guess you could try buying and selling on eBay, although I think that’s different strategies than flipping locally.


ok,thanks. i will try eBay.although there is a service in my country like Craigslist but am sure i will make very little profit because they will price the product really down this is why i want to do the buying and selling in a different country. i will try eBay.thanks@B_Mac
 
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Zefty

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is there a trusted service in usa that can help meet the seller (face-to-face) and verify if the product is working ok and then sell it to the buyer for me (face-to-face) while i pay the service commission ? @B_Mac

i can't find it on google
 
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LittleWolfie

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That's impressive however you couldn't have funded 50k. Everyone thinks of the 50k idea, and they don't have the funds for it, and they are right.

They can't turn 500 into 5000 or 50 into 500 or 5 into 5p though, because then they can do that first them the disruptive 50k idea. If I figured out a repeatable $5 into 50 route, I can do it ten times a week and have enough money in 2 years for the next plan. If I figured out a $500 to $5000 along the way it is even quicker.
 
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tomycoleco

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Jun 17, 2017
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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.
I really find that interesting.
How would you recommend me on starting this ?
I am from Frankfurt Germany.
Would it be smartest to look for auctions or stores with rare pieces ?
Flea markets ?
Or is there another strategy ?
Coz am not sure if the auctions are going to give me the prices I could resell profitable at ?
Thank you for your answer in advance.
 

LittleWolfie

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Jun 28, 2018
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is there a trusted service in usa that can help meet the seller (face-to-face) and verify if the product is working ok and then sell it to the buyer for me (face-to-face) while i pay the service commission ? @B_Mac

i can't find it on google

@Zefty There are some, your probably using the wrong search terms. The one I am aware of r has branches in Berlin,Germany and Des Moines in usa. They charge around $50,000 for a contract on their standard terms. They mainly concentrate on exports, although I understand they are fully booked till the new year.
 

Liam

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Sep 27, 2018
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Staffordshire, England
I really find that interesting.
How would you recommend me on starting this ?
I am from Frankfurt Germany.
Would it be smartest to look for auctions or stores with rare pieces ?
Flea markets ?
Or is there another strategy ?
Coz am not sure if the auctions are going to give me the prices I could resell profitable at ?
Thank you for your answer in advance.

A good place to start would be second hand shops, charity shops, car boot sales, or similar.

This allows you to check the items over before commiting to buy and generally you won't be spending too much money to try it out.

For re-selling I would use eBay or the German equivalent of Gumtree/Craigslist such as Quoka.de
 
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tomycoleco

New Contributor
Jun 17, 2017
4
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26
Germany
A good place to start would be second hand shops, charity shops, car boot sales, or similar.

This allows you to check the items over before commiting to buy and generally you won't be spending too much money to try it out.

For re-selling I would use eBay or the German equivalent of Gumtree/Craigslist such as Quoka.de
Thank you very much for your helpful answer my friend :)
 

sonny_1080

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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 shit 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 shitty 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 shit 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 shit. 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.
How do you know what to price your stuff at though?

For example, I have these resin statues on eBay... there’s only 3 that are part of this same collection on there because they’re part of a limited edition collaboration with a famous artist. Thing is, the artist is know for making porcelain... these are resin, which is much cheaper.

The other 3 items similar to mine are being sold for $1,000 or more... but that just doesn’t seem right. One person is selling the same thing I am for 1,750$.

I priced mine at $200 to start the auction or buy it now for $500... which I think is fair.

I guess my question is: how do you know what to price it at? The market online is $750-1,750... but I feel like those would never sell.

Also, I have clothes on poshmark that are brand new and I’ve only had a couple offers (which I regret not taking)... now I’m cutting my prices heavy to compete with the other posts in that marketplace.

I don’t know I keep getting impatient and lowering my prices drastically and then a day will go by and I’ll get worried that I’m not seeking them High enough. So i raise my prices again.
 

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