Rob and Melissa Stephenson-the Flea Market Flippers
What You'll Get Out Of Today's Show
- How can you recognize the value in the secondhand market, begin optimizing a strategy, and turn it into income? Today's guests, Rob and Melissa Stephenson, the Flea Market Flippers, have built a six-figure business flipping the bargains they find.
- Rob spent weekends as a child with his parents visiting yard sales. They bought items and then listed them for sale to a bigger market using the newspaper classified section. Rob followed in their footsteps, flipping items as another side job without realizing the full potential of it.
- Selling used items is no longer a local market. With the launch sites like eBay with 181 million users, the whole world becomes the market.
- Rob and Melissa's business model capitalizes on larger items, such as commercial exercise equipment or restaurant equipment. They find the items locally from establishments going out of business. They look for the higher retail items which will make them a lot of money. It helps them to work less and make more profit. From their 89 sales last year, they made $80,000.
- For example, over the summer, they found a 40-inch range that retailed for $4,500. They bought it for $200, brought it home, then sold on eBay for $2,800.
- Over the last five years, Rob and Melissa have honed their freight skills and can ship very large and heavy items for reasonable prices.
- While they have become comfortable shipping large items, Rob and Melissa want people to start where they are at. Start with the items in your house, learn the system, how to take photos, how to sell on eBay to slowly build your confidence.
- The majority of the time, they research an item before buying it. Some things do sell quickly, but other items need time for the right buyer to find them before they sell.
- There are skill sets involved that make flipping items work: finding the deals, researching prices, making offers, marketing, taking good photos, and shipping. However, Melissa says it's actually a really simple business.
- There are lots of options for finding items, but Rob's favorite apps are Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp. He will scroll through them for ten minutes while sitting in his LazyBoy at night.
- There are fewer risks than there were several years ago. Smartphones have made it possible to jump onto eBay to check everything for the last 30-60 days that has sold. It's similar to the MLS with the housing market and looking for comparable properties that recently sold.
- If you can't find it on eBay, a good rule of thumb for items in good condition is 50% off retail.
- They no longer do many actions on eBay, opting for Buy It Now and listing for the price they want.
- Since you can see what an item has sold for the in past, if you want to sell it quickly you can just price it a little bit lower than that.
- Rob and Melissa sell 85% of their items on eBay and the rest on Facebook Marketplace. They usually cross-post items but eBay is consistently a winner.
- Fees on eBay are 13%. PayPal processing is 3% and 10% goes to eBay. They believe the opportunity to sell to a larger audience is worth the fee.
- Taking good pictures is important, with clean photos and nothing in the background. Fancy photography equipment isn't required. They still use their iPhones for everything. Since eBay allows up to 12 photos, you should use all 12 photos.
- The title for the item is the most important since eBay is essentially a search engine and the searches will come up on Google too.
- Descriptions are less important and Rob likes to under promise and overdeliver so people have realistic expectations.
- Since they already have a good idea of how much it going to cost, they build it into the item cost and offer free shipping. It helps items to sell more quickly and reduce emailing back and forth with the buyer.
- Rob and Melissa love what they do and already feel like they are retired even if they haven't hit their FI number. Rob spend about 20-25 hours a week on their flipping business.
- They both like to travel and have a goal of being able to pay for the trip by flipping while on the road.
- Flipping is something Rob and Melissa are so passionate about that they teach a course. They have two groups they've been teaching, one with no experience flipping, and another group of experienced flippers looking to go freight.
- Rob and Melissa offer a webinar, which can be found at ChooseFI.com/flip, and a paid course.
Resources Mentioned In Today's Conversation
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Improve your writing skills and get a 20% discount on Grammarly Premium
- Check out Rob and Melissa's webinar