How can I make money flipping? That’s a question that came to mind recently as I made a relatively innocuous visit to a local financial institution.
So, the reason I was there was to get something from a safe deposit box. As I’ve written before, the question of whether or not to get a safe deposit box is one that involves a series of trade-offs. There are benefits, and there are drawbacks. However, one of the positives that I didn’t even think about was the idea that they could be in short supply!
As I showed my ID at the bank, and got the signature card (which they required me to sign before accessing the box), I noticed that I’ve had the box for years now, longer than I had realized. You can see the dates you have visited on the card, including your first visits. Then, I commented to the guy that I was surprised at how long this bank had been open, since it was around the time I got the box.
He then said that I was smart to get it when I did, because there aren’t any more available. In fact, he mentioned that there was a huge waiting list now. He also noted that it was really, really tough to find a safe deposit box anywhere in the area.
I don’t know how many other people would have the same thought I had, immediately after. Maybe it’s just those of us that are personal finance enthusiasts, but I immediately thought to myself: “hey, I wonder if I could sell this thing an make a profit. Maybe I could have flipped this a few years back, when they sold out?”.
I asked the guy (jokingly) if I could sell my rights to the safe deposit box to someone else who really wanted it, in order to capture a profit. He laughed, and gave me a “haha, nice one but no way” kind of look.
Flipping safety deposit boxes…well, it was a good idea, while it lasted – for those few seconds, anyway!
Of course, flipping really involves buying something and then selling it soon after, to score a quick profit. This got me thinking of ways to make money flipping:
This was a blazing hot phenomenon in the early 2000’s, before the housing market sunk. People would buy a place, do some quick rehabbing, and resell for a profit. Or, in some cases, they might just buy and sell soon after without doing much else. When prices are increasing, that could be possible in some locations. Given the recent real estate rebound in some places, it’s a good question: can people make money again flipping houses?
While I have never done this, someone I know told me about how he bought a vintage car years ago and then resold it soon after for a profit. Clearly, depending on the knowledge of the seller and the buyer, as well as demand, it could be possible to do this. There are people out there buying and selling cars for profit. My thinking is that it would be much harder with newer cars, but with older cars that could be hard to find and have varying levels of demand, it could be more feasible.
Another good example I recall from not too many years ago was how someone bought a hybrid car, drove it for a year, and sold it for a profit after gas prices surged. Not bad, as that person was effectively getting paid to drive the car, once that transaction was done!
This might be a related to the car example above, as vintage cars could be considered collectibles by some people. But there are treasure hunters galore out there, scouring private sales for antiques and other collectibles. Some of these same people can turn around and “flip” something they bought at a bargain price from an unassuming seller.
While I have never taken advantage of anyone, I remember how I would “flip” baseball cards when I was a kid. This is back in the stone ages, when there was actually a big market for cards. I have zero interest in any of this now, and haven’t for over 20 years. But as a kid, I bought a few cards via mail that were hard to get locally, and then turned around and resold them for a profit. Big bucks weren’t made, and in fact I would say that the proverbial one that got away - in terms of money-making opportunities – was a specific group of baseball cards I bought. Anyway, I did make some money flipping collectibles. Enough to make me happy as kid at least
Since starting this blog over 3 years ago, I’ve learned a few things about the world of online business. One thing I discovered is that there are people who flip websites.
You’ll often see how this is possible, if you pay attention. People will start up a site, get it going, then cash out. Or, they could buy a dormant blog and reinvigorate it or extract revenue from it in the short-term. Then, turn around and sell it for a profit. If someone buys an asset for $2,000 and resells it a few months later for $3,000, that’s a 50% return on investment in a short amount of time. It’s not easy to find those types of return on an annual basis, unless you’re talking about the Japanese stock market’s returns!
Speaking of online flipping, another way people can flip is by flipping items purchased on craigslist. There are people who might buy worn out furniture, for example, and rehab it at low cost. Then, of course, try to turn around and flip.
Bottom line: some might wonder how to make money flipping, but if we can time things just right in terms of supply and demand and think opportunistically, we just might be able to make side income flipping items.
My Questions for You
Have you ever flipped anything for a profit?
If not, have you known anyone who has made some decent money doing this?
What things would you be interested in flipping to make money?