Making Money Flipping

make money flipping

Flipping can be profitable!

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:

Flipping Houses

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?

Flipping Cars

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!

Flipping Collectibles

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 :)

Flipping Websites

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?


  1. says

    Depending on how much effort you are willing to put into something, flipping can turn out to be very profitable. I know a friend of mine who is very handy, made quite a bit flipping houses. He would purchased distressed property, work on it for 6 months or so and flip it!

    • Squirrelers says

      Moneycone – if he’s handy, can get that work done quickly, and enjoys doing the work….well, that was probably a winning way to make some pretty good percentage increases! When you consider leverage involved in real estate purchases, money was made on flipping during periods of increasing prices.

  2. says

    A friend and I went in together during the summer between high school and college to buy a 1963 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. Red, with a white leather interior, all original, beautiful condition. The car was huge, got 9 mpg, and had to have premium gas. We paid $250 for it and sold it at the end of the summer for $350. The $100 profit was nice, but nothing compared to the fun we had!

    • Squirrelers says

      Kurt – hat sounds like a fun car to have. As I think about it, one has to factor in the car insurance costs with these classics, which can increase the carrying costs of such investments. Nonetheless, that’s pretty cool that you flipped it. Even with carrying costs, at least you guys got to enjoy a cool vintage car for no real incremental costs!

  3. says

    W and his dad are actually starting a side hustle where they will be flipping classic cars. His dad has been doing it forever but decided to take W on.

  4. says

    I usually buy assets to hold, not to flip. I remember selling some furniture at a garage sale when we downsized. I did make a (sizable) profit on a custom made cedar chest and a piece of exercise equipment. The cedar chest was made for practically nothing at he Army prison and the exercise equipment was given to me. It made up for the loss on the other items I sold. I have a free safe deposit box, no need to flip it! :)

    • Squirrelers says

      krantcents – free is good, as you might otherwise have to pay for a safe deposit box at a different institution. We have to think of opportunity costs, which it sounds like you are.

  5. says

    I am definitely interested in flipping sites.I have not done it before. The initial investment is minimal depending the size of the site but you can definitely profit in doing this as I have seen first hand cases.

    • Squirrelers says

      Kevin – I’m sure there are people who have made nice money doing this. Yet another option!

  6. says

    I haven’t been much of a flipper. It can be a great way to earn a profit, but I generally don’t have the patience to buy something to fix and then sell it to make a profit. Some people make nice gains flipping property but that takes a lot of patience, project management, and funds.

    • Squirrelers says

      Very true that many things do require time and effort – and decent money up front in some cases. Time matters, I would wholeheartedly agree. Maybe the more valuable one’s time is, the higher value the items flipped are? This compensates a person accordingly.

  7. says

    I’ve bought and sold a few items on Craigslist for a profit, but that’s as far as I have gone. Never wanted to make a huge investment in flipping.

  8. says

    We’ve done a little flipping of items we have bought off of Craigslist, but never on a big scale. I do know that there can be money to be made in some of these. I have been meaning to look at flipping sites, now I just need to find the time. 😉

    • Squirrelers says

      John – yes, that’s what’s so valuable: time. I know what you mean. If we just had 30 hours in a day, but still only needed to sleep 8…

  9. says

    I have been meaning to get a safe deposit box. I don’t think people use them like that here. I have done the flipping cars, websites, items from estates, and ebay but never homes. I was thinking about getting back into flipping cars and motorcycles again.

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