3 months ago I started a challenge to make $20,000 this year as part of the 2017 Flip Challenge (read more about it here, basically a challenge set by Gary Vee to make $20,170 extra this year). Broken down, $20,000 by the end of 2017 was $2000 a month or $480 a week from the date I started. Month one I made $2,710. Month two I made nothing due to travel, hospital and other complications. Month 3 I made $8,741.38 in this challenge (after expenses). This makes my total for the past 3 months $11,451.38 in extra money made, plus an extra $1,355 saved (by refunds and reduced rent). New edit – I now make over $10,000 a month. Read how here.
I buy things to resell, sold a few things I had already and did a few other things to make cash on the side. In my first post, I listed a bunch of options and will share more further below, along with some tips. Disclosure, there are some affiliate links for products I use in this post. I only recommend things I personally use.
This month I had 2 big items I sold and a bunch of miscellaneous items including clothes, beauty products and some books. I have listed the prices below after listing fees, the cost of any items I purchased to sell and other expenses.
Sale item 1 – $1,500
Sale item 2 – $5,605
Sale miscellaneous items – $1636.38
Total profit $8,741.38
On Instagram, I was asked to share my tips. I’ll do a complete guide later but to get you started here are a few:
What do I sell?
Mostly, I stick to clothing I know such as rockabilly brands, other clothing brands such as Cue, Review and brands I know cost over $250 new. I have a selection of books I look out for which sell well, mainly finance, business health non-fiction books. (Get a free eBook on how to sell used books here), kitchen utensils and appliances such as Tupperware and other ‘expensive’ items, certain beauty items (anything from a party plan like Jamberry sells well) and a few times I have bought and sold cars for a profit. Cars is not something I do regularly if the opportunity arises I will take it but I don’t seek it out as I do not know cars.
Where do I get the items?
Little church associated op shops have been the best for me in terms of cheap items I can flip for a profit (you can find some specific ones for different locations that I and other readers love here). $2 racks and bargain basements for second-hand stores are the next options and only occasionally do I hit up garage sales (mainly because in winter there aren’t many here, nor are there many in the CBD). Years ago I also got items from hard rubbish or items people put out on the kerb to throw away. For tips on op shopping, check out this post.
I don’t go out of my way to look for items to sell. Generally, I pick up items when I am already out or if I am visiting an op shop for another purpose. I am sure I could make much more if I dedicated time to it, just like anything else!
How do I know what will sell?
Do a quick search on eBay. Search the item you want to buy to sell, check sold listings to see if it sold and for how much. If it’s a good price, it’s worth getting. If not, don’t do it. I have also stayed within areas I know well so I don’t usually need to look items up.
Where do I sell them?
Gumtree.com.au and ebay.com.au are my two main selling options. For niche items, Facebook groups relevant to those items or Facebook buy, sell, swap pages can be good as can the Facebook marketplace. My best success, easiest form of listing and easiest sales are done through eBay though.
With Gumtree it is hit and miss. Items such as cars and furniture did better there. Clothing attracted creeps. Cars attracted a lot of dodgy people. If I listed on Gumtree, I always met the person buying the item in a public location, not my home.
How do I list them?
I take photographs of the item from different angles in good light with a clean background using my phone. Often this is on a piece of card, my freshly made bed with a white sheet or on my wood floors.
Add a new listing on eBay via the eBay app, add a clear description, include the fact you are selling other items, try to offer fast and free postage (as in free postage and item posted within 24hrs of sale) for better results too. Most items I list with an auction option and buy it now or buy it now only if I don’t want to wait. Most people buying tend to want what they are buying now and they want what they perceive to be as a bargain so free postage helps. I price based on what similar items are selling for.
Using the eBay app I can list items in under 3 minutes. Most clothing I sell has sold for over $50 and cost less than $2. Not a bad return.
How do I store items I am selling?
I live in a tiny, and I mean TINY, 2 bedroom unit in the middle of Melbourne. Storage and space are two things which are already lacking. I have a section in my wardrobe or a suitcase I store items I am selling, depending on how much stock I have and how into it I am at the time. I hang clothes in my wardrobe on one end or roll clothes and store them in the suitcase. I tend not to have big, bulky or awkward to store items so all clothes roll and fit neatly.
For books, I have a dedicated shelf on the bookshelf for books that are for sale. Funnily enough, I have sold books to people visiting my home this way. I would have given it to them, but they insisted on paying.
Other income options
Buying things to sell isn’t the only option to make extra cash. You could rent a room to a boarder or list a room on AirBnB, rent your garage for storage or to a local business, check out how to make your mortgage pay for itself. Can you drive for Uber? Do deliveries for Deliveroo? (if you want to order from Deliveroo we both get $5 if you use this link. What skills do you have which you can amplify such as freelance writing, admin skills can see you become a virtual assistant, blogging has been a great source of income for me, offer ironing, clean houses, mow lawns etc. Check out 51 ways to make money from home for some ideas. Try survey sites such as SwagBucks and Octopus Group (or click here for the ones we’ve made money from).
Basically, get out there and hustle. How do you want to spend your time? What has the highest return on investment for you (both in time and money)? Do that!
Tips for saving more
Hustling and making more money is one thing, but saving what you make and finding other ways to save money will help too. In my first month of this challenge, I saved $4,500.11 by selling stuff, getting a few refunds, paying less rent (full details at the bottom of this post).
1. ) Save all the extra money
Any extra money you make that you haven’t included in your regular budget put in a savings account or split between savings and debt. I say split it because you need an emergency fund of savings and if you have debt, you need to pay that off fast! I use ING for this and at the moment they have a $50 sign up bonus if you use my code CNW116 (disclosure – we both get money and I am giving some of the cash I make from this site away soon).
2.) Round down your accounts
Every time I log in and check my banking I round the accounts down. If my everyday account has $104.33 in it, I’ll transfer the $4.33 to my savings account. These small amounts add up over time and can help with your savings without taking a huge chunk at any time.
3.) Compare and save
Get the best deal on everything. Go over all your expenses e.g. mobile, internet, home phone, electricity, gas, water, health insurance, car insurance, pet insurance, home and contents insurance, whatever insurance you have, any regular bill you pay for, you need to do a comparison.
A quick search on Google will tell you if you could save more money by switching providers or ask your current provider for a better deal. Try these 31 ways to make and save $200+ to get you started.
4.) Check your discounts
– If you are on a pension, have a health care or seniors card, are you getting all the discounts and benefits you are eligible for? Check a list here (it is dated, but most information is relevant).
– Always check Groupon for discounts on entertainment, beauty, food etc. Waxing, laser hair removal, dental treatments, car services and more can be found on there. You can check the reviews and do a Google search to make sure the offer is with a good company, saving you loads! Also, check out 10 ways to get coupons and discounts in Australia.
– Are you a member of all VIP and loyalty programs (check our list plus read the comments as people are adding more there)? You get birthday vouchers, discounts, freebies and more.
– Are you getting cash back and doing a search for discounts with all your online purchases? My favourites are Cash Rewards, PricePal and Honey (read more about them here). They are all free to join.
I love how this challenge is going. It’s motivated me to look at things differently, find other ways to save money and it’s helped my finances a lot. If I do another month like this one, I’ll hit $20,000 well before my end of year deadline.
What are you doing to make and save money?