Learn how we flip garage sale purchases from home to turn a profit or earn cashback after using it to help pay down debt.
You might think we are crazy trying to flip garage sale purchases, but it has been worth it.
We still can’t believe that we’ve been mortgage-free since 2014 by living a frugal lifestyle.
Over the last 9 years, we have earned bits of money that we stash away in our fireproof safe.
Some of you might cringe at leaving money in the house, but we do it with reason.
For lack of better words, keeping money in our house is comforting, knowing that we have it.
There might be a time when something awful happens, so we’re prepared with fast cash.
Today I want to talk about how garage sale flipping earned us our money back after using the product that we bought or on new items we didn’t use that we purchased at a garage sale.
- What to look for to flip garage sale purchases before or after the item is used.
- What it means to flip garage sale purchases.
- Best time to go to a garage sale
- Hosting a garage sale at your home
- Is it worth it to flip garage sale purchases?
- Ways to stash cash at home and why
- How to flip garage sale purchases
- Do you have to pay taxes on what you sell?
If you’re not interested in earning extra money or paying your mortgage off fast with little effort, perhaps you might want to learn how to budget in 10 easy steps.
What Does It Mean To Flip Garage Sale Purchases?
The idea to flip garage sale purchases occurred to us once we started selling items that we bought at secondhand shops.
Our son loves toys so we would buy them from Value Village or garage sales, and after he would finish using them, we’d sell them.
We would either get back what we paid for the item or retail value less the used state of the item.
For example, are there pieces missing, damaged parts or in well-used condition?
Once you map out the garage sales in your city, including community yard sales, it’s go-time.
Print my free Garage Sale Route Guide for the garage sale season and fill it in each week.
You’ll want to spend the least amount of time and gas, so I’d suggest picking an area close to home.
Garage Sale+Map+Cash+Flippable Items+Negotiations = Cash Back For Your Bank Account.
When we consider buying items at a garage sale to flip, we make sure we can first earn our money back.
Ideally, that’s all we want to do, but we may earn more depending on the condition mentioned above.
You’re not going to get rich; however, getting back what you earned or making a dollar extra here and there helps.
How To Flip Melissa and Doug Puzzles
For example, you’re at a garage sale and see 5 brand new Melissa and Doug puzzles sitting on a table.
These name-brand quality wood puzzles retail for up to $20 or more at the toy stores.
After a quick online search, you realize that you could profit from the puzzles if you can get the puzzles cheaper.
How To Negotiate Prices At A Garage Sale
The garage sale owner wants to sell them as a lot for $20, and right away, you try and negotiate a deal.
Offer the seller $15 for the lot to see if they will accept your negotiation.
If yes, fantastic, but if no, keep looking around and say nothing.
When it’s time to leave, make a final offer for $17, and they bite because generally, no seller wants to bring stuff back into the home.
Each puzzle retails for $15.00, and you’ve just paid $17 for all five new puzzles.
Let’s do the math just for the products, not including your time and petrol.
$17/5 = $3.40 each which means if you sell one for $10 your profit will be $6.60 each x 5 = $33 profit.
However, if you decide to use the puzzles with your child, you could sell them for less or hold a Facebook Auction.
We’ve found used all of the above Melissa and Doug puzzles at garage sales and paid anywhere from one to three dollars each.
We put them on Facebook Marketplace as individual Melissa and Doug puzzles which sold for $8-$10 each.
Source Retail Price Online Before Buying
If you’re not sure what the original or selling price is before purchasing something at a garage sale, look it up online.
Check current retail prices or vintage prices by going on eBay, Kijiji or home content auctions.
Once you’re home, get to work cleaning the products to earn the most money.
Flip your garage sale purchases on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Kijiji, or host a garage sale.
We’ve had the best luck creating a Facebook garage sale or auction on Marketplace.
If related, we list each item separately, such as used clothing and kids’ shoes and then add photos for each item.
Our son typically wears clothes and shoes before selling them a lot or individually.
Often, it’s better to get something back than nothing at all, which helps balance your budget.
If you plan to flip garage sale purchases by hosting a garage sale, it’s not worth it.
Garage sales are meant to sell items cheap to get rid of what you own.
Best Finds To Flip Garage Sale Purchases
In 2019 I wrote a post about the most popular items worth money at a garage sale which I still support today.
For example, a friend of ours just purchased a home where all the furniture was vintage.
It was stunning to see a home in mint condition and filled with furniture flashbacks.
A power of attorney (POA) for the home would sell the house with all furniture.
Unfortunately, our friend didn’t want the furniture but changed his mind once he realized his mini goldmine.
Naturally, the POA decided that she wanted to sell the furniture through an auction instead and boy did she ring in cash.
Our buddy sent us the auction link, and one of the vintage teak tables sold for $700, and the house was full of it.
Know The Price Of What You Plan To Flip
If you want to flip garage sale purchases first, you need to know what items are worth money.
You also have to recognize if you’ve just bumped into another reseller just like yourself and move on.
Since beginning to flip garage sale purchases, we’ve had the most success with name-brand clothing for the family and wood puzzles and toys.
We don’t just buy items to sell since we want our son to use the things first.
You risk not being able to sell something if you buy for this reason, thus no return.
Look out for the following name-brand items that you wouldn’t expect to find, but you’d be surprised what people sell.
- Yves St. Laurent
- Louis Vuitton
- Air Jordan
- Under Armour
- North By Northwest
If you plan to flip garage sale purchases, people will buy many name-brand items for the right price.
Below is a list of garage sale items that we would flip or resell for cash over the years.
- Brand New Wrapped Products (New stuff always sells if it’s a big seller)
- Brand Name Baby and Kids Products (Brand name baby items and children’s clothing are huge sellers)
- Indoor and Outdoor Furniture (Mint condition or vintage such as teak furniture)
- Toys, vintage toys, old games (Check that all of the pieces are in the box)
- Televisions, Stereo equipment (Ask the seller to show you the items work before buying)
- Yard/Home Maintenance/Tools (Test tools before you purchase)
- Music/Vinyl/Box Sets (Look for damage, including scratches on vinyl, CD, Blue Ray or DVD)
- Jewellery and Costume Jewellery (Look at each piece carefully for damage or authenticity)
- Artwork/Home decor
- Large and Small appliances (New or Clean without missing parts or damage)
- Camping and Sports Equipment
- Brand Name Clothing/Shoes/Handbags/Wallets (Don’t get fooled into buying Prada when it’s Prado)
- Books One Direction books
- Authentic Concert Merchandise such as t-shirts or hats
- Vintage Signs such as Coca Cola
- Workout Gear and Equipment
- Brand Name Cookware, whether it’s open stock or a set of pieces such as Le Creuset or Cast Iron Pans, you can resell for big money.
Find Quality Items That People Will Love
We purchased the pot below at a secondhand shop for meagre money.
Once we found out the retail price, it all went from there.
We’ve found five Le Crueset pots, including a dutch oven, a frying pan at Value Village, and a yellow pot at a garage sale.
Have a read about the Le Creuset line on Amazon, and you’ll find out just how much quality goes into this line of cookware.
We did not sell these items as we know they are suitable for life and we’ll use them, but they hold their value.
Is It Worth The Time To Flip Garage Sale Purchases?
There’s no harm in trying to buy low and flip garage sale purchases for more money, although you may have to report taxable income on your return.
Although we kept the Le Creuset Cookware, we could quickly sell it for a massive profit.
When buying, think about quality items that will last for life or those that are trending or popular.
You might not always find something to resell, but you probably will find something worth money that you wouldn’t buy because it was expensive.
Once you start to see profit coming in, you’ll be hooked and perhaps make money as we have.
You buy and sell either used or non-used as if you were hosting a virtual garage sale.
When Should You Go To Garage Sales?
Typically outdoor garage sales are held on Saturday in Ontario and across Canada.
However, it’s not uncommon for sellers to host on Sundays or both days.
We are early risers and plan our garage sale route the night before, so we are early.
We’ve stopped at a garage sale that wasn’t quite open to see what the homeowner is selling.
Although I don’t suggest trying to beat the crowd by showing up early, there’s no reason why you can’t be nosey.
There have been garage sales where the owner tells us to come on over before the specified time.
Either way, get to the sales as they open so you get first to pick and buy what you can use and later resell online.
Don’t spend too much time before you move on, especially if you are in an area with more than one garage sale.
Ideally, read the online ad for garage sales wherever you find them and see what’s there.
Some garage sales are exclusive to baby and toddler products, whereas others have tools, home decor, art, cookware, clothing etc.
Best Ways To Flip What You Buy At A Garage Sale
As mentioned above, we earned the best money when we flip garage sale purchases on Facebook Marketplace over the years.
Alternatively, we would also list each item on Kijiji to spread the reach of what we were selling.
You have to keep a running total of numbers to know what you’ve purchased and either made back or a small profit by the end of the year.
By this, I mean to keep a tally of what you buy at a garage sale and plan on flipping.
The calculations you document will help you understand whether you are profiting and best sellers in your area.
Now you know what’s hot to flip and what to hunt for when you’re buying and reselling.
Should You Keep Cash In Your Home?
Stockpiling cash at home in a fireproof safe is a personal choice, although we only did this once we were debt-free.
At first, we did not have a safe but purchased one to keep all valuables, including jewellery, passports and cash.
There might be a day when you’ll need cash, your bank is closed, and the debit machine isn’t working.
If you have debt, don’t be afraid to stash a few hundred dollars or an amount you can afford.
Everything You Need To Know About Garage Sales
We love garage sales, and over the years, I’ve documented fantastic ideas and tips for all of my readers.
We’ve been through so much collectively over the past two years that selling what we own makes sense.
Often our homes are filled with dust collectors such as gadgets, home decor and oversized furniture.
Consider rooms you don’t spend much time in and minimize what you own to keep your space tidy.
Sell what you no longer use and earn cash back, so you’re not sitting on it until you retire.
Popular Garage Sale Posts On CBB
Below I’ve listed garage sale blog posts that I encourage you to read if you want to earn money.
- How To Host A Successful Virtual Garage Sale
- 10 Garage Sale Food And Drink Ideas
- Do You Have A Garage Sale Permit?
- How To Sell Used Clothes At A Garage Sale
- The Ultimate Guide To Prevent Garage Sale Theft
- Should There Be A Garage Sale Return Policy?
- 20 Garage Sale Tools You’ll Need To Attract Buyers
- How To Host A Community Garage Sale This Summer
- Garage Sale Staging Secrets Exposed
- How To Price Garage Sale Items To Earn The Most Money Back
- Watch What You Sell At Your Next Garage Sale (Health Canada)
- Garage Sale Buying And Selling Tips For Beginners
- How To Waste Valuable Time At Garage Sales
- Should You Negotiate Prices At A Garage Sale?
- How To Host A Successful Estate Sale
- 15 Popular Items To Watch For At A Yard Sale
Enjoy reading all of my garage sale blog posts, and please share any other tips you think should be included by commenting below.
Subscribe To Canadian Budget Binder
Join our journey to debt-freedom as I document all of the ways we save and earn money.
Also, by subscribing, I will send you the new custom CBB Emergency Binder.
An emergency binder should be completed and stashed away in a fireproof safe or along with your legal Will.
Subscribe To the Canadian Budget Binder And Get My Exclusive CBB Emergency Binder FREE!