Episode #025: The Art of Flipping: An Interview with A.J. by a Freshman in Highschool!
The Flipping Ninja gets Interviewed by Kriti, host of the WhyFI Matters Podcast
Host: Kriti from The WhyFI Matters Podcast
Join us in this thought-provoking episode where A.J. gets interviewed by 15-year-old Kriti, a freshman in high school! And host of the WhyFI Matters (Why Financial Independence Matters) Podcast, is a global platform for teen financial literacy.
“Flipping is a word, and a skill that I don’t know much about, but is really important for all of us to be aware of, and use to our advantage. A.J. discusses so much more than just flipping in this conversation, and it definitely broadened my perspective!”
– Kriti, Host of the WhyFI Matters Podcast
What You Need to Know [Episode Summary]:
Do you ever wonder what you would say to your younger self if you had the chance? If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 15-year-old-self? On today’s episode, A.J. Hakimi guest stars on WhyFi Matters, a financial independence podcast that has become a global platform for teen financial literacy.
Hosted by Kriti Sarav, a 15-year-old in her freshman year of high school. Kriti interviews A.J. Hakimi on all things flipping and gives A.J. an opportunity to share some insightful advice with her listeners. A.J. dives deep into his own experience with flipping and the mindset one needs to be a good flipper!
4 Value Bombs:
- The main reason many get into flipping is because it can be extremely profitable. But flipping can also teach you crucial business skills that you may not necessarily learn in school.
- You start to recognize opportunities, learn how to make quick decisions, and flipping can help you get into entrepreneurial efforts..Flipping can also help you learn to balance your time. With flipping, you gain a freedom that allows you to have full flexibility of your time.
- You have the mindset of a flipper if you are always aware of opportunities. If you are always on the lookout for the most profitable deals or if you can make quick decisions and act fast, flipping may be your passion. To be a flipper you have to learn how to create pictures in people’s minds.
- The greatest asset that you have at the end of the day is you. You bring skills and knowledge to the table. People are always looking for a place or opportunity to put their money into. You should always pour that money into yourself allowing you to develop a sense of curiosity and yearn for learning that will drive your success.
What is A.J. most proud of?
“Getting to a place where you realize that the greatest asset that you have is you.”
“Flipping teaches you crucial business skills that will serve you in all parts of your life.”
“If you can learn to master your time, then you’ll be at a great advantage.”
On This Week’s Episode You’ll Discover:
WhyFi Intro [0:01]
Start of the Podcast [0:25]
What is Flipping? [0:36]
When Did You Do Your First Flip? [1:32]
Do You Consider Yourself a Professional Flipper? [2:30]
How Long Have You Been Flipping? [3:14]
The Mindset of a Flipper [9:08]
Craziest Flip A.J. Has Done [11:10]
High End Flipping [13:51]
What A.J. Is Most Proud of in His Flipping [17:49]
What Has Been Your Biggest Challenge? [21:23]
What Advice Would You Give to Your 15-Year-Old Self? [23:26]
Connect with A.J. [27:40]
Closing Thoughts [29:06]
What to Do Next:
Do you love flipping and want to learn more money-making and marketing secrets? Are you ready to earn 1K on the side? Here’s what to do next to make that happen!
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Have Questions About Today’s Topic?
Send your questions in to AJ@TheFlippingNinja.com
You could have your question featured on a future show!
WhyFi Matters | Website [https://www.whyfimatters.com/]
WhyFi Matters | Apple Podcasts [https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/whyfi-matters/id1506529505]
Hey guys, welcome to WhyFi Matters. Today’s going to be pretty cool because I’m going to be talking about flipping with The Flipping Ninja, A.J. I don’t really know much about flipping to be honest, so let’s go straight into the interview and listen to what AJ has to say. I hope you enjoy the interview. Hi, AJ, thank you so much for being on WhyFi Matters. I’m super excited to have you here. And I can’t wait to learn more about flipping because it’s something I really don’t know much about.
A.J. Hakimi 0:34
Thanks for having me. Happy to be here.
What exactly is flipping?
A.J. Hakimi 0:39
Yeah, so first off flipping is basically, it’s really simple. It’s when you buy something low, or you acquire something, you make it pretty, you make it clean, you know, fix it up, if you have to, and you turn around and you sell it for a higher price. So you make a profit.
A.J. Hakimi 1:00
Right. So for example, let’s say someone is selling an old cell phone for 20 bucks, right? You know, online that they’re going for $70. So, what do you do you buy it for 20 you take new pictures, you write a new description, you post it for sale for 70 bucks and make 50 bucks, just like that. Very little work very little time. And that’s literally all it is. So it’s really profitable. Yeah.
That makes sense. Okay, so when did you do your first flip? And was it was it planned or was it like spontaneous?
A.J. Hakimi 1:40
So my first flip was, it’s funny because at the time I didn’t, I wasn’t consciously thinking of it as a flip. It just kind of happened. So it was kind of accidental. It was a keyboard, so is a Yamaha keyboard. So I play piano, and I had a keyboard and I I bought it for I think, like 80 bucks or something. I played it for a year and I decided I wanted to upgrade. So I’m like, I’m gonna sell this one. So I post it for like 100 bucks. And it sells so I’m like, Oh my god, I just made 20 bucks. Right? So I didn’t really realize it, but I’m like, if I could do that with this. What if I did this with more items and more keyboards, right? So it kind of just grew from there and went in all sorts of directions, right?
Yeah. So do you now consider yourself as like a professional flipper?
A.J. Hakimi 2:34
Um, I guess you can use the word professional. But the more important part that I guess determines a person, a person’s skill level, so to speak is how much can you make doing this? So how successful can you become? How good are you at being able to recognize deals and opportunities quickly finding out the value and profit for something? And most importantly, how confident are you in yourself?
A.J. Hakimi 3:07
Right. So a lot of it comes down to that.
Okay, that’s interesting. Um, so how long have you been flipping for then?
A.J. Hakimi 3:18
So I started flipping when I was, I think, maybe 15 or 16. So was that like 13 years or something?
Yeah, because like a lot of teens listen to this podcast around that age. So why is flipping such a good thing for teens to do?
A.J. Hakimi 3:40
So I think flipping is a good option as a side hustle to get into for teens because, well, one, obviously it’s very profitable. I mean, you can make in just a few hours or a couple of days what most people make in you know, two weeks working a full time jobs sometimes. So the money is great.
A.J. Hakimi 4:03
And the next is, it teaches you as far as, and this applies to teens or adults, but flipping teaches you crucial business skills that will serve you in all parts of your life. So, things like knowing how to recognize opportunity, knowing how to make quick decisions, you know, quick and accurate decision making, knowing how to research something quickly, right, knowing, you know, crucial marketing and sales skills, like copywriting skills, like, you know, you know, just all sorts of valuable skill sets that, you know, most adults don’t even learn. I mean, a lot of the things you can’t unfortunately you don’t learn these things in school.
A.J. Hakimi 4:54
So, if you can learn a lot of these skills early on, then you’ll most likely have a very good life and they will serve you forever. So, you know, even things like attention to detail, or you know, time management skills. For example, a lot of people work day jobs, right? They simply go to work, they punch in for they work, they “work” for eight hours, they punch out and they go home. So they work the same hours per day and make the same amount, right?
A.J. Hakimi 5:30
But in fact, many people working nine to five jobs, I mean, I don’t know you won’t believe how much time is wasted because I mean, I, you know, I came from that world. I used to work a nine to five job. So it’s interesting how much time just in general is wasted. I’m talking things like, you know, meetings or just, you know, there’s not a lot of progress that gets done on a, you know, minute by minute basis. Which I understand, you know, they’re big companies and etc. But when it comes to flipping, there is no overhead. There is no Oh, I got to check in with, you know, staff or my boss or all these people we got. It’s just you. So basically another thing so that I’ve been as a teen, just, especially in today’s day and age with so much distractions. I mean, everyone’s got smartphones, you know, there’s YouTube videos, podcasts, things that are pulling people in so many directions, that if you can learn to master your time, then you’ll be at a great advantage. And then of course, you know, just the freedom aspect. I mean,
Yeah, you have like control sort of.
A.J. Hakimi 6:50
Yes, you have full control, you have full flexibility of your time, right. So you you know, you don’t have to miss your favorite TV show. You don’t have to skip out with your friends or whatever, because you have to go to a work. You literally set your own schedule. You know you, you’re your own boss, so to speak. And the thing is, it’s not easy, being your own boss, and it’s not for everyone. I mean, some people are just naturally designed to show up somewhere be told what to do go home. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But flipping is for, you know, I guess people like me or people who I would say, most teens, I mean, you know, a lot of them, they want control, they want freedom, they want to, you know, be their own boss, so to speak. So, you know, for those people who do want to, I guess step their foot into entrepreneurship, in a sense. It’s also a great vehicle. Not to mention, it’s super fun and flexible, and you never know what you’re going to run into, you know, like, I flipped the most random items that like just super weird and random like ventriloquist dolls, right? Like, you know, pirate pistols, you know, mannequins, super random things, and it’s just super fun. And it’s fun exploring, and buying and selling. And then of course, there’s, you know, like, once you learn the skill set, you will be, as far as you know, maybe you have friends or family members who need help, or maybe they have stuff they want to get rid of, or sell. They don’t know how to do it, maybe they don’t know how to use technology, right? And you can help them you can help others. So ultimately, I mean, it’s, it’s a great all around skill for anyone to learn. And even if you never use the skill, let’s say you just learn how to do it. You develop the habits of like, you know, knowing how to find opportunity, the thinking the mindset.
A.J. Hakimi 9:00
That in itself will serve you across, you know, every part of your life.
Yeah. Like, could you elaborate a little more on like, the mindset of a flipper?
A.J. Hakimi 9:12
Yes. So, when it comes to the mindset of a flipper, one of the big things is that you’re always aware of opportunities, like no opportunity will pass you, you know, it’s almost like you have this invisible beacon where you’re always on the lookout for profitable deals, you know, so, quick decision making quick acting, you know, you’re fast, right?
A.J. Hakimi 9:40
Confidence is also huge. It takes I mean, it takes courage sometimes to spend money on something, right. I mean, you have all these thoughts like, you know, because it’s, it’s like, what if it doesn’t sell? Right? So, you might have that doubt in your mind so it takes confidence and courage in yourself. Which comes from… which confidence comes from doing your due diligence, right, like researching the item. So we go back to the skills that are needed. So being able to research, you know, making sure it’s a profitable deal. And then finally just pulling the trigger, right.
A.J. Hakimi 10:18
So I would say as far as mindset, another key aspect is knowing how to create pictures in people’s minds. So ultimately, this is just marketing. So that knowing how to take a picture of an item, for example, and kind of just capturing its essence in such a way that just makes it attractive, right. So, and then knowing how to write ads, or knowing how to write emotionally compelling or engaging ads.
Okay. That’s very interesting. I didn’t know that like, all of this work, like the behind the scenes work of flipping, you know, like usually you just see that item on a page, and then you don’t know what’s going on behind. That’s pretty interesting. So what has been the craziest flip you’ve ever done?
A.J. Hakimi 11:14
I would say, let’s see. What’s the craziest flip…
A.J. Hakimi 11:21
The first two items that came to mind was, there was a table that I picked up one says that it was a dining table. The table was actually posted for free on Craigslist. This table was a $13,000 table, right? Yeah, it’s crazy, right? So $13,000 in the person who was giving away even have like the receipt and everything and it came with 10 chairs. Now it’s weird because the 10 chairs that came with were valued at I think $12,000.
A.J. Hakimi 12:02
Yeah, that’s crazy. So I’m like how in the world I don’t even know that existed like how, you know what I mean like a 13? Well, I could see that, you know, especially because it was like a Spanish revival antique table and chairs. So anyway, it’s like, oh, that’s like 25 or $26,000 worth of stuff. Like, I picked it up. And I wanted to sell it really fast. You know, I wanted to get rid of quick I don’t want to sit on it. I ended up selling it for $1,100 bucks. Right. So that’s one.
A.J. Hakimi 12:37
Another crazy flip, I would say, which was really cool was it was a Porsche. So it was a Porsche Cayenne. I see it. And the guy was asking, I think I think he was asking 12,000 for it. I ended up getting it for $9,000. So I knew right away That would have been a profitable thing. But I actually ended up keeping it for a year. And just, like, enjoying it, right. I was like, Oh my god, this is the coolest car I’ve had. So, you know, that’s another one of the kind of the perks when it comes to flipping is you like, you can. Yeah, yeah, you can totally have all this cool stuff. And just, you know, I mean, like, I’ve had the coolest stuff, like, so the Porsche so I ended up buying that and then after a year, I’m like, Alright, I’m done. I’m done here. So I ended up selling it for like, I think $13,000 So basically, I got paid like $4,000 to drive a Porsche for a year.
That’s so cool.
A.J. Hakimi 13:45
So yeah, I mean, it’s super fun, right?
Yeah, I can see that now. That’s really cool. Um, so do you know anything like you had a beaut flipped a Porsche? Do you know anything about like, high end flipping because I know a lot of Kids are like teens are really into like, like hypebeast and all the high end flipping. Did you know anything about that?
A.J. Hakimi 14:08
The thing is, I’m not even I don’t even know what hypebeast is. What is it? Hypebeast?
Yeah, so it’s like, like all of like the famous and trendy like streetwear like, I’m like off white and like Supremes like those brands, like, people like wait in line for hours and get the get like a shoe or like Yeezys or something. They get Oh, and then and then they wear it for like, I don’t know, for a bit and then they sell it for more than they got it. And like a lot of, like, I don’t know, I know a lot of kids my age are doing that and they’re getting like money from that. So yeah, do you know anything about that?
A.J. Hakimi 14:44
Yeah, so um, I don’t know a ton about it, but I did do some research. So I’m a marketer. So I’m obsessed with all this — naturally, I’m obsessed with All Things sales, marketing, psychology people, and all that stuff. So I think A lot of it is, for example, what is it Yeezys?
A.J. Hakimi 15:04
Yeah, so I mean, a lot of these types of products. The interesting part is when you’re, when you’re behind the scenes, like, let’s say you and I were the marketers, the people behind the scenes who create these things, we don’t just create a shoe and sell it and suddenly it blows up. We sit down at a table. I mean, this is all planning, even including, like, for example, you know, Kanye West or whoever is the face behind it. So behind the scenes, we’ll sit down, and we literally plan, we design we craft this, so we’re going to say, okay, we’re going to create a shoe. That’s going to be you know, we’re going to create this perception behind it. Oh, yeah, we create that it’s not the market. I mean, obviously the market responds to it. But we plan it we sit down and we create a plan we say we’re going To create this product, we’re going to create press releases and news and hype that make it seem like, Oh my god, I have to, we’re going to get people excited. And we do that through, we go deeper, we don’t just create ads for it and say, here’s a cool pair of shoes for however much a couple thousand dollars or whatever. We say we’re gonna, we’re going to release press releases, we’re going to create this scarcity behind it, we’re going to only create 500 of them. And that’s it.
That’s interesting. Yeah.
A.J. Hakimi 16:37
Yeah, we’re going to create only 500 we’re going to make it so that it’s gold, essentially. So we create that, and obviously, people you know, it’s, it’s hypey it’s cool. You got the celebrity image behind it. So it’s funny because even guys, like, you know, Kanye West or whoever You know, with like, the Yeezys example, you know, they will actually say, to, you know, journalists and news people, they’ll be like, you know, because people will ask about it. And they might drop a tweet or something that says, you know, we’re planning on making more, we just really can’t right now. It’s like super crazy, we’re busy. Or we sold out. Or you know next year we’re planning this — they’ll totally create this perception, right? So it’s like, obviously, if they want it, they can create thousands and thousands of them and sell them but it’s like, that’s part of the art and the beauty of creating this movement. Right.
That’s so cool. Um, yeah, really interesting. Um, so, as a professional flipper, what are you most proud of?
A.J. Hakimi 17:56
I would say one of the most, one of the biggest things that I would say I’m proud of is getting to a place where you realize that the greatest asset that you have is you. It’s your skills and your knowledge. So, all the work that you put in, all the learning the skills, the training that you’ve developed, you can take everything away. You can take away the house, the cars, the, you know, everything, you can take it all away, and it won’t even faze you. MAYBE for 60 seconds, you’ll be like, “Shoot, this sucks.” But you know that it’s not a huge deal, because you can just go recreate all of it. Because you are the asset.
A.J. Hakimi 18:48
You know, it’s not like…
It’s not like the car is the asset.
A.J. Hakimi 18:52
Yeah, you’re not attached because you know that. If everything was taken away from you, you can easily recreate it. It’s kind of like the example of like, there’s a story of a guy who basically, if you take, like, let’s say you take a millionaire, right or some multi millionaire, you literally strip away everything from him. You take away his stuff, his cars, his businesses, you take away everything. So he has literally nothing. All he has is a pair of clothes, a pair of shoes, and one set of clothes. That’s it. If you place him in a completely new town or remote, city or place, like I said multimillionaire took everything away. Within one year, he can be he will become a millionaire again, he will recreate all of that because he’s the asset. His brain, his mind, is the thing that’s most valuable. And that’s the thing that he invested in. So, I mean, the biggest thing is I would recommend, like the, you know, the most valuable thing, ultimately, especially today, everyone’s like, I have $10,000 Where should I invest my money? Or I have $100 What should I do with? Or even, like, you know, it doesn’t really matter, like, people are looking for places to put their money or other like, opportunities. And I always say, always pour that money into yourself.
A.J. Hakimi 20:31
So invest in learning, in books, in training and resources.
Yeah that’s a good point, that’s, yeah.
A.J. Hakimi 20:37
And mentors, you know,
Build yourself up, I guess.
A.J. Hakimi 20:42
Yeah. Because it’s like, you know, I can put you know, you can put money in, you know, XYZ investment opportunity, but you’re not in control of that money. Like I said, the greatest asset is you. So pour everything into your own Self, your own learning and your own knowledge, you know your time energy resources, it doesn’t even have to be money, right money is — you don’t need money to make money. You know, everyone’s like, Oh, you need money to make money. It’s like… that’s not true. You know, you just need time you just need to make a decision.
Okay, that’s a great point. Thanks for that. Um, so, what has been your biggest challenge on the other hand with flipping?
A.J. Hakimi 21:31
I would say… I’m not sure if it’s like, “my biggest challenge” but one challenge that I did face after a while was my I was my capacity was being kind of topped off, you know, because it’s like, if you’re flipping stuff, for profit, and if you’re just one person. It’s like, eventually you might reach Place where, you know, you’re flipping so much, that even if you wanted to, you’re just one person, you don’t have the capacity you only have 24 hours in a day. Right? So, you know, but the thing is when when that did happen, I actually ended up hiring some, some assistance. So I hired two to three people, and train them fully trained them on how to you know, things like writing ads, things like posting and managing the ads, right? Because the things that took time, I wanted to remove time from the equation. So I could focus on for example, the finding of the deals or the acquiring it. So, I mean, that’s kind of I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that. That’s kind of like next level when you’re crazy. And you’re like, you don’t I mean, that’s like next level you hire people to literally because you Flipping so much. Yeah, you’re hiring extra muscle to help with it. But yeah, I mean, it was one of the greatest decisions ever. So suddenly it’s like, if you’re one person and you’re flipping and you’re topped off, now you have you just literally duplicated yourself.
A.J. Hakimi 23:18
Now you’re three people. Kind of expand your capacity.
Okay, that’s interesting.
Um, so what advice would you give to your 15 year old self that can be like in terms of anything?
A.J. Hakimi 23:34
I would say don’t follow the crowd or don’t follow what everyone else at your school or you know, community or whatever is doing. Take your own path of learning, discovery and one of the biggest things is develop genuine curiosity. You know, if you have, you know, you have to think for yourself. You know, like one of my half brothers, he’s 15 going on 16. So I was spending some time with him. And it’s just, it’s really interesting because I see that. So I see the things he does, the things that he’s into the things that he listens to, and I see the influence on certain things. But the cool part is that he does have an interest in entrepreneurship or he does have an interest in, you know, growing and, you know, he’s curious. He’s seeking answers. But the thing is, in today’s day and age, there’s so much information. We live in the, in the age of information.
A.J. Hakimi 24:59
Exactly. So now, it’s it’s a beautiful thing that we have every piece of knowledge we’ll ever need for anything right at our fingertips. But what does that also mean?
It’s like, we don’t have to do the work. We don’t have to think about anything this much.
A.J. Hakimi 25:19
But here’s the challenge. If there’s so much information…
How do you connect it? How do you like know, which is like the good information?
A.J. Hakimi 25:30
Exactly. How do you know what’s going to serve you? Or how do you know what is going to waste five or 10 years of your life? Right? I mean, that’s, you know, that’s the beauty about, you know, investing time, energy and resources in yourself or even a book. You know, people don’t read books anymore. And I’m telling you, there’s been books that I bought, I’ll buy a book for you know, 15 bucks, or, I’ll check, you know, check out a book at the library, whatever you, whatever you have to do. And there will be, the whole book could be useless. But there might be one sentence or one paragraph or one idea in that book that will make me $20,000
A.J. Hakimi 26:20
Or change your life forever. So that’s why, you know, part of, as far as you know, and this is advice, not just for a teen, but for adults, unfortunately, even adults don’t, you know, I guess, think this way or seek out, you know, and I guess invest time and energy into learning, right? But it’s like, imagine if, if there’s something that you if there’s some challenge you had, and if you were to do it on your own, it will take you 10 years, how old are you?
A.J. Hakimi 26:55
Okay, 15. Imagine if there’s something you’re trying to figure out and, on your own, it’ll take you 10 years you’ll be 25. But imagine if you asked someone else or you, someone, you know, you read a book.
A.J. Hakimi 27:09
And they literally told you — suddenly that thing that would have taken 10 years of your life took only six months.
A.J. Hakimi 27:18
So when you look at it like that, it’s like you should be rushing to the books, you should be rushing to all these things, because you’re constantly hungry for information for knowledge for the answer, right?
I see what you’re saying.
A.J. Hakimi 27:36
Yeah, that’s great. Um, I think it’s a really important point. Like, just to say that again, like, you have to develop the sense of curiosity.
Like you’re in for learning, so that’s amazing point. Yeah. So how can listeners get a hold of you and learn more about flipping
A.J. Hakimi 27:58
So you can Go to my website, which is TheFlippingNinja.com. And I’m pretty much on most social media channels, so you can go that route. But yeah, there’s plenty of free information, articles, podcasts, etc, that if you’re interested in learning this skill set or, you know, learning, you know, because the flipping ninja is it’s kind of in a sense, it’s not just about flipping per se. A lot of it is, you know, because I read, I like to read a lot, read a lot of books. So a lot of it is honestly, you know, maybe ideas that I would get from a book or personal development topics or things that will change you at a core level like mindset. So, like a lot of it honestly is just like me posting something, is a lot of times it’s just, it’s for me, for my sake. So that’s how people can reach me or check out my stuff.
Thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate it everything you said. And I learned a lot just now. So yeah, thank you.
A.J. Hakimi 29:15
Yeah, of course, I hope that was of value. And thanks for doing the podcast. It was fun. And yeah.
So that’s the end of the interview. And wow, I definitely learned a lot. I didn’t realize this before, but flipping really does teach you about life lessons. And AJ talks about the importance of investing in yourself, which I never really thought of, you know, learning and or reading a book for example, as investing in yourself but after this conversation, I definitely see how you are adding to your value and I guess you’re like rising your stock or like self value through reading and learning and developing this sense of curiosity. The Flipping Ninja link is in the episode description if you want to check it out. And also on that note, this week on voices we are featuring livi, a teen from Chicago, who talks about her interesting perspective on money with a little Disney twist. I’m not gonna give it all away. It’s a really fun read actually, you can find voices on the WhyFi matters website which is at www.WhyFiMatters.com, and definitely go check it out. Thanks so much and I can’t wait to talk to you guys next time.