January 15, 2021

A 10-Step Guide On How to Source Flipping Items Online

By AJ Hakimi (The Flipping Ninja)

Starting your own business and setting its foundation can be exciting for new entrepreneurs. While a lot of people are staying inside their homes watching TV shows, you can make use of this free time to launch a new business that can help you earn while in quarantine.

A flipping business is a great idea if you are looking for a quick and simple way to generate profit. All you need to do is find an item for a low price and refurbish it to look and perform better. From doing this, you can sell the item for a higher price elsewhere.

If you are looking forward to starting your flipping business, it’s essential to know the basics first, like who is your target market and where to get products that you can flip.

Doing this is crucial so that you can secure a good source of items online. In this article, we will talk about how to source the things you can flip and sell online to land on good deals.

Step 1: Visit thrift stores

These are some of the most common places you can find people who are into making money flipping things. You can visit many locations and find a wide range of items that have great potential for flipping. 

You can look for more thrift stores in areas with wealthy residents because you are most likely to find brand-name items that can be sold for a higher price with proper refurbishing (or even as-is).

Due to the current quarantine measures, you can opt for online thrift stores. You can find a lot of them on several social media platforms.

Step 2: Try garage sales

Just like thrift stores, there are also garage sales held in online markets. Garage yard sales are a good place to find useful items you can flip. You can check your local marketplace for garage sale announcements, and you won’t have to go far to source items you can flip for profit.

The great thing about garage yard sales is that you can haggle the prices with the owner. Don’t be shy to ask for lower prices since you need to spend as little as possible when sourcing your items.

Since most people are motivated to get rid of their unwanted stuff, you will most likely bargain at low prices.

Step 3: Go to auctions and estate sales

If you aim for a higher income through the flipping business, you can always go for auction and estate sales.

Although the prices here will be generally higher, you are most likely to find good deals if you are patient enough. Many online auctions are going on nowadays, so you can easily check your online marketplace for these.

You can either join estate sales early in the day or late in the afternoon to get the best deals. Estate sales are great for finding items to flip — as they often need to get rid of stuff QUICK. Not only that, they’re super fun to go to!

Step 4: Buy the items you sourced

When you are done sourcing your items from physical stores and your local online marketplace, it’s time to start buying them. This is a crucial part because you will need to be good at budgeting and keeping track of your expenses.

When buying items online, there are a few things you need to remember to make sure that what you spend money on will generate a high profit for you in the long run. Some of the things you need to consider are:

  • Expensive and unique items are great to go for. This means you need to pay attention to their brands because a high-end brand means higher profit for you. Rare and unique items are also treasures that you need to look out for since many people will be lining up to purchase hard-to-find pieces.
  • Searching for the product online is crucial for you to determine how much it is worth. Try searching for items similar to what you sourced and compare the price with the product online. This will help you know the rarity of the item and how much it sells for.
  • Start with a niche that you are most comfortable with, especially if you are just starting with your flipping business. Once you get the hang of it, you can expand to other categories. When trying to find your niche, be sure to research the items first to know what to buy and what not to buy.

Step 5: Avoid overspending

You need to keep your profit in mind while you’re sourcing online. You might get tempted by spending much more than you can afford.

One way to ensure that you stay within your budget limit is by calculating how much you can sell it for from how much you are willing to pay for it.

That is why researching is a crucial step. Once you know what an item is worth, it will be easier to decide how much you should buy it for.

Factor in other expenses like the shipping fee if you are sourcing from an online store and the time you spent looking for it. After all, you are also paying yourself for the time and energy you exert into finding a good source for items you can flip for cash.

Take a good look at how you currently spend your time and set the goals you want to achieve to make it worthy of your time and make the most of your productivity.

Step 6: Start getting organized

After finding a good source, you can then start organizing your business. If you plan to make your flipping business your primary income source, it’s smart to have an organized schedule from sourcing to listing the items online.

When organizing your schedule, consider the information from the stores you get your source items from to know when they will restock or sell new items. These pieces of information can be found online.

Keeping track of your profit and organizing your spending is also important. You can keep some of the profits and save money. The extra will go to reinvesting for new items you can locally source to keep your flipping business going. 

Step 7: Refurbishing the items

This is the most crucial part of your flipping business. How you handle the refurbishing of your sourced items can make or break your business. This is where you will apply your craftiness to make the products you purchase look and perform much better. 

This is where knowing your niche will be vital so you can get the most out of the products you have and sell them for a good amount of profit. This means that you have to make sure the items you sourced can live up to their full potential before you resell them to the market.

Here’s a short list of items that are both profitable and good to be on the lookout for:

  • Bicycles – Bikes are great items for buying and reselling. You can source these from garage sales and Thrift Stores. Look out for their brand names and how vintage they are since this makes them a good source of profit.
  • Furniture and Appliances – Many of the old furniture you can find in yard sales can easily be flipped to make it look brand-new. Just a few fixes and a good paint job will do the trick, and you can find a lot of interested buyers for these items.
  • Power Tools – You can usually find these tools from owners that are planning on moving out. They will be getting rid of difficult items to carry across states, so chances are, they will be selling these for a low price. Make sure to test the tool before reselling it. Thrift stores also sell tools cheap.
  • Books Many people who love reading books are continually looking for rare copies of their favorite books in mint condition. You can visit library sales and clearance sections of your local department stores. Keep an eye for vintage finds because people are willing to spend a fortune to get their hands on them.

Step 8: Setting up a photo station

Before you list your items online, it’s good to set up a photo station for taking high-quality pics of the items you’re flipping for profit. This includes good lighting and a neat background. Natural light also works well in illuminating your photos.

For estate products such as houses or cars, you can hire a professional photographer to make your photos appealing to your online buyers. They will know the perfect angles that will highlight the beautiful features of what you are trying to sell.

The more appealing it is, the more you will be attracting people to engage with your flipping business and have them wanting more from you.

Step 9: Putting a price on the items

When researching the items you recently sourced, remember that a high price when it’s new doesn’t necessarily mean it has a high used price. Some things lose their value very quickly because people greatly prefer to buy new ones.

Make sure that when you put a price on your refurbished items, you can gain a reasonable profit from it so you can use it to reinvest for another batch of flipped items.

Offer your audience a good deal to keep them coming back for more, and you can have loyal buyers in the future.

If they try to lowball you, don’t get swayed too quickly and simply tell them no. This is to ensure that your business won’t be going bankrupt from selling the items for meager prices. Instead, try negotiating with them to agree on a favorable price for both sides.

Step 10: Listing the items online

The first step you’re going to do before listing your refurbished items is to find a suitable site where you can showcase your products.

Choose a user-friendly place to make it more accessible for everyone. Some of the sites you can put your listings up are eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Craigslist, and Facebook MarketPlace.

You can even auction your products and have people bid on them to generate a higher profit. Offering your refurbished items on limited and exclusive deals will also pique the interest of your audience, so make sure you try out different ways to market them.

Create catchy and informative descriptions of your products. This way, the buyers will see all they need to know about what you’re offering.


Making money through online selling can be fun and beneficial for you, especially if you know how to utilize your time and skills.

Starting a flipping business is a quick and easy way to earn from home during the pandemic. You just need to look for suitable investments and source your items from several stores.

Remember to always look for potential because there might be treasured items that many people won’t notice that you can make money from.



AJ Hakimi (The Flipping Ninja)

Hey there, I'm AJ, also known as 'The Flipping Ninja'. My flipping journey has been transformative, allowing me to buy sleek cars, indulge in exotic vacations, and even purchase my first house at 24, which I turned into a passive income source. With over 3,000+ items flipped and sales surpassing $300k, it's not just about the numbers. It's about the freedom and empowerment flipping brings.

After years of experience, my mission is to share this life-changing skill. I believe flipping is a powerful side hustle for anyone, from college students to working professionals. Ready to transform your life with flipping? Let's embark on this journey together.

Interested in my full journey? Read More about how I became 'The Flipping Ninja'.

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