Flip of the Week: How I Earned $640 In One Thrift Store Visit
What would you do if you saw a dozen monitors displayed in your local thrift store?
If you were this old man—who probably is a wonderful person just minding his business—you might not notice the opportunity sitting right on top of your head.
Who wants anything to do with second-hand monitors anyway, right? But there’s your mistake. You might not want to use these yourself, but someone out there would gladly pay you at least $70 for a single monitor—I know I got paid for a dozen of these. Here’s how.
The Eye for the Deal
You know how your mind just clicks all of a sudden and changes your world when a sudden realization sweeps over you? Like when you realize that the ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are played in the same tune. Or when you pour milk into your cereal and then realize, as you’re about to put it in your mouth, that cereal is actually a milk soup? Or when you realize that an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent being’s limitation is that it lacks limitation. Mind-blowing, right?
Our perception is a tricky thing. It’s profoundly tricky. With only a tiny shift, you can change the way you view the world. It’s because we operate in life through a variety of different lenses. As a flipper, it is necessary that you wear a certain lens all the time, or at least keep it in your pocket whenever you need it. This lens, I call The Eye for the Deal.
To see like a flipper is to see a thing’s potential profit. The question “How much can this be sold for?” is always in the back of a flipper’s mind. If the potential profit, in his or her perception, is positive then you could bet that they will consider flipping it.
First Flip… and counting
I’ve used this perception ever since I accidentally profited from my first flip. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I sold my used digital piano and actually gained $20 more than what I bought it for, my perception of how I can earn money changed. It has brought me where I am now.
That first flip was 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve flipped over 3000 items—and counting.
I haven’t stopped.
The Dozen Monitor Flip
So, I realize I just inserted this little teaching moment inside this FOTW [Flip of the Week] article, and if you didn’t want that I sincerely apologize. But otherwise, let’s dive right into it!
This flip happened with beautifully impeccable timing.
It was early 2020, and the news of the pandemic was rising fear from everyone. I was deeply concerned with how things were going to proceed but I still needed to make money. So I went to my local thrift store and looked for things to flip.
As you can guess, whenever I enter thrift stores my perception automatically shifts into Eye for the Deal mode. So when I saw a dozen monitors arrayed on the top shelf, and found out that they were being sold for $20 each, I immediately got them checked for functionality. When everything worked, I was off to the checkout counter in seconds. I got them all for $240.
If you’re new to my blog, I have a process I routinely do when I flip things. I bring them home, take flattering pictures (or what I call the Money Shot), write a compelling ad description, then get them to as many eyeballs as possible, i.e., post them online. Everything was normal, but little did I know the fortune I was in.
A few days later, the lockdown ensued. Companies started closing their main offices, many lost their jobs, and those that kept theirs were transitioning from office work to working from home. Suddenly, all the signs pointed in one direction. People wanted equipment to work from home, namely computers and monitors! Next thing you know, after a few days, all my monitors were sold.
Needless to say, I was right about how there’s always someone who wants your thing—and this time, they wanted it badly!
The six pairs were sold for $140, $140, $150, $150, $150, and $150 respectively. A grand total of $880. That’s a $640 profit!
The total time I put into this flip was probably around two hours tops. If that’s not a decent flip for you, then I don’t know what is.
Not to mention — I could have probably priced them at $200 per set and they would have sold just as fast, but at the time I was in the middle of a move myself and needed to sell everything quickly.
There’s not a single flip I did in my entire life where I didn’t use The Eye for the Deal—except for the one that caused it to manifest, i.e., my first one (the firsts are always special lol). However, I must admit that, in this instance, I was incredibly lucky. But without using the Eye for the Deal mindset, I wouldn’t have noticed these monitors.
I’ve been using it for a long time and it’s basically a reflex by this point. You’ve probably been using it too! It’s good to be aware of it because it’s a tool. Use it 24/7 because it will more than likely get you opportunities rather than not.
This time, The Eye for the Deal earned me $640 with two hours of work—plus a little help from Lady Luck. What’s it gotten you so far?
Overall Rating: 5/5
$640 in one thrift store visit is undoubtedly a five-star.
Thankfully everything fit inside my SUV, otherwise, I would’ve been totally bummed out with working around how to fix that. But it worked out in the end!
Time Spent: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Two hours—that’s a dozen monitors, but considering the profit I made, I’m giving it five.
Overall I’d give it a 5 out of 5 considering these factors:
- Time spent: 2 hours
- Transport: It fit.
- Profit: $640