If you’ve been researching ways to start earning a living online, you’ve probably stumbled across the term ‘flipping’. You can use several platforms to flip items for a living, but today, I will be focusing on Amazon specifically.
I often get asked, ‘what is Amazon flipping?’, so I thought it was time to create a guide.
For those of you who have just started familiarizing yourselves with this popular online marketplace, this is what you need to know.
What is Amazon Flipping? – A Short Overview
In a nutshell, flipping involves purchasing an item for a lower price and selling it for a higher price. Savvy sellers who know how to spot an under-priced item can make a decent profit by flipping it on Amazon.
There are a few ways you can start flipping on Amazon. The first is through online or retail arbitrage.
This involves purchasing an under-priced item either online or at a local retail store to re-sell for a higher price on Amazon. Online arbitrage tends to be easier because you don’t need to go anywhere to bargain hunt physically; the difficult part is finding the deals.
The second option is to purchase items in bulk at wholesale prices, which are also generally much cheaper, and resell them on Amazon.
Then there’s the private label route, which is the model I’ve adopted. This involves partnering with factories, manufacturing items, modifying them slightly, adding your own label or brand to them, and reselling at a higher price on Amazon.
You might be wondering how and why other people are selling products at a lower price than they could on Amazon.
In most instances, it’s sellers who are new to the platform or those who have forgotten to reprice based on industry standards and competition.
Some of the other reasons for these low prices are because the item is seasonal, or the seller simply wants to liquidate their stock.
There are so many different scenarios to consider here; in some cases, a company might be able to sell a product for a lower price because they bought so many of them in the first place.
Is Reselling Allowed on Amazon?
There is nothing stopping you from reselling on Amazon. According to the first-sale doctrine, once you legally purchase an item, you have the right to resell it.
The only time you would run into issues is if the product is trademarked or restricted. This means you wouldn’t be authorized to use their marks in your marketing. In fact, Amazon has a list of restricted brands that you cannot resell.
Unfortunately, they have never published an official list, but I cover this in a little more detail in the article below.
What are the Easiest Things to Flip?
Let’s start out by looking at the easiest items to flip before moving onto the most profitable. You will see there are a few items that are mentioned in both lists.
- Books. This is one of the easiest products to flip because they are so easy to find at good prices. If you manage to get your hands on first edition books or vintage novels, even better, as you can make a lot more money.
- Vintage Electronics. Even though we have more modern gadgets than we can keep track of, people are still interested in owning vintage electronics. Think Walkmans, VCRs, and game consoles. Just keep in mind that you will more than likely need to sell these items as used.
- Power Tools. There is high demand for power tools, both new and used, making this the ideal product category for flipping. You will need to make sure any used items work before selling them though.
- Bicycles. This is another product that is easy to find and resell on Amazon. If the bicycle is not new, though, be prepared to carry out some minor repairs to sell it for a higher price.
- Yard Equipment. New and used yard or lawn care tools and equipment can be sourced at fair prices both online and in retail stores. Again, be prepared for potential refurbishing if you’re buying used equipment.
- Furniture. If you are willing to spend time refinishing furniture to increase the overall quality, you can potentially earn excellent profits. Plus, there are so many ways to source new, used, and vintage furniture.
- Gaming Consoles. There is massive demand for all things gaming, making this an excellent product category for flipping. You can go the new or vintage route here too – there is a market for both.
- Watches. The watch collector market has a lot of potential if you are interested in flipping. Vintage, branded, and mechanical watches are all in high demand.
- Websites/Domains. Believe it or not, it is also possible to flip websites or domains, but I would only recommend this if you have experience with websites.
Since we touched on a lot of items that you can sell as used, I recommend reading through my guide on Amazon Renewed.
What are the Most Profitable Things to Flip?
Next, let’s look at some of the most profitable items you can flip on Amazon.
- Clearance Items. Any discounted products you can find online or at retail stores have the potential to be highly profitable. Just make sure you are choosing items that are in high demand and those that will be worth your while after expenses.
- Sport and Exercise Equipment. Larger items such as treadmills and exercise bikes can generally generate good margins. Sporting equipment such as skis and golf clubs are particularly popular amongst those looking to take up a new hobby.
- Furniture. As mentioned above, furniture is one of those products that is easy to flip and has the potential for high profits. Depending on the type of furniture you want to flip, you may need to put in a bit of elbow grease.
- Power Tools. Due to the high demand and excellent availability, power tools are both easy and profitable items to flip.
- Sports Memorabilia. Sports fans aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so consider flipping anything from cards and ticket stubs to autographed items.
- Musical Instruments. If you can find musical instruments in good working condition, there is potential for high profit margins.
- Baby Products. Having kids is expensive, which is why this is an excellent flipping category. Plus, there are so many items you can flip, including toys, strollers, high-chairs, and clothing.
- Appliances. Whether new or used, appliances are always in high demand, particularly because buying new appliances in retail stores is so costly. (In most cases, anyway)
How Amazon FBA is Game-Changing for Flippers
Amazon FBA is changing the flipping game for sellers, and it all starts with seller ranking.
The better your seller ranking, the more success you will see as an Amazon flipper, and utilizing the FBA model is one way to boost this ranking.
By adopting the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) model, all your storage, picking, packing, and shipping is taken care of. Amazon will even assist with customer service and returns. And since Amazon seems to favor FBA sellers, it can help improve your seller ranking and increase sales.
While FBA isn’t free, the benefits outweigh the additional expense, especially when you are flipping the right products.
One note of warning on this, some of the items I’ve mentioned are large items; this will probably mean they aren’t suitable for Amazon FBA (due to the high storage and fulfillment costs). If you want to flip large or heavy products, I’d look at Facebook marketplace and advertise to local buyers that won’t mind collecting.
How Do I Start Flipping?
So, now that you have a better idea of what Amazon flipping is, here are some guidelines on how to get started.
Pick a Category
To start flipping, you need to decide which product categories you want to focus on. It’s much easier to start sourcing products once you decide on one or two categories versus the entire marketplace. You can either select a category you’re passionate about or stick to the easiest and most profitable products to flip.
Start Scouting for Products
Before you can start scouting for products, you need to decide whether you want to go the arbitrage, wholesale or private label route.
This is probably the most time-consuming part of this process, which is why it helps to only focus on one or two categories at a time.
If you are currently working a full-time job, you will need to scout for products during any spare time you have available.
If you are interested in private label, I’d recommend watching the below video where I outline an easy way to find products to sell on Amazon.
List and Ship Your Products
If you haven’t yet created a Seller Central account, now is the time. You will also need to choose between an Individual or Professional seller account. You can find out more about the fees associated with each account here.
Once you set up your account, you can start creating your product listings. For your listings to be successful, they need to be complete and optimized, including using the right keywords, a strong title, and eye-catching visuals.
Since you are flipping a product, you will also need to know what you want to charge in order to turn a profit.
From there, you need to create the labels for your products and ship them to your customers. If you are an FBA seller, Amazon will take care of the shipping for you. However, you will still need to get your products to an Amazon fulfillment center (prepped and packed in the right way).
Once your items reach an Amazon fulfillment center, they are unpacked and added to your seller’s inventory, and you can track them online.
Ready to Start Flipping?
Now that you know exactly what flipping is, what you should be flipping, and how to get started, you can start rolling out your new business.
Once you spend time selling on Amazon, you will start getting a better feel for the products that generate the best profits, and you can adjust your inventory accordingly.
If you are really stuck for start-up cash, why not look around your house?! I bet there is a load of items you could flip for a profit to get up and running!
If you have any further questions about flipping or Amazon FBA, please leave me a comment below.