I write these blogs based on the most commonly asked questions from those who are looking to get started in flipping pallets themselves. And this, is a GREAT question that I get asked a lot.
(I don’t get tired of questions that get asked often, but it does tell me that there needs to be more readily available information out there to get these questions asked.)
There is a common cliche that says “you gotta spend money to make money”. This is true, however, we can still be smart about that. In 2018, the federal government released a shocking statement that 41% of Americans who could not cover an unexpected expense of $400 or more.
Liquidation never has been and never will be a “sure fire” thing. There is no way to completely mitigate the risk that comes with flipping pallets. It is an enjoyable business, but remember, the risk is assumed and the work is hard.
If you never take a single ounce of advice from me, I ask that you please take this one: do not spend your rent money on pallets. Do not spend your rent money, your light bill money, your emergency fund… NONE of that should be spent flipping pallets. There is always a chance that you could lose some or all of that money with one pallet. And if you’re just starting out, your chances of losing are much higher because you’re still learning.
If you don’t have any disposable income, then I suggest that you start by selling extra stuff around your house. Everyone has old jeans they can’t fit into, DVDs they no longer watch, clothes kids have outgrown, that juicer you bought on sale and really thought you’d get into it, but never did (ahem. like me.) … things that can be sold both locally and on various platforms to get you a starting pallet flipping fund.
That way, if you DO make a mistake and lose money… you can still eat, you still have lights, and you can still survive.
Step Two: Start as SMALL as Possible
So, you get that starting fund, you get excited, and you purchase your first pallet. Let’s hope you did your due diligence on shipping and didn’t overpay! The thrill of waiting for that pallet to come in and the excitement of unboxing it is comparable to Christmas morning.
Many first-time pallet flippers do not make it far past this point if they have not truly made a plan to move those items quick enough that they can keep their pallet business moving. If you have never sold on any online or local platform before, you would have to learn quickly. Even an experienced business person could get overwhelmed with the influx of product and the overwhelming and tedious process of moving those items quickly enough.
Selling items you already own has many perks other than not having to spend money. By selling items you already own, you can go slow and at your own pace, learning different platforms and which ones work for you. Some platforms only give you a limited amount of listings to start with, and the longer you have your account established, the more listings you’ll be allowed. Therefore, by the time you get to the point of purchasing a pallet, you’ll have plenty of listings to list those items.
Once you’ve sold items around your house, try and work your way up to a lot or box instead of a pallet. Lots and boxes are like pallets, but with less items and can be shipped the traditional way as opposed to having to organize freight. You can learn what items you enjoy listing more, what “niche” you prefer, all the while, getting used to figuring out an inventory system, a listing work flow, and the art of shipping. You can make mistakes on a much smaller scale.
THEN, once you’ve done that for a while, you feel as if you’re an established reseller and you know your way around platforms, shipping, moving product, etc… you can start learning about pallets. Pallets are a little trickier, and you’ll have to learn what kind of pallets fit the business model you built, which products would sell well, and furthermore, how to organize freight or shipping in a way that is efficient and cost effective.
Step Three: Research, Research, Research
Any reseller or pallet flipper would tell you that research is your best friend. There are so many different ways to run a reselling business. Many people start out reselling with the intention to start reselling pallets, but discover there is a different sourcing method they prefer more. And that’s absolutely okay! There are dozens of reseller youtube channels, blogs, and information out there to help you get what you need when it comes to building your business. I always highly suggest you find a few resellers you like to follow that most closely matches your business model and keep up with what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and how they adjust to the ever-changing reselling climate.
Who knows, maybe you could be a reseller YouTuber yourself!
If you’re truly wanting to purchase pallets, then I’d start trying to find the types of pallets in the niche you want that fits your business model. Look into unboxing videos, testimonies, and reviews for the types of pallets you think work best for you to get more information about your choice. By doing this, you get a better idea of what to expect when it comes to purchasing those types of pallets. THEN, I’d start talking to liquidators that have those pallets and start making relationships with them.
Reselling is an AMAZING way to make extra money while living whatever lifestyle you’re living. Joe and I specialize in pallet flipping and liquidation, but the process is pretty similar across all niches and styles. It’s all about what works best for you!