When I found out about Gary Vaynerchuk‘s 2017FlipChallenge, it was late March. The challenge is simple. Take the stuff laying around your house/condo/apartment and sell it with the target of earning $20,170 for the year. Fairly straightforward. But, I will let Gary Vee lay it all out for you.
I was excited to start. Ready to find and post all the items I could. But, I ran into one little roadblock – I had already given away, donated, recycled, or thrown out hundreds of things in the months leading up to the discovery of the 2017FlipChallenge.
I had to get creative, tweak some rules, and see how much I could make in a little over eight months.
I created some limitations: eBay was not a viable option due to shipping in Canada. There wasn’t time to learn about the ins-and-outs of shipping costs or the correct way to charge with our son expected very soon, and with the business needing attention for us to be ready to walk away in May. I wanted to make it as easy as possible which meant using Facebook Groups and Kijiji to find local buyers.
Video games and system – The XBOX360 and games sat unused in the basement for almost four years. Wasted profit. I should have traded it in much sooner. Lesson learned.
Baby products – The moment an item was no longer usable, or it was something our son didn’t like; it was posted on a Facebook buy and sell parent groups. All items posted in these groups sold within 24 hours. They are a great well to sell.
FunkoPops – Christmas 2015 I began collecting FunkoPops. I stopped about three months later. This challenge finally motivated me to start selling. I used Pop Price Guide to set my prices, listed 22, and sold eight. Average profit: $13.94 per figure.
Winnipeg Jets tickets – Sold all our remaining tickets for the 2017 season. All tickets sold at face value which meant money was made based on season ticket pricing.
Our second vehicle – With both my wife and I working from home, our second car, a 2007 Dodge Caliber with 97000 KM, sat parked for four months before finally getting around to listing it. Less than a week after it was up, it sold. Five months later, haven’t missed it.
Various household goods – Random items found around the house fall into this category. Unopened KitchenAid mixer accessories. A Sphero BB-8 toy. An old iPad. Many things which may have had value for sale had already been donated thus limiting the earning potential or allocated to a garage sale bin.
2017-2018 NHL season tickets – Attending NHL games with an infant was not something my Wife or I wanted to add to our plate. I found someone to take over my contract, essentially selling all our tickets in one move.
Reworked contracts – I called every service provider asking for a better deal. Our home phone line was canceled in March saving us $29 a month while also improving our home internet service. My wife and I each called our cell phone providers and found $60 in annual savings on her contract. I worked with our insurance agent and found $108 in savings by updating our home insurance while giving ourselves better coverage.
Budgeted expense cuts – All remaining expenses around selling the car (insurance, gas, repairs) were added to the monthly RRSP plan. I also canceled the AMEX. It made sense when I traveled for work and had an expense report. The points accumulated no longer justified the annual fee.
As I begin the end of the year purge of the house, I have two questions I am asking:
1) Did I use it in 2017?
2) If there was a fire, would I buy it again?
If the answer to either question is “no,” in a bin it goes. #minimalism
— Jesse T (@Broximar) December 18, 2017
Garage Sale – Winnipeg is one of the most active garage sale markets anywhere. Not doing one last year hurt the earning potential of the challenge. A garage sale is the best way to unload a lot of things to people who have time to resell. I look at them as a supplier/vendor relationship. Tech products, books, CDs, board games, all sell better via garage sale. I end up with money. They leave with a product. Is it leaving money on the table? Probably. But, I have to look at my ROI. Planning a sale with an infant just didn’t fit life last summer. It will absolutely happen this year.
Furniture – As the house is made more toddler appropriate, older pieces will be on the way out. A big leather chair. Old bed frames. A mattress and boxspring. We have limited the number of furniture pieces in the house, but there is still are pieces to move.
More baby products – Outgrown baby clothes, toys no longer required, maternity items, will all be listed. Good money is sitting in boxes right now.
Alcohol – Unopened bottles of scotch and a bottle of 2013 Sam Adams Utopias. Walking away from alcohol in 2018 will also save more than $900 based on 2017’s spend.
Minimalism and the 2017FlipChallenge are a perfect pair. This attempt was not about going out, finding a deal, and reselling it for more. No, the focus is taking your existing life, paring it down, and getting a return on the items which no longer have a purpose. In less than nine months, I discovered over $10,000 in found money laying around. Just because 2017 is over doesn’t mean this should stop. So, go! Take the items you don’t want anymore or are no longer using and make some money!