Flipping money is a strategy that aims to generate quick returns through small investments. In this article, we’ll explore how you can start flipping money by investing anywhere between $0 to a few thousand dollars in a way that allows you to generate a return as fast as possible.
#1. Reselling Goods
Reselling goods is a great way to make money with little to no upfront costs.
With the right strategy, you can find low-cost items ($10 to $30) that have resale potential and maximize your profits when selling them on the right marketplace. With more skills in place, there’s potential to make a lot more — such as by flipping cars.
The keys to successful reselling are knowing where to find the best deals and knowing which marketplaces these goods get maximum value on.
While a popular strategy is buying goods offline and selling them online — a practice often referred to as retail arbitrage — you shouldn’t discount all four potential possibilities:
|Where to buy||Where to sell|
When you’re buying items offline, look for clearance items and leverage second-hand stores, yard sales and thrift shops.
Another strategy is focusing on purchasing through eBay auctions, which typically have closing prices that are lower than the item would sell for as a fixed-price listing.
Once you’ve identified product deals, it’s time to set up an online store or marketplace account to list your items. Consider using popular platforms, like eBay, as well as smaller niche sites specific to your industry, such as Poshmark for designer clothes or Depop for Gen-Z fashion.
Learn more in our article about how to make money on eBay.
This is a great chance to develop the skills of a copywriter, as you’ll be writing descriptions and taking high-quality photos so customers know exactly what they’re buying from you.
When pricing your items, be sure to factor in all associated costs, such as shipping fees and any taxes applicable to ensure maximum profit margins per item sold.
You can also consider starting a dropshipping business, which is when you don’t even purchase items ahead of time. With a dropshipping business model, you create an online storefront, offer products for sale that are available from your suppliers, and then wait for orders to come in. When a customer places an order on your website, you place an order with your supplier and have the product shipped directly to the customer.
#2. Bank and Brokerage Offers
Sign-up bonuses offered by banks, credit cards and other financial institutions are one of the easiest ways to generate a return with little to no money.
For example, it’s not uncommon for a bank to offer a bonus for you to open an account and deposit a certain amount of money. This is one of the easiest ways to quickly generate a high return on your initial investment.
The goal is to sign up for services that are better than what you currently have, such as banks that offer bonuses and don’t charge the fees you’re currently paying. Finding the right service providers that offer a high bonus is the first step in taking advantage of bank and brokerage offers.
Resources we have for you include:
- Best apps and websites to sign up and get money.
- Best brokerage account cash sign-up bonuses.
- How to get free shares of stock.
Consider fees, deposit requirements, interest rates and other requirements to earn the bonus. For example, most credit card bonuses have a minimum spending requirement, and many banks require you to set up direct deposit to earn the bonus.
Last, carefully review the terms of the offer to understand restrictions on withdrawals or transfers.
For the best current promotions, as well as their terms and conditions, see our promotional category page.
#3. Repairing Items for Resale
Repairing items for resale can be not only a way to generate some quick cash, but also a long-term side hustle for those with more time than money.
Identifying items with high resale potential is the first step in this process. Look for items that are in good condition but need minor repairs, such as furniture. These items usually have a high resale value and require minimal effort to repair.
While a simple paint job can work wonders in some cases, making repairs to maximize profits often requires knowledge about how products work and what parts may need fixing to restore them to their original condition. For example, there’s a lot of money in rehabbing appliances, phones and computers, but it’s going to take some skill.
When you’re listing items for sale on sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, it’s important to take good photos and write a detailed description, making sure to let the buyer know the item has been rehabbed.
#4. Flipping Websites
Flipping websites — e.g., finding an existing website, making improvements, and then selling it for a profit — is a great way to make money online.
While there is a slightly higher investment requirement and skill base needed here, there are sites available where basic editing, online marketing, and design tweaks can vastly improve their revenue. Often, these sites can be purchased for a few thousand dollars.
A rule of thumb that’s important to understand in both buying and selling websites is that they typically go for roughly 36X their monthly income. So if a website makes $100 per month, you can buy that website for $3,600. That also means that doubling a site’s revenue from $100 to $200 a month may allow you to sell that site for $7,200.
Keep in mind that buyers will want to see that the increase in revenue is sustainable, so three to six months is considered a fast website flip.
When evaluating potential sites for flipping, it’s best to look for those where your current skills and knowledge make it easy to add value. For example, if your skill is in design, look for a site where you can increase profits with better design. If you’re a subject matter expert, look for sites where you can improve the existing content. And if you’re great at marketing, consider a site that can benefit from greater brand awareness.
If you’re interested, check out our complete guide to website flipping and listen to the Empire Flippers podcast. Empire Flippers specializes in selling high-value sites, but often has a lot of great information on buying and growing sites no matter your budget.
#5. Buy Wholesale, Sell Individually
Buying products wholesale (i.e., in bulk) and selling them individually can make for a great ROI.
A common strategy is to buy in bulk on sites like Alibaba, then resell items on Amazon using Amazon FBA. This program allows you to leverage the e-commerce giant’s extensive logistics and customer base to store, sell and ship your products.
Whether you choose Amazon FBA or another platform, the same principles of successful reselling apply.
Your goal is to:
- Identify a product or products that are in high demand and have a good profit margin when sold at retail prices.
- Find where you can purchase items in bulk (Alibaba and eBay are two common choices).
With Amazon FBA specifically, after a supplier is chosen, you can place an order for the product and have it shipped to their storage space.
If not using FBA, a closet or garage is a perfectly acceptable storage space, especially for smaller items. From there, the product can be listed and sold on various e-commerce platforms.
How to Flip Money FAQs
Real estate and investing in stocks are both long-term investments. While it is possible to make a quick profit in these markets, there are no guaranteed outcomes, and it does come with significant risk. It also requires significant capital, especially when it comes to flipping houses, where renovations may be required.
It’s best to focus on building a diversified portfolio and hold these investments for the long-term to maximize returns.
Real estate investing takes knowledge and skill, and while flipping houses can be done for a profit, we don’t recommend it for beginners or real estate novices. However, there is a way to make money from rental properties while also limiting your potential losses.
This strategy is called rental arbitrage. It typically involves signing a lease for a property and then renting that property on apps like Airbnb and VRBO for a higher rate than you’re paying. We go into the details about this in our Airbnb arbitrage guide, but keep in mind that while this may technically meet the definition of “flipping,” it does require time — you’re not going to turn a profit at the beginning of your lease.
The best way to double your money fast is by investing it in stocks. However, it’s going to take seven to 10 years for your money to double, and that’s even with the right investment approach. If you’re looking for a shorter-term approach, consider flipping physical goods, where you’re buying items at a lower price and then selling them at a higher price.
The most common money flipping scam is some variation on the following: Invest $X today and you’ll get a guaranteed return of $Y at some specified time in the future. Money flipping scams often target senior citizens through cold calls, but they’re also increasingly common on Cash App.
How to Flip Your Money: Summary & Final Thoughts
Flipping money is a great way to make some extra cash without having to invest too much of your own money. Beyond that, it’s also a great way to develop highly valuable skills. Learning how to write great product descriptions, negotiate and conduct research are just some of the skills you’ll pick up with a flipping side hustle.