My First Rummage Sale Hunt & Lessons Learned!

Nov 15, 2016 | Entrepreneurship, Rummage Sale Flipping

The Beginning

This would be my first rummage sale hunt attempt, but I was confident I could find something! I woke up Saturday morning at 7am. The time had come to put my plan into action by visiting all the rummage and yard sales happening over the weekend (5/21/16 – 5/22/16).  The first stop on my list was a huge church community rummage sale which opened at 8am. I made sure I was in the parking lot by 7:45am because I did not want to miss out on anything. The sale was happening within a very large pavilion and as soon as I got inside I knew I was going to find something good!

I started my search with the electronics table which also happened to be next to the VHS/DVD/Games table! After browsing quickly but also carefully, I decided there wasn’t anything worth my time to resell. Time to move on to another table. I passed by the clothing tables mainly because this was my first rummage sale hunt and have no knowledge on reselling clothes or even buying clothes for that matter! I decided to stop at the dishware table to see if I could perhaps find something worthy there. Nothing yet. On to the books tables. I knew that if I were going to find anything, it would probably be here. They had stacks and stacks of books. Some were even brand new! I was mainly looking for one category in particular though: personal development. I have a huge passion for personal development and even have a separate blog dedicated to my thoughts and reports on the books I read – check it out! Anyhow, once I found a box of personal development books, I knew I struck gold. But not to resell. These books were in great condition and ones I hadn’t read yet so I decided right there that I would buy the books for myself ( 4 books for $2)! Two of those books I almost bought a Barnes & Noble the week before for over $16 each! In my mind my first rummage sale hunt had already been a success, even though I wouldn’t be flipping the books!

My recommended books

As I was walking over to the cashiers table I was passing by the “miscellaneous” table. At quick glance most of the items looked like junk not worth the effort to resell. I decided to look around anyhow just to be safe, and thankfully I did! At the end of the table hiding behind something larger was a framed Star Wars Return of The Jedi Collectors Edition Movie Poster! I immediately snagged it up to ensure no one else did while I inspected it a bit closer. The frame was in near mint condition as well as the poster inside. Now I just needed to see how much they wanted for it! Upon approaching the cashier I placed it down and asked how much. She noticed she had actually priced it herself earlier in the morning and said $5! I couldn’t believe it! I saw money bags! I quickly paid the $7 and brought the items to my car with a big grin on my face.

Because I was so excited, I decided to go back into the pavilion and see if perhaps I missed some other good items. I went back over to the book section to dig through more boxes and found a set of 8 Educators Classic Library children books! They were $1 a piece so I ran a quick search on Ebay and found that even just one of the books I could resell for $9-12! After this find, there wasn’t much else so I paid and left – happy to have succeed on my first rummage sale hunt.

I proceeded to visit a couple other smaller rummage sales over the weekend however I wasn’t able to snag up anything as great as from the church sale. I did walk away from one with a couple of board games for my girlfriend and I to play, but that was it! Anyhow, below I will go over some lessons I learned from my first rummage sale hunt!


Lessons Learned:

  1. You are going to want to buy a lot of things. Yes, a lot of the times people are just selling their old junk. But just as often you may find some treasures you want to have. Not just to flip, but to keep in your home. You have to be careful because that could start piling up as well as defeat the purpose of rummage sale flipping in the first place, which is to make an extra income on the weekends!
  2. Research is key! Most everyone under 60 has a smartphone nowadays but make sure if you are planning to start rummage sale flipping you bring it with! This is important because while you are browsing items you think may be worth something, you can quickly pull up a search on Ebay or Amazon and see what it is going for. There are even certain apps you can download that can scan bar codes of products and look up the selling prices for you! Just be sure not to alert the people running the rummage sales because then they’ll know you are planning to resell their items and might demand a higher price!
  3. Have fun with the process! Make sure that this doesn’t feel like a job to you. Flipping does take work, but it should be fun work! Talk with those running the sales and be sure to be polite! Also, don’t stress out if you go an entire weekend without finding something worthy to flip! On Sunday I went to a handful of rummage sales and didn’t find one item. Just remember there is always another weekend of rummage sales ahead!