If you haven’t heard about pallet flipping, it’s all okay. Because today, we’re going to talk about this, and how can you make money from it.
For some people, having a 9-5 job is already good enough for their own basic needs. But for most people, it’s simply not enough.
That’s why, some people are constantly looking for good side hustles to help earn more money. If you’re one of those people, then I’m pretty sure you’re looking for a good one now.
And most of the time, you may have stumbled upon the term “pallet flipping”. You may have even read some claims that this is a great side hustle.
Because plenty of people have claimed that they’re getting good profits from this business model. There are even some claims that you turn this into a full-time hustle due to its profit potential.
Of course, some people will already jump into this business idea as soon as they heard about it. Others, however, may feel a bit skeptical. And this is what we’re going to address today.
We’re going to talk about pallet flipping, and how does this business model work. Additionally, we’re going to help you decide if pallet flipping is the side hustle for you, or not.
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How Does Pallet Flipping Work?
Important Note: This is not to be confused with a different kind of “pallet flipping”, wherein you sell transport pallets instead.
Pallet flipping, at its core, is a type of re-selling business. You’re basically buying items for a very cheap price, and then selling them for a profit (hence, “flipping”)
In this scenario, pallet flipping is when you purchase a pallet and then sell the products contained in it for a profit.
A pallet (or more commonly known as a “liquidation pallet”) is a collection of products that any retailer will sell at a huge discount, simply because they’re unable to sell them anymore.
The types of products included in these liquidation pallets can include:
- Products that were purchased by a customer and then returned for any reason.
- Old products stocks that just weren’t selling.
- Products that were damaged in their warehouse or during shipping to the point that they can’t sell it to a customer.
In any case, these products are packaged together in a pallet, which is then sold at a huge discount so retailers can effectively get their hands off of them.
What Is A Liquidation Pallet?
As I mentioned before, a liquidation pallet is a collection of products that a retailer will sell at a huge discount, to get them off their hands.
A catch when purchasing liquidation pallets is that they’re sold “as-is”. This means you won’t be able to choose or closely inspect all of the items that are included in the pallet. But as they’re technically “second-hand” items, it’s safe to assume that the products contained in the pallet are of less-optimal quality.
As most of these items are packed in one container and are shrink-wrapped, you won’t even be able to know the items inside at first glance. At the most, you’ll only be able to see the items that are on the surface.
Thus, there’s going to be some risk when you’re going to purchase a liquidation pallet to flip. There are chances that some of the products you receive could be defective. Thus, they may require some repairs, depending on the extent of the defect.
But at the same time, you may find some items in the pallet that are still in good working condition, but simply can’t be sold by the retailer for various reasons.
Considering these factors, you should pay extra attention when you’re going to purchase your pallets to flip. While you may not see all of the items included in the pallet, you can at least see a few of them to help with your decision.
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Where Can You Find Pallets To Flip?
Pallets contain products that come from existing retailers. However, you obviously can’t just walk in on a retail store asking if they have any liquidation pallets to sell.
There are proper places where you can purchase pallets of this kind. Here are some of those places.
A liquidation warehouse is a middleman business that bridges between the retailers and the consumers. Essentially, these liquidation businesses have exclusive contracts with these retailers.
The liquidation business purchase the pallet of products from the retailers, and then sell them off to pallet flippers (or anyone interested in these items). These warehouses usually purchase very large amounts of pallets (think several trucks), and then sell those pallets individually.
These locations are usually the best places to go when purchasing pallets due to their reliability. Especially since you can see in person the pallets you want to purchase.
And with some luck, you can find a liquidation warehouse that’s very near your area. Some only need a little one-hour drive or less to reach, but you may even find warehouses that are quite near your doorstep, requiring only a walk.
There are some instances, however, that you may not find a nearby liquidation warehouse. Or that the nearest liquidation warehouse to you can take several hours of driving.
In these cases, you can your pallets to flip at some liquidation websites. As of late, the two most reliable websites to purchase liquidation pallets are Liquidation.com and Bulq.com. Though there could be other, lesser-known liquidation websites around.
There are also some companies that will sell their pallets directly. A good example of this is Walmart.
The advantage of purchasing your pallets from these sites is the convenience associated with purchasing online. You don’t need to drive long hours to buy your pallets, and you don’t need any physical interaction to get one.
These liquidation sites also can have pallets that contain items usually not found in your nearby liquidation warehouse.
The biggest disadvantage of buying from online liquidation sites, however, is they usually auction off these pallets instead of selling them at a fixed price. Meaning you have to prepare for a bidding war if you want to secure a great pallet.
Also, you have to consider the shipping cost associated with purchasing online items. This can result in having an increased budget needed for your pallet flipping business.
You can also opt to purchase your pallets on other platforms like Facebook Marketplace. Unfortunately, they’re highly risky and unreliable, as some of them could be scammers.
How Much Can You Earn On Pallet Flipping?
Since the cost of purchasing liquidation pallets is usually very low, it’s a strong possibility that you can make a five-figure, even a six-figure worth of earnings from a three-figure investment on pallet flipping.
However, it still depends on several factors. If the individual products contained inside the liquidation pallet can be sold quickly due to demand, or have high values when sold individually, then it’s possible to earn a lot of money on this business.
While there are several case studies on the potentially high profits on pallet flipping, they usually don’t reflect a regular scenario.
Ultimately, it still comes down to how you can manage your pallet flipping system to ensure that you’ll get continuous sales on the products you want to flip.
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Pallet Flipping Pointers To Ensure Success
While there’s money to be made in pallet flipping, some people already quit the business as early as getting their first pallet.
So to prevent this experience, here are some things that you have to do in order to sustain your pallet flipping business.
Choose Your Pallets To Flip Carefully
There are actually several factors that you should take note of when picking a pallet to flip. But one of the most important ones is that you should choose pallets that contain products you’re most certainly familiar with.
For example, if you’re well-versed in small appliances, you should pick a pallet that contains those things. If you know how to market home decors, then you pick a pallet consisting of home decors. And so on.
If you know about the products that are inside the pallet you purchased, you’ll have a much easier time reselling any of them. Because you have the advantage of being well-versed in that particular product.
Other factors that you need to consider on purchasing pallets are:
- Seasonal Products – What products could sell the most in a particular season.
- In-Demand Products – What are the products that are frequently in demand in your area. This might require a few sales as you determine which products are frequently being bought from you by your customers. Or you can do a random survey yourself. If you’re going to sell online, however, you may not need this advice.
- Products that are easier to ship – If you’re planning to sell online, this is very important. Make sure that the products you’re going to sell are small enough that they are easier to ship, and will take no damage at all during shipping.
Find A Large Enough Storage Space
If you’re going to get serious about this business, then you also need to invest in a couple of other things. And storage space is one of those.
If you’re just starting out with one small pallet at a time, you may be able to get by with just a single unused room.
But if you decide to scale up and you’re going to purchase either larger liquidation pallets or multiple pallets at a time, then it makes sense to allocate much bigger storage space. It doesn’t have to be a full-sized warehouse for your needs, but it could be as big as a small lot.
Some people even use their basements as storage spaces for their pallets. But remember that you should also allocate a space exclusively for your liquidation pallets.
Use Several Selling Platforms
Relying on just one selling platform is usually never enough to sell the products coming from your pallet. If you want your products to sell more quickly, you have to utilize several platforms.
You can set up a physical shop for your products in your front yard, or even parts of your garage. This is useful when you’re selling small items like home decors, clothes, or even very small appliances.
eBay is also one of the most popular selling platforms for pallet flippers, and for a good reason. On eBay, anyone can open a shop and sell anything, as long as you’re transparent about the condition of the product.
The Facebook Marketplace and others like Mercari are also good selling platforms for pallet flipping. Though a few of them might be a little less reliable than eBay.
Some may see this as optional, but I would like to think this is quite essential. Basically, you should have an inventory list of the items that you’re going to sell. Something like a spreadsheet of your items on sale will suffice.
What is included in your inventory listing is up to you. But you should include some details of the product like the item code you assigned to it (as some names are too long to list), description of the item, condition of the item, price, etc. You may also list down in your inventory if the item is already sold, as well as how much you made from selling that product.
Research, Research, Research
This might be cliché for some, but it’s highly important that you do your research about this business method. Especially when it comes to how you should price your products to your customers.
If possible, you should research everything you need for pallet flipping. Like the retail prices of the products, to even more selling platforms you should consider. You may also research any other potential sources for used but good-condition items that you intend to flip.
Remember that you’re not just limited to selling items contained in the pallet, and that there are other sources of cheap products that you can flip, other than liquidation warehouses.
Is Pallet Flipping The Business For You? Final Thoughts
Yes. As a side hustle, you can make good money with pallet flipping. With enough diligence, you can even turn this one into a full-time hustle.
But as with any business, you need to put in some extra effort, depending on how much you want to make. Some pallet flippers quit after selling their first pallet because they didn’t have a concrete business plan in the first place.
Without those, they may not even know what to do with any unsold items. Something that will happen from time to time.
My suggestion is, if you think pallet flipping is too much work for you, or if you’re just getting started, try selling any items around the house that you don’t need. This will give you a good amount of time to study and research the business method, from learning about different selling platforms, to packing your products for shipping, etc.
Once you’ve learned a bit about reselling items and have established yourself, then you can start with boxes, and finally, to pallets. Again, a gradual progression like this would bring great benefits to you in establishing your reselling business, especially if you’re going to scale it.
So if you want a potentially high-profit business and you don’t mind all the work involved, then pallet flipping is a good business method you can try.
But otherwise, there are other opportunities that you can try to make a good amount of profit online. If you want to know more about my own recommendation, keep on reading.
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