Spray painted frames

I know of a woman who buys second-hand and resells her finds online.

I’m not talking about shopping at cute boutiques for earrings and handbags (though I know a few girls who do that too). I’m talking about shopping garage sales and forfeited storage facilities. For this post’s cool home business idea, I introduce to you the Millennial Junk Woman. 

After being laid off a few years ago, the Millennial Junk Woman came across a steal at a garage sale. A cash-strapped homeowner was selling a bike worth more than $1,000 for less than $200. To be sure, the Junk Woman did a quick search of the bike on her phone and found that even used, the bike still sold for more than $500. She bought the bike on the spot. She took the bike home, snapped a few pics with her phone and listed the bike on Craigslist.org. The bike sold within just a few hours for $600 more than what she paid for it.

She was in business.

These days, she’s making her rounds to different garage sales every weekend. She buys from resale shops and Goodwill donation centers. She once bought a cute dinette set still in the box. The set was missing the screws needed for assembly. She spent $30 on the dinette set plus the cost of ordering furniture screws and sold the assembled set for $150.

She’s found a treasure trove of wonders in buying forfeited storage spaces. It’s a bit of a gamble. She gets an itemized list of the contents in the storage space, but doesn’t get to actually see the contents of the storage space until she’s paid for it. Some of them cost hundreds of dollars, but she’s been pretty successful at selling off the contents using platforms such as Craigslist, OfferUp, Mercari, Amazon, and eBay.

So how much does she make doing it? With no other source of income, her new-school, Sanford & Son-styled venture is enough to pay the mortgage on her home, the car note for her late model SUV, and fund the excursions of her son’s college career.

  • Skills inventory: Patience, an eye for treasures, a bit of business savvy, gut instincts
  • Physical / virtual inventory: Broadband connection, smart phone with camera helps, storage space, Amazon (or other app) to check the recent sales and sale prices of potential buys
  • Launch cost: You need money for your first profitable purchase
  • Marketing: Online resell platforms like eBay, Amazon, Mercari, OfferUp, Craigslist; if you have an item that’s been difficult to move, consider small community newspapers


About This Post


I grabbed the image for this post from Shelterness.com, which I LOVE. Tons of great ideas for making your house your home. I love vintage furniture, but I haven’t yet developed the discipline of upcycling, so my house looks like Sanford Arms. A 40 year-old drop leaf table here, a pair of 30 year-old dining room chairs there. And they look exactly as they did when I bought them, so… Shelterness.com is a yes. #WorkingOnIt #DontJudgeMe


This article is an excerpt from my book, 70 Cool Home Business Ideas for Women Who Think Outside the Box.  Buy it from Amazon and download it to your Kindle, laptop and phone instantly by clicking here.