Spray painted frames

I know of a woman who buys second-hand and makes money reselling used items 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 Upcycler. 

After being laid off a few years ago, the Upcycler 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 Upcycler 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 money can you make reselling used stuff? Well, for her, with no other source of income, her new-school, Sanford-and-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, willingness to do a little research in your spare time

Physical / Virtual Inventory

Smart phone with camera, physical storage space, download the apps of platforms where you’ll be selling to check the recent sale prices of similar items

Launch Cost

You will need money for your first profitable purchase, but that amount will vary from person to person. You may already have something in your house you’re not using that you can sell to jumpstart your new home business


Online resell platforms like eBay, Amazon, Mercari, OfferUp, Craigslist; Facebook Marketplace is also a great place to sell locally.

You always want to post multiple images of your items on Instagram for two reasons. First, it will make your post easier to find by local people who may be interested in buying from you. Second, it’s an easy way to brand yourself as someone who makes money reselling things. You’ll start the process of positioning yourself as a knowledgeable expert and people will feel comfortable talking to you about the topic.

Also, when you post to Instagram, tag your images with popular niche hashtags like:

previouslyloved  #restoredfurniutre  #upcycled #resaleshop #gentlyused #shopresale #resalenotretail

PLUS your location (so, for me, I would include my location as my resident city of Conyers, GA, but also add tags to my post of surrounding areas like #atlanta #stonemountain #rockdalecounty #newtoncounty… that kinda thing,

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