How to Make Money with a Pallet Flipping Business
If you’re interested in how to start a pallet flipping business, look no further. In this article, we’ll talk about the types of pallet flipping businesses, where to buy pallets, how to pick them, and the best way to resell your individual items.
What is Pallet Flipping?
There are three different kinds of ways to make good money flipping pallets. One, you find empty wooden pallets and resell them. Two, you repurpose wooden pallets into custom pallet furniture or home decor and sell those. Three, you purchase pallets of returned or damaged goods and resell them for a potential profit.
This article is going to cover the third option, whether it’s for a side hustle or to start your own business. With pallet flipping, you’ll find a variety of products in a variety of conditions. These are the products that are:
- Returned by buyers but can’t be resold due to damage, missing packaging, or just low sales on that product
- From a company that’s going out of business or is shutting down
- Overstock or marked-down items that stores need to get rid of
- Seasonal items businesses need to get rid of to make room for new items
Once the retailers determine which items they want to get rid of, they’ll sell them for pennies on the dollar to a liquidation company or sell them themselves. More often, they are sent to liquidation companies. Then, these companies package them into categorized groups onto pallets.
Each pallet is a category of items, such as electronics, home decor, furniture, clothing, shoes, etc. You can choose which to purchase at a fraction of the value and resell those items through local marketplaces or online for a profit.
Some liquidation companies also offer a “big box” option, which is smaller than a pallet and offers smaller items. If you want to try pallet flipping but need more time or money to invest in a more significant purchase, try a big box purchase instead.
Is Pallet Flipping Profitable?
Yes, pallet flipping is profitable with some planning and organization. This type of pallet flipping is an easy way to start a side hustle for extra money that’s fun and profitable – but it does take a bit of legwork and a small financial investment upfront.
How to Find Pallets to Flip
There are several places to purchase pallets of goods to flip. As you try different ones out, keep a list of the reliable vendors that have quality products so you can frequent them:
Local Liquidation Warehouses
The first and best place to look is for a local pallet flipping warehouse. To find these liquidation companies, search Google for “liquidation pallets near me” or “liquidation warehouses near me.” When I search, I see nineteen liquidation companies with physical locations within an hour’s drive of me!
Pros of buying at a local liquidation warehouse:
- Save money on transportation because you can pick it up, or they might ship it for free since it’s close
- Pallets have a set price, and there’s no bidding in an auction
- You can network and become a regular customer, which can lead to the ability to negotiate discounts on purchases
- You can see what’s in the pallet if there’s no manifest
Some liquidation companies also have pallet resell websites. These sales are usually auction-based, so you have to make bids to purchase the pallets.
Auctions are cheaper, but you have to check the prices of the items consistently. It’s essential to be sure that there are three to five items on the pallet that you know you can sell and make enough to cover the cost of the pallet.
Some of the best pallet flipping websites are:
- American Pallet Liquidators offers big boxes, pallets, and full truckloads (24 to 35 pallets) for sale.
- BlueLots Liquidation sells smaller lots that are auction-based.
- BoxFox offers smaller lots of specific items, like assorted watches or a lot of 25 running shoes.
- B-Stock offers Ace Hardware, Ashley Homestore, Target, Herman Miller, Walmart, and other custom pallets.
- B-Stock (Costco liquidation) is specifically for products from Costco.
- BULQ offers Groupon, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond inventory, and more.
- Direct Liquidation offers Walmart, Sam’s Club, Lenovo, and Amazon liquidation pallets
- Liquidation.com offers many brands and retailers, including Home Depot, Amazon, Target, Wayfair, Sony, Lowes, and more.
- Merchandize Liquidators appears to have Amazon pallets and a mix of others.
- Quicklotz offers Amazon truckloads and mystery pallets and boxes, which sounds pretty intriguing!
Pros of buying through a liquidation company website:
- There will be more selection
- You could get the pallet cheaper than you would if you paid for it outright (but still have to consider shipping).
- It’s a great option if you don’t have any liquidation warehouses locally.
Directly from Retailers
A few retailers sell directly to buyers, but like Walmart’s liquidation auctions website, it’s still hosted through a liquidation company (B-Stock).
Surprisingly, Facebook Marketplace isn’t only a good place to sell your pallet items but to find them as well. Look for liquidation company Facebook pages, liquidation groups, and even ads.
How to Pick Pallets
So, now that you know where to find pallets, how do you know which ones to buy? It’s essential to be strategic in your purchases. Buying the wrong pallet can mean a loss of funds, and a great chance that you won’t risk getting burned again.
Step 1: Check the pallet’s grade.
To start with, many pallet liquidation companies will grade the pallets. They can be graded A through E. As the grades lower, the quality of the pallet lessens as well:
- Grade A pallets consist of all new items, which will have all their parts, pieces, and packaging intact.
- Grades B & C will be new or customer returns.
- Grades D & E means something’s missing – for example, the cord, remote, or packaging.
Step 2: Check the pallet’s itemized list.
Secondly, pallets often have an itemized list of what’s included, or you can request one.
If an inventory isn’t available, write down all the products you can see or use your phone to scan barcodes on the packaging. There can be some risk if you can’t see everything on the pallet, depending on how the wrapping is. Just do the best you can, or wait for a better pallet.
Step 3: Research the sale prices of items on the pallet.
You’ll want to do some market research quickly, so the pallet doesn’t sell out from underneath you while pricing items. Check online to see what the products are going for or the previous sale prices on eBay. These prices will give you a good idea of how much you can make from the pallet.
Researching pricing is very important. If you can’t recoup the cost of the pallet, then you’ll end up in the hole. Make sure that the pallet has three to five items you can see that you know will pay for the entire cost of the pallet. Then, everything else that sells on it is profit.
Always wait to make sure you get a suitable pallet. Pick pallets with items that you’re familiar with and are comfortable selling. It is challenging to sell things you know very little about and don’t know the buyers’ spending habits well either.
Step 4: Purchase the pallet.
If you’re purchasing online through an auction, keep an eye on when the auction ends. You’ll want to be around for those last-minute bids to ensure you win a good deal.
Also, set a spending limit, and remember to consider shipping costs. Keep the glory of winning the bid from taking over and causing you to spend more than you wanted to.
Where to Resell your Pallet Items
Now that you’ve found the perfect pallet, there are tons of great places to resell your items:
- Facebook Marketplace: This is an excellent option because it’s local and has no selling fees. You’ll avoid having to ship and will have a more significant profit.
- eBay: While you must deal with shipping products, eBay offers a big audience, so you’ll reach more people. Plus, you can also have buyers pay for the shipping.
- Amazon: Many people opt to become Amazon resellers or do retail arbitrage. Again, you can reach a vast audience when selling through Amazon.
- Mercari: Perfect for higher-end reselling, plus it’s free to list.
- Poshmark: Another excellent option for selling higher-end products. Learn more about Poshmark vs. ThredUp here.
- Craigslist: An old standby, but still a great way to make sales. Depending on the items, I have more serious buyers reach out via Craigslist than other online marketplaces most times.
- Kijiji or eBay Classifieds: Similar to Craigslist, but specifically for outside the US. It’s a subsidiary of eBay, so it’s replaced Kijiji in the United States with eBay Classifieds.
- VarageSale: An app where you can sell items locally within a region, similar to an online garage sale.
- OfferUp: Connects local buyers and sellers via their app. Allows them to instant message and see a seller’s ratings, badges, and transaction history.
- 5miles: Another app that focuses on local sales, making them easy and safe. It uses your phone’s location to search within five miles of your location for items.
- Yard and garage sales: Host your own yard or garage sale during the summer, when the sales season is at its peak.
- Flea market booth or resale store: Open a booth to sell your items if you want to turn your pallet flipping into a full-time gig.
How to Resell Your Pallet Flips
Next, you’ll want to follow some tips and tricks to help you resell your products quickly and efficiently:
- Manage your inventory well. As you accumulate items to flip, you’ll want to keep track of them. By knowing where they are, their condition, and how much you sold previous ones for, you’ll be sure to maximize every sale and minimize your time spent. Consider setting up a spreadsheet or using an app that helps you organize your items. It should include information such as:
- Product name
- SKU or barcode
- Condition of the item
- How much it sells for
- How much you’re selling it for
- Where the product is located (extra bedroom, storage space)
- The detailed description that you are using on selling platforms
- Which platform(s) the item is listed on
- How much it sells for
- URLs to listings of the same item
- Any additional notes
While it seems like a lot of information, it’ll help you keep a historical look at your sales and know what is successful and what isn’t.
- Take good pictures. There’s nothing worse than a blurry, horrible picture to turn off buyers. Stage the products if needed, and make sure the lighting is adequate.
- Write thorough descriptions. Include colors, measurements, sizing, materials, and any other specs your buyers might want to know.
- Be honest with the item’s condition. If it’s missing its box or a piece, let the buyer know in the listing.
- Include URLs to the item on a store’s website. These links can be helpful because they give the buyer additional information.
- Respond to messages quickly and ship items quickly. Being professional while messaging will help your rates on apps. Plus, you’ll get the item out of your house sooner if you send it as quickly as possible!
Pricing Pallet Flips
Last, pricing is essential to ensure your items move quickly and you’re making a profit. A rule of thumb on pricing:
- Brand new items: 75% – 85% of the retail price
- Opened but unused items: 65% – 75% of the retail price
- Slightly damaged but in good condition: 50% – 65% of the retail price
- Damaged or missing pieces: Less than 50% of the retail price
Price items competitively. If you’re willing to take offers on items, decide how low you want to go before listing it.
Tips for Quicker Sales
To get things sold quicker, consider the following tips:
- Don’t buy seasonal items if you want to sell to reinvest quickly. Ensure you have storage for these items since they’ll likely sit around longer.
- If selling locally, only sell items that buyers will use in your area.
- List each item on more than one platform to sell it more quickly.
- Consider offering delivery or porch pickup to closer areas.
Pros and Cons of Pallet Flipping
Ultimately, pallet flipping can be a lucrative side hustle – but you have to be organized and willing to work.
- It’s easy to sell locally via Facebook Marketplace or apps.
- A handful of items from the pallet can be enough to make your money back.
- You don’t have to offer shipping or ask the buyer to pay for it.
- It can be a thrill to unwrap a new pallet!
- It’s a great side hustle that can be expanded into a pallet flipping business, so you’re the boss.
- You must invest in your purchases upfront, so you’ll need some money to get started.
- You must transport items or pay for shipping if you order pallets through online stores.
- You’ll have to store items.
- It can be risky if the items don’t sell.
- Sales can be dependent on the economic climate.
How much money is in flipping pallets?
It depends on the pallet and how much work you put into it. However, as a general idea, pallet flippers say items from an $800 pallet can be sold for around $2500.
How much is a return pallet from Amazon?
These vary based on what’s on the pallet and where you purchase it. I’ve seen these Amazon return pallets go anywhere from below $1,000 to $10,000. While these wholesale pallets have no set cost, you can find them online and at local liquidation stores.
A forty-ish web designer/developer by day, a budget & financial fanatic by night. I’m a mom, wife, avid reader, and DIY enthusiast who’s tracking our journey to debt freedom. Read More