HOW-TO Make Money Selling Leftover Junk from House Flippers


Bronze Wordsmith
Apr 16, 2018
How I Earned One Thousand Dollars in One Weekend

Sometimes we need a little extra money, and sometimes that need is more urgent than usual.

A few years ago, I hit a rough patch when my business experienced a downturn. I was left hanging by some suppliers, and their delays caused problems that snowballed into bigger problems. Before I knew it, the business was in peril.

I barely managed to pay my employees that month, and that meant dipping into my personal savings. I still don’t know how I managed to pay my mortgage, but I did. Unfortunately, I had some utilities left unpaid. But I was flat broke at that point. I was about $1,000 short, and with the due dates fast approaching, I urgently needed to come up with the cash.

I had the means to make money, but the urgency was my biggest problem. I had a network of backup suppliers, but it would have taken weeks, maybe even months, before my business was solvent again.

So I started looking into some out of the box ways to earn that $1,000. It had to pay good, pay fast, and (of course) be perfectly legal.

An opportunity presents itself!

I was at the water cooler talking to a colleague, who worked as a roofer on weekends. The bulk of his clients were house flippers- people who bought old houses, spruced them up a bit and tried to sell them at a profit. He told me how these homes came with decades’ worth of junk. And some of this junk was still usable, or even valuable! But they’re of no use to the flipper, so they’ll usually let you take them for free. In fact, you’ll be doing them a favor.

That was my lightbulb moment. I asked my colleague to introduce me to the house flipper. The timing was perfect, too. The reseller had just acquired a small apartment building and the place was full of stuff. Paying someone to clear the units would have been too costly, so the reseller let me take as much stuff as I liked.

On Friday after work, I drove up to the building, looked inside the units… and was floored by what I saw. I was expecting to wade through garbage, but I was shocked. The units were almost empty, as expected, but there was a lot of good stuff there.

A unit that must have belonged to an older tenant contained a sweet, mid-century armchair. I knew hipsters are really into vintage stuff, so I loaded the chair onto my truck. I also found an old turntable that was perfectly functional. I took that, too.

In the other units, I found lots of books, DVDs and Blu-rays, an uninstalled chandelier, and most surprisingly, about ten new sneakers (sneakerheads call these “deadstock”).

I hauled my finds home, and immediately set up a garage sale. I had some good stuff, but not a lot of stuff. But still, Saturday was fast approaching, and I would find out soon enough if I had enough good stuff for sale.

Our weekend earning

As expected, the armchair got sold within minutes of opening my garage sale. Not to some skinny kid with an ironic mustache, but to an elderly lady who appreciated the chair’s craftsmanship.

The shoes were bought by a single sneaker collector. I knew these sneakers were probably worth more than my asking price and that the buyer would probably resell them later on. But like I said earlier, my needs were pretty urgent. I happily sold them below market price.

The books and discs took longer to sell, but I was surprised by how many people still wanted them. A dollar for a DVD here, fifty cents for a book there, and I ended up with a sizable profit.

When the sun set, I closed my garage and counted my day’s earning.

$1,678.50. I still remember that amount down to the last cent.

I was shocked!

I immediately went to the payment center and settled my bills. And I still had enough left over to tide me over until my new suppliers started to deliver.

The moral of the story

First, choose your suppliers well. But the biggest lesson here is always look for new ways to supplement your income. There are some pretty out of the box methods out there that are lucrative and pay fast. So keep your eyes open for all opportunities and don’t be afraid to experiment.

I never imagined I’d be getting stuff (legally) from old homes and selling them at a decent profit. But here I am. I even made it a regular thing, and now have a wider network of house flippers who let me clear the houses they buy.

Your Turn

That’s my story of recovery. How about you? Ever had your back against the wall, but managed to pull through?

Let’s hear your stories!


Apr 19, 2018
Impressive numbers. Last time I moved and tried to sell my furniture I was hit up by a house flipper who wanted to take all of it for 0 bucks. I declined and eventually sold it for 20 cents on the dollar. But yeah never really through about this as a business until I read this article.


Mar 31, 2019
So house flippers is the term for what my uncle and his buddies have been doing for years. Little did i know! In his case they “flipped” wooden parts of a home that could be refurbished into something else like, say a heavy oak door with nice carvings to be remade into an accent table or something. He owns a construction firm and he and his crew are often called to dismantle old homes or renovate them so he gets to see lots of old houses with hardwood accents which are just going to be dismantled anyway so he either buys them off the owners really cheap or gets them for free (lucky dude!). Then they take these wooden parts home with them and repurpose them as reclaimed wooden furniture and boy do they sell like hotcakes among hipster homeowners! Apparently those are the magic words for things like wooden shutters turned into headboards or side tables and other accent pieces.