Let’s face it. Teenagers always seem to have endless amounts of disposable income. This is why teen side hustlers can easily target this group with some of the easiest items to flip for a profit.
In fact, I have seen some of my own students make a lot of money by simply reselling items to others in the school. Once they realized there was a need for some specific items, they quickly put together an inventory and were out-earning their part-time jobs. This is the ultimate goal of a high school side hustle.
By developing side hustles in high school, students will grow a number of job-specific skills. The ability to sell requires hard work, dedication, negotiation, personal selling, and taking a risk. Many of these can’t be taught in a classroom without having the student physically apply them to something. A small side hustle with some of the easiest items to flip for a profit allows that.
And who knows. Maybe these students love the thrill of making sales and will continue to pursue entrepreneurship as a career choice. You may have the next Elon Musk or Steve Jobs sitting in front of you.
How Will We Flip These Items?
There are a ton of online platforms where you can accomplish this. But since this blog focuses a lot on the high school setting, we are going to focus on items and methods you can sell physically.
Although the customer reach may be higher online, the competition increases drastically. By simply setting up a table in the hallway, or offering products in a school store or out of your locker, there is still an ability to turn your idea into a profit centre!
My school embraces student entrepreneurship and gives them many outlets to run their own business. We have a school store stocked with student business items and run an in-school trade show which brings in a large amount of our local community.
I am sure that with a little encouragement, most schools would do the same!
Where to Get the Easiest Items to Flip for Profit
There are a number of locations you can obtain your inventory. The choices will also be different for the suggestions I list below. However, by putting in a bit of effort, you can easily identify the listed items (and more) in the following places:
- Online wholesalers (Alibaba, Aliexpress)
- Online retailers (eBay, Kijiji)
- Garage or estate sales
- Thrift stores
- Flea markets
- Friends or family looking to get rid of unnecessary items
- Items in your own home
Side note: I know of people personally who’s had great luck with thrift store hunting. They had a lot of free time which allowed them to go often, but they’ve come home with unbelievable items such as a brand new Canada Goose jacket, designer suits and dresses, and luxury watches.
So, What Are the Easiest Items to Flip for Profit?
If you want to make money, you need to be able to recognize opportunities with certain groups. By focusing on teens, the items you can capitalize on will be different than adults. However, there are still lots of products that teens are willing and able to buy due to different factors, such as trends.
Ultimately, your success will be completely dependent on how much you pay for these items. I aim to show you examples of where you can get these items at a low cost. This will allow you to sell them at a lower price point but still maintain a good profit margin.
1. iPhone Dongles
With the release of the iPhone 7, Apple decided to remove the headphone jack. This stirred up a lot of controversies, but now that we have advanced through 4 more generations of iPhones with no plan to revert back, it is safe to say that the iPhone headphone jack is extinct.
And even though wireless headphone sales have increased, many students still rely on the stock wired headphones. With a large percentage of teens owning iPhones, there is a huge market for iPhone dongles if any get lost or damaged.
In my school, students are always looking for dongles. They either lose their own or it becomes damaged from misuse. Although Apple sells replacements for $10, there is a huge opportunity in the market to capitalize on this. This is even higher if you live in a community with limited electronic stores, like the one I teach in.
AliExpress offers iPhone dongles for under $1. If you purchased these in bulk and sold them below or equal to the Apple pricing, there is a large opportunity to make a profit if the demand is there.
2. Knockoff AirPods
If selling dongles isn’t for you, the next approach will be focusing on the increase in sales on wireless headphones.
Apple AirPods is one of the fastest-selling headphone options on the market. However, they are also quite expensive. Many teens can’t justify spending the money on them, but also want to be part of the group that uses them.
Similar to the dongles, there are a lot of knockoff options for AirPods on Aliexpress. Purchasing a pair around $20 can net you a high profit depending on the selling price you decide on. Even if you mark it up 100%, you are still selling them for significantly less than the Apple option.
In fact, one of my Grade 11 students bought and resold electronics last year. Although a lot of his headphone options didn’t sell well, the knockoff AirPods were sold out immediately. He even had more students requesting another order. This was by far his most profitable item, netting him over $600 in profit in a couple of months.
If AirPods are prevalent in your high school, this could be one of the easiest items to flip for profit.
Some of my students have a large wardrobe at home. They also cycle through their clothing quickly, with many items only being worn a handful of times before being replaced by something new. This leads to clothing items being either donated or disposed of.
A motivated student can develop a side hustle around this without ever having to purchase inventory.
A social media page dedicated to posting and reselling clothing items of other students can open up a new opportunity for both the entrepreneur and the student looking to offload some of their clothing. If they find a buyer, both the poster and the owner can receive a portion of the sale price.
Some students may be reluctant to attach their face to the clothing they are trying to sell. By doing it anonymously through another student, they may be more likely to try to sell unused items.
And who knows, maybe it takes off and branches out of the local high school population. This is typically how consignment retailers get their start, and many see long-term success out of it.
Many students do not have a concrete form of transportation and have to rely on other means to get where they need to go. With a push to reduce the number of cars on the road, bicycle commuting has started to gain traction again.
With some minor mechanical skills and an eye for quality, a student armed with a trailer and some dedication can find good bicycles at cheap prices at a garage or estate sales.
Many bicycles collect dust before being unloaded or have minor issues that the owner isn’t willing to fix. If a student is willing to put some work in, they should be able to fix up the bicycles they find and resell them for a profit.
Advertising in local middle and high schools can lead to sales if parents are in the market for a new bicycle for their children. A “like new” bicycle at a reduced rate can be more appealing than a brand new one. Especially if the bicycle isn’t going to be used long term.
Many retailers have got their start like this, such as a growing cycle shop in the city I live in.
5. Social Media Expertise
This one may not have as big of a market for teenagers, but its main focus involves the tools teens use a lot through the day.
Many students put a lot of time into their social media profiles, but few possess the knowledge to grow their pages to rare heights. If you possess those skills, there are two main markets you can capitalize on and “flip” your skills for profit.
Some students dream of obtaining thousands of followers on platforms like Instagram but don’t possess the time or dedication to making it happen. A skilled person may be able to convince a teen to allow them to manage their social media growth for a fee. This would take minimal time on the day of an expert. But by implementing a growth strategy for one person’s profile, they may be able to obtain new clients who are envious of their friend.
Additionally, there are still many small businesses that have zero social media presence. By selling your skills to these business owners, you may be able to convince them to pay you a monthly membership fee to build and manage their social media profiles. Another profitable option could include training the owners in managing their own social media marketing.
How to Be Successful When Flipping Items
Success can be easy, but it also comes with dedication and strategy. In order to ensure success, an upcoming side hustler must do a few things.
- Make smart purchases. Don’t just buy things on a whim. Understand their cost and value to your market. This will allow you to only focus on items that will earn you a profit.
- Don’t buy for the sake of buying. Be willing to remove yourself from negotiation overpricing. This is especially important at a yard or estate sales. If you start to walk away, the seller may be willing to come down. Don’t just settle on the asking price. Always try to get it lower to increase your profit margin!
- Be in the know. Stick with products that you are familiar with. Entering an unknown market can be more challenging with higher risk involved.
- Make things look better than they are. Strategic cleaning and photography can increase the value of a product in the eyes of potential buyers. Do not waste time on the presentation of whatever it is you’re selling. Make it look as appealing as possible.
- Write a detailed description. A picture can go a long way in selling a product. A descriptive writeup can be the icing on the cake when convincing a potential customer to purchase your item over a competitor.
- Be ready to ship if necessary. Some people will not be in your general location. If possible, provide an opportunity to ship products to customers to increase your reach.
In my experience, these are some of the easiest items to flip for profit. However, that does not necessarily mean that you should drop everything to start a business around one or more of these. You should have a distinct understanding of your customer base prior to ordering hundreds or thousands of pieces of inventory. Maybe the easiest items to flip for profit are different where you are located, and that is okay. Do what is best for you and your potential customers.
Additionally, do not go all-in at the start. The beauty of the five listed items is that you can start very small and see how well it does. If demand is high and continues to be after your first few units are sold, get more! If not, you haven’t invested an amount that will make your bankrupt.
With the right approach, anyone can be a successful entrepreneur. Focusing on teens can open yourself up to a market with a large disposable income and desire to spend.
Have you had any luck with any items listed? Are there any items that I have missed that sell well to teens? Share your entrepreneurial experiences below and let’s build an even bigger list of the easiest items to flip for profit!
Thanks for reading!
*If you are looking for even more side hustle ideas for students or adults, check out my previous post on the top 5 side hustles I have seen in my classroom.