Monthly Archives: August 2018

2nd Hand Flip – Excerpts

2nd Hand Flip is a book I wrote about the Business of Reselling. A business that I “retired” into 20 years ago.  Here is a small excerpt.  The full book can be found in EBook format @

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2nd Hand Flip


According to National Association of Retail Trades, (NARTS) (,) a consumer research firm, an average of 15 percent of Americans shop at resale or 2nd hand stores in a given year.  The industry has experienced an average growth of seven percent a year for the past two years, and, according to IBISWorld, reselling is expected to increase at an annualized rate of nearly three percent until the year 2021.

The number is higher if you add in Flea Markets or sales through online thrift stores.  For consignment/resale shops, it is higher, hitting in the area of 12 – 15%.  To keep these figures in perspective, consider that during the same time frame; 11 percent of shoppers shopped at outlet malls, less than 20 percent in apparel stores, and  over 21 percent at major department stores.

While many major businesses close their doors every day, resale stores, including the small Mom and Pop booths in Resale malls, remain healthy and continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the retail market.

Buying and selling for profit is nothing new.  It has been around for thousands of years; the only difference is that the currency has switched from goats and bread to paper, wood and plastic.  The first reason is the acceptance and use of the internet and the second reason is the economy.

Resell, Resale, Reseller, Vintage, Antique

Note: Throughout this book, I will use the term 2nd Hand or “Resale,” The term was first used as far back as the year 1625 (Webster)   I do this for simplicity and to broaden the overview of the business.  Properly defined however, a RESELLER is a business person who buys and sales 2nd Hand or Used goods.  A RESALE store can be a store that resells Antiques, Vintage or fairly New but Used or 2nd hand items.  The products sold can come from a variety of sources including estate sales, people who are downsizing, close out sales from retail chains, consignment, donated or other sources.  The definition of each is generally:

  1. Vintage: Too old to be considered modern, but not old enough to be considered antique. Often used to describe items for sale online, such as eBay auctions, Etsy, or Craigslist posts.  The word Vintage is used in printed listings such as classified ads describing an item that is made to look old.  Vintage is also as a euphemism for “heavily used” newer items.  Because vintage is always in style, you may find new “vintage looking” furniture in high-end furniture stores, bed and bath stores, and hobby stores.
  2. Retro: Recently out of style with potential to make a comeback. Example: In these days of high definition video, VHS is characterized as Vintage and will one day be Antique, while 1950’s chrome legged Formica topped tables and Naugahyde chairs are Retro or Mid Century Modern. (MCM)
  3. Antique: Antiques are usually objects that show some degree of craftsmanship, collectability, or a certain attention to design, such as a desk, glassware, glazed pottery or an early automobile. They are bought at antique shops, estate sales, auction houses, online auctions, and other venues, or estate inherited.  Antique dealers often belong to national trade associations, many of which belong to CINOA, a confederation of art and antique associations across 21 countries that represents 5,000 dealers.

Resale Dealers will find that over 60% of their inventory will be in the “Vintage” category.  20% is Retro and the balance will be Antiques.  As of this writing, an item produced before 1917 is considered as “Antique and anything over 20 years old is considered Vintage.”

1.     Do You Have What It Takes

Reselling takes some knowledge of your products.  I’m not talking about just antiques, even though the history of an item, called its provenance is what makes this business enjoyable and marketable, however what I am talking about here is knowledge of the business of reselling itself.

The first thing you have to know is that you will be in a stable market.  Reselling is a healthy investment for middle class people.  Reselling Antique, Vintage or Crafts is investment vehicle for the wealthy.  i.e Fine Art, Glassware, Pottery.

Your buyers come from all walks of life so it stands to reason that resellers also come from all walks of life.  With a little effort, you can turn your collecting hobby into a very successful business.  Through the advice in this book, you will become a special breed of business owner.

The Characteristics of Resale Dealers.

Zig Ziegler once said: “A Smile is a person’s best social asset.”  I find that Resellers smile a lot.

The people who resell are part historian, part collector, part hoarder and a group of people who have a lot of entrepreneurial spirit running through their blood.  They are not satisfied with the mundane.  They want more out of life.  They want to have some fun while pursuing a profitable business.  If they are retired, they have not retired from life.  People in the Resale Business set their own rules, their own time and their own income.  They like traveling, they love shopping, they like the togetherness they share and they have an eye for the unusual.

If I am describing you at this points, then read on because you will also find that you also have a little bit of a gambler in you and you are confident that – given the right opportunity, you can succeed.  Notice I didn’t say “probably.”  Resale dealers play the market.  Some days they purchase something that they think, everyone will want only to have it sit in inventory for months.  They understand that this is the nature of the business.  We discuss this more in a later chapter.

Blood, Sweat and Tears

What does it take to do this business?  Characteristics of the average owner are, they are not afraid of a little hard work, they are willing to devote a few extra hours each day to their business and they are not afraid to try new ideas that may or may not work.

They may spill a little blood here in terms of losing a little money trying an idea that did not work out as well as it did on paper.  These people don’t consider failure at one idea as a failure at all their ideas, because they are willing to strike out many times, so long as they get that one opportunity to hit a home run.  In this business as in baseball, home runs became more frequent with practice.


This eBook sells for $4.95 @

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