People are constantly looking for side hustles that can give them another income stream and making money from pallet flipping is a good place to start. Pallet Flipping is a side hustle that you can do with relatively low monetary and time investment. You can start with lower cost smaller pallets and move to larger more expensive pallets if it seems like a good income stream for you.
Not to be confused with the wooden types, the pallets we are talking about are a collection of products from a retailer. These pallets are sold off to consumers because they cannot sell the products, they contain anymore due to a variety of reasons:
- Items in the pallets have been returned by customers
- Contents of pallets are not selling in the current market
- Items may have been damaged during shipping so cannot be sold to the customer
In the UK, product returns cost UK retailers around £60bn a year so it makes sense for them to try to claw back some of these losses by selling palettes to consumers. Palettes often contain a variety of items, but you can get palettes of just clothes, stationary or electronics.
Simply put, pallet flipping is buying a pallet of unused or returned goods from a retailer and selling them on for a profit. Most pallets contain thousands of pounds worth of products for a fraction of their original cost. But be warned buying these palettes can be risky, you don’t often know what they will contain so it’s best to buy from retriable sources. Even then, you could end up with a pallet full of broken returns, but some will be full of perfect products that just weren’t selling.
Pallets can be a large upfront investment, so it is best to do your research before you purchase one. We’ve put together a collection of where to look for palettes.
Liquidation websites are like wholesalers for pallets, they buy up multiple larger pallets and break these down into smaller pallets for their customers to buy. There are many different liquidation sites here in the UK but here is a list of some of the most well know.
Marthill sell-off catalogue and high-street excess, clearance stock as well as customer returns. Pallets are categorised into bathroom, stationery, electronics etc or as mixed pallets. One pro with Marthill is that they list the contents of the pallet, so you know what you’re getting and how much the product was originally retailed for.
Merkandi is another online wholesaler, not only do they sell off excess stock and returns but also undelivered packages from eBay, ups and more. Undelivered packages have unlisted contents – think of it as an adult luck dip. If you want to be surprised by the contents and aren’t after selling one particular thing this could be the site for you.
Unlike some sites, UK Stock Supplies lists individual items up for sale from universal bath legs to 600 mixed doors, there’s something for everyone. This site is especially good if you have a shop to stock as you can buy goods better tailored towards you.
Online Auction Sites
eBay does sell mystery packages as well as pallets, but they are risky, some listings are simply for a list of websites that do stock clearance. Also, a lot of mystery packages may seem too good to be true (probably because they are). Stay away from sites like eBay and Facebook marketplace when looking to buy pallets and instead look at online auction houses.
William George stocks appliances, fashion, and more sourced from John Lewis. Whilst pallets are customer returns, they are often good value for money with pallet prices starting from as low as £5. But as with any auction, prices will go up due to bidding wars so you’re best to have a limit in your head and stick to it. It is also worth remembering that there are added fees after purchase, so you need to factor these into your budget.
If you want to make money pallet flipping, you have to put the work in and know that everything won’t sell overnight. To set yourself up for success you need to follow some simple steps:
- Buy wisely
- Keep track of products
- Know your selling platforms
- Know you’ll have to do some leg work
Buying pallets is not as simple as buying and selling on stock straight away, there’s an element of chance as well. When buying pallets, you should stick to what you know. Say for example you’re an avid gardener, it would make sense for you to buy a pallet of gardening items. By purchasing items that you’re already familiar with, you can reduce some of the research you have to do as you may know the rough pricing of items.
Know it won’t all be sold overnight – if your pallet contains items that weren’t selling, it is highly likely that they’re seasonal. No one wants to buy grass seed in winter – but someone might want the leaf blower that’s in the same pallet.
Research is your best friend when it comes to flipping pallets especially before buying the pallet. If you can access an itemised list of the pallet prepurchase – that’s great and makes your life a whole lot easier. If not, research the products yourself, look up the retail price and how much they’re selling for on other platforms. Knowing a rough resale price will help you when judging whether to buy a pallet, you don’t want to spend a lot of money when you won’t get the return.
Pallets are full of products, so you need to stay on top of what you have and where. It is a good idea to keep track of a few details.
- Name and brand of item
- Description of item for resale sites
- Item condition
- RRP and resale price
- Whether the item is listed and what site ait is listed on
- Whether it is sold
- Amount product sold for
Keeping track of these will help you stay on track and make it easier to work out your return on investment.
While eBay and Facebook marketplace wasn’t your friend when you purchased your pallet, they are for reselling.
As the largest online auction site, eBay is a great option to sell on. It lets you reach potential customers across the world all from the comfort of your home. Give the item a good description and be honest about the condition and you’re sure to sell quickly.
Facebook marketplace is great if you want to sell locally. You can list your items for sale in the local area and give buyers the option of picking them up – this is particularly good if you have large items. Much like eBay you just need a good description, and the items will be snapped up.
So you’ve got your pallet and your items are listed on resale – so now what? We’ll if you are offering delivery, you need to do your research on this. What is your cheapest option? What’s the best way to transport your items? When it comes to shipping you have plenty of options.
- The Post Office – Small parcel prices at the post office start at £3.20 for 2nd class postage with online confirmation of delivery. Medium-sized parcels start from £5.30 for 2nd . When you take your parcels in they’ll weigh and measure your items to give you the correct shipping.
- UPS – UPS is great if you’re shipping items overseas, you can ship from your front door directly to theirs. It is expensive so you should be asking them to pay to ship.
- Hermes – next day delivery on a small package starts from £3.55 at Hermes if the item is dropped off at a ParcelShop or locker drop off. This is a great option for next day shipping but check if you have a location to drop-off close to you.
So, you’ve done all the research, the planning, and the selling now what? You wait to see if your investment has paid off. When pallet flipping, you should have an end goal in mind. Ideally you want to be making the amount of money you spent back and then an extra 100-200% profit on top. So say your pallet cost you £100, you want to make that back and then another £100 on top to give you a 100% profit.
If you are willing to put in the time to flip a pallet it is well worth giving it a go – it takes effort but you could see a great return on investment.