Crystal Valley Blog

Flippin’ Fabulous Flea Market Finds

POSTED May 11, 2021

Who doesn’t love a good flea market flip? Whether it’s a piece of furniture, reclaimed, revamped and redesigned, or vintage items repurposed for a totally new and different use, we love looking at before and after pictures. If you, too, marvel at how some people invest pennies and time hunting for items and then somehow turn their efforts into a money-making side hustle, or interior design ideas, here are a few ideas for giving other people’s cast-offs fabulous new life.

Studying the Details

We’ve all seen what a new coat of glossy paint can to do to an old dresser, desk or chair, and how Lara Spencer has helped flippers make five and 10 times their investment on HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Here are a few of the latest items that flipped from drab to daring and not-so-special to oh-so-noteworthy. (Photo by Marko Metzinger!)

You’ll see how-to tutorials to transform enamel pots to planters with paint, take chandeliers from tired to trendy, turn vintage books into shelves, and color-blocking everything from nesting tables to curio cabinets. The flippers used paint as well as grass cloth, metal accents, rope, and new hardware.

Be on the Lookout For…

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect flip fodder, head to the Goodwill store on Barranca Drive in Castle Rock and see what the latest donations have produced. (There’s also a store in Highlands Ranch on Park Meadows Drive – and a new store in Parker on Pikes Peak Drive). Vintage postcards are a fun find that could become a large scale graphic art collection, like a gallery wall comprised of miniature portraits and scenes. And for more ideas about decorating with thrift store treasures, check out the Budget Decorator. Kathy saves money by redesigning the items she finds and resurrects from the cast-off pile.

Lara Spencer says to look for a dining chair with an upholstered, pop-out seat. Those are a DIYer’s dream project – to remove and replace the upholstery couldn’t be simpler – all you need is a staple gun and a yard of fabric. And ornate hardware will come in handy for a some-day project, so stock up when you find unique antique knobs, pulls and hooks.

Flipping as a Side Hustle

Flipping Income offers a variety of do’s and don’ts for generating revenue from flipping cast offs from flea markets, Good Will and Arc stores, and garage/yard sales. If you’re serious, they say, show up early with cash. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and dig through the piles to find the treasure – lots of people will pass up the chairs we mentioned earlier, but if the frame is sturdy and the style is right – you can make a killing!

For inspiration before you head out to the nearest thrift store, check out these before and afters from Small Biz Trends. It will get your creative juices flowing so that when you spot the perfect items, you’ll be ready to negotiate. And be sure to bring the right vehicle to haul your treasures away. If you like something, remember that if you do walk away, there are lots of other people with the same intention looking to snatch up the right piece for the right price. Don’t go alone; you may need an extra pair of hands and someone to question items you might not be able to flip. And if you get carried away and forget your space limits at home, it’s nice to have an informed wing man or woman to remind you.

Designer and Stylist Emily Henderson is an expert at upcycling and creative repurposing of vintage treasure, and so is Aisha Preece at Out and Beyond. Both offer guidance and advice for the novice who is ready to get serious about making money with flea market finds. There are many places to resell your flea market finds. You can flea market flip online and sell stuff on eBay, Craigslist, and you can even make money selling on Amazon. You can also flip items locally as well, by having a garage or yard sale, listing items for sale on Facebook, or even reselling the items for a profit at a flea market.

Melissa and Rob Stephenson write a blog, Flea Market Flipper, and offer advice about the types of items to flip. While they snag mostly large items, like commercial kitchen equipment, exercise equipment, patio furniture and lawn and garden tools, they sell those on eBay and ship via large item freight. But those are things they know something about. If you’re looking for something to flip, start with what you know, like and love. If you’re into sports, maybe look for sports memorabilia. If you have small children, start with baby and kids’ brands. 

Close to Everything: Crystal Valley

The master-planned community of Crystal Valley is tucked outside the hub-bub, but close to everything that matters: dining, recreation, shopping and entertainment. Stop by and check out the models for the new homes surrounded by nature and only minutes from the town of Castle Rock. With a variety of contemporary floor plans from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton to choose from, these ranch or two-story models – are priced from the high $300s. 


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