If you’re going to be serious about being a reseller, dealer, flipper, picker, whatever you want to call it, there are certain tools that you’re probably going to need to help you make money along the way.
Here’s a short list of what I would consider “must have” tools to help you be efficient with your business.
1. Gold Kit
If you’re buying storage auctions, picking garage sales, or just otherwise hustling, chances are you’re going to come across some gold. The reason this is number one on my list is because my entire business was funded by one, lucky, gold buy. Had I had all of these little kits when I first started, I could have made much more money, and the payoff from one piece of gold will easily recoup the expense of buying these simple tools.
Digital Scale – I use this digital scale because it’s cheap, very portable, and goes up to 100g with a .01g error margin. From my measurements it’s been very accurate, and that’s important when buying gold.
Neodymium Magnets – The easiest way to sort bulk lots of jewelry into potential gold and costume stuff is with a magnet. It’s important to have a good, strong magnet too, because some junk jewelry is just slightly magnetic, and that could be the difference between real and fake. This little pocket magnet is a perfect keychain to carry around with you for on the fly sorting.
Acid Testing Kit – Cheap insurance for buying and sorting gold types. Simply scratch the suspected gold on the stone, run a line of acid over it and if it stays, it’s gold. If it’s not, well, it’s not.
Stone Collection – I wouldn’t buy this from anywhere, but as you come across gold that you buy for scrap, be sure to pull out the stones and come up with an assortment of sizes to keep in your kit. This allows you to guage the stone weight of, say, a ring and deduct that from the total weight so that you’re not paying for stone when buying gold direct from sellers.
2. Postal Scale
Nobody likes to haul stuff back and forth to the USPS or UPS store figuring out postage and whatnot. It’s well worth the expense to have a postal scale on hand so you can print your postage at home, and arrange for a pick-up from your favorite carrier. This is especially important when you’re selling on eBay or Amazon since most new sellers take a huge hit on shipping by underestimating what it actually costs to ship an item.
3. Digital Camera
It doesn’t have to be a DSLR or anything. Hell, it can even be your cell phone, so long as you have a newer cell that takes decent photos. The important part is having something that you can create images to put on your ads. The saying “A picture is worth 1000 words” couldn’t be anymore true in this business. Later I’ll cover some ways to make great looking images for your ads, but in the mean time get on getting a camera!
4. Smart Phone
It almost goes without saying that you would need a smart phone, but you’d be surprised how many people are still out there picking without one. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you think you could turn a good profit with an item, but you’re not quite sure? Well, I don’t, and here’s why. I have my trusty iPhone loaded up with the craigslist app, the ebay app, and the amazon app and whenever I find myself curious about an item that I don’t know for sure, I simply comp the item before I even buy it. I’ve saved (and made) more money with that little perk than almost anything else I’ve done in the business. I also have it loaded up with a gold buying app to find the spot price of gold, and a few other choice apps. Your phone is for more than just making calls now. Speaking of calls though…
5. Google Voice Number
I got myself a free phone number from google. I consider this an absolute must have. I don’t want weirdos from craigslist having my personal number, but with google voice, you can post phone numbers to your ad, take and make phone calls from your cell phone (even easier if you have the google voice app) and even block numbers from people that you don’t want to hear from. Having a phone number in your ads adds credibility and opens you up to people that don’t use email. Also, I’ve found that if a person is willing to call you and ask you about your item, they’re more likely to actually show up to look at it too.
So, those are my top 5 tools that I use every day to make my business run smoothly. There are certainly more tools out there than that, but as far as a day-to-day basis is concerned, those practical tools will keep you hustlin’.