I’ve always been an entrepreneurial sprinkler, chasing business ideas in every direction. This drive was finally channeled three years ago. Some close friends of mine challenged me to pick a business idea and pour myself into it. I chose Craigslist.
Initially I had a hard time focusing on one product category. I was buying and selling anything I could make a buck on. As the months passed, I started noticing which items had a good supply and demand, and which had high profit margins. But this wasn’t enough. I wanted more for my business than simply flipping items. I needed to find a way to add value to each transaction, because where value is added, profits are made. So I chose appliances.
I now buy and sell appliances almost exclusively, selling anywhere from 20-30 appliances a week.
(I was being contacted so often by people wanting to learn the appliance business, we built an entire training course and community that teaches people everything about the appliance business at ApplianceSchool.com)
Supply is very important because I need something to keep me going year-round. Thankfully we are a funny people here in this country. You see, one household will get rid of their perfectly working white appliances to upgrade to stainless steel, and another will upgrade from stainless steel to black. Then another will go from black to “white ice” and then switch to “slate.” Meanwhile a family across town is upgrading from beige to white, and some poor college students are upgrading from the laundromat to anything that runs. I’m more than happy to help facilitate this rather bizarre phenomenon.
The used appliance market is red hot now. People are trying to save money any way they can, and turning to Craigslist can save hundreds of dollars on used appliances. Why spend $450-$1,500 on a washing machine that you can get for $150 or less. Why pay $500-$1,000 on an oven that you can get for $150-$200? In general, people are getting their appliances on Craigslist for a quarter to a third of what they cost new. As long as appliances are needed in people’s homes, and there are people that would like to save money, there should be high demand for used appliances.
I wanted to find something that I could make significant money per transaction and I found it in appliances. On average I make between $75-$200 per appliance that I sell. I buy the highest quality appliances I can find at the lowest prices. I then bring them home, clean them inside and out, fix any broken parts, touch up the paint and repost them at less than the market rate.
Also, I haul away the old appliances for free which I often repair and resell. If they are not worth repairing, I will part the machines out and recycle the rest of the metal for money at the scrapyard.
What value do I add?
Fast Sales (to the seller) Quick Delivery (to the buyer)
I will go and purchase good deals immediately, often times buying multiple appliances at a time. I do all the work, including the unhooking of hoses, cords, vents etc and removal of the appliances from the sellers home. This makes for a very quick and pleasant transaction for sellers.
Clothes dryers should be cleaned out every 2-3 years, and most are never cleaned at all. Dirt and lint starts building up inside the ventilation chute, slowly reducing the airflow and efficiency of the dryer until it actually fails. This is probably the most common reasons dryers break down. Providing people with a clean dryer saves them a significant amount of money in utility costs, drying time, and greatly reduces the risk of a dryer fire. When I deliver a dryer, I also inspect the ducting to the outside of the house, and provide duct cleaning if needed for an additional fee.
Over the past few years I’ve learned which brands and models are the most reliable and which tend to have the most problems. I have made it my practice to only sell appliances that I would want to own myself.
Delivery and removal of old appliances
Most people are unable to transport appliances. Even if they have a truck or trailer, it’s not an easy thing moving around heavy appliances. I remove the old appliance, install the new one, and change out the dryer cord to match the receptacle. This can save people money and a lot of hassle.
At the end of the day
Sure there are hard days, but they don’t outweigh the fulfilment that comes from being your own boss, making your own hours, and having the freedom to build something you’re proud of.
I chose appliances, but there are fields of opportunities for anyone that is willing to work hard and exercise a little creativity. Sometimes we just need to pick something and run with it. You never know, the opportunity might be right in front of you drying your clothes.
Are you interested in starting an appliance business on the side or full time? I’ve been helping people all over the country start appliance business’s and have just started an entire training site and community at ApplianceSchool.com! It’s an awesome trade to learn and it can be done from anywhere. You can also email me if you have any questions.