Turn Your Stockpile into Profits!

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Most experienced couponers have some sort of stockpile. Now, most of us don’t have our garages filled like those on Extreme Couponing, but we have our stashes.

Now, what if I told you that you could turn your stockpile into a money making opportunity?

Many women who choose to stay home decide to sell Avon or Mary Kay to help make ends meet.

Instead of selling make-up for someone else, take your skills of couponing and earn money for your family.

Why not sell some of your stockpile at garage sales or even flea markets? Especially if you have some products that will expire before you will use them. Most of the items you could sell for a decent price and still turn a profit!

I see absolutely no problem in doing so. Every store in America buys products for a price and then resells them for a profit. This is what free enterprise is all about.

Now, I am first and foremost a proponent of donating items. And, by no means am I suggesting that you clear shelves or hoard items. I am totally against these acts. (I have a shelf clearer in my area and I can never find the items in stock at my nearest Walgreens – it is very frustrating.)

But, if you are like our family, there was a time when we were the ones in need of money for bills. We were the ones who could have benefited from donations or from selling our stockpile (if I had though of it then!) If you are in that position, think of your stockpile as inventory for your own business.

In today’s economy, sometimes you have to think outside the box to make ends meet.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you consider selling items from your stockpile at a garage sale?

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  1. DL says

    How much of a stockpile should I have? I have heard 3 months, 6 months and a year. I know it can depend on the item, but any advice?

    • Mike & Lisa says

      I try to keep about 3-6 months worth of personal care items in stock and maybe 3 months of some foods. With 4 growing boys – it’s hard to keep a lot of food in stock…lol

      Honestly, it really depends on your families situation. Every family is different and perhaps having just 4-6 weeks is what works for you. Then that is great. You have to find what your Mojo is and know that it is okay (don’t compare with others).

  2. jessica says

    I know people in my area do it.. I always go to a rummage sale of this lady who sells off her dove and other random items she obviously purchased cheap somewhere. I also have seen sales of clothing for 99 cents places like Kmart and then at a flea market saw those same items!! So why not do it with other things. Then again, I would recommend not buying the stuff you don’t really need rather than stockpiling 30 of the same product that you couldn’t use before it expires.

  3. Kristen A. says

    Same concept of what Convenience store owners do. They go shopping at the store and get drinks, milk etc on sale and then double or triple the price at their store. I would do it on occasion and actually have sort of on Listia. If it’s stuff I know we won’t use in time or changed our mind on liking it, etc.

  4. ASHLEY A says

    i definitely would. not only are you making money on the things you bargain/coupon shopped, but you are probably going to help those that are buying the items from you as well. Even if you sell your free bottle of shampoo for 1.50 its still cheaper for someone to buy it for that then at full price at the store so its a win win!

  5. Brittany says

    I know a lady who did this when I was a kid. She wanted to be a sahm and this was her avenue. I’ve seen a 7-eleven owner wiping out the shelves at CVS. I know what he’s going to do with that stuff :) I see nothing wrong with re-selling!

  6. karen says

    Our family IS trying to make ends meet week by week and that is why I started couponing and developing my stockpile (small one). But I would never sell any of these items. It’s because my family has to struggle at times, that I want to help others any way I can. (by donating) I don’t have the money to contribute to others, so this is what I do instead.

    • Mike & Lisa says

      That is great that you still find the items to donate while you are still amidst the storm!

  7. Melissa Haley says

    I’ve seen people do it but you also need to remember that even though you may sell it at a garage sale it has to be turned in on taxes. Anything that you buy to resale to make money on has to be turned in.

  8. Lacy(navyfrugalista) says

    I have done both…sold and donated. I have made some serious $$ at yard sales selling body washes and deodorants at yard sales and I see nothing wrong with it. However I also donate heavily to family and friends whenever and whatever they need. I don’t donate to shelters or homes if I am going to donate I will donate to military outreach places like Troop Aid or something similar. But I just do that cuz I am a military spouse and sometimes people forget about the men in uniform!!

  9. sherry says

    I have only intentionally bought a few items knowing ahead of time that I was going to resell them. Mostly, I get things my family uses or could use. If I get in a tight spot, I gather items around the house and sell them to get me through the month.

    Same concept when there is someone in need or they are taking donations for school or church – I go through what I have and donate what I can.

  10. Kristen says

    I have had yard sales several times in the past year and have sold a lot of health n beauty. I don’t have 50 deodorants sitting there but I make sure I leave some in the cupboard and take my extras to the table. We have struggled with my hubby in and out of employment and making an extra 100.00 on health n beauty that I maybe paid 10.00 for incl tax helps us out greatly. My last sale the customer said he would rather pull out a 20.00 bill then clip one coupon(he did buy 20.00 worth and maybe store price would have been 50 plus!)

  11. Melissa Haley says

    I myself also donate and will even fix up friends some gift bags with stuff. I will even get stuff that ends up free or close enough even though I know I won’t use it because I know that there are so many places to donate to. I never throw away a coupon even if it’s for something I’ll never need because I can always donate it. Also you can send your expired coupons overseas to the Military because they can use expired ones for up to 6 months. Also I know that when school starts up in August that there are always coupons for school supplies plus some coupons to go with them and it’s a great way to help out the schools if they get donations.

    • Kim says

      Is there a website I can go to get the address on donating coupons to soldiers overseas?

      • ali says

        Kim, the program is called the overseas coupon program, and the site is ocpnet.org — I send my expired coupons to them and they are very grateful!

  12. Stormie Munoz says

    Mike and Lisa,

    I 100% appreciate and share your site with all the take my couponing class, I stumbled upon some websites from a friend of mine and have since grown in my knowledge of couponing, and with that I stock pile w limits, above my personal limits, I then donate to local homeless shelters, adoptive centers, animal shelters and to friends that are going through a rough patch. I wouldn’t consider selling my things as I have been a single parent in the past and had my own struggles. But I don’t hold it against someone if that is there choice… I hope that makes sense.

  13. says

    Thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU for posting this! I had the idea earlier this week to sell items that I get using coupons and have been going back and forth as to whether or not that is okay to do.

    After reading your post and the other comments I can give myself permission to do so. I plan to sell the items that I get for cheap or free on Ebay.

  14. bri says

    NO! It’s as bad as fraudulent couponing. You are making money off someone just because you got a good deal? That’s wrong. If someone is in need, give it away, don’t sell it. Besides that, it is dangerous to buy products – even the name brands – from strangers instead of the store. You don’t know what you’re getting hasn’t been tampered with and you don’t know who you’re buying from. Ppl know things that come from stores are clean. Just because someone has good coupon knowledge doesn’t mean they don’t have a houseful of rats or cockroaches crawling all over their sale stuff at night. I bought name brand shampoo from the internet and got a bad rash. It was a product I used in the past on several occasions from the store, but thought I could save some $$. The scare of the rash from the same product turned me off health and beauty from private sellers forever.

    • Mandy says

      I can’t really see where you are coming from. Is it wrong for the stores to buy food from a distributor and then mark up the price and sell it to us. It’s the same concept. I have even had discussions with store managers and they say the same thing. As long as they are moving merchandise they don’t care what happens to it when it leaves the store. Personally would I do it? Probably not unless I really really needed to. I too tend to want to donate it. But to call it fraudulent couponing is wrong in my opinion. It’s a persons personal choice on what they do with their couponing abilities. If you choose to sell the stuff you get then more power to you.

      • says

        Exactly – it’s not any different than buying other things wholesale and selling them in your own shop, whether it is a physical shop or online. For Pete’s sake – the corner store owner down the street from me buys stuff at ALDI and marks it up to sell! I wouldn’t personally get into doing deals just to get stuff to sell, because I think it increases the temptation to clear shelves. But, I don’t see anything wrong with selling stuff you’ve gotten with coupons. It’s not like you got it from a charity (where the intention was to help your family, not resale).

  15. Heidi says

    I sell my stuff at yard sales (and donate a ton to my church for soldier care packages). Friends even come “shop” my stockpile. The people buying the stuff are so grateful! They don’t want to take the time to coupon shop and are so glad we do this and pass the savings on to them! We even have the same customers as they look forward to our yard sales. We are on a very tight budget, and this is how I am able to pay for my children’s education!

  16. Sandy says

    I am 100% against this ! In my humble opinion it is situations like this is why companies don’t like to take multiple coupons. Secondly this was an issue a few years back, people selling food in a garage sale and were told they didnt’ have a city license to do so. So if you do such a thing at least check into that before you do. But again I am against buying and reselling ! Just like those who find and take all the good toys at Christmas to me its just wrong

  17. Jillian Wick says

    lisa i think i go to the walgreens you go to also!!! haha i go to other ones if I can :)
    I think it’s great if you can make money by reselling-
    i donate my moneymakers that i don’t plan on using
    because i know that organizations can give to the person who actually needs it!

    the hasbro games that are on sale right now and you get a free pizza- i am stocking up for the christmas toy drive they have at st vincent de paul- i would hate if kids didn’t have presents! It’s the one thing me and my husband do every year and this year with those coupons we will be able to donate more than usual! :)

  18. Laura says

    When I watched extreme couponing that’s what went thru my head. Funny isn’t it? I was looking at all the salad dressing on the shelves and saying to myself that stuff is going to expire before they could use all that.

  19. Denise says

    Maybe it’s just me, but I would never buy food or personal care items from a yard sale. It doesn’t sound appealing to me! So I would never sell it myself. I do have a small stockpile though of things we use alot of. However, if my stockpile got huge like theirs, I’d would definitely donate.

  20. Lori says

    Why would you buy personal care items at a garage sale/yard sale? I don’t know who this person is and I wouldn’t buy any stuff like that from someone like that. My father never do business with someone who uses a card table for a desk!

  21. Deanne says

    There are many items at my CVS that have tags on them saying for sale at CVS only if you find this item being sold somewhere else, please call…. Most of these products I believe are from P&G.
    I really don’t like the idea, something about it seems wrong in my book!

    • says

      If you look at the back of those stickers, they’re anti-theft devices. I believe the idea behind those stickers is to prevent people from shoplifting the items to resell.

  22. Robin says

    My neighbor and I collect person items such as deodorant, soap,toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, razors, etc. and give to a shelter. I think it would be great for some of the overage of food to be given to a food bank. Why not help others too?

  23. JENNIFER says

    I too agree that people should NOT do this! It’s a good way to get companies to put limits on the rest of us! I believe it’s bad couponing practice and would not be writing about it on my website!

  24. Lori says

    This is just plain wrong for so many reasons. I can’t believe anyone would do it on either end of the transaction. Bag them up and give your excess to a shelter.

  25. lorie says

    this is against the law. the coupons say that you cannot buy things for resale. you do not have permission to sale. the irs will not like this because its against the law. its a way of making money and not reporting to the irs. plus you need a permit to sale. its fraud.

  26. says

    You should report it as tax always. We also believe you should donate first. However, if your family is need of income, we see nothing wrong with re-selling your extra non-perishables. This is a capitalistic society. Not much different than a convenience store, flea market, selling Avon, etc.. Just our opinion.

    • annon says

      I understand your point about this baing a capitalist country but that applies to the people buying and selling through the proper channels like a store front or business that files and pays taxes. I am not argueing with your thought process but it seems like you may also being saying he jumped off a bridge why shouldn’t I. Like if everyone else is working the system you should too.

  27. Isabelle says

    I just found a listing on Craigslist last night for a garage sale. Someone is paring down a stockpile, if you can classify 50 boxes of Hamburger Helper as part of a stockpile and not part of a hoard. I haven’t been doing this very long, but still, I recognize some of the deals I’ve found myself — Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, anyone?

    I know people buy things to sell at flea markets, and my first reaction to this discussion was, oh, why not? But when I saw pictures of bottles of detergent lined up and stacked up cans of pet food, it just seemed wrong to me. Let me emphasize the “to me” part of that! It’s not something I want to do. And buying frozen food, cereal, boxes of instant potatoes from a table in someone’s garage, food that’s been stored who-knows-how? That’s not food that I want to feed to my family.

  28. says

    With much strong feelings about this and I do coupon! I feel that this is a moral issue and is plain wrong to sale and profit by the products that are free or near free of cost! We have so many that are hungry from children to adults ! The world would be much better place if we would learn to share and be happy to help those in need,I can count the familys right now and the children at my sons school that would benifit so greatly for such an act of this kind of out reach! Not to mention senior citizens that are need of personal items and food, I know of seniors that go hungry during the day and only have one meal. Yes, there is meals on wheels, but have you ever ate one of those meals and with budget cuts a lot of this kind of program is going away. So please think about your actions before you make your profits.

  29. ali says

    My family is preparing to move across the country and I do NOT want to have to move my whole stockpile, so I am going to have a sale set up for my friends and neighbors and they can reap the benefit of all of my couponing. Whatever is left at the end, I will of course happily donate, but I don’t see a problem with this whatsoever. My kids often outgrow clothing, shoes, etc before they even use them so they are still brand new with tags, and we sell those at our garage sales all of the time without anyone judging us, so please stop judging other people’s financial situations and needs.

    • Lacey says

      Why would anyone in their right mind buy toothpaste, soap, et al at a garage sale? It boggles the mind. Donate your stockpile to a local shelter and leave your neighbors to buy their own at Walgreen’s.

  30. katkoupon says

    I only “buy” toothpaste when it’s free for my immediate household. But, I just recently started picking up a few extras each week, not clearing shelves, like $0.25 toothpaste or $1 shampoo (stuff I wouldn’t by for us since it is too expensive, lol), and I let my 6 brothers and sisters shop my “store” for each of their families. And they really appreciate the $0.25 toothpaste and $1 shampoo since they are paying regular price on this stuff. I am not making any profit, just asking they reimburse me, so I can keep buying this stuff. It doesn’t cost me any extra, I’m going through all the deals each week anyway, and I’m going to the stores anyway. And it is saving my family a lot of money too! Most of them are working full-time and don’t have time to spend couponing, but for some of them, money is still really tight. As a SAHM I am able to coupon, and I enjoy it. And I love being able to help my entire family, all 25+ of us! So for me personally, I can’t sell to the public when my family is so large and there is always someone who can use everything I get. I didn’t have much in my “store” (laundry room, lol) when they first came over, but I got cleaned out! They really appreciated what I had and said they’d be back for more! Love it!

    • AliceLong says

      Then you have no idea what the word “illegal” means. It’s that you and others who belive this want to THINK it is “illegal”, because you are personally against it. However, no law exists, anywhere in this country, that specifically says you cannot sell your own personal possessions as long as they are not regulated/controlled( like tobacco, alcohol, etc..). And needing a permit, as some areas require for a yard sale, is NOT a law against selling what YOU OWN. And when you buy a bottle or 20 bottles of body wash, guess what? you now OWN them. You can do as you want with them. Period. End of story. THAT’S the LEGAL side of it. As for one’s “morals”, “beliefs”, “convictions”, whatever….that’s your own and do unto yourself and be happy. Let others do legally what they want to do with their OWN PERSONAL possessions.

      Really people, get a grip on life already. And if you want to take a legal side to it, then quote a STATUTE on the BOOKS (not wording on a coupon). You never will because no such statutes exist. Have a nice day.

  31. says

    I don’t personally think someone should get deals with the sole purpose of reselling the items. That just takes away from those of us who do the deals to actually help keep our budgets down, or to donate to others. However, I HAVE sold items from my stock pile at yard sales, and I will again. The items I sold were ONLY brand-new toiletries, and ONLY items that I had multiples of, but found that we didn’t care for them once we tried them. One of the Nivea body washes I got when I first started couponing gives my daughter a rash, and I don’t like the scent. I sold them for a buck or two a piece, and I only had a hand-full. I had maybe 10 items from my stock pile for sale at each yard sale. And, I didn’t keep adding more as the day went on.

    On the other hand, I have bought brand-new toiletries from yard sales, too. If it’s a nice neighborhood and a sale with nice stuff, I’m not worried about it. I also bought sealed formula from a community yard sale – the lady had some she’d gotten for a friend, who didn’t need it. It cost me about 1/4 of what I would have paid in the store!

  32. Mike & Lisa says

    I appreciate everyone’s opinions on this matter. I never once said to clear shelves or to even buy multiples of products. For those of you who don’t feel that you should profit from something you got for free – what about reselling gifts that you have received but didn’t particularly like? Can you not sell these as well since you didn’t pay for them? Just a thought. Have a great day and comments are now closed.