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From Junk to Jewels: A Hauler's Guide to the Junk Afterlife


 

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HAULING SPOTLIGHT: with TIM SELLENGER


Company: Red's Rubbish Removal

Established: 2014

Locations: Winthrop, Massachusetts

Services: Full service junk, select demolition, and resell at our thrift shop "Red's Renewed".


Tim's Red's Rubbish Story

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to work for myself. Both of my parents have worked for themselves my entire life so it was engrained in me and I did whatever I had to to make it happen. When I was younger, I would do job site cleanups for my dad with an old F150 and bring debris to the dump for him. So when I graduated college and ended up hating every job I had (about 8 that I quit or got fired from), I started thinking of ways to make money with my truck. I landed on junk removal as a side job for 2 years and it took off eventually making it a full time job.

 

Our biggest challenges were getting into the industry and standing out with so many other companies trying the same thing. You really have to grind it out everyday and actively look for jobs to keep the crew busy. There is always someone out there willing to do it cheaper and selling yourself on why you aren't the cheapest is something we constantly do and something I take pride in. I believe we provide some of the best service in Boston.

 

I started with a Ram 1500 and a small utility trailer that didn't even dump and have grown into 2 dump trucks with a full time crew and just recently got a utility trailer to help with deliveries of resale items.

 

My philosophy is and will always be, do what you have to do to be who you want to be.  And I want to be everyone's first thought when they need junk removed in the city of Boston.

 

Another service we provide is reselling our items we pick up. I didn't always think about this aspect of junk removal and most of the time the good items were going straight to donation (which we still do) or just going to the dump which I hated doing. I would sell items every once in a while and every time I sold something it was a natural high, I really enjoyed the process. Without having much space to store my items, I bought a big tent to keep pieces under in the backyard of my parents house (I used to live in the basement, no big deal). I would post on Facebook Marketplace mostly and constantly sell stuff, it really became a second job. Once I bought my house it had a 2 car garage and that became where I stored and sold items before and after work. My garage was always stuffed with junk I was selling and it could become overwhelming at times. So after we got a job to demo a small office space in my town, we worked out a deal for the space to become my office/thrift store. So now, we have Red's Renewed and we are usually open Friday and Saturdays or whenever the store manager (my Mom) can make it in and open up. I do still sell items out of my garage of course as some stuff is too big for the store or its just easier to sell when I'm at home. The store has been great for smaller items and clothing that i never would have kept had I not opened the store.  

 

The way we decide to keep stuff is honestly based on what I would personally like. I have gotten a good eye through the years on what people like and what era people are interested in. All mid century furniture is back, and a lot of 80s clothing and 90s toys are always selling. Anything that I would want at my house or in my man cave will be brought to the store. We get a little bit of everything, from pots and pans, to old school coolers, sports equipment and a lot of Christmas decorations which people love.  

 

Most basement and house clean-outs consist of taking time to rip open every bag and every box to see what they are throwing out and if they would be worth something. We always make a keepers pile and once we see something that looks cool or unique we look up what they sell for because there is always someone else that is selling or has sold the same thing.  Once we decide what we are going to keep, I will usually keep space in the back of the dump truck or bring a pickup truck to take all the keepers back to the garage or right to the store. Some items need a little love and cleaning before we sell, and some sell before I even make it back to the shop.  

 

For anyone else out there wondering if it makes sense to sell items you get on jobs the answer is yes. It doesn't happen overnight but the sales will eventually come quick and often especially since we were paid to take the items away and selling them at any price is all profit. It is a lot of work responding to everyone and finding times to meet before, during and after work to sell but its worth it in the end. Reselling has become my favorite aspect of the junk life.

 

Welcome to our latest newsletter! In the bustling world of junk removal, every cleared space offers a hidden opportunity for profit. Ever considered that the items you're being paid to haul away might just have a second life, waiting to be unlocked?

 

Where others see waste, many see potential. It's not about selling 'junk', it's about understanding the value in what's been discarded and finding it a new purpose.

 

Yes, you're essentially doubling down on your earnings—getting paid to remove, then turning around and selling some of that "junk" for extra cash. But, as tempting as becoming a thrift-flipping tycoon sounds, it's wise to approach this venture with a bit of strategy.

 

Finding the Diamonds in the Rough

Not all hauls are created equal. The first step is developing an eagle eye for items with potential market value. It's about distinguishing the worthy pieces amidst the discard pile.

 

Your New Best Friend: Facebook Marketplace

Think of Facebook Marketplace as the digital equivalent of a bustling garage sale. It's the perfect spot for flipping your finds. A little cleanup, some decent photography, and savvy listing skills are all you need to get started. But remember, time management is key. You're running a junk removal business, not an antique store.

 

Every piece of 'junk' has a story, and every story has a buyer. The art is not just in the selling, but in connecting the two.

 

Balancing Act: Side Hustle vs. Main Hustle

Keep this in mind: your primary focus is on hauling, not refurbishing or reselling. It's crucial to prevent this lucrative side hustle from consuming the time and energy meant for growing your core business.

 

Scaling Your Efforts Wisely

As the extra cash starts rolling in, you might consider expanding the team to handle the resale operations. However, ensure that every new addition to the team contributes to a net increase in profits, maintaining a healthy balance between effort and earnings.

 

Quick Tips for Flipping Success:

  1. Learn to Spot Potential: Quickly identify items with resale value. 

  2. Master Facebook Marketplace: It's your go-to for selling items locally. Ensure your items are clean and competitively priced. 

  3. Value Your Time: Monitor how much effort you're putting into reselling. Aim for profit, not just another job. 

  4. Main Business First: Always prioritize your hauling business. Don't get sidetracked by the allure of quick sales. 

  5. Smart Scaling: Hiring help? Make sure it's financially viable. Increased sales should lead to increased profits. 

  6. Focus on Profit: It's not just about sales; it's about enhancing your bottom line. 

  7. Set a Monthly Goal: Find a sweet spot that adds to your income without complicating your operations. 

  8. Keep an Eye on Margins: Monitor your profits, especially as your business grows. Over-expansion can lead to financial strain.

 

Diving into the world of flipping can indeed add a nice padding to your income, provided you keep these insights in mind. Finding the right balance between your hauling services and your resale ventures is key to ensuring that your journey into the secondhand market is both profitable and sustainable.

 

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Got ideas or stories of your own? We'd love to hear from you! Reply and or share your insights with us in the Haulers Forum. Together, let's inspire and guide each other toward building businesses that aren't just successful today but poised for future success.


Justin Hubbard

Justin Hubbard

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