From $100 to a down payment: Canadian man flips thrifted items to buy new home | Canada (2024)

While homeownership is a far-fetched dream for many Canadians, one man is confident that he can take $100 and turn it into enough money for a down payment on a home.

Given Canada’s costly housing market, it may seem impossible, but 27-year-old Billy Martin has been documenting his experience buying and selling used items he’s found at garage sales and thrift stores.

He believes that he’ll make enough to buy a home.

@welcometothebmart $100 to 15k In 4 months? • • • • #flipping #reselling #thriftfinds #thrifting #garagesalefinds #investment #sidehustle ♬ original sound – Billy

Martinlives in Lethbridge, Alberta, where he said he can likely purchase a starter home for around $300,000.

“At 5% down, I will only need $15,000. Including closing costs, I would like to get to $20,000 by flipping,” he told Daily Hive.

He explained that he was approved for Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program, which offers 5 or 10% of the home’s purchase price to be put toward a down payment.

In his first video, he started with $100 and bought an old Halloween decoration model home for $40. He then put it on eBay, and after fees, he pocketed $63.40.

He then brought $3 to a garage sale and scored a pair of Nikes. He auctioned those items on eBay, and they sold for $20, of which he made $10.79 after fees.

He continued this routine with more used items like mini hockey sticks, an old Hulk Hogan plush toy, and Pokemon miniatures.

After his first week of flipping, Martin earned $206. While this was far from enough to cover a down payment, he kept going.

After seven weeks of flipping, he amassed $1,478 and hopes to make his down payment goal in a year.

Thrifting for a home

Martinsaid his passion for finding great deals stems from his upbringing in a low-income family with 10 older siblings.

“The only time we ever got things were from garage sales or thrift stores,” he explained.

“I’ve loved finding great deals since I was a kid. I figured I’d use this to flip things and make a side income solely to invest in property.”

@welcometothebmart loved the support I got on my first video ! can’t wait to keep em coming. • • • • • #flipping #reselling #thriftfinds #thrifting #garagesalefinds #investment #sidehustle ♬ original sound – Billy

It’s no surprise that Martin’s best finds come from frequenting local garage sales.

He also enjoys going to thrift stores, but items can often be priced too high, meaning “there isn’t a lot of profit to be made.”

“A lot of people find things locally on [Facebook] Marketplace, but I find the good deals are gone so quick I rarely get them,” he added.

Securing deals isn’t as easy as it seems; it takes time, dedication, and planning.

“I’m strategic in the way I look for these deals,” he said. “Almost every weekend… there will be 15 to 30 garage sales within one small community.”

He said he usually spends two to three hours on weekends going to these sales and visits thrift stores a few times during the week.

Then, he works a few more hours per week to list items for sale online and ship them to buyers.

What started as a fun hobby became Martin’s side gig.

“In total, I’m spending 10 hours a week [buying and selling], and I’m profiting over $200 every week,” he stated. “I really enjoy it! So I’m making $20 an hour doing something I love.”

One man’s trash, another’s treasure

Sometimes, Martin hits the jackpot with his resales.

For example, he came across a 12-inch-long miniature replica of a Caribbean cruise ship. “It was made of rubber, I believe, and I didn’t think it would be anything special, but I figured it might be a collectable,” he explained.

He purchased it for $1 at a garage sale and auctioned it off on eBay for US$130 (C$177.79).

He’s also lucked out with some sports equipment, particularly softball bats.

@welcometothebmart PART 5. $1K down $19K to go. • • • • #flipping #reselling #thriftfinds #thrifting #garagesalefinds #investment #sidehustle ♬ no music – Explorers of the Internet

“I went to a garage sale where a lady had six softball bats priced at $10 each,” Martin explained.

He asked the woman if he could get a deal if he bought all six, and she offered to sell them all for $45.

“At this point, I had never sold a bat before, but I had seen videos of people saying they can be valuable,” he continued.

Within a week, he sold one of the bats for $150 and another for $90.

Fans are following the journey

Martin’s videos have garnered thousands of views on TikTok, and many are tuning in to see if he will reach his goal.

However, not everyone on the internet is supportive, as some think the thrifter is wasting his time.

“A lot of people in my comment section have told me that with the amount of time I must spend doing this, I should just flip burgers or get a nine to five,” he shared.

But Martin already has a thrifting-related job that helps pay the bills.

He runs his secondhand clothing store called Poppin’ Tags in downtown Lethbridge.

“Customers come in and trade me their clothes for cash on the spot,” he said. “My store is very similar to the franchise store called Plato’s Closet.”

He added that one of the reasons flipping items has worked so well is because his business provides him with the “space and tools” to make the practice part of his everyday life.

“I’m shipping out clothes for my business; I’ll just simply pack up one of my eBay items and ship it out at the same time,” said Martin. “My career and hobby work seamlessly together.”

And despite some of the negative comments he has received, Martin said he is hugely grateful for his supporters.

“There are always going to be those skeptics, but I would say that 80% of people who comment are positive,” said the thrifter.

“It’s crazy how many people have said my videos have inspired them to do this.”

You can follow Martin’s flipping journey on TikTok.

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From $100 to a down payment: Canadian man flips thrifted items to buy new home | Canada (2024)
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