Earning a living online has become more feasible as time has passed, and it will continue to do so in the current decade.
One such way of earning a living online is through flipping computers. The gist of this is that you purchase new or used parts and sell them at a higher rate to turn over a profit margin. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?
With computers, laptops, and similar devices, the process of flipping can potentially be very lucrative. And with the demand for smart devices being higher than ever, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find your target clientele.
Let’s explore how you can earn extra money flipping computers fairly and find out the ins and outs of the business.
Flipping Computers: What’s It About?
Conceptually, flipping is very simple, involving buying low and selling high. Of course, as any business person would tell you, that is easier said than done. The very process of customer acquisition can be quite lengthy and arduous, and even more difficult is retaining them for future purchases.
So, the first thing to remember about flipping computers is that it can take a while before you earn any extra money online. A lot of time can pass between building or refurbishing a PC to finding someone interested in buying it. After all, many people prefer purchasing through specific outlets or dealers.
As a prospective seller, you must position yourself in the niche market smartly and find a niche user base who will purchase from you. For instance, there is a large customer base for refurbished computers. This customer base typically includes people who need a low-priced device for school, work, or office without requiring a lot of processing power.
Another good target market to dig your heels in is the gaming PC computers segment. People playing games on a budget or those who don’t know how to build PCs tend to purchase pre-built computers. As the seller, you can provide custom builds per the client’s specifications and sell them at a higher rate than the building cost.
And lastly, you can remove refurbishing or building PCs from the picture entirely and simply deal with used parts. Selling used computer parts can be quite lucrative, which is doubly applicable to chipsets.
Getting Started With Flipping Computers
Once you begin dealing with flipping computers, you should gather as much information on the parts and devices as possible. More often than not, your target clientele will be knowledgeable on the matter, and they will want to know everything about the products they purchase. If you can’t quell their curiosity well enough, you stand to lose business because of it.
Another thing to keep in mind about flipping desktop computers is that getting started requires plenty of monetary investment. Purchasing certain parts alone can set you back several hundred dollars, which can reach the thousands if you enter the gaming scene.
Moreover, you must take losses into account when in the business. It’s likely that your first computer flip doesn’t go as planned, resulting in a net loss. So, if there’s a chance of being in financial trouble after the unsuccessful first flip, you must work towards mitigating the financial risk. Be sure to save up some extra cash before you start your new online business.
And lastly, be sure to maintain a record of your sales. Keeping track of the money you earn or lose can be beneficial in planning the future of your business. Additionally, it will be useful for managing taxes and paying your dues in a timely manner.
Note that you will be breaking even more often than not for the first few times you sell devices or used hardware. It’s important to keep your expectations tempered and scale the business up only when you’re in a position to do so. Keep an eye on your funds and remain vigilant of how you spend them.
Flipping Refurbished PCs
1. Purchasing Used PCs
Now, flipping refurbished PCs and laptops is not as straightforward as one might believe. Depending on where you source used PCs from, you may have to put in a lot of time and effort to make them usable. The sheer number of websites and sellers that sell used PCs and laptops in sub-par or outright poor condition makes the matter more complicated.
So, the best places to source a used PC are through local sellers or online marketplaces like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and other sites. Generally, contacting local sellers is a better idea since you can check what they have to offer before making the purchase. This can limit your expenditure on refurbishing and reduce the time wasted during delivery and return processes typically seen in an online used market.
Once you have the used PC or laptop, it’s time to refurbish them and make them ready to sell.
2. Refurbishing An Old PC
Used PCs often come with a myriad of issues that range from dirt in their inner components to data that belonged to the previous owner. And before you sell one, you have to make sure that these issues are eliminated completely and that the device functions properly.
Here’s a brief checklist of the refurbishing process that you can follow:
- Checking for any external damage and fixing it
- Checking and cleaning the inner components of the CPU cabinet
- Clearing out the hard drive
- Testing the performance of the motherboard, RAM, graphics card, and other parts
- Fixing any issues and replacing faulty components
- Adding accessories, softwares, and upgrades per customer preferences
Note that you’ll need your own computer to copy the essential software into an external storage device and install them to the refurbished PC. If you’re refurbishing a laptop, the overall process remains the same, with the only difference being the way in which you access the inner components.
3. Putting The Used PC Up For Sale
Once the PC is ready to be sold, visit an online marketplace and put up a listing with a few pictures of the product. Be sure to include detailed information about the PC that gives interested buyers a complete overview of its specifications at a glance.
Consider including the following information on your resale listing:
- CPU make and model
- GPU model and capacity
- RAM and the number of expandable slots
- Operating System
- Hard drive capacity
- CPU dimensions or laptop size
- Initial release year (if relevant)
- Connection ports
- Supported screen refresh rates (laptop or monitor only)
Building And Selling Computers
Many prospective PC buyers prefer their device to suit their needs perfectly but lack the technical know-how to build one independently. If you’re someone with more in-depth tech knowledge, PC building according to the client’s specifications may be a good way to earn more money online.
1. What You’ll Need
The important thing to keep in mind about building custom gaming PCs is that you need to invest plenty of pocket money to get started. This includes all the new hardware, a large workspace, a set of screwdrivers, and a storage device that contains all the essential software.
You will need to source the following when building a custom PC for sale:
- CPU cabinet
- Solid-State Drive (SSD) or hard drive
- Power supply unit
- Robust cooling system (for selling gaming PCs)
- Operating System
Most of the time, buyers seek a PC with brand-new parts when paying someone to build one for them. So, you will need to allocate your budget accordingly and make sure that you can still turn over a profit after assembling the PC.
Next comes the installation, which can be quite complex, especially when a complex cooling system is involved. So, be sure to follow all the instructions specific to the parts when installing them and ensure that they don’t move at all in the cabinet.
Here’s a brief rundown of the installation process:
- Install CPU
- Install SSD (if any)
- Install CPU cooling system
- Add RAM to the motherboard slot
- Affix the power supply unit
- Install the motherboard
- Connect the GPU
- Install the hard drive
- Close the cabinet
- Install the operating system
After you’re done with the installation, perform final checks and sell the product to your customer. Based on the complexity of the installation, you may charge a few dollars on top of the cost of the parts as a part of the installation fee. Add in shipping costs and tech support fees, and this will net you a decent profit.
Selling PC Parts
In addition to the two methods mentioned earlier, you can consider selling PC parts to customers directly. Plenty of people prefer to put their PC together on their own, especially when gamer PCs are concerned. These machines require replacement parts every few years to remain updated with the current times.
So, check the performance of the parts you source and put them up for sale at the same price range as detailed on the box. It’s a profitable business opportunity that starts out slow, so consider keeping it a side hustle and keep the cash-flow steady.
Selling computers is a perfectly viable way to earn money, be it through online channels or by contacting local vendors. The only couple of things that this business demands of you are technical know-how and financial management.
From refurbishing old PCs, to building new ones, or selling PC parts, there is plenty of potential in the business to earn cold-hard cash. And through it all, you must remain aware of who your target customer base is.
It’s important to keep your expectations tempered when you first begin flipping computers. Initial sales may be slow, and your monetary investment may be higher than desired.
But these are just a few aspects of the online business that you must endure to succeed. There is a learning curve to it, and at the end of the day, going through it is worth the effort.
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