Updated August 26th, 2018.
Travelling can be life changing. It can change the whole way you feel about people, places and even yourself. Unfortunately, travelling is also pretty addictive. If you’re anything like me, as soon as you get home you start planning your next travelling adventure. The only thing that tends to stop me is cash for a plane ticket! Perhaps one of the easiest way to make some quick money when you get back home is to sell off some of the weird and wonderful souvenirs you have picked up on your travels. These days, on every trip I go on, I am to find something cool to take back home and sell. Today, I am going to teach you guys how to pick a good item, haggle for a great price and, then, sell it back home for a good profit!
Every time I arrive in a new country, I start looking for lightweight items which I can buy on the cheap and sell online for a decent profit. We’re not talking thousands and thousands of dollars of profit here (you don’t want to carry kilos and kilos of stuff around anyway) but it is pretty easy to make well over $1,000 with a small amount of work.
Would any of your mates want some of these trinkets?
The first step is to find an item you think might sell well online or at a music festival. Ideally, this needs to be something small and lightweight so that you can buy thirty or so and pop them in your backpack without totally filling it! There are two types of items you should keep an eye out for. The first is an item which is already available back home but which is pretty high value.
When in Vietnam, I spotted some colourful silk sleeping bag liners. I knew for a fact that these exact same liners sold for around $50 in outdoor shops back home so I bought forty of them. I started off by buying one and haggling hard, I got the price down to $2.50 from around $6 and I then managed to negotiate a bulk discount. In the end, I walked out with forty silk sleeping bag liners for $60. Back home, I sold these to buddies and on eBay for $25 a pop. At half the normal price in the gear shops, they sold like hotcakes and bam – I had made an easy $940 profit!
Colourful scarves are always popular!
If you’re a creative type, consider branching out towards the second kind of item; antiques and really unique pieces. A friend of mine once bought home a hundred brass kaleidoscopes key-rings which he sold for $15 a pop at festivals, they had cost him just $2 each. I know a couple of travelling antique dealers who go to Nepal, amongst other countries, to buy wrought iron lamps, copper door handles, religious paintings and masks for around the $10 mark to sell back home for up to $300! Religious items in general are a good bet, if you’re heading to Nepal think about picking up some prayer flags to sell online for a sizeable profit.
Whilst in India, I came across very cheap leather satchels which I knew were selling in UK festivals for up to $200! I bought 30 of them, picked them up months later and crammed them in my pack. They made me well over $1000 and all I had to do was post them to the buyers. I should add that I sold these on eBay and that there were plenty of eBay sellers doing the same thing. If I had taken the time to take these to a festival I could have probably made even more money.
Another easy option is clothing, you can pick up colourful hippy shirts, Ali Baba trousers and handmade headbands very cheaply all over Asia and they fold down to almost nothing. You can buy super colourful shirts in India for around a dollar and sell them online as chic ‘hippy attire’ for at least $20. I have a friend who imports scarves from Asia and sells them all over Canada, it’s good money.
Bringing stuff home to sell has made a big difference to funding my travels and I highly recommend giving it a go! When it comes to making money at the end of your trip, this is easily one of the best options. So, hit the road, find a kick ass item, haggle for a bulk discount and then pick a good place to sell them back home; festivals and online markets are a good place to start!
Good luck guys and do let me know how you do buying stuff on the road to sell back home! If you have any tips of your own I would love to hear them!
This Article Was Written By: South American Ambassador Will Hatton, AKA The Broke Backpacker! Will first started backpacking over seven years ago and has the dubious honour of being one of the brokest travellers you are ever likely to meet! He launched his website in August 2014 to help inspire others to quit their jobs and hit the road! When he’s not writing, snapping photos or climbing mountains, he seeks out unique accommodation around the world for HovelStay.com and blogs for HolidayPirates.com. Read more about Will on Facebook and Twitter @wandering_will. Or, if you’re really keen, meet him on the road in South America!