633
10 min 54 sec

The Clothes Dryer That Changed a Family Forever

When this government employee is let go from his job, he stumbles upon a reselling opportunity that would end up helping his family ride the coming recession—and eventually earn six figures in a single year.
Family Low Startup Potential Reselling Transition Story

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What It's About

A side hustle that's as easy as wash, dry, repeat!

Business Model
Reselling
Skills Required
Resourcefulness & Research
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

Pay attention to this—

"When it came to selling, the process wasn’t all that complicated. He always gave the appliances a good cleaning, then took newer, better pictures, and wrote up a clear, information-packed description. Sometimes he even repainted the tops if they looked pretty faded. And when it came time to list the item, he’d price it just a hair below the average price for similar models to help move the item quickly."

Variations of this are still possible in this day and age. You probably won’t get rich, but if you need money soon, this works. (Let us know if you try it!)

Fun Fact

LaJuan’s part-time airline job gets him free flights all the time. A few years ago, he and his wife flew to Thailand in business class for $75 total… saving nearly $12,000 in expenses. Even though it’s not a high paying job, it clearly has its perks!

Notes from Chris

Episode 633

LaJuan Stoxstill-Diggs is a family man. He married the love of his life when he was twenty, had three kids by twenty-one, and worked hard to provide for them. Finances were tight in those early years, and they would soon become far more challenging.

In early 2007, on the cusp of the 2008 recession, LaJuan was let go from his government job as the economy started to fold in on itself. Over the next two months, he submitted over two dozen job applications, but what he found was that no one was hiring.

Thankfully, LaJuan’s brother owned a moving company and was able to supply him with some contract work now and then. Even when times are tough, there’s always someone willing to pay for manual labor.

Clients were frequently offering excess furniture to LaJuan’s brother, which he gladly accepted. One gig, a client offered a clothes dryer to LaJuan’s brother, who then offered it to LaJuan. He almost said ‘no’. After all, he had a perfectly good dryer at home—why would he need another? It was just going to take up space.

But then his brother said something that would change his life forever: “Just try to sell it. You can keep the money.”

Being three months out of work and not expecting a job to come along anytime soon, LaJuan accepted. He didn’t know if anything would come of it, but he figured he might as well try. LaJuan’s first thought was to list the dryer for sale in the local newspaper. That ad would take a few dollars, as well as a couple days to actually be published, but he’d had success there before. But LaJuan’s wife had another idea: Craigslist.

LaJuan hadn’t used Craigslist for much of anything before. He’d looked around in the jobs section, but he never thought of it as a marketplace to sell things on. Again, he wasn’t certain it would work, but it was free and instant—so why not?

Within a few hours of listing the dryer, someone arrived at LaJuan’s house and gave him $75 for it. LaJuan was ecstatic—and also frustrated. It sold so fast that he realized he should have listed it for at least $50 more!

His mind began turning over like the permanent press spin cycle on that dryer. He spent the rest of the night reading all the listings for washers and dryers. Within a couple days, he was able to confirm his suspicion: people were selling used appliances for far cheaper than they were worth… and if he could be quick to buy them, he could flip them for a profit.

To test the idea, LaJuan called his family members around town and asked if they had any used appliances they wanted to sell. The next morning he picked up two dryers for $50 each, listed them both on Craigslist, and sold them both for $120 each.

It was the easiest money he’d ever made. But more importantly, it gave LaJuan hope that he could provide for his family through the recession and beyond.

LaJuan still helped his brother with moving gigs, but he no longer felt the urgency of applying for every job under the sun. He’d found something he could earn real money with, and he felt in control of his circumstances.

Day after day, he scoured Craigslist pages for his local area. He searched for appliances that were under $100, with two criteria in mind: they looked like something he’d use in his own home, and he knew he could profit at least $50 from. In under two weeks, LaJuan had made over $1,000. He couldn’t believe it—but he wasn't about to stop and ask questions. It was hustle time!

About a year into the hustle, LaJuan had his first $5,000 month. He’d been so busy raising his kids and flipping appliances that he hadn’t even realized that he had surpassed his government job salary.

As the years went by, LaJuan expanded into flipping refrigerators, espresso machines, studio equipment, computers, and a variety of other items that he learned he could profit from. There were even a few years he surpassed six figures in profit! It was more money than he’d ever made.

It’s been eleven years since LaJuan sold his first dryer, and a lot has changed. He now has part-time jobs as a real estate agent and an airline employee. Both gigs have provided different kinds of value to his family, including cheap airfare and free standby tickets. Thanks to his 20-hour-per-month job at the airport, he’s often able to fly to see his son play football at Cornell University.

And that experience really characterizes LaJuan’s approach this whole time. It wasn’t about creating an empire or always hitting six figures—it was about providing for his family and helping others do the same. There’s more than one way to accomplish almost any goal. He just didn’t expect to find his answer in a common household appliance.



SEE ALSO:


Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"A person has to have their reason for hustling in order to find success in flipping through Craigslist or any other online platform. In the beginning, I did everything so my family could eat and we could have life’s basic essentials for another day. Before I knew it, I looked up and realized all of our needs were met."
—LaJuan Stoxstill-Diggs #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau