Mike Rezendes, or Reezy Resells, is the man to know and follow if you want to make money on the internet. An early pioneer of the retail arbitrage movement—where sellers look for price discrepancies between items on discount and what they currently retail for on Amazon or eBay—Rezendes claims to have generated $5 million in sales over 15 years.
The energetic but focused entrepreneur visited the ONE37pm office and spilled his flip life story. From hustling from free games at his childhood arcade to sorting and selling 44,000 pounds of books, Rezendes is the expert of note.
ONE37pm: So, when did you start flipping?
Mike Rezendes: I started a little over 15 years ago, but I started reselling when I was a kid, just like selling candy at school or running little scams at the arcade close to where I lived. I grew up by the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California, which is a free-admission amusement park. But if you don't have any money, as I did, you can't have any fun. You can literally hear the money, but you can't have any fun. So you start like, "Hey, this game ate my quarter." And then that turns into them giving you free games to leave them alone. And then I'm like, well, I got 80 credits on this game, let me sell it to this kid for ten bucks.
I got older. I sold a little bit of weed, which believe it or not, taught me an immense amount about business. There are people on the street that know way more than people with an MBA, and they don't even know it, you know. The streets are talking. Then, eBay was running commercials on TV. My little brothers started messing with it first. I was 15, right before I had my first kid. I had a kid when I was 16, and I've lived on my own since then. But I remember we sold everything my mom would let us sell, including a Gateway PC that my mom still hadn't paid back. Then we sold our Nintendo and all the games and all the controllers in a pile and like we got some money, but I saw that the guy who bought it was a video game guy. He had just sold a game system with no games, only the cables. That's when we learned about breaking bulk. You can make more if you sell everything individually or the inverse—you can buy piles of stuff and then sell it separately.
So we just kept buying lots off of eBay, breaking them down and then putting them in big bundles—just like the one we sold. We learned from our own mistakes. I would occasionally see people scanning books in thrift stores—like a cart full of books. So much that you think they work there and they're putting them out for sale. But no, they're buying them. And I'm like, "They're making money. No one's buying that many books." And then I see that they're using a barcode scanner. So I started researching it. That's how I got into reselling full time: books.
Books are very plentiful. It's easy to systemize. You have software that tells you what it is worth. AIt's different than finding a random thing at a thrift store or a garage sale because you can scale it. You can scan one barcode a second so you can go into a store and scan a thousand books in a thousand seconds.