Flipping Remote Controls Online: Which Ones Make The Most Money?




flipping remote controls
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Over the years when I’d go picking at the flea market or garage sales, I’ve learned how to identify which remote controls will make money and which ones will not.

Below, I’m going to break down the basics of what to look for in a remote control, which will help you make the most profit, for a quick sale.

What Kinds of Remote Controls Make The Most Money?

In my experience, you need to stick to specialized all-in-one remotes like Logitech Harmony Remotes or an audio/home theater remote control for a higher-end vintage audio sound system.

In addition, the most valuable remote controls I’ve flipped for good money over the years have been for high-end vintage Audio Receivers, Tape Decks, and CD Players. So be on the lookout for remotes for those devices as well!

Audio brands such as Sony, Denon, Carver, JVC, Yamaha, Bose, NAD, and other obscure names will bring the most money.

What Kinds Of Remotes Should You Stay Away From?

If you see a remote control for a VCR, TV, or DVD/Blu-Ray player, the chances are that the remote will be very low value with low demand. Especially for brand names like Emerson, Insignia, and the like. So I would recommend passing those over.

The reason you want to stay away from these brands or types of devices is because they are widely available with very little demand and there is a huge oversupply on the market.

If think you might have found an exception to this rule, you can always look up a remote on eBay with its model number, then view the total number available for sale vs. the actual number which has sold and make a decision for yourself.

To find out more about looking up sold comps on eBay, check out the following article: How To Use eBay Sold Comps Like a Pro

Where Can You Find and Source Remote Controls?

You can find remote controls just about everywhere at Flea Markets, Garage Sales, Estate Sales, eWaste Recyclers, Thrift Stores, and anywhere else where used electronics are widely available.

In some cases, you can also buy remote controls in a lot on eBay, either as a buy-it-now or an auction. Be warned, however, you’ll most likely end up overpaying and not making any money on the lot. Most of the resellers selling lots of remotes on eBay or other online sites have cherry-picked all the profitable remotes and resold them separately.

My Best Remote Control Flip Ever

Recently, one of my sold items ever, was a new-in-box Logitech Harmony Remote Control 665, which sold for an amazing $179.95, plus shipping.

I paid $60.00 dollars and sourced that Logitech Harmony Remote on a clearance sale at Best Buy, a couple of years ago when Logitech announced they were discontinuing the production of their Harmony Remote product line.

At the time, I ended up buying three of those Logitech remotes for a total investment of $180.00 plus tax.

As of right now, I have two of those remotes left. I plan to sell one more of them in the near future, and will most likely keep one for myself as a replacement remote, in case my existing Logitech Harmony remote ever needs to be replaced.

Since the first remote already sold for the price of $179.95, which is what I paid to buy all three of the remotes on clearance, I’ve got most of my initial investment back already.

The Big Lesson For Buying Products (Especially Electronics) On Clearance

The big lesson of buying clearance items from big box stores is to know exactly what you are buying. If you have a hobby that involves that particular product, you’ll be at a big advantage in speculating on its future value of going up over time.

If you are not familiar with a product on clearance, you’ll be taking a big bet that it will go up in value or that you can flip it for a profit (even in the short term.)

I say be careful because 90% of the time when flipping clearance items, the value of the item is not worth very much when you look it up on eBay or Amazon. The reason for this is that other online sellers have flooded the market with listings and driven the listing price lower and lower.


You should expect to hold your clearance items for a few months or longer before listing them for sale. This way you can let the online marketplace clear out and allow the price to go up higher.

Keep in mind, however, there is no guarantee that the price will go back up after a few months!

So you may have to wait longer than a few months to get the price you want to make a profit.

Warning: The Price May Never Go Up!

There are some products that go on clearance and the price will never go back up to a level so you can resell that item for a profit. So be very careful and remember, you are betting when flipping mass-produced products that are on a clearance sale.

Final Thoughts

Overall, flipping remote controls can be profitable, whether they are new or used.

But, like any product out there, you have some really valuable ones, and a lot that are not worth any money at all.

The best way to get started is to start looking up prices for remotes on eBay. With some time, you’ll start to remember the types of remotes and brands that will bring in some decent money.

As time goes on though, I feel like the remotes category is going to dry up eventually for most of its potential profit. So keep that in mind if you are just starting out.


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