In recent years, most remote controls you find at garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, or even thrift stores are mostly worthless after the year 2023.
There are some exceptions however, depending on the brand of the remote and if it pairs up with a valuable electronics item such as a vintage audio stereo system or home theater setup.
One of my recent best-sold items was a new-in-box Logitech Harmony Remote Control 665, which sold for an amazing $179.95.
Where Did I Source The Logitech Harmony 665 Remote From?
I actually sourced this 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.
Because I’d already been using a Harmony Remote Control for years, I wanted to buy a few extra remotes just in case I needed a replacement down the road. I paid roughly around $60 dollars per remote, plus sales tax.
Here are some pictures of the Logitech Harmoney 665 Remote from the eBay listing I made.
Lessons Learned From Flipping This Item
Because I was already a user of a Logitech Harmony remote, I had a very good gut feeling that the demand for these remote controls would go up over the years, after being discontinued. So I did not mind buying a few of them for a discount and waiting.
After waiting a couple of years, I saw the price had reached an all-time high of almost $200 per remote, so I decided to sell one of them to regain some money back. Eventually, I’ll sell the second remote for another profit and then keep the third remote for myself.
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.)
So Be Careful!
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.
What To Look For When Flipping Remote Controls
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 someone’s sound system.
The most valuable remote controls I’ve flipped for good money over the years have been for vintage Audio Receivers, Tape Decks, and CD Players. So be on the lookout for those as well.
Audio brands such as Sony, Denon, Carver, JVC, Yamaha, Bose, NAD, and other obscure names will bring the most money!
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for checking out my latest article, about selling a remote control that netted me over a $90 dollar profit!