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Use this project to teach basic financial literacy

Even while distance learning

What you need

Before I list the things you need for this project, I feel like it is important to say that I know not ALL kids have access to these things. I wish I could change that with the snap of my fingers, I really do.

So here is what you are going to need to pull this off at home:

  1. A laptop
  2. Internet access
  3. Junk or unwanted items from around your house

That’s it! If you have empty boxes and packing materials around your house that will help save you some money at the post office!

So…what does this project actually teach?

The project I am suggesting here is a project that teaches one of the more basic concepts needed to begin learning financial literacy: Making money!

I’ll bet you perked up in your chair reading that! YES! I want to teach and empower children to make REAL money with this project. The good news is that you can do it right alongside them!

Welcome to The Flip

The Flip is a project and a challenge at the same time. You start with an unwanted item around your house and, hopefully, one month later you end up with more than $500.

A flip is when you exchange something with the intention of acquiring something else as a result of the first exchange. You can flip anything! Time, money, shoes, sports cards, talent, advice, anything!

Here, we will be flipping old items around your house. So, you ready for the steps? Here we go!

Step 1- Set up your eBay account

There are a few things to know here. First, eBay’s age policies make it really difficult to have an eBay account if you’re under 18 so in most cases, you as a parent will need to create an account in your name that your child has access to. Second, to actually get paid you need to connect a financial account to your eBay account. Most people use PayPal.

Check out this video on setting up an account:

Step 2- Find all of the unwanted items in your house

Think of this as the garage sale you keep talking about having but never do. Here, leave no stone unturned. If you are not using it and won’t miss it, you should be willing to sell it as a part of this project. You may be sitting on a goldmine and not even know it.

Step 3- Find the value in junk

The great thing about eBay is that you can use it to figure out if your junk is valuable and will actually sell! Just look up an item that you have. On the right “filters” column, scroll down the page and select “Completed Items” and “Sold items” under the “View Only” section.

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Once you do that, the only how much people paid for the item you are going to list. This will help you understand how valuable your item is to the market and ultimately whether you should list it at all.

Step 4- Do this BEFORE you list

Using a Google Sheet, excel sheet, or good old pen and paper, make a list of all of the items you have to sell and what they are generally going for on eBay. Next, make a list of 10 items that you would like to acquire on eBay for the purpose of reselling.


Start selling and buying and selling again. Start flipping. Keep a record of how much you are profiting from each flipped item on the same list from step 4.

Challenge yourself or your kid to make at least $500 in six weeks. If you have more than one child, create leaderboards and come up with a prize for the person who makes to most total money from their flips in six weeks.

Here are some GARY VAYNERCHUK tips on flipping (notice I said GARY VAYNERCHUK):

Beware of scammers!

I know you know, but I need to make sure that I tell you that there are TONS of scammers on the internet and, while eBay does its best to prevent this, scammers are on the platform.

Check out this video on how to spot eBay scammers before you start.


Thanks for reading! IF you decide to do this project, comment here or contact me through my website to let me know how it went!

Written by

I am an educator who knows the system is rotten. I am an entrepreneur trying to solve education’s problems. I am a poet who writes to breathe.

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