In August, mothers were either horrified, amused, or in agreement with the New York Post’s article “Meet the mom cult that speaks a secret language and wears $2,500 baby carriers”. The expose revolved around Tula, a brand of baby carriers, and their strange underground black market. (Okay, it’s more of a colorfully printed market.) “Tula culture is incredibly competitive — with wraps selling out in minutes, only to turn up on the secondhand market for thousands of dollars,” the New York Post writes.
So obviously, there’s some good money to be made there if one can navigate all the buying and reselling. Interested in how someone can build a side hustle from baby carriers? We were able to speak with H.E.N.R.Y.™ (and Stash client) Heather, who has built a nice little side-hustle revolving around Tula baby carriers.
Stash Wealth: How did you get started with flipping Tulas?
Heather: I was looking for a baby carrier and saw someone had a Tula. I started to look into it and realized how hard they were to get, so we'd sit there for about 3 or 4 different stockings before we realized people were gaming the system using bots, and we'd never have a chance.
This is when I turned to Facebook to buy a Tula. I bought one or two for just above retail value then saw more and more I liked, and would sell them for what I paid or even more to keep trading up to ones worth more. Eventually I just bit the bullet and paid about $200 over retail cost for one on Facebook.
Stash Wealth: And then you started reselling on Facebook? What’s that like?
Heather: Buying and selling on Facebook is a whole world. There are groups to sell in, but you have to have a feedback link in another group so that people know you’re not a scammer. Then you can follow your different carriers so when someone sells it, they add their selling price so everyone knows MV "market value" for that specific carrier. Then there is drama groups (in case someone doesn’t pay or scams someone). Then there are trading groups- so people can trade a designer handbag for a baby carrier…so that they can then turn around and resell the baby carrier.
Stash Wealth: What was one of you most recent flips?
Heather: Kinderpack released a carrier with pugs on it, and I had to have it…but it sold out in seconds. I didn't want to over pay for it, so I saw a local mom selling a Kinderpack on our local board. I offered her $50 bucks for it, picked it up, listed it online for $250, and then sold it in a day. Then I bought my pug carrier for $450. I still overpaid, but I felt like not as much!
Stash Wealth: How did you feel when you read that New York Post article? Did you agree?
Heather: Actually, I really disagreed—specifically about the mean girl behavior. Sure, there can be drama in any baby-wearing group, but the article kind of positioned it as constant mean girl behavior. I think the new parent community especially is the kind of community which lends itself to selling things quickly because babies grow! That’s the focus of most of these groups. Sure, there were a few comments in here that were mean on how they look at other moms who don't have Tula's, but overwhelmingly, it’s not the case.
I think another thing misrepresented is the market. There is a huge market slump right now, but everything should pick up around Christmas and right after in tax season- they call it "Tax-mas" where everyone goes on buying sprees with their refunds.
The world of "flipping" isn’t limited to baby carriers and houses. Another Stash client buys and resells Lilly Pulitzer, which is a clothing brand with colorful, limited edition prints.
3 steps to side-hustling...
1. Our best tip is to know the market demand. The Tula flippers know specific prints that are desirable, and those are the ones they are constantly looking for. Same with Lilly Pulitzer—certain styles are known as “Holy Grails” with people paying 3-4x market price (even if it’s used!)
2. Secondly, learn how to price. If you’re only making a few dollars on your flips, then something isn’t working right (and you might actually be losing money with all the time you spent setting it up!) Like Heather, look for things that people may be selling for a low price because they don’t understand what they have.
3. We love the idea of having a side-hustle, but maybe reselling baby carriers isn’t for you. Bartending, freelance writing, consulting—there are so many different kinds of side-hustles that can work with your individual skill set. We’re interested to know what yours is! Share it, and we might feature you in an upcoming blog post!