You always see people with max gear but their hiscore page shows 7 Vorkath kills & 1 Zulrah kill for the diary and wonder how they made their money. Most of them probably did purchase gold online but most of these guys will always say merching. Everyone knows merching can make you a ton of money with little to no grind but a lot of people still don't try it. Many people have the misconception that you need to know a ton about the game and updates, market trends, flavor of the month items due to streamers, etc but in reality you can merch with literally no knowledge about the item you are even buying.
While it's true game updates on items result in huge price fluctuations and if you cash in early enough you can make a pretty penny but I'm going to be focusing on simple first time ways to begin flipping. I'll break it down as simple as I can but I'm no guru so if anyone would like to add or make changes feel free to pitch in!
This is an intro to flipping, many people already know how to do this but my goal is to help someone who is seeing this for the first time.
I recommend starting with at least 1m, you don't need a huge cash stack there are a ton of items you can get away with with 1m
Plugin: Flipping Utilities (Plugin hub on RL) - Not needed but does make life easier
III. Finding Items to Flip
This is the part people usually struggle with the most and don't know how to start. What we'll be doing is taking advantage of impatient people, when you want to purchase an item instantly you'll hit that +5% a couple times to make sure you get that instant buy. We'll be cashing in on the age old saying "buy low sell high" because the goal will be to patiently buy items at or under market value and sell near the instant buy price.
What we're going to be looking for is items that have high trade volume so potions, darts, runes, etc - these items you can purchase 2000-10000 in 4 hours without hitting the limit. Things you can buy a ton of at once. Armor sets, weapons, gear, etc usually has a buy limit of 8-70 or around those low numbers. Here is a handy list from the OSRS wiki that has all item limits (sort by highest to lowest).
The first time I started this I literally went through my bank and looked for items I'm constantly restocking like prayer potions, darts, scales, brews, teleports, etc. In the next step I'll show you how to choose an item now that we know what kind of item we're looking for.
IV. First Purchase & Testing
Choose any commonly traded item that you use often, it doesn't matter what as we're just going to be testing the profit margin. Go to the GE and purchase the item at 10-15% ABOVE the average price to instantly buy it. Note down the price that the purchase was completed at. I'm going to use amethyst darts as an example. I put the offer in for 389 and bought it instantly for 353
Write down that price or if you have the Flipping Utilities plugin it will automatically record it for you. Next we're going to sell our 1 item back at 10-15% UNDER the default average price.
Now you can see it sold right away for 322 even though I put it in way lower. You want to record this number as well. So what we have is an instant buy price of 353 and an instant sell price of 322. The difference between these two numbers is going to be our profit margin - 31gp. If you're using the Flipping Utilities plugin it makes this incredibly easy and shows you the profit margin, ROI, and potential profit if you bought as many as you could.
I got lucky on my first try because I've done this item before. I will literally go through and do this with 10-20 common items in my bank until I see one that shows a potential profit worth my time - usually about 200k or so minimum. Choosing a profit margin is completely your choice so if your plugin says you're only going to make a 75k profit from a flip total and that's worth it for you, go for it. These small trades really add up, especially when you buy high volume. That's why you are shooting for something you can purchase thousands of. 31gp profit on these darts is not a lot until you buy 10k darts and end up making 300k+.
Once you've selected an item that looks like it has decent profit margin (trust me it's just trial and error for 10 minutes while you buy and sell random items, don't stress about trying to pick items you think merchers flip just trust the numbers) it's time to begin.
Okay now it's time for the fun part, flipping! Get your cash stack and open up the item on the GE, what we'll be doing is setting the buy price to 1gp ABOVE the instant sell price. So the darts I sold instant sold for 322gp. That means I'll be setting the buy price to 323gp. We want to buy as low as possible but also beat anyone else selling them so instead of matching the lowest price we'll do 1gp better. This will mean quicker buys. (I can't attach any more pictures so Imgur links from now on).
Buy as many as you can afford and now we wait. These are not going to buy right away, it'll take some time to buy all of them. You may have to wait 1-2 hours or even overnight. I recommend not leaving buy offers overnight as prices can change a lot. Feel free to leave sell offers overnight.
Once all your items have finished purchasing it's time to profit! Put your item up for sale on the GE and we're going to be setting our SELL price to 1gp UNDER the instant buy price. This is what we recorded those numbers for earlier or used the plugin. Since mine bought for 353gp instantly I'll be selling for 352gp. This is so we undercut anyone else selling and sell more quickly.
Now it's time to sit back and relax and watch your items slowly sell and the profit roll in. These won't instant sell so be patient and don't freak out if they don't sell for a few minutes. It usually takes 1-2 hours on average but I've left items overnight occasionally that didn't sell fast enough.
VII. Final Notes
Remember this is something you can do passively. 300k may not seem like a ton of money but it's 300k more than what you would have made while doing agility or slayer or anything. This is something you setup and forget while your items are buying/selling. Eventually you'll find a few select items that net you profit consistently. You won't need to test as many items to find profitable ones and you can go straight to your go-tos.
Finding items is seriously just typing in a couple letters and clicking a random item and testing it. When you're starting off don't stress too much about picking the perfect item. As long as there is a small margin and high volume you'll make decent money. Big flips take time and risk so this is a great place to start.
If your items don't end up selling in a day you may need to lower your price a bit and try again. You won't really run into this unless there are large fluctuations or just an unlucky flip where you may have to sell at cost.
Thank you for reading, I hope this helps someone confidently make their first flip:) Let me know if you have any suggestions, fixes, or comments!