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story.lead_photo.caption Sean Clancy, Paper Trails columnist

"It's like Christmas morning. You never know what you're going to get."

That's Joe Rensing of Conway describing his job.

He and his wife, Jessica, are resellers and are featured in A&E's "Extreme Unboxing" reality series, which premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The show follows the Rensings and other entrepreneurs who bid on large pallets loaded with boxes of returned merchandise from online retailers with the hopes of flipping the goods within for a profit.

The catch -- and you know there's always a catch -- is that what is inside the boxes is often a mystery. They could be filled with easily resellable goodies or a bunch of broken, unflippable junk.

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The Rensings, who have three children ages 8, 3 and 2, call their reselling business The Family Flips.

"I started buying different stuff at thrift stores, but I always hated shopping, so I was open to the idea of purchasing things online from different retailers and places that sold in bulk," says Joe, 40.

Two years ago they began researching how to find merchandise to flip without having to spend a lot of time shopping for deals. Bidding on liquidation pallets fit the bill.

The couple also started making videos of themselves unboxing their finds and posting them to their YouTube channel, which is where A&E producers found them.

Being part of the series "was so much fun," Jessica, 30, says. "We did the same thing we always do. They just filmed us."

Their "bread and butter" resell items are home decor and decorative pieces, she says. Items for babies and tools are also big sellers.

Unboxing can be an adventure, and sometimes items that appear to have a lot of potential are not all that they seem. A box of camping equipment the Rensings unpack during one episode of the series reveals a smelly mess.

"You'd be surprised at what people will return," Jessica says.

But a career of unboxing and reselling has its benefits.

"We do this so we can spend time with the family," Joe says. "I used to work in the corporate world and worked a lot of hours. We chose this lifestyle so we could build something of our own and build something that gives us some freedom."

"It requires a lot of discipline," Jessica adds, "but we will gladly exchange that for the freedom to be able to homeschool our kids ... and all be here for each other."



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