Reselling thrift store finds is a fun and potentially very lucrative side hustle. Vintage goods are always in style, so know how to source and sell them!
Whether you’re trying to resell for some extra cash or start a reselling business, there are several things to consider. What items do you even resell? Where do you resell them? How do you price products? Can reselling be done from home?
There is a lot you need to learn before you can be profitable. By following these steps, you can take that weekend hobby and turn it into something bigger. Here are some important reselling tips to keep in mind.
Be sure to check out the Side Hustles page for more information on making money apart from your full-time job!
Guide To Reselling Thrifted Store Finds:
Know What To Buy
The first thing is first. You need to have a small amount of cash upfront to invest in this side hustle. Reselling something takes buying it first. However, what do you even buy when reselling? Here are some valuable items to keep an eye out for when you head to the thrift store.
Only purchase things worth selling. This is super important. You need to know that there is a market for the item you intend to sell. Maybe that hamburger phone seems cool to you, but if no one else wants it or wants to spend money on it, then it’s not so cool!
How do I know if it’s worth selling? The answer is eBay. You can look up the item you want to sell and filter by “sold.” This will show you similar things and how much they sold for.
What do thrift stores have the most of? Clothes, the answer is clothes. The obsession with fast fashion has pretty much gotten out of hand, so there’s plenty to go around. By sourcing and reselling clothes from thrift stores, you’re helping to recycle clothing that would most likely end up in the landfill.
With that in mind, look for name brand clothing. Bonus points if you find something designer! While it’s not common, it’s not impossible to see something like a Gucci bag in a thrift store!
Look for popular brands that sell well. These will give you an advantage when reselling, especially since people are already familiar with the brand.
These brands include, but aren’t limited to:
- Urban Outfitters
If you see a promising label, look up the brand. Those $4 shoes may be worth $300 because they’re patent Italian leather!
The electronics section at the thrift store is a gold mine. Some of the valuable kinds of electronics you can find include:
- Kitchen Appliances
- CD Players
- Record Players
- Old Cell Phones
- Vintage Cameras
- Vintage Video Games
You aren’t limited to only these items either, but these are just a few for starters. Bonus points if you’re handy or know someone handy and can fix up a broken electronic device.
This may be one of the most underrated items at thrift stores. Lamps can actually fetch a fair price depending on what kind you can get. Some types of lamps to look out for are:
- Globe/Double Globe Lamps – up to $400
- Emeralite Banker’s Lamps – up to $700
- Art Deco Wall Sconce – up to $1000
- Vintage Crystal Chandelier – up to $1500
- Slag Glass Lamps – up to $3000
You get the idea. Lamps can fetch a pretty penny if sourced right. All the pricing was found from the sold section of eBay. This means that people actually did buy those lamps at that price.
Most thrift stores also have outlets for you to try out your lamps and see if they’re working. The good thing about lights is, if they don’t work, they’re simple to fix.
Well maintained sports equipment can be a valuable item to look for at a thrift store. Many people outgrow their hobbies or children’s old equipment and drop it off at the thrift store.
These include things like skis, snowboards, treadmills, exercise bikes, roller blades/skates, golf clubs, you name it. Pretty much anything in good condition you can profit from reselling.
There are plenty of instruments to go around when reselling items from the thrift store. People frequently get over their old hobby or their children outgrow their interest. An instrument in decent condition can get you a nice profit from reselling.
Where To Source Products
There are plenty of places to source products that aren’t just from your local thrift stores. While thrift stores are the first go-to place and can house plenty of valuables, don’t limit yourself in your search. Surprisingly, you can source and flip items all from your own home.
One last thing, if you choose to go to thrift stores for sourcing items, you need to go frequently. Articles are continuously cycling in and out of the doors. To be able to find things worthwhile, you need to get to them first!
Flea markets are a great place to start because items have already been sourced. This cuts out a lot of the time it takes to go find things that are valuable. The people who set up their flea market booths usually specify in certain items.
This means you can precisely find someone who has already done the work to source something like vintage lamps. Sellers at flea markets may price their items higher, though. They’re trying to resell for a profit, too.
The good news is, most flea market sellers are willing to haggle with you. If you buy multiple items, you most likely can convince them to bundle.
Yes, Craigslist is notorious for being sketchy and outdated, but hear me out! There are tons of FREE items available on Craigslist. You need to take advantage of things you can find around your community for free.
This is the best option if you are starting with no capital. Now anyone can get into reselling for a profit. The best news is, if you can’t sell an item, then you won’t be out any money.
OfferUp is a step above Craigslist. It’s a bit more up to date, and a lot easier to communicate with individuals who are trying to offload their items. OfferUp also has its own free section where you can find tons of stuff.
OfferUp is also a great place to bargain with people to find the best price for your items.
Estate Sales can be GOLD. How many people are sitting on treasure in their own homes and don’t even know it? The great thing about Estate Sales is you can find valuables in really great condition because they’ve been taken care of by one person.
Another great thing is you can scour estate sales online and see photos of what they are posting before you go. This will help you determine if it’s worth your time going or not.
Some websites to find estate sales:
Here is the holy grail for sourcing items online! eBay is another one of those things that are super underrated, but not in the thrift world. There are tons of items at your fingertips on eBay.
How To Price Products
Pricing your products for resale is really important. If you price too high, you won’t be able to make a sale. If you price too low, you are missing out on more money earned.
The best way to find out how to price products is to research none other than… eBay. Let’s look at an example.
I want to know how much I can sell a Ceramic Disney Magic Castle.
Search for your item:
Notice how there are already a few castles for sale priced at almost $150.. that’s a good sign, right? Well, we need to see how much they’re actually selling for before setting a price.
Select sold items:
Check to see how much your potential item can actually sell for by seeing what buyers are really willing to pay. An item is only as valuable as the actual sale price.
Now looking at the actual Disney Magic Castles that sold, we can see they go for around $110-$140… still not a bad deal!
What Platforms To Sell On
For clothing, platforms such as Poshmark are the way to go. You take photos of each item, add in sizes, measurements, and a description, and sell, sell, sell!
When using these types of platforms, something to look out for is that users are trying to find a reasonable price. Platforms like Poshmark might not be the best place to sell a vintage leather jacket for $300.
Poshmark also takes a percentage of your earnings, usually 20%. This is definitely something to consider depending on what you’re selling. There is also an option to make the item more appealing to the user by paying for shipping yourself and listing it as “free shipping.”
Yep, this one is a no brainer! One of the best platforms for reselling is eBay. This way, you can do it all. Find out how to price your items and list them right on eBay.
Pretty much every platform that was listed for sourcing items, is also where you can go to sell items.
Etsy is another great platform specifically for vintage goods. If you create an Etsy shop, it’s best to stick to a niche. Your niche should be something like vintage art or vintage clothes.
There are plenty of successful Etsy stores that sell only one type of vintage item. Etsy is definitely the place people go to seek collectible items.
Just like Craigslist and OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace is a great place to source and sell items. These kinds of platforms are really great for bulkier pieces like furniture. This way, you can arrange with the buyer for pickup/dropoff.