If you love going to resale and thrift shops then this is the side hustle for you. With a little research, even while you are shopping, you can easily find hidden treasures in thrift shops to flip for a profit.
Simply purchase quality items for as low of a price as you can buy them for, then list them on one of many different selling platforms. Then when an item sells you just box it up and ship it out, that easy.
Where to Shop for Items to Flip for Profit
In every town there are multiple thrift shops, resale stores and perhaps a Flea Market or Jockey Lot. Those are the easiest places to start with and in many cases the location of the shop will define the quality of good offered. Shops located in more affluent areas tend to have really nice items at amazing prices
Using Google maps is a really great idea to organize your route. That way you won’t waste gas going from one end of town to another and you can go to more locations in a day. Calling ahead to see if any of them are having special discounts can also be helpful and help you decide where to spend the most of your time shopping for inventory.
Another great resource for goods to resell are estate sales and yard sales. In most cases at these sales the sellers are just wanting to get rid of everything to move or make room quickly. This is a great opportunity to get multiple items at very cheap prices if they are willing to take a lump sum for a pile of things.
Researching Products to Buy and Resell
The internet has become a selling mecca for just about anything you can think of. For example, in recent years it has become in fashion to wear vintage Band and Label T-shirts. These can easily be found in the racks at a Goodwill, Salvation Army or other resale shops that sell clothing. Not all thrift shops sell Clothes and shoes, some are solely focused on furniture and home goods. Looking out for high end name brand clothing in good condition if the price is right is always an easy sell online.
On YouTube, Instagram and many other platforms, you can find hundreds of videos of people just like you already buying and selling thrift store finds for profit. Many of these resellers give tips and tricks on what to buy and even the things not to buy. As buying trends shift so should your inventory. Watching these videos will not only give you great info but get you excited to get out and start finding your own items for resale.
If you are buying more expensive items to sell, such as high-end purses or shoes, you will want to look for counterfeit items. Most pieces from high end labels have sewn in labels or codes and can be looked up online. If you are unsure of an item, don’t take the chance but make sure to put it in your cart while you are thinking it over so another shopper doesn’t snag it out from under you.
How to Price Items for Resale
To start out I would suggest going online and looking at what clothing items are on platforms like E-Bay, Etsy and Poshmark that are selling. It is easiest to start selling items that you are familiar with and that you would enjoy hunting for. If you don’t know anything about clothing or shoes, maybe you have a knack for housewares and love vintage Pyrex.
As long as you have a phone with internet access on you when you shop you can look up the retail online value of an item before you commit to buying it. Only negative is, this takes time. If you have a friend or partner that can price things as you put them in your cart for consideration that’s the most efficient way to do it.
Doing a quick Google search with the description of a potential sale item and including any UPC codes will give you an idea of how to price your inventory. If an item has been previously sold on EBay via auction you get more of a range for a price if you were to list auction style. Auctioning your items is another way to get the maximum cash back on your investment.
Forming Business Relationships with Local Shops
Forming relationships with local shop owners can have some serious advantages. After shopping at a resale location you might ask to speak to the owner to let them know how much you love shopping at their location. You might let them know that from time to time you will be bringing donations. When reselling goods you will always have “dead items”. Those are the things you buy to resell, and they just sit collecting dust and you just can’t seem to move that inventory so you donate and get a tax write off.
Once you get to know the owner and make a few purchases it may be a good idea to ask when they get new loads of inventory. They might even be cool with sending a text or email when a bunch of new things hit their shelves. You never know if you don’t ask. There was a resale shop in my town and a few local artists brought things there to sell after speaking with the owner.
Searching for shops that do consignment resale are a great place to keep a small array of items for sale. A huge bonus of selling your items in an existing shop is that you get all of the foot traffic that the store already had, plus whoever you can bring in to shop with your own advertising.
Tips for Purchasing Inventory
Always look over an item you are thinking of buying for resale all over. Every nook and cranny, inside and outside, back and front. Even smelling items made of fabric is a smart idea to make sure they are not soiled with anything. Washing any fabric items before selling is a must, you never know where things have been. Just because it looks clean doesn’t mean that it is. Many thrift shoppers will wear latex gloves while shopping which isn’t a bad idea in a lot of locations.
Take into consideration what space you have available for storing inventory before it sells. If you only have a small storage space to start with, buying and reselling larger pieces is going to limit how much inventory you can have at any given time. Going to shops in wealthier areas tends to result in better finds as opposed to shops in low-income areas.
Never be afraid to ask for a little more off the price of an item if you don’t think it is worth what they are asking. Worst they can say is no right? Before you go to the checkout it is always a good idea to look over your items one last time. In some cases, there might be an item that is slightly damaged that you can fix or bring back to life and other times you miss a tear or crack you didn’t see before. So, keep your eyes open and have fun with it. You are a treasure hunter now.
You can also take a look at our article on how to Create a Small Business Reselling & Flipping Retail Products for more information about building a complete side hustle reselling products from thrift stores.