Thrift store flipping is finding something that is undervalued or cheap, buying it, cleaning it up and then selling it for a profit. It can be done with home goods, antiques, vintage items or designer items. The resale industry is big business. Thrift stores and antique store sales amount to billions of dollars in revenue each year. You don’t have to set up a physical resale store of your own to become a seller in the industry. EBay, Amazon, and Craigslist, have all made it very easy for you to start selling second-hand goods for a profit. Many people are making a living selling used items online. Think of it as becoming a professional thrift store treasure hunter.Here are some tips, practical advice, and ideas for becoming a Thrift store flipper!
EBay, Craigslist, Facebook, Amazon, and then eventually Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) are all places to get started in selling your “stuff”. Research the rules and regulations of each and how they work so that you can become familiar with their different methods
When starting out, when you buy things from thrift stores and garage sales and flea markets, don’t risk anymore than you can afford to lose. As you start making profit, reinvest at least 75% of it back into inventory as your sales increase. This will allow you to continue to grow.
It’s also important to be tracking this kind of information too. Create a spreadsheet that tracks all the necessary information to give you an accurate idea of your expenses and profit. You can modify it as needed to fit your personal needs.
When you have depleted your stash of things to sell from around your home, you will need to replenish your inventory. Thrift stores are the best places to start, then local garage sales. Garage sales, although seasonal, can be your greatest resource for the best prices on items. Because you are not dealing with a board of directors who set the price on thrift store prices or corporation type leadership who also set the prices, you can usually haggle the price because the people just want to get rid of the stuff! This haggling allows you to save and profit more when you resell.. Flea markets can also be a wonderful place to find good deals and interesting products for resale. And they are a fun too. If you go often enough to flea markets, you can make friends with the dealers and tell them what you are looking for. Many will keep an extra eye out for you.
You will need to create a schedule for the entire business. You will need to have a schedule for when thrift shops put out new merchandise so you can take a first look. You will need to also include on your schedule the dates of the flea markets and which days of the week produces the most garage sales that you can attend. Decide when you will post new items and on which sites. Also, figure out when you will pack up sold items and then when you will ship. Having an efficient schedule can play a crucial role in your success.
Now that you have some merchandise and know where to replenish that merchandise, you can now start selling! EBay and Craigslist are great places to start. They both have huge audiences and are user-friendly. Amazon is more challenging, but it should be your goal to start selling on this platform as soon as you are comfortable. It is a very important marketplace to take advantage of. Your products will get the most attention on these three sites. Local sales for bigger items such as furniture or bikes or appliances should be sold on a Craigslist type of platform and smaller shippable items can be done on Ebay and Amazon also.
When you begin to flip items, it’s a good idea to stick with items in a category you are familiar with. You can answer questions with knowledge and experience. As you gain skill and understanding of the mechanisms of each listing site, you can branch off into other categories.
In the beginning of flipping thrifted items, you will be so excited that your eyes will glow with dreams of riches to come! But...you should consider it a second job until you get all of the pieces working and organized.There’s a learning curve as there is in any new business and it does get easier. Sometimes in selling your items, you will find that things have reached as far as they are going to go with income. At that point, you start looking in other areas to sell. Amazon Fulfillment, pallette purchasing, unclaimed freight and going out of business merchandise are just a few of the avenues that can perk sales.
So, now that you have looked at all the silly little knick knacks around the house and found a couple of interesting things at a garage sale that just need a fresh washing or a dot of paint, get started with the selling! Remember to keep in mind, when hunting for treasures to flip, don’t break the bank! Double check what is selling HOT on your sites, go out and find it and then list it! A fortune is at your keyboard and fingertips!
Here is a basic list of the best items to sell when you are getting started. I will go into further depth about these items in an upcoming blog. But for now, here are some things to look for when you are at the garage sales and thrift stores.
- Book sets
- Niche Magazines and Books
- Comic books
- Vinyl records
- Record players
- VHS tapes
- Video games
- Electronic tablets
- Kids toys
- Auto parts
- Picture frames
- Pyrex cooking ware
- Brand name clothing
- Maternity clothing
- Sports gear
- Any merchandise that still has the original tag or box
Here is a basic list on where to list. I will go into further depth about these sites in an upcoming blog.
- Facebook marketplace
- Flea Market
- Yard sale
- Farmers market