Everyone has heard stories about the person who discovered a valuable item at the thrift store, and sold it for thousands after paying for the item with loose change. Shopping at thrift stores is much like treasure hunting, especially if your goal is to turn a profit on special finds.
Are you a thrift store junkie who flips items to make extra cash? Maximize your earnings by practicing these 5 smart ways to profit from thrift store finds.
1. Bring Your Smartphone
Have you ever purchased what you thought was a valuable collectible, only to come home and find out it’s not worth much more than what you paid? Avoid picking up worthless thrift store items by coming armed with smartphone in hand.
eBay is one of the greatest resources for bargain hunters. Before placing an item in your shopping cart, head to eBay to research what that particular item, or similar items, are selling for. Check out the quantity available on eBay, the average bid amount, and any information you can find on past sales. Then, make your buying decision based on your findings.
2. Visit Locations in High-End Neighborhoods
Thrift stores located in higher-end neighborhoods often tend to stock high-quality items from well-known brands. For instance, you might find a higher amount of workout gear from brands such as Nike and Under Armour, while thrift stores in other neighborhoods might stock lesser-known brands that are unfamiliar.
Plus, keep in mind that many individuals buy into trends, then discard clothing, furniture, and electronics the moment newer items become available. This means you could find last season’s fashions and labels in near-mint condition, as well as early generation smartphones and tablets.
3. Shop on Discount Days
Most thrift stores offer different specials each day of the week. This is because thrift stores often receive an overwhelming number of donations all week long, and must make room for new inventory.
Mondays could offer 50% off everything in the store, while Fridays could offer $2 clothing all day long. Ask a thrift store employee or manager about special discount days, then come back on the days that interest you. Some stores even print calendars you can take home to keep track of sale days.
4. Consider Shipping Prices
If your goal is to sell thrift store items to people who live overseas or in other regions, consider whether shipping costs will impact your bottom line. For example, you might turn a hefty profit on sofas and bed frames if you’re selling locally, but if you’re shipping these items somewhere else, shipping costs will likely be high.
Always take shipping into consideration before purchasing heavy or large items to ensure you’re making a financially sound decision.
5. Clean Your Items
Items that look clean often fare better with sales, especially if you’re featuring photos of your items online. Examine each thrift store item before bringing it home to verify it can be properly cleaned. Check all clothing for stains and bad odors, and make sure you have polish and other solutions on hand to clean up silver, glass, and other housewares.
Avoid buying items for which you’ll have to invest too much time into cleaning and sprucing up for resale. If you spend too much time cleaning things up, the end price might not be worth your valuable time in the end.
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