6 things to look for at thrift stores

With the explosion of thrift stores within the last 3-5 years, thrifting is now at its height of popularity. Besides having at least 3-4 thrift stores – Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army – within a few miles from where you live, thrifting is also extremely popular due to consistently updated inventory that sells both used and new items for pennies on the dollar.   It’s like going on a treasure hunt every time you walk into a thrift store because you never know what you might find.   There are tons of valuable items to look for and plenty of items to look for to resell. So next time you’re out thrifting alone or with friends, make sure you are on the hunt for these 6 things to look for at thrift stores to resell.  


1.  Craftsman Hand Tools with Lifetime Warranties

Besides producing some of the world’s finest hand tools, Craftsman tools are extremely popular due to the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty policy.  The warranty states that the owner can change in the tool for a replacement anytime it becomes unusable.  That means if it rusts out, snaps apart or simply can’t cut or rotate anymore, you can turn it in for a new one no questions asked.  No receipts required either.  For a complete list of what has lifetime warranty and what doesn’t, check out the Craftsman’s warranty page

So next time your thrifting, check out the section of tools available.  Look for hand tools such as hammers, saws, sockets, wrenches, ratchets that have the Craftsman logo stamped on them.  Snatch them up and get them replaced at the local Sears store.  Then keep them for yourself or simply resell them on eBay or Craigslist for a huge profit.

2.  New Clothing with Tags

You’ll be surprised how many clothes you can find with tags still on them.  They were donated without ever been worn and can be sold for as new.  Due to inventory being updated consistently throughout the week, you might find a few designer dresses, tops or even skirts a week that you can resell for huge profits.  Even non-designer clothes can be sold for profit if you know what you’re doing.

Check out my post 5 Ways to Resell Clothes for Profit.

3.  Make Infant & Toddler clothing sets

A lot of mothers tend to take hand me downs or buy used clothes for their infants or toddlers simply because they know their little ones will outgrow their clothes very quickly. Because of this, a very smart and profitable thing to do is to buy separate pieces of clothes and make them into sets.  If you have an eye for fashion, this is definitely something you should consider.  These sets do extremely well at garage or yard sales and they also do well online.  

The concept is catching on, take a look at Kidpik which offers the same concept of offering a box of clothes for girls which comes in as a set.  You would essentially be doing the same thing with used clothes.

4.  Furniture Pieces

If your pretty handy and have some talent, you can make a killing from rehabbing or redecorating dated furniture pieces.  Most of the wood furniture pieces such as end tables, drawers, chairs can be sanded down, repainted and/or reupholstered into catchy new pieces that many are dying to buy.  And because these furniture pieces are from the 60s, 70s and 80s they are made from solid wood and not the fake stuff you find from Ikea.  

For some ideas, check out Pinterest.  You can fetch great money for these rehabbed furniture pieces on Craigslist or flee markets.  

5.  Art in Great Frames

Just like furniture pieces, you can find a ton of solid metal or wood frames that would make great decoration pieces if they were redone.  Ignore the bad art that might be in some of the frames and look at the frame itself.  With some sanding, staining, or spray painting,  you can turn old frames into masterpieces that can be used to hold mirrors or an updated artworks.

6. Books

Even with the personnel at thrift stores doing their best at identifying which items are of value or not, there are simply too many books for them to check.   Textbooks and hardback books sometimes sell for much higher than what you can get them for at thrift stores.  And just like clothes, some of them are even new.  Pull out BookScouter on your phone and start checking prices.  It might take a while but you almost always find at least a few books that you can resell for profit.


Every so often you get lucky and you find books with the author’s signature within them and/or money inside!  This really depends on how much time you want to look through books during your thrift store shopping.    

In Conclusion

Thrifting is one of those enjoyable things to do that’s also relaxing and profitable!  If you are planning on hitting multiple stores within the same day, make sure you plan your day out first to maximize time.  First, map out all the locations you want to go and make sure the route makes sense and aligns.  You don’t want to be driving back and forth wasting time.  Second, come up with a list of items you are looking for so you lose track of time at any given store.  This will keep you focused on what you want to accomplish!    
Remember the 6 things to look for at thrift stores to resell next time your our thrifting.  Good Luck.

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