A lot of people I have talked to have never stepped into a thrift store. Most of the time it’s because of the negative perception that items are used and dirty and/or the stores are a mess. For those who is reading this and have never stepped into one, I think you would be pleasantly surprised. The renovated Goodwill stores are clean, spacious and very organized. Savers in my opinion are even nicer and Once Upon A Child is unbeatable at finding great kids clothing and toys. Thrift stores these days are super modern and almost no different than walking into a Marshalls or JCPenny. So if you haven’t stepped into one yet, join the Thrift Store Hunt!
Let me share with you a pro tip before heading over to the nearest thrift store next to you. First hop on Google and do a quick search for Goodwill, Savers, Once Upon A Child and identify the ones within a 20-30 mile radius from your home. Next see which neighborhoods they belong in and check out the ones in the nicer areas first. The thrift stores located within the more prominent towns usually have nicer items for sale.
Books and Textbooks
Generally, individual books aren’t a huge moneymaker but book lots traditionally sell very well on eBay. For example a set of “Harry Potter” used box sets in good condition (both paperback and hardcover) sell for around $20 to $40 on eBay. You can buy each book individually considerably cheaper from thrift stores.
Other popular box sets include “Anne of Green Gables,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Little House on the Prairie.” Even if you find just one or two books from these box sets, they can bring in more than a typical paperback, since collectors could be looking to add to their current library.
Keep an eye out for college textbooks as well, since students might donate them without checking their resale value. Check out How to Sell Used Books Online and use the tips within to identify and price out books.
And lastly although rare, you might be lucky and find a first/second/third edition of something valuable. Or find a book with the author’s signature.
Video games can be nostalgic for gamers and some popular titles and genres are in high demand. Generally, the oldest and the newest games sell best, so avoid titles from outdated systems that haven’t yet gained iconic status. Games for the Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis can be in high demand. Make sure you search for pricing on auction sites first. For newer games, you might be able to make money on anything for a current system such as Xbox 360/One, PlayStation 3/4, or Wii U.
Brand-Name Clothes, Clothing Lots, and Tags
Brand-name garments sell well because people search for certain labels on online shopping sites such as eBay. It’s a great way for buyers to get the status of a label they love without having to pay department store or boutique prices. Look for high-end designers like Coach, DVF, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Gucci, as well as “mall brands” like Victoria’s Secret, Nine West, Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Aeropostale.
You can also opt for a clothing lot, which can potentially bring in more cash through online auctions. For instance, assembling 10 maternity garments in the same size is likely to bring more interest than one shirt on its own. What’s more, you can often save on shipping costs when listing items as a lot, rather than selling them one at a time. The best way to create a lot is to combine clothing of the same size and same type (such as maternity, summer clothes, or winter wear) and mix a few name brands in with lower-end items.
Also be on the look out for items with a tag. They items can be listed as “new with tags” on online shopping sites, and can fetch much more than the same item in the same condition but without tags. In fact, there’s an entire subset of online auction shoppers who only purchase items that still have their tags as a way to display their newness and lack of use. If it has tags – whether a jacket, a pair of shoes, lingerie, accessories, or housewares – you’re likely to turn a profit.
Want more tips? Check out 5 Ways to Resell Clothes For Profit.
Brand-new sporting goods are expensive, so as long as they’re in good shape and without wear, rips, tears, or deterioration, people are often eager to snag items secondhand at a thrift store to save money. Stores like “Play It Again Sports” sell nothing but second hand sporting good equipment. These are also great items to sell as lots, since a mom with a hockey-playing kid might be looking for all of the gear at once. A word to the wise, though – look for signs of sweat or unpleasant smells before you buy, since sporting goods might not be the easiest to clean.
But generally if you spot a good set of golf clubs, tennis rackets, hockey sticks, those are sure bets. Bikes, snow gear like skis, skateboards can also be found.
Records and Record Players
Many thrift shops have an area for old records and record players, and both are highly collectible. It’s not unusual to find a record player for less than $10, and many sell for $20 to $50 on eBay.
Vinyl albums are very collectible as well – just use your online sleuthing skills and look up albums before you purchase them expressly for resale. You might be surprised at how much money die hard fans are willing to pay for records.
And just like books, you never know if you come across some super limited album that goes for hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands.