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Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.

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Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby Will N. Dowd » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:10 pm

If you are bored at home, dreaming of being HA and needing some extra cash and something to do when you are not working, I highly recommend picking up the hobby of reselling thrift store items. I discovered it by accident when I walked by a Salvation Army thrift store, saw a shelf of used CD's, and went inside to check them out. I only ended up buying one rare one, and after listening to it a couple of times, I decided to ebay it and it sold for $25, after I paid only $1 for it.

I then started to go there about once a week looking for used CD's to resell. I usually end of paying between 50 cents and 1 dollar for them, but they usually end of selling for about 7 or 8 times that. Make sure you check the condition of the CD's though, since many are scratched and unsellable. I have sold close to 100 CD's online now.

I then expanded my store searches to include anything I could find there in good condition that is cheap enough to guarantee a profit when it sells. Most sales were on ebay, but some on craigslist too. I still have many items I bought and haven't sold yet, but the price I paid for them was so low it doesn't bother me. They will all eventually sell, and I'm not going to discount them a lot. Just hang on to them until they sell for what you want, or maybe a bit less. My profit margin so far is over 1200%!

So the benefit of this hobby is you can make huge profits, just make sure the items are in good condition and working or they won't sell. The thrift stores don't seem to know the value of most items they have, and this is why you can benefit. I recently bought an entire collection of brand new in the boxes die cast toys and sold the first one for more than I paid for the entire collection, on the same day I bought them.

The downside is that the stores themselves are usually depressing places with weird and strange looking employees, and customers. The stores smell bad, and most of the stuff there is cheap old crap. But I still go there as often as possible, since they have new items arriving everyday, and things go fast. It can sometimes take months or even years to resell the items, but since the price paid is usually so low, and the opportunity for profit is so high, it is worth the wait.

If their are several stores in your area, hit them all up, you never know what you will find. Even though the stores are sad places, the excitement of finding unique items you might like, and the potential for huge profit makes it a really enjoyable hobby to keep you busy in between trips, or before you are HA. I suggest getting into it slowly to start and then once you have resold a few items and see the potential, explore it more and more.
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Postby Ghost » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:15 pm

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Last edited by Ghost on Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby sir_robert007 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:20 am

I am going to have to try this out. There are quite a few good thrift stores where I live. Just need to create a Ebay sellers account. Would it also be a good idea to resell items on WallaPop?
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Re: Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby Will N. Dowd » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:48 am

I recently discovered and started watching this TV show about the hobby.

http://www.thrifthunters.com/

I recommend watching it to get inspired. These guys do it full time on anything they can find.
I think it would take a long time of buying and selling to get comfortable with knowing what will sell and what might not.
I only feel comfortable doing it on things I know something about, and are cheap enough to guarantee profit, like CD's.
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Re: Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby Traveler » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:22 am

AmericaninBangkok was doing something similar when he first moved to Thailand. He made a huge profit by buying fake sports jerseys in tourist areas and reselling them on Ebay. Eventually, the Thai police got suspicious about his frequent visits to the post office. They busted him for working on a tourist visa. He had to pay a huge bribe to get released.
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Re: Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby Breakaway » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:14 pm

In Canada, I'm at these stores every other day. Outside Canada, I get new stuff so cheap, its not worth buying used. The only thing I really buy in thrift stores are pants and board games.
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Re: Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby sir_robert007 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:24 am

Just checked out my local Salvation army store. Came across a vinyl record of which there was only one copy for sale on Ebay and two copies available on Amazon. Asking price is between $34-$50. Also came across a CD of entertainers from world war II asking price $35 for one offer on Amazon. Will try and sell these and see if I can turn a profit.
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Re: Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby Cornfed » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:32 am

Let us know if any of you manage to crack minimum wage. Admittedly, some people have.
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Re: Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby gnosis » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:01 pm

I can't believe anyone is seriously considering this. The economy must be worse than I imagined.
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Re: Reselling Thrift Store Items, A Profitable Hobby

Postby Will N. Dowd » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:43 pm

This is a great hobby to start, since it keep you busy and makes you money. Once you start and see the money that can be made, it is addictive. Nothing wrong with making more money, every little bit helps. I make a few hundred dollars a month doing this. Who wouldn't want that? Even if I made $20 a month it's better than making nothing. General rules to follow:

Start off small on products you know something about, like I did with music CD's.
I buy CD's from artists I know and might like. That way if it doesn't sell you can keep it and enjoy it.
I bring my headset and listen to them on a system in store to see if I might like it, they allow you to do this.
Make sure the CD's or whatever else you buy are in good condition.
The stores I go to are usually $2 per CD but have a 50% off coupon online, so I print them and always keep a few in my wallet, so I never pay more than a $1 per CD.
Pay as little as possible for other items, even ask them for a discount, they do negotiate.
Sign up for the stores emails, and check their sites for coupons. They will often have 50% off specials and coupons that are online only.
Check ebay and discogs to see what the CD is going for and price it accordingly, but also use the best offer option, so you can accept, decline or counter lower offers.
It is better to price it higher and offer the best offer option, than it is to price it lower with no best offer option.
Take photos of the actual item you have, not the generic websites picture.
Make sure it plays fine if it does have scratches.

I'm amazed that most people download itunes songs for $1 and albums for $10, when they are usually 128 or 256kbps quality, and its only a download, not a physical item. I buy the actual physical CD, with original 1411 kbps quality, and the whole album, not just one song, for $1. I can listen to the whole album before buying it, not just a 30 second preview, and if i like it I keep it, and if I don't I can re sell it for an average of $8 or $9 and make money.

I recently bought a 2CD 80's compilation for $2, and re sold it on ebay for about $30 after fees and shipping.

Watch the TV show "Thrift Hunters" for inspiration.
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