Thrift stores were once one of the best kept secrets and it was assumed that you were poor if you chose to shop at them. Today, many more people know that many great bargains can be found at thrift stores including gently used clothing and household goods, and people from all walks of life will shop in them.
What many people do not know is that you can score great deals at thrift stores and turn around and flip them for higher prices online, thereby making a living. eBay is a great platform for reselling. Some people have started out doing this as a hobby simply because they love the thrill of finding really low priced items at a thrift store and selling it online for huge profits. Once they have gotten to the point where their hobby has begun to provide them with a full time income, many people will quit their day jobs and focus solely on selling online.
How to Get Started
So how do you go about starting an online reselling business? eBay is an easy place to start, particularly for beginners. From the sign up process all the way to shipping your first sold item, eBay provides a wealth of information and best practices that will help you to succeed. In addition to eBay’s tutorials you can find a large number of experienced resellers willing to share their tips and tricks on YouTube. Just be aware that some of the advice given on YouTube and blogs may be outdated. Always refer back to eBay’s official rules and regulations to verify.
While eBay tutorials tell you how to sell on their site, YouTube videos and blog posts created by experienced resellers can provide lots of ideas for what to look for at your local thrift stores. While thrift stores have a lot of low priced items for a new reseller to buy, not all items will sell for profit online. Learning which items will provide a positive ROI (return on investment) is one of the more difficult aspects of online reselling and is an on-going process. Trends change and what sold for a lot of money yesterday may not be worth listing tomorrow. A good example of such a trend is Beanie Babies. At one time these little toys were being collected by large numbers of people, and rare ones would fetch a hefty price on eBay. Today you can barely give them away.
The best way to learn to sell online is to start frequenting your local thrift stores. Use Google to search for all the ones in your area. Visit each one and get a feel for their pricing. Some thrift stores have caught on to what resellers are doing and have adjusted their prices upwards, but you can still grab a bargain or two from these stores because the staff deciding prices do not know the value of everything that comes through their stores. Mom and Pop-type thrift stores often have no interest in selling on eBay and don’t want to take the time to look up current values, so these are great stores to look for bargains in.
Buying from thrift stores and selling online can be a great way to make money without spending a lot in start up costs. If finances do not allow you to spend a lot to begin with you can spend as little as $10 to get started. It costs nothing to set up an eBay account and Paypal account, and shipping costs will be taken out of the money you receive when your item sells, so the only upfront costs you have are buying items to resell. Of course if you can spend a little more you can begin to make money faster, provided you purchase items that have potential to sell for much more than you paid for them.
Once you list and sell a few items it is wise to put the proceeds from those sales back into purchasing more items to sell. Eventually you will find that you have enough money coming in from sales on eBay that you are able to not only source new items to sell on a daily basis but also have a nice little side income. The trick is to keep looking in thrift stores, buy items that are going to net a good profit and get them listed on eBay as quickly as you can. If you dedicate yourself to doing this daily it will not be long before you find that buying from thrift stores and selling online is not only fun but extremely profitable.