So, you are hunting for the best items to resell for profit for your new thrift store flipping side hustle!
I’m always looking for easy things to do to make money from home. I especially love when there is a way to do something fun (like thrift store shopping) and make money.
Thrift store flipping is basically buying new or gently used items from a thrift store, and then sell for money online (at a higher price than what you purchased).
Selling items online is a great side hustle that can lead to extra cash or even a full-time income like my friend Melissa at Flea Market Flipper. She has sold everything from baby gear to a prosthetic leg (random right?!).
Things to Buy and Sell to Make Money
How do you know which things to buy and sell to make money? The truth is you can sell almost ANYthing on eBay…even empty rolls of toilet paper!
The best way to determine what to sell for profit online is by determining what profit means to you. Technically you have earned a profit if purchase an item for $2 and sell it for $2.01. Some sellers set their profit goals to double the purchase price or even triple the purchase price.
You also need to take into account the details of shipping costs, shipping materials, fees for listing, time spent working, etc. Then you can decide your goal profit margin when you find items to resell online.
Best Items to Resell for Profit
After doing some research on Reddit threads and general snooping around on eBay, I have come up with 20 of the best things to buy and sell for profit.
Some of these items are things to sell to make money fast like books, highly sought after vintage items, and seasonal items. Other products like clothing, shoes, electronics, etc. require more patience and may not sell as quickly as you had hoped.
#1 – Video Games & Consoles
People are feeling all nostalgic about their old school video games…and they are willing to pay!
Find old school video games and consoles at local thrift stores. Old gaming consoles can be easy things to fix and sell for profit.
If you find a console and games you could make more money by selling them together as a set.
New video games can also be an easy way to make money selling things online. They are super easy to ship and in high demand especially if you find games for current gaming consoles.
#2 – Camera Lenses
Camera lenses are a great item to resell because people tend to out grow their midrange lenses and want something more professional.
Lenses range from $100 – $300 depending on the brand and make an easy way to make a profit from reselling online.
Midrange camera lenses can be purchased Mid-November to December for 40-50% of the retail value. Then resell the midrange camera lenses for 75-80% of the retail value.
#3 – Licensed Swimwear
Swimwear that is new with tags can be a great thrift store flip. It’s so light weight the shipping should be easy, and if you buy at the right time you will definitely be able to make a decent profit even if you sell low.
Purchase end of season swimwear (Batman, Spiderman, Paw Patrol, etc.) for as little as $1 at places like Walmart. Then post those items on eBay mid-winter to spring/summer.
It may take awhile before you see extra cash from flipping licensed swimwear, so be aware of that before you purchase!
#4 – Legos
Legos inspire creativity and imagination. They are a popular item on sites like eBay.
Search for popular characters on TV shows, vintage lego pieces, and complete sets.
PRO TIP: Take out the unique sets, mini figures, and popular sets to sell separately. Then sell legos by weight locally on Craigslist or in Facebook groups. The price to ship legos can be expensive and that’s why you can earn more selling locally.
#5 – Vintage Sewing Patterns
Vintage sewing patterns are very popular among crafters and collectors.
These can easily be sold on Etsy (as a vintage item) and eBay.
If you find vintage sewing patterns at garage sales or yard sales usually you can get them for $1 – $3 and the resell value on Etsy is $12 – $25 depending on the sewing patterns brand.
Vintage sewing patterns offer a good profit when selling online. Plus they are really easy to ship!
#6 – Books
Hit up your local library book sales to find items like books, CDs, and DVDs.
Books are easy to find and are cheap things to sell online. eBay, Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon), Bookscouter.com are all good places to start selling books online.
Popular books can be sold individually, but you can also make money selling books in a set.
Vintage books or First Edition books can be great money makers when selling to collectors. You can spy a First Edition by looking on the copyright page where it will say First Edition or the first number on the number line will be a 1 (also located on the first page).
Check out abebooks.com to learn more about identifying rare books.
PRO TIP: Make sure to check the books over really well for any damage. Most places won’t accept books if they are in poor condition.
#7 – High End Hair Products
Look for new/unused high end hair products in either full sizes or sample sizes at local thrift stores or garage sales.
If you come across these products typically you can pay as little as $0.50/unit and sell for $20 for a full size container.
Pro Tip: Make sure to check to see if there is a “used by date” on the container. You don’t want to sell anything that is after the date, because it will likely be returned.
#8 – Boardgames
Find vintage boardgames to sell on eBay.
If you find boardgames that have been opened you can check if all the pieces are in the box and the resell value at sites like:
Board Game Geek
#9 – Clothes
Look for New With Tags or vintage pieces of popular name brand clothing to resell on eBay, Poshmark, or other online apps.
Popular name brands like Lululemon, Calvin Klein, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, 7 for All Man Kind jeans, Joe’s Jeans…just to name a few should be easy to resell online.
PRO TIP: I have a friend who has been an eBay seller for years, and he has always done well selling clothing in plus sizes. Especially men’s t-shirts and jeans.
Clothing can take a while to move, so you have to may have to be patient when buying and selling clothes for profit.
#10 – Shoes
Choose popular name brands and sizes when listing shoes to resell for a profit.
You can sell shoes new with tags and gently used shoes in excellent condition to earn a decent return on your sale.
Competition in shoes is very strong and prices can drop quickly when many sellers have the same shoes to sell (if sourced from popular retail chains like Marshall’s, Ross, TJ Maxx, etc).
#11 – Electronics
Older electronics are really popular in thrift stores, garage sales, and online.
People are buying…
- record players
- CD players
- DVD/VHS players
Right now you can sell vintage ’80s era Sony Walkmans for $160+ on eBay.
#12 – Sporting Equipment
Sporting equipment is easy to resell for profit. Especially if you pay attention to the brand of the sporting equipment.
Retail priced softball and baseball bats range from $100 – $300.
If you find name brand softball and baseball bats at garage sells or thrift stores you should be able to make a decent return on your investment!
Sporting equipment includes fishing gear, baseball, softball, hunting, etc.
PRO TIP: If you’re not familiar with the sporting equipment, make sure you research carefully before making your purchase. Try selling a few items until you get a better understanding of how an unfamiliar niche works.
#13 – Silver
Silver has a very good return when selling online. Sometimes silver can be overlooked when it is dirty or tarnished.
Determine if your silver find is really silver:
- The Magnet Test – Silver is not magnetic, so you can hold a magnet up to the silver to see if it attracts. If not then you may have silver on your hands!
- The Ring Test – Silver will make a loud and long (1-2 seconds) ringing sound if you tap it with a pen.
These are just some quick ways to determine if you think you’ve found silver, however they may not be totally accurate. You will need to contact a professional to determine if it’s silver if you’re looking for accuracy.
#14 – Vintage Records
Vinyl records are very popular!
There’s a big market for purchasing vinyl records, but of course not every record sells for a profit.
Pay attention to vinyl records that play music whether it’s classical, symphonies, or jazz.
Don’t worry to much about whether an artist is popular. Make sure you do your online research to see if a particular artist’s vinyl records are selling online.
Check the condition of the vinyl records. Scratched or worn records will not sell as well.
#15 – Toys
Vintage toys are always popular on online reselling sites. And even though vintage sounds really old, items from the 80’s and early 90’s are considered vintage today.
Shop your local retail stores and outlet stores to find new toys on clearance then resell them online for a profit.
New toys typically have a seasonal trend from mid-October to late-December.
#16 – Vintage Trucker Hats
You would be surprised at what people are searching for and collecting on sites like eBay and Etsy.
Vintage trucker hats can be sold individually or as a set depending on their value.
Some individual hats are going for $60+ per hat!
#17 – Cricut Cartridges
Cricut is the best crafting tool to create personalized items from monogrammed t-shirts to cups to wall designs.
These are very popular, so if you find Cricut cartridges grab them up and resell them online to crafters!
Look for cartridges from current generation machines such as the Cricut Air Explorer.
PRO TIP: Always remember to research items before you purchase to resell. Thrift stores don’t accept returns!
#18 – New Printer Ink Cartridges
Somehow people always end of with random ink cartridges in their home office. I just cleaned our home office closet out and found 2 printer cartridges for a printer we have never had! I’m not sure why we have them, but I’ll definitely be posting them to sell on eBay.
Thrift stores always seem to have unused printer cartridges for sell. New printer ink cartridges usually go for at least $20, so there is great potential to earn a nice profit.
#19 – Golf Gear
Golf is an expensive sport and there is a great opportunity to make money flipping golf clubs. My husband has sold older models of his golf clubs regularly on eBay. He also buys golf clubs on eBay and keeps track of items that are up for auction.
Golf is a very active niche with great opportunity for making money.
You can also make money selling golf accessories like golf bags, golf clubs, and golf clothing.
#20 – Kitchen Gear
Spatulas, Pyrex dishes, Kitchen Aid mixers, Keurig Coffee Makers, etc.
Thrift stores usually have a big collection of vintage pyrex dishes, glass cooking containers, and Corning Ware. Vintage kitchen items are highly sought after pieces online.
You can find deals on brand new spatulas, Kitchen Aid mixers, and coffee makers at discount stores like Marshall’s, Ross, Bargain Hunt, and Ollie’s.
Starting a Buy and Sell Business
The best way to start selling items from home is to look for things around the house to sell. There is no need to invest your hard earned money on things to buy and sell online. Clean out your closets to see if you can find any items that are new with tags or in excellent condition and use those items as a test run to see if you can make money selling online.
After you make a few sales, then you can start shopping for items that you are already familiar with so that you understand the product and what it is worth. If you’re not a fisherman (or fisher-woman) no need to start selling fish finders, when you have no idea what they do!
As your business grows you may want to work with a thrift store flipping pro and take a course that will help you take your flipping side hustle to the next level.
Research Thrift Store Flipping
When it comes to finding the best selling items…you have to do your research so you can know that you are buying the most profitable things to sell on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon or other online apps.
As you are shopping for things to sell for money, always have your smartphone with you so that you can check the going prices on the platforms you want to sell. That way you can compare the cost of the item with the cost of the selling price.
PRO TIP: Make sure to not only check the amount the item is priced at online, but also check to see what percentage of that item has sold. If the percent of sell is low then you would want to pass up the purchase because it’s not likely to resell or it may take a long time.
You can also sign up for Flea Market Flipper’s email to get tips about how to have a successful thrift store flipping side hustle. Also, check out the sub reddit from Reddit: r/flipping to see what flippers have been buying in the thread Weekly Haul.
APPS to help you with Researching/Sourcing Products
- Profit Bandit – Use for Fulfillment by Amazon and Retail Arbitrage; costs $15
- eBay (web version on phone) – Search completed listings/sold for accuracy, has barcode scanner available
- Amazon/Amazon Price Check App – access to Amazon inventory, search by barcode, image, or voice
- Decluttr -Buys CD/DVD from you for a minimum of $0.50/item, scanner included
- Book Scouter App – Useful to look up book prices
- Red Laser – allows you to scan a barcode and gives a general price
- Flow App by Amazon – use for books and DVDs
Websites to help you with Researching/Sourcing Products
- CamelCamelCamel – In depth sales rank and prices of products through the lifetime of the product.
- PriceZombie – Checks the price of products on Amazon as well as other stores.
- LabelResource – Check vintage clothing
Best Places to Find Items to Sell Online
Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Rummage Sales
Located at churches, community centers, schools, and neighborhoods.
Local thrift stores are a great resource to find items to sell online for profit. Some thrift stores offer coupons and special weekly discounts. Ask someone working in the store when they usually put out new items so that you can plan on shopping days when there are fresh items on the floor.
Remember not all thrift stores are the same! It seems like each thrift store has it’s specialty…Goodwill – clothes, KARM – furniture, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store – household appliances. Get to know your stores!
Don’t forget to shop all the locations in your area or ones that are within reasonable driving distance.
Estate sales can be a great place to find deals on items to sell online. You will need to arrive to an estate sale early and get a number. Then you will most likely have to wait in line to get into shop. That’s why it’s very important to get to any estate sale early before all the good stuff is picked over!
Just make sure you do your research to know if the prices are worth the purchase. Sometimes estate sales are overly priced, again it just depends on the area that you are in.
Flea markets can be hit or miss, it just depends on where you live and the type of flea market in your area. My local flea markets mostly sell items from China so I never find good deals there. Make sure you check out what is available in your area.
Craigslist is a great place to source deals. I find that Craigslist is hit or miss in my area, but if you look consistently you have a better chance of finding things to buy to resell for profit.
Facebook market places make it easy to source goods. I have found that local Facebook market places typically list their items higher than what I would find at a yard sale or garage sale, despite the fact that most are labeled *city* yard sale group! 😀
Library Book Sales
Library book sales are kind of like a garage sale except they are selling all of their old copies of books, DVDs, and CDs.
Going Out of Business Sales
Look around for any businesses that are going out of business. You are likely to find really good deals or even free stuff to resell for money!
FREE places to find flips
Check out dumpsters or even keep your eyes open for items as your driving through neighborhoods. Many people will put things they don’t want anymore at the end of their driveway with a note that says FREE. You can also search Craigslist for free items that people are giving away.
Friends and Family
Once people know that you are reselling things online to make extra money, they usually will start sending stuff your way!
When you are sourcing your products you will probably find local areas that have better prices. Typically nicer subdivisions with lots of young families will be selling baby items, kids toys, and will lack vintage pieces. I have read in different forums that surprisingly older neighborhoods with lower incomes tend to have the best deals when it comes to purchasing with the intent to resell online for profit.
Where to Make Money Reselling Thrift Store Flips?
The best places to sell items online are…
Amazon with Fulfillment by Amazon
Facebook Garage Sale Sites
Bookscouter.com for books
Let Go App
Etsy – for vintage items
PRO TIP: Choose one platform to get started with and learn everything you can to start selling successfully. Once you are comfortable selling on that platform select another platform to sell on. Starting small will increase your chance of being successful in the long run!
Are you as excited as I am about making money reselling items online?! I’d love to know what you have sold lately to make money flipping thrift store finds! Let me know in the comments section!
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