You Could Make Money Reselling These 15 Thrift Store Finds

NEWS & TRENDING - MONEY NEWS
As the resale market for items like clothes and furniture becomes increasingly popular, selling thrifted items has become a hot side hustle.
Updated May 13, 2024
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cheerful friends at the thrift shop

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From houses to vintage clothing to old records, “flipping” is becoming a popular path to creating an extra stream of income on the side. Many people these days flip their items of choice as a hobby or side hustle.

If you’re looking to get into the business (and you don’t already own a large inventory of flippable items), your local thrift store is a great place to start.

Below are 15 thrift store finds that you can resell and how much you could make flipping them.

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Brand name clothes

AntonioDiaz/Adobe woman thrift shopping

The market for reselling clothing is growing — and with apps like Poshmark, many people are creating fun side hustles by selling pieces from their wardrobes.

You can grow your business even more by incorporating some thrift store finds — particularly items like formalwear or brand-name clothes, which many shoppers feel are too pricey to buy new. What you can earn depends on the label and current demand. Seasonal items, like formal wear during prom season, can earn you up to 50% of the original retail price if the item is in pristine condition.

Video game consoles/games

Pedro/Adobe super nintendo with control

If you can find video game consoles and popular games at a thrift store, you might be in for big profits on eBay or other resale websites. Some vintage consoles are considered collectors’ items and are listed on eBay for upwards of $200.

Bikes

goodluz/Adobe senior woman riding city bike

Many people want a bike for exercise, transportation, or casual cycling — but don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a new one (high-end models can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars). If you’re able to buy a cheap bike from a thrift store, you may be surprised how much you can make by reselling it on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

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Legos

rosinka79/Adobe lego brick bank

Hot toys are another category to keep an eye out for while thrifting.

While Legos may be challenging (since you have to make sure you get all the pieces), these can go for serious cash on the resale market. Some more in-demand sets, like those from the Star Wars collection, are listed for well over $100 on eBay.

American Girl dolls/accessories

Sophie/Adobe father and daughter bonding time

Like Legos, American Girl dolls are high-demand toys that tend to be pricier brand new than many customers are comfortable with. These days, a new doll goes for about $115 — and that’s before you buy any accessories or customizations.

There’s a serious resale market for these dolls and their many outfits and accessories on eBay. They typically sell for less than $100, but some people have lucked up on a rare doll and made thousands.

Trading cards

Tupungato/Adobe zapdos and charizard pokemon cards

From vintage baseball cards to Pokémon cards, you may be surprised how much you can make selling collectors’ items. You’re probably not going to find anything like the 1952 Mickey Mantle card that recently sold for more than $12 million at your local thrift store — but netting a profit selling this sort of memorabilia is totally possible with some careful planning.

Record players

Martin Bergsma/Adobe vintage record player with albums

How much you can make reselling record players depends on the brand and condition (and whether you can restore it if needed), but with many music lovers devoted to vinyl, there’s a large resale market.

Older turntables in good condition can go for a few hundred dollars on eBay.

Typewriters

AboutLife/Adobe young screenwriter working indoors

Writing on a typewriter just feels more romantic than a computer or tablet, and many vintage enthusiasts are in the market for a good machine. These items may need to be cleaned up or restored before they can be flipped, but they, too, can go for a few hundred on eBay.

Roller blades

Monkey Business/Adobe senior couple putting line skates

Like toys, sports equipment is another hot ticket item to look for while thrifting.

Rollerblading is having a bit of a comeback (likely sparked, at least in part, by last year’s Barbie movie craze), and many would-be bladers probably want to try out an old pair to test out their skills before splurging on anything new and pricey.

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Tents

andreusK/Adobe camping in mountains at sunset

New tents can be shockingly expensive — we’re talking a few hundred dollars on Amazon, and those are for the cheaper models.

If you can get your hands on a pre-owned tent in decent shape at a thrift store, you can likely sell it for a few times the price, and it’ll still be a better bargain than new models.

Desks

fizkes/Adobe workplace with computer in apartment

Restoring and reselling furniture is becoming more and more popular as a side hustle as it can be a fun hobby as well. Used desks can be sold through many different sites — like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

If you have a particular flair for restoration, you can make solid money and may be able to sell flipped furniture from your home or at flea markets or swap meets, with some rarer styles earning you $100+ after a little elbow grease.

Barstools

Heidi Patricola/Adobe chrome and vinyl diner barstools

Barstools are another piece of furniture that consumers tend to be okay with buying secondhand or restoring — particularly if they’re just being thrown under a basement bar.

In fact, eBay is packed with used barstools, and consumers may jump at the chance to buy them slightly used rather than shell out for a whole new set.

Costume jewelry

nsit0108/Adobe necklace wooden box stones

Jewelry — particularly costume jewelry — may be more of a “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” find, but you never know who is in the market for some interesting bling.

You can sell jewelry on eBay or clothing resale sites like Poshmark.

Phone accessories

boophuket/Adobe charging with wireless charging dock

Phone accessories are always in demand these days, but many customers may be put off from buying them new because prices tend to be inflated.

There’s a big market for Airpods, phone cases, and even phones themselves on eBay.

Books

motizova/Adobe hardback books

Last but certainly not least, you can find some great books in thrift stores — including classics, cookbooks, and even textbooks — and resell them for profit on sites like Amazon and eBay.

For example, a popular cookbook like Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites is over $20 on Amazon. Many books like this end up being sold at thrift stores for a fraction of what a fan might pay.

Bottom line

Joshua A/peopleimages.com/Adobe woman trying on clothes

Not everything you find while thrifting can be flipped for a solid profit (or flipped at all), but if you keep track of the category you want to sell in — by looking at which brands are hot on Poshmark or which authors are selling well on Amazon, for example — you can make some serious dough and have a solid side hustle by thrifting carefully.

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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.

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