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Thrifting for profit - Page 2

post #21 of 106
I think it would be different if AO were getting stuff off of, say, Freecyle and reselling it. That wouldn't feel okay to me. This does, for all the reasons pps have stated.
post #22 of 106
Thread Starter 
Oh, yeah, I definitely wouldn't be OK with that either, Frog. Or with selling hand-me-downs or the like. But thrift stores, cheap or not, are commerce.
post #23 of 106
i do thrift for profit - but idont do ebay. i look for antique/vintage items, then clean them up if they need it (just a quick wipe-down or wood conditioning) and put them in my antique/vintage/craft booth that I've rented at a local shop.
post #24 of 106
Ophelia -
That's EXACTLY how I started ebaying! I have only boys, but kept seeing Hanna Andersson or Lilly Pulitzer, etc. beautiful girls dresses for only a couple dollars, and just couldn't keep passing them up. I bought them for friends for a while, just because I couldn't leave them sitting there. Then I realized there is money to be made, so now, aside the vacations, ebay is wholly funding my thrifting/yardsaling addiction
post #25 of 106
My tip is to know the name of the "line". Do searches to try to figure it out. Take good pictures too, it makes a BIG difference. Root*children gave really excellent advice.
That being said, I haven't found infant clothes to be that profitable, but it has covered my own thrift habit. I have mostly focused on things I like--IE Carters.
After I sell my last batch of stuff (wherever, ebay or not) I'm done. It's a big hassle and I want to simplify my life. I'm sick of the clutter it creates for the meager profit. If I see something that I *know* will go for a good price then i'll do it, but I'm not planning on it anymore.
post #26 of 106
Check out http://resalequeen.com/ I listen to the podcast she and her husband do (http://croncast.com/) and she's been reselling for profit for years now.
post #27 of 106
Originally Posted by root*children View Post
It's the basic method of our society. Buy something at a low price and resell it for a higher price.

I know .
post #28 of 106
Our local thrift store spends over $10,000 PER YEAR for trash collection ... just throwing away things they can't sell. We are in a lower-income area, though, so we do not get the Lily Pulitzer and Olilly.

I was in a large thrift store in the Washington DC suburbs last week, and heard the employees arguing about "ragging out" (shipping in bales to 3rd world countries, where it destroys the local clothing manufacturing industry). The ragging out was scheduled for Thursday, but there was no room on the racks to put out the new clothing... so what to do? That store was packed with racks of clothing. But I was looking for adjustable waist 4T and 5T boys pants, and could not locate any. :

And about eBAY. Keep track of your fees. They add up fast, and a few non-selling items can really put you in the red. NWT can be sold on Amazon, with no listing fee. (Though the store cost is $0 per month)
post #29 of 106
I have given up going to Goodwill recently because all of the good things seem to be snatched up by people looking for things to re-sell. Some of the same women are there day after day, buying up anything namebrand. So families who actually need the store to clothe their children are left with stained, ripped items.
Our particular store is never 'flooded' with merchandise, so they would be just fine without people doing this.
The store has actually picked up on this and have raised their prices and put anything 'nice' on a special 'boutique' rack so they can jack the prices up.
I understand people going to yard sales, etc. to pick up items to re-sell, but I think with something like Goodwill, some of the intention there is to help low-income families get by.
If a thrift store really needed help to get rid of their items and there didn't seem to be much demand, I could understand this thrifting for profit.
Where I live, though, it really seems to be hurting people. Just offering another side of it.
post #30 of 106
Another hot kids' brand is Hanna Andersson.
post #31 of 106
Thread Starter 
I suspect whether or not thrift stores are full of quality stuff is really regional, or even more localized than that, by city or even neighborhood. But in the case of the stores I'm frequenting, it really is end-of-the-line, with the clothes being landfill fodder next. So I really see no reason to feel bad. There's also the labor aspect of it--it takes time to go through the less-quality stuff to find the stuff that will sell, and there is no reason that time shouldn't be worth something.
post #32 of 106
Wow- what kind of thrift stores are in your area? Every thrift store I've ever been to in my town has been nothing but a dissapointment- cheap, junky clothing that are basically garage-sale rejects. And on top of it all, the stuff is overpriced (Goodwill in particular).
post #33 of 106
Look for small, church-run shops in affluent areas. Goodwill is often overpriced.

And yes, the thrift shops near me (both in moderate income and higher income areas) are filled with internet-resale shoppers. You know that when a guy is looking at every single item in the women's clothing rack, he is doing ebay. There is even a cell-phone bar code scanner available for book re-sellers (scout pal) :
post #34 of 106
Our Goodwill has a 50% off clothing day, so that makes it more affordable.

I agree that the newborn baby clothes (like 3-6 mos. size) doesn't do well at all on ebay. 18 mos. might do alright, and 2T+.

So far, Hanna Andersson has been the best for me. (Those 2 times! ). Other brands I'm not always sure if they will sell for enough to be worth it. Generally, it takes a lot of looking and looking to find those few finds. So on a dollar per hour basis, it probably isn't so great. But I'm not an expert or anything. If you are thrifting anyway, it would probably work out well.

Our Goodwill always has guys scouting out the furniture and even peaking through the doors to the back to see the stuff that hasn't been brought out yet!
post #35 of 106
post #36 of 106
I have to bring up the morality thing of it/thrift supply, just because I've been thinking about it, and I think some of the arguments posted here are without merit.

You will NOT find a thrift that doesn't have any decent clothes because of re-sellers getting them. Most clothes are NOT resellable! Perfectly good clothes, even some NWT, will not bring in any profit on ebay. If your thrift store doesn't have a good selection, I guarantee it's not ebayer's fault The list of re-sellable clothes is MUCH smaller than the amount of brands out there. For example, Gap, Old Navy, TCP, most gymboree, Circo, Cherokee, Samara, Healthtex, George, Buster Brown, Osh Kosh, KRU, Starter, Puma, need I go on? All these brands make completely adorable clothes, they are also not worth squat on ebay... unless maybe you did a big lot, but still you're only making around $2 a piece. So, is this making sense? There's no reason for ebayers to snatch up these very common brands, if your not finding anything wearable at your local thrift and you are in the market for these more common brands, then your thrift is not getting any of these brands in the first place. There are thrift stores that just have junk, and it has nothing to do with ebay... it has to do with who they are collecting from.

Okay, done with my rant... it just bothers me that people would think their crappy thrift store selection is due to resellers!
post #37 of 106
i believe the more the thrift stores sell, the more they can continue to keep the cost low. if there sales were low all of the time, they would need to keep the prices a little higher to cover the cost of just running the store. plus, i've never seen a sign posted anywhere that says "no resales for profit please".

plus, most people donate to thrift stores for the tax write-off. if they really wanted to give it away for non-profit, they certainly wouldn't give it to the Good Will. used shirts cost $5 here! i can buy that on the clearance rack at target or walmart, ...and there it's nice and new
post #38 of 106
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
i can buy that on the clearance rack at target or walmart, ...and there it's nice and new
This actually brings me to one of the moral, rather than financial, reasons I thrift personally and would love to get more other people to do the same. I absolutely hate seeing this. There IS a difference. There are a couple, actually. The first is that when you buy something new, at almost any mainstream store, and certainly one with $5 shirts, you're supporting questionable labor practices and non-union labor. When you buy something thrift, you aren't. Clothes aren't made with resale value in mind, so whether or not they do well in thrift stores doesn't much enter into the equation. The second thing is environmental--it is better for the world if we use things until they are used up, not until we are sick of them, and to me, that means dressing from thrift stores to the greatest extent possible, rather than always purchasing new clothes. New clothes take energy and resources to make, and it's really wasteful that so many of them are made, given the plethora of perfectly good ones going to waste.

So for me, it's worth it to try and buy clothes (and other things, but clothes especially) used, even if there is no financial incentive to do so (and I think there is, because a used shirt from a nice manufacturer is nicer than a new shirt from a crappy manufacturer). I think it's the right thing to do, from a social justice and environmental perspective. And that's another reason I don't really feel bad about the resale angle, either--it keeps both of those things going, and it may well be that someone will buy something resale, after someone else has gone through the work of finding it, when they otherwise would have bought new.
post #39 of 106
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
And that's another reason I don't really feel bad about the resale angle, either--it keeps both of those things going, and it may well be that someone will buy something resale, after someone else has gone through the work of finding it, when they otherwise would have bought new.

GOOD point.
post #40 of 106
One summer when I was in college, I sold thrfted coats on ebay as my sole source of income. Vintage leopard print and shearling were really popular at the time. I found a really pristine cheetah print vintage coat (faux fur) at the Salvation Army thrift store for $10 and sold it for $200. It was really gorgeous, and looked to have never been worn. Ebay wasn't nearly as huge as it is now either, so it made for more bidders.
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