Making Cash Thrift Store Items

by Peter Neville Jones

Sometimes, making a few dollars just takes a little bit of creativity and imagination. Have you ever considered buying items to turn around and sell them at a profit? Plenty of people are buying things at thrift stores and garage sales, then putting them up for sale on sites such as If you go take a look at some of the merchandise on Ebay on any given day, you’ll see that most individuals are selling all sorts of things – and making money!

Thrift store versus garage sales – which are better? Garage sale markups are not as high as the thrift store, and you can find more items that are “like new.” The other benefit of a garage sale is that you can haggle with a seller; thrift stores are less likely to let you ask for a price reduction. You do, however have to watch out for sellers that have emotional attachment to their items. While the vase given to them by their grandmother may have sentimental value, that does not affect the actual value of the item.

Make sure you know your local market. Not everyone likes the same thing, but you can identify top selling items in different categories. For instance, if you are buying books, go to an online book store and review what their best sellers are. Sometimes, you will buy something only to find out that you can’t sell it for more than what you paid because there isn’t a market for the item. That’s okay, as you will most likely make up for the breaking even on something else you sell at a profit. Buying and selling is a little bit of a guessing game mixed with research. Take heart, as there are many instances of individuals that made hundreds of dollars from items that a seller considered junk. You may even want to go to the library and check out some books on how to spot valuable items.

Deciding where to sell your items depends on what the item is. There are several websites that are best for selling books, with and being the top two. Items can be sold on and usually make a profit if your description and terms are well written; the better your description and picture, the more money you’ll sell for. Another place to sell items is on; just look up your local area and see what prices other people are selling similar items. You can also offer to barter for items on their site with relative ease.

The last option to earn money off items is hosting your own garage sale. This can be profitable if you go to garage sales at the end of the day when the seller is trying to get rid of everything to avoid packing it back up. You can also check out for free items that are being offered. Many times after a garage sale, people will list that all their leftover items are sitting on the curb, free for the taking. If you have a truck and some garage space, you can take everything off their hands at the end of the day. The benefit to sellers is they don’t have to haul leftovers back inside, and you get items for free – a win/win situation!

If you’ve got a particular interest or hobby, you can try to focus your buying and selling around related objects and items. People are usually more willing to buy from someone who appears to like what they do and are knowledgeable about the items they’re offering to sell. You may even end up with a nice little niche business that specializes in hard-to-find things that everyone wants!

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