If I had written this a year ago, it would have been a much longer read. At that time I was trying out all sorts of categories, until I decided my niche would be clothing and books. I would spend a lot of time in these stores and my only plan was to make any profit. Now I have a plan, a treasure map, which is dependent on the types of clothing that are trending and what I am lacking in my stores.
As with any sort of shopping, I make sure I have eaten and am hydrated before I get there. I dress in comfortable layers no matter what the season. Some thrift shops do not have carts, so I bring my collapsible IKEA shoulder bag. Last, I make sure my phone is fully charged and I have all relevant apps loaded (i.e. Google, EBay and Amazon)
When I enter the store I check when they will be closing, their color of the week, and what their daily special is. I also check to see where their restroom and water fountain are.
This all may seem quite silly but you are on a mission to make money; and, you do not want other things distracting you which will lead to making bad choices.
The first section I go to is the Women’s Jeans. It has been my experience that size 14-28. Petites and Talls are something I look for as well. I am brand conscious for the most part with Levi’s being my favorite. Other brands that have been selling well have been Rock & Republic, American Eagle, Lucky, Lane Bryant and Talbot’s. I do stay away from Faded Glory, with the exception of finding a size 28 Petite last week.
Next I shop the shoes. I don’t try to keep up with trends or brands because I just don’t believe I will find a pair of genuine Prada pumps. I look for quality and wear. I only buy leather. I have seen leather that looks ready for the garbage, instantly transformed with shoe honey or saddle soap. The soles must have very little to no wear. Take the time to clean them. Comfort and Diabetic shoes are good resellers as well as formal pumps and winter boots.
Next, I will check out Plus Size Women’s tops. I know there are resellers who tend to shop brands in this section, but I feel that since these sizes are hard to find in a store that the condition is more important. Make sure the tags are still attached and not faded. Look for holes and stains as well as yellowing, especially in the armpit area, neck and sleeve ends. Check for pilling and avoid anything you will have to spend any time on. Time is money and money is time.
Last, I will go to Men’s suits. This is a section that is much like buried treasure and may be hard to find. I look for silk, cashmere and wool content. Next I check for Big and Tall sizes. Last, I look for European or American made. Last, I check for holes, stains, missing buttons or fraying.
I stay away from purses because of the problems we have with forgeries. For instance, just last year I listed a purse on EBay. No where in the title or description did I give a brand name. I stated that it was a brown canvas shoulder bag with leather trim. It was quickly removed by EBay because I could not prove it was an authentic Fossil purse. I have heard on YouTube, stories of suspended accounts from listing a forgery. It is not worth losing your store over a $2 thrift store find.
I steer clear of any type of kid’s clothing. I am sure there is a way to make a profit but I haven’t figured out a way to make it worth my time.
Before leaving I try to find a quiet corner of the store that is brightly lit, so that I can look at each piece one more time. Be realistic. Is this something I would be proud to have in my store or is it a return waiting to happen. It is true that the more you list, the more you selling only if the are quality items.
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Items Fit for a Queen
Priced For the Pauper.