Walk through any thrift store and you’re bound to bump into an eBay Powerseller or two replenishing their eBay inventory. The truth is there are still good bargains available at thrift stores for resale on eBay if you’re astute enough to spot them.
While it’s true you’ll probably pay more at a thrift store than you would at a garage sale, the prices for some items are still low enough for you to make a decent profit. The key, of course, is to do enough research on eBay to know what types of used items are hot sellers. And, I don’t mean a quick little glance. I mean really do your homework.
For example, if you’re interested in buying and selling used men’s shirts, go to eBay and perform searches for “used men’s shirt,” “nearly new shirt,” “gently worn” and all the other synonyms you can find for “used.” Go through the “vintage” category and the “collectibles – cultures, ethnicities” for Hawaiian shirts. Research the labels. Note any patterns and colors. Do some sizes sell better than others? (I always found I had a harder time selling men’s shirts in size small).
Do the same type of research with all the used items you may find at a thrift store: clothing, shoes, boots (especially used cowboy boots), purses, books (don’t ignore cookbooks – they can sometimes sell very well, especially the Betty Crocker Pie Cover cookbook).
When you find a thrift store or two (or, hopefully, more) that offers good quality used products go back often as new items are added every day.
With used clothing it’s very important to thoroughly check for any tears or stains, because once you buy it, it’s yours, you can’t take it back. I once bought several collectible Hawaiian shirts I had checked for tears and stains, but failed to check the collars. When I got them home I found they all had a bad case of “ring around the collar” which didn’t come out in the wash.
Of course, I had to disclose that in my descriptions on eBay. The shirts sold, but for less than what they could have sold for in better condition. Also, check for any odors that may be tough to get out with washing or dry cleaning. (Do make sure you wash or dry clean all used clothing you list on eBay.)
While it’s true that used clothing and other items do sell well on eBay, your research will help you spot items with which you’ll actually make a profit.
There’s a thought out there among some that you can slap anything on eBay and make money. Not true. If you don’t do your research you may find yourself losing money. Don’t just assume there’s a sucker born every minute and that anything will sell on eBay. Without proper research you might end up finding out the sucker is you.