By Chloë Bloodworth
Most teenagers do not have a ton of money to spend at boutiques and malls as they wish. This is why thrift stores can be excellent places to find items of clothing for less than $20. If thrifting is something you are passionate about, why not make some money off of it? Especially if you hit the thrift stores regularly to purchase for yourself, selling those clothes you really admired but did not quite fit you can be a great way to make a little extra cash! Below are some rules and tips for selling your thrift store finds.
1. Find a platform. You will need an audience of potential customers in order to sell the items you find, and social media can be a great way to achieve that! If you choose Instagram, you can sell through your personal account’s story or you can create an account purely for selling your items. Start by following some friends and check out other thrift flip accounts for inspiration. You can make a post for each item and add a description of the size, brand, cost, and more about the item in the caption. On Instagram, you may choose to host a giveaway (you must consider how much you are willing to spend on a giveaway item) in which you require your followers to tag a friend in the comment section in order to enter. This can be a great way to get more followers, as long as you follow through with your giveaway and select a winner. You can also sell items through the story of your personal Snapchat account. On Snapchat, you already have a set audience of friends, family, and mutuals who may be interested in what you are selling. Facebook marketplace can be an excellent place to sell your thrift finds because people go to this platform in order shop. Just be sure you are old enough and have your parents’ or guardians’ permission before creating an account.
2. Set up your rules. If you do not have guidelines for your shop, selling your items can become chaotic and confusing. You must decide on how far from your location you are willing to sell, if you would prefer to sell from a designated location, how much shipping will cost (if you choose to ship), if you want to want to allow bidding (and if so, your rules on bids), if you allow returns, and any other factors that may occur to you as you set up your shop. Then make sure to list your rules so that your audience can see them, such as in your bio or on each post or slide of items you are trying to sell.
3. Be careful when deciding on a price for an item. You do not want to undercharge: You should at least charge 3 or more dollars above the amount you spent on the item. Remember that part of the price is the time and effort you put into finding an item. You also do not want to overcharge. It is not fair to the customer for you to sell a clothing item that is not nearly worth what you are charging for it. To get a good estimate of what you should charge for an item, see if you can find the particular item or something similar online and see how much it costs. Also think about how much you got the item for and consider why this might be.
4. Make sure your items are in good condition. Thrift items are typically second hand so it is natural for them to be not quite as perfect as they would be if they were sold brand new, but make sure they are free of stains or undesired rips that the customer would not appreciate.
5. Do not be afraid to “flip” a thrift item. To flip an item means to add your own touch to or to fix up an item of clothing to make it more desirable. Some examples of flipping are to cut pants into shorts, paint designs onto shorts pockets, or cut long tee shirts into crop tops. You can also charge more for an item you have flipped because you have put time and work into improving it. Of course, flipping is not required- You can sell a perfectly good thrifted item as is.
6. Have fun with it! If you do not enjoy thrifting or hate to let go of thrifted items, perhaps selling thrift store finds is not for you, and that is ok.
Selling thrifted items can be very exciting and profitable if you enjoy thrift shopping and are smart with attracting customers and with your pricing. If you are interested, go have fun and make some extra cash!