How to Make Money Thrifting in 2023: 18 Top Strategies for Profit

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Ready to turn your thrift shop adventures into cold, hard cash? Welcome to the ultimate guide on 18 ingenious ways to profit from your passion.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make money thrifting, buckle up. This is your roadmap to turning thrifting from a weekend hobby to a lucrative venture. A pro tip to jumpstart your thrifting empire is to specialize.

Whether you’re drawn to vintage clothing or rare books, focusing on a niche can set you apart in a bustling market.

Keep reading as we break down each strategy, offering actionable tips and product examples to fuel your success.

Quick Takeaways:

  1. Specialize in a Niche: Focusing on a specific category like vintage clothing or rare books can set you apart in a crowded market.
  2. Platform Matters: eBay is ideal for a general range of items, Poshmark is perfect for clothing, and Etsy is the go-to for unique, vintage, or crafted items.
  3. High-Quality Presentation: Invest in quality photos and descriptions to attract buyers, regardless of the platform you choose.
  4. Diversify Income Streams: Consider writing eBooks, affiliate marketing, or offering online consultations in addition to selling physical products.
  5. Leverage Seasonal and Bundle Offers: Timing and bundling can help you sell items more quickly and at higher profit margins.
  6. Always Authenticate: Particularly for luxury items, confirming authenticity can make or break your profit margins.

What is Thrifting?

Thrifting is the act of shopping at thrift stores, garage sales, or flea markets, where one person’s trash often becomes another’s treasure. It’s more than just a savvy way to save money on good-quality items.

For some, thrifting is a legitimate means of making money. By purchasing underpriced, overlooked goods and reselling them, many people are turning this pastime into profit.

Flipping thrift store finds on platforms like eBay has become a popular avenue, where eBay sellers consider aspects like listing fees and shipping costs to maximize their profits.

18 Ways To Make Money Thrifting

1. Online Flipping on eBay

If you’re asking how to make money thrifting, eBay is your starting point. This online marketplace lets you list anything from vintage furniture to rare stamps.

You can visit local thrift stores, pick up items at a steal, and then list them on eBay at a marked-up price. The beauty of eBay is the ability to manage your store from anywhere, making it ideal for digital nomads.

The key here is to specialize in a particular niche that you’re knowledgeable about, be it vintage cameras or designer handbags.

Strategies for Online Flipping on eBay:

  • Research and Specialize: Use eBay’s “Completed Listings” feature to study which items sell well. Focus on those categories.
  • Quality Photos and Descriptions: Invest in taking high-quality photos and writing compelling descriptions to attract buyers.
  • Use eBay’s Global Shipping Program: This allows you to sell internationally without the hassle of international shipping.

Product Examples:

  • Vintage Board Games: Often overlooked in thrift stores but highly collectible.
  • Designer Clothing: Gently used or even new items can often be found and flipped for profit.
  • Antique Glassware: Unique pieces can fetch a high price from collectors.
Screenshot of thrift items posted on eBay

2. Use Poshmark to Sell Clothes

Poshmark provides a streamlined platform for selling clothing items. Digital nomads can easily pick up stylish or vintage clothes from local thrift stores and list them on the app.

Poshmark even takes care of shipping, giving you a prepaid label once the item sells. It’s a focused marketplace where clothing is the main game, perfect for thrift stores flipping in the fashion sector.

The Poshmark app lets you manage your business straight from your smartphone.


  • Seasonal Strategy: List items that are in season to increase the chances of quick sales.
  • Bundle Offers: Encourage buyers to purchase more by offering discounts on bundled items.
  • Active Sharing: The more you share your listings within the app, the more visibility you gain.

Product Examples:

  • Vintage Denim Jackets: Always in demand and can be sold for a tidy profit.
  • Designer Shoes: High-end shoes at thrift shops can be flipped for multiples of the purchase price.
  • Workout Gear: Quality brands like Lululemon retain value and are highly sought after.

3. Virtual Thrift Store on Etsy

Etsy is the go-to online marketplace for anything unique, vintage, or crafted. You can source various thrift store items, upcycle them if needed, and then list them in your virtual store.

From vintage record players to custom-painted furniture, the possibilities are limitless.

Etsy’s customer base appreciates the time and creativity that go into these items, making it a profitable avenue for thrift store flippers.

Strategies for running a Virtual Thrift Store on Etsy:

  • Niche Focus: Stick to items that align with your shop’s theme to attract a dedicated customer base.
  • SEO Optimization: Use relevant keywords in your product listings to improve discoverability.
  • Leverage Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram to showcase your products and direct traffic to your Etsy shop.

Product Examples:

  • Custom-Painted Vintage Chairs: Unique and can fetch a high price.
  • Antique Jewelry: Always in demand and relatively easy to ship.
  • Upcycled Lamps: Find old lamps at thrift stores and give them a modern twist.

4. Write an eBook Guide on Thrifting

How to make money thrifting isn’t just about selling physical products; you can also monetize your knowledge.

If you’re an experienced thrift store flipper, consider writing an eBook to share your tips and tricks.

Platforms like Amazon Kindle provide a wide reach, or you could sell it directly through your blog or website.

Your eBook could cover everything from thrift store flipping basics to how to find the best local thrift stores for different kinds of items.

Strategies for writing Ebook Guides on Thrifting:

  • Audience Research: Use surveys or social media polls to find out what potential readers are most interested in learning.
  • Quality Content: Use real-life examples, provide step-by-step guides, and offer actionable advice.
  • Promotional Launch: Utilize your blog, social media channels, and email newsletters to promote the eBook launch.

Product Examples:

  • Basic Guide to Thrift Flipping: For those just starting out in the world of thrift store flipping.
  • Niche Guides: Books focusing on specific categories like clothing, electronics, or collectibles.
  • Advanced Thrift Flipping: Strategies for those looking to turn thrifting into a full-time job.

5. Affiliate Marketing with Thrift Stores

If you’re a whiz at networking and have a sizable online following, affiliate marketing with thrift stores might be your golden ticket. Partnering with online thrift stores can provide a steady income stream without holding inventory.

Every time someone makes a purchase through your unique referral link, you get a cut. It’s a win-win: the store gets a new customer, and you get a commission.

This is an excellent way to make money without the logistics of handling and shipping items, making it ideal for the digital nomad lifestyle.

Strategies for Affiliate Marketing with Thrift Stores:

  • Choose Reputable Stores: Partner with well-known online thrift stores to build trust with your audience.
  • Content Integration: Seamlessly integrate affiliate links into blog posts or social media updates.
  • Track Metrics: Use tracking software to understand which strategies are working best and adapt accordingly.

Product Examples:

  • ThredUP: A well-known online thrift store where you can become an affiliate.
  • Etsy Affiliate Program: For those focusing on vintage or crafted items.
  • Goodwill’s online store is another option for partnership.
Screenshot of Unique vintage affiliate program

6. Host Virtual Thrift Hauls

Virtual thrift hauls are a fun, interactive way to show off your thrift shop finds. Platforms like YouTube or Instagram Live offer the chance to engage directly with your audience. While showing off your items, you can monetize these videos through ads, brand sponsorships, or viewer donations. The best part? You can host these hauls from anywhere, whether you’re sourcing from local thrift stores or garage sales. It adds an entertainment aspect to the art of thrift store flipping, it’s a fun way to make money thrifting.

Strategies for Hosting Virtual Thrift Hauls:

  • Pre-promotion: Build anticipation by announcing the haul in advance and hinting at some items you’ll showcase.
  • Interactive Engagement: Use features like live polls or Q&As to engage your audience.
  • Post-Haul Sales: Direct viewers to where they can purchase your thrift store items, increasing your profit margin.

Product Examples:

  • Designer Clothing: Show off high-end pieces you’ve found at bargain prices.
  • Unique Collectibles: Items like vintage cameras or rare books can spark interest.
  • DIY Upcycles: Showcase items you’ve bought cheaply and revitalized.

7. Offer Online Thrifting Consultations

Offering online thrifting consultations combines your expertise in reselling thrift store items with one-on-one customer interaction. Utilize platforms like Zoom or Skype to provide live consultations, guiding clients on what to look for in thrift shops, yard sales, or online marketplaces. This helps your clients become savvy thrifters while adding another income stream to your business. You can also offer downloadable guides as part of the package.

Strategies for Offering Online Thrifting Consultations:

  • Package Deals: Offer different packages catering to varying levels of thrifting experience.
  • Testimonials: Utilize successful client stories to promote your service.
  • Time Management: Offer group consultations to maximize your time and profits.

Product Examples:

  • Beginner’s Guide: A consultation package aimed at those new to thrift store flipping.
  • Advanced Flipping: For those looking to turn thrifting into a full-time gig.
  • Niche Focus: Specialized consultations for specific categories like clothing or electronics.

8. Start a Thrift Blog

Blogs can be a goldmine for thrift enthusiasts. By creating compelling content around thrift store flipping tips, local thrift store reviews, and even eBay store management, you can attract a loyal following.

Monetize this traffic through multiple avenues like Google AdSense, sponsorships, and affiliate links. Your blog could become a one-stop shop for anyone interested in making money through thrift stores.

Strategies for Starting a Thrift Blog:

  • Keyword Optimization: Use high-traffic keywords to improve your blog’s SEO.
  • Value-Added Content: Offer readers actionable tips and how-to guides on reselling thrift store items.
  • Email Marketing: Use newsletters to keep your readers updated and engaged, while also promoting your latest posts or offers.

Product Examples:

  • Thrift Flipping 101: A how-to guide for beginners.
  • Local Thrift Store Reviews: Create content around the pros and cons of most thrift stores you’ve visited.
  • Shipping and Profit: A guide focusing on how to manage shipping costs for higher profit margins.

9. Refurbish Tech Items

Thrifting isn’t limited to clothes or decor; there’s an entire market for tech aficionados. Whether it’s vintage gaming systems or outdated computers, refurbishing tech items can be incredibly profitable.

You don’t have to be a tech wizard, but a basic understanding of tech repair is essential. Once refurbished, list them on platforms like eBay to flip for profit.

For digital nomads, this might require a bit more space and tools, but the returns can be significant.

Just make sure to factor in listing fees and the cost of parts to your resale value.

Strategies for Refurbishing Tech Items:

  • Market Research: Know what tech items are in demand to save money and increase your ROI.
  • Quality Checks: Test all devices thoroughly before listing to ensure they work as promised.
  • Transparency: Be open about the refurbished condition to build trust and avoid a few sales being returned.

Product Examples:

  • Old iPhones: A classic item to refurbish and sell.
  • Vintage Video Game Systems: Think Nintendo 64 or Atari.
  • Laptops: Older MacBook Pros still have a market.
Screenshot of BackMarket Homepage

10. Resell Luxury Items

If you have an eye for high-end products, thrift stores can be treasure troves. Brands like Rolex and Gucci often land in thrift shops, and you can flip them for more profit.

Make sure to authenticate them either through a certified service or by doing thorough research. Listing them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace can attract a wider audience and a better selling price.

Strategies for Reselling Luxury Items:

  • Authentication: Always confirm the authenticity of luxury items before making a purchase.
  • Quality Photos: Take high-resolution photos to enhance the resale value.
  • Negotiating Skills: Be prepared to negotiate with buyers to ensure you make a tidy profit.

Product Examples:

  • Designer Watches: Rolex, Tag Heuer, and Omega watches.
  • Luxury Handbags: Brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
  • High-end Shoes: Think Christian Louboutin or Jimmy Choo.

11. Virtual Thrift Auction Hosting

Get in on the excitement of live auctions without needing a physical space. Source unique thrift finds and host virtual auctions via social media or dedicated platforms.

This enables you to interact in real-time with your audience, building excitement and potentially driving up the selling price.

Perfect for digital nomads because all you need is a stable internet connection to host the auction and a location to ship from.

Strategies for Hosting Virtual Thrift Auctions:

  • Promotion is Key: Use social media to hype up the auction a few days before.
  • Shipping Strategy: Include a clear outline of shipping costs so buyers are informed.
  • Time Zones: Consider the best time to host your auction so you can capture a global audience.

Product Examples:

  • Vintage Clothing: Items like designer jackets or vintage band tees.
  • Antique Furniture: Smaller items like stools or decorative tables that are easy to ship.
  • Rare Books: First editions or out-of-print titles.

12. Dropshipping

Thrifting can adapt to the digital age through dropshipping. You list thrift store finds online, and when someone buys it, you ship it directly to them.

This allows you to avoid holding inventory and focus on selling items. Sites like eBay offer a seamless dropshipping experience, although you’ll have to take into account shipping costs and eBay sellers’ fees.

Strategies for Dropshipping:

  • Inventory Management: Make sure items are readily available for quick shipping.
  • Price Optimization: Factor in all costs, including shipping and listing fees, to price competitively and make more profit.
  • Shipping Efficiency: To be competitive, provide free shipping when possible but build the cost into your selling price.

Product Examples:

  • Book Sets: Older or unique book sets can be sold at a premium.
  • Kitchen Appliances: Think vintage toasters or unique coffee makers.
  • Art Prints: Vintage art prints can be very profitable when sold to the right audience.

13. Offer Thrifting Courses

Are you a seasoned thrifter with a knack for finding gems? Teach others how to make money thrifting through online courses or workshops.

With so many folks interested in sustainability and making extra money, there’s a huge market waiting for your expertise. Create a curriculum that goes from the basics of thrift store flipping to advanced techniques.

This can be an excellent income stream and allows you to be a digital nomad, as everything can be managed online.

Strategies for Offering Online Thirting Courses:

  • Course Content: Break down the content into easy-to-digest modules, from selecting items to sell to using selling platforms effectively.
  • Target Audience: Focus on individuals who frequent yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores but are unsure how to resell for a profit.
  • Monetization: Offer a free beginner’s course with the option for advanced paid modules.

Product Examples:

  • Beginner’s Guide to Thrifting: A 101 course.
  • Thrifting Masterclass: Advanced strategies.
  • Thrift Like a Pro: An all-encompassing course that offers certificates.

14. Collector’s Items & Memorabilia

From vintage action figures to old concert tickets, collector’s items can fetch a pretty penny. Thrift shops are often treasure troves of these unique finds.

With dedicated online forums and marketplaces for collectors, digital nomads can effortlessly dive into this niche to make money thrifting.

Strategies for Collector’s Items and Memorabilia:

  • Niche Expertise: The more you know about what you’re selling, the better. Research extensively.
  • Auction Platforms: Sometimes auctioning an item can yield higher profits.
  • Condition and Authenticity: These are key for collectors, make sure to provide all the necessary details.

Product Examples:

  • Comic Books: First editions or significant issues can be very valuable.
  • Vintage Band Merchandise: Old concert tees, programs, and other memorabilia.
  • Antique Kitchenware: Think old Pyrex sets or vintage Le Creuset pots.
Screenshot of Collector's Items & Memorabilia for sale - how to make money thrifting

15. Vintage Toy Reselling

Vintage toys have a cult following, making them lucrative thrift store finds.

Whether it’s old action figures, board games, or dolls, if you find them in good condition, they can fetch a solid price.

There’s a vast resale market for vintage toys, so start hunting in local thrift stores and list your sold items on platforms like eBay.

Strategies for Vintage Toy Reselling:

  • Research: Make sure you’re updated on which items sell for high prices.
  • Quality: Items must be in good condition or be restorable.
  • Packaging: Factor in packaging costs, especially for fragile items.

Product Examples:

  • Star Wars Action Figures: A collector’s delight.
  • Vintage Board Games: Such as Monopoly or Scrabble.
  • Old Barbie Dolls: Especially ones from iconic eras.

16. Offer a Thrift Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are a craze, and a thrift version could attract a lot of interest. You can curate a monthly box of thrift store finds, from books to clothing to home decor.

To keep it more flexible and location-independent, partner with thrift stores for sourcing and logistics.

Strategies for Offering Thrift Subscription Boxes:

  • Quality Control: Ensure every item you select is of good quality and will appeal to your target audience.
  • Pricing: Keep the subscription cost reasonable but don’t compromise on quality.
  • Shipping: Optimize shipping and handling to offer low prices while maintaining your profit margin.

Product Examples:

  • Vintage Book Box: A selection of classic literature or college textbooks.
  • Fashionista Box: A curated collection of clothes and accessories.
  • Home Essentials Box: Useful items for the home, from kitchen tools to decor.

17. Source Craft Supplies

Crafting is an ever-growing hobby, and people are always in search of unique supplies. Thrifting can be a goldmine for such items.

Imagine finding vintage buttons, unique fabrics, or specialty papers at thrift shops and Goodwill outlets. Market research indicates that DIY enthusiasts are willing to pay higher prices for high-quality, unique supplies.

You can buy these items in bulk and resell them individually or in themed box sets for a good profit margin. The best part? You can manage all of this online, making it perfect for digital nomads.

Strategies for Sourcing Craft Supplies:

  • Quality Check: Examine each item carefully. Make sure it’s high quality and has no damage.
  • Niche Targeting: Conduct market research to find which craft supplies have the least competition and the most demand.
  • Pricing Strategy: Keep an eye on market prices to ensure you’re not overcharging or undercutting yourself.

Product Examples:

  • Vintage Button Sets: Assorted buttons for clothing or craft projects.
  • Unique Fabrics: Sourced from the fabric care tag, ensuring quality.
  • Specialty Paper Bundles: Used for scrapbooking or card-making.

18. Merchandise Your Own Brand

Ever considered branding? You can buy blank apparel at thrift stores, and then add your own designs to create brand-new items.

Think of it as a thrift store flipping with a personal twist. If you’re an artist or have a flair for design, this strategy lets you express your creativity while making money. Make sure to purchase high-quality items; look for fabric care tags to ensure you’re getting good material.

And because you’re adding your own designs, you can sell them at market prices that yield a good profit margin.

Strategies for Merchandising Your Brand:

  • Design Relevance: Choose designs that resonate with your target audience. This might require some market research.
  • Quality Check: Inspect each item’s fabric care tag to ensure you’re adding designs to high-quality items.
  • Inventory Management: Purchase items in a way that matches your sales speed. You don’t want to be stuck with too much stock.

Product Examples:

  • Customized T-shirts: Opt for ones made of cotton or a cotton blend for the best print quality.
  • Personalized Tote Bags: Useful and trendy, offering a larger canvas for your designs.
  • Branded Hoodies: Perfect for colder seasons and highly popular among all age groups.
Screenshot of flipping clothes before and after - how to make money thrifting

How To Make Money Thrifting: Summary

The art of thrifting isn’t just a pastime—it’s a potential goldmine. From eBay flips and Poshmark listings to virtual consultations and specialized courses, the opportunities are abundant.

The key takeaways? Start with a focus, whether it’s a product type like vintage clothing or a selling platform like Etsy. Do your market research to ensure you’re pricing items for profit, and don’t underestimate the power of a well-strategized niche.

If you found these tips on how to make money thrifting valuable, you won’t want to miss the rest of our entrepreneurial insights and money-making ideas, such as;

Thrifting offers a sustainable and creative way to make money, especially if you’re after a location-independent lifestyle.

Continue fueling your thrifting journey towards financial freedom and success.

How To Make Money Thrifting: FAQ

Can you actually make money thrifting?

Absolutely, you can make money by thrifting, provided you know what to look for and where to sell it. Many people engage in thrift store flipping, where they buy items at a low cost from thrift stores and then resell them for a profit on platforms like eBay, Poshmark, or Etsy.

How much do thrift flippers make a year?

The amount you can make from thrift flipping varies greatly depending on your expertise, the time you invest, and the types of items you focus on. Some people make a few hundred dollars a month as a side hustle, while others can pull in six figures a year when done professionally.

How do I become successful at thrifting?

Success in thrifting comes from knowledge and strategy. Knowing what items have a high resale value, keeping an eye out for those items in local thrift stores, and understanding the most profitable platforms to sell these items are key factors. Mastering the art of negotiation and building relationships with thrift shop owners can also give you an edge.

How can I make my thrift store more profitable?

  • Diversify Inventory: Make sure to offer a variety of items that cater to different tastes and needs.
  • Run Promotions: Limited-time sales and loyalty programs can attract more customers.
  • Optimize Pricing: Use dynamic pricing strategies that offer competitive rates but also guarantee a good profit margin.

What platforms are best for selling thrift items?

Platforms like eBay, Poshmark, and Etsy are commonly used for reselling thrift items. Each platform has its pros and cons, so choose based on what you’re selling. For vintage or unique items, Etsy might be best. For clothing, Poshmark often works well. eBay is a generalist and works for almost anything.

Is thrifting a sustainable business model?

Yes, thrifting is not only profitable but also a sustainable business model. It promotes recycling and reusing, making it an eco-friendly option. Plus, the thrifting market has shown consistent growth, indicating it’s not just a trend but a lasting business model.

Can you make a full-time income from thrifting?

Absolutely, some people have turned their thrifting side hustle into a full-time job. By scaling your operations, specializing in specific niches, and perhaps even hiring help, you can make thrifting your main source of income.

How do I price my thrift items?

Pricing depends on various factors including the condition of the item, its rarity, and current market demand. Do market research by checking what similar items are selling for on your chosen platform, and price competitively to attract buyers.

What are the challenges of thrift flipping?

Challenges include time consumption for sourcing and listing items, dealing with shipping costs, and managing customer service. There’s also the risk of investing in items that don’t sell or yield a low-profit margin.

How do I handle shipping and packaging for thrift items?

Effective shipping and packaging are crucial for a successful thrift-flipping business. Choose durable, yet cost-effective packaging materials. Some sellers offer free shipping and incorporate the cost into the item’s price to attract more buyers.

What types of items are most profitable for thrift flipping?

Highly profitable items often include designer clothing, vintage collectibles, branded electronics, and rare books. However, market trends can shift, so it’s vital to stay updated on what’s in demand.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊

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