If you’re longing to find the right hobby that will make you some extra money on the side, and have a thrifting obsession that takes the entirety of your monthly wage. Then I for one, believe you have come to the right place.
You’re probably wondering, surely I can’t sell these thrifted clothes myself? Where would I even start? Well, that’s where I can help!
It is time to take the love of thrifting to the next level. Create some profit from those weekly trips to the favourite selection of stores. Are you ready to find out how?
What does it mean to go thrifting?
For those new to the term thrifting, thrifting is the art of purchasing items at discounted prices. When thrifting, thrifters start visiting their local thrift store, flea marketing, garage sale or charity shop with the intention of selling the items on, or for keeping for themselves.
When starting thrifting for the first time, looking for items that are still in good condition with plenty of life left in them can help to sell them on in the future. Along with the obvious purchasing of clothes, look for appliances, homeware and accessories, unique items that there is an audience for.
Some items that are found through thrifting are chosen with the intention of upcycling and repurposing, giving pre-loved items a new lease of life. A fun activity, thrifting has become so popular that it has become a hobby and in some cases a profession for thrifters worldwide.
Why is thrifting so popular?
Not a new activity, thrifting is becoming more popular particularly with younger generations. But why this new rise in popularity? This growth of shoppers visiting thrift shops and markets to look for clothing and homeware has developed through a growing desire for shopping to create and develop their own unique style. A style that they can achieve through the visiting of shops for second hand, pre-loved goods.
With thrifting a superb way for shoppers to get creative and develop their own unique style, this buying and selling of worn items has led to the rise of second-hand sites that specialise in the selling of used items. This rise has seen sites such as Depop, Vinted being used as a platform for purchased pre-loved items and items upcycled into new and exciting items.
Along with being a location to purchase unique and one of a kind items, thrift shopping is also popular due to its affordability. Thanks to the lower prices, shoppers who want to look great but at a lower price are able to afford and sell on for a nice little profit, what is not to like.
How to thrift and make money from thrifting?
Keep Close With Those Favourite Stores
Thrifting is a competitive game, and making money thrifting is even harder. Getting the best one-of-a-kind piece is difficult when shopping just for yourself. Not to mention finding the show-stopper that is good enough to sell.
So, it would be recommended to somewhat ‘beat the system’. The best way to do this is to build a real relationship with the workers or even owners of the selected thrift shops. This way, you can hopefully win the race to purchasing. By getting a quick glimpse on new stock before it is put onto the rails; and negotiate profitable prices with your trusted seller.
This task is foolproof but may take some time. It is important not to force your friendship onto someone. But, your consistent return and purchases from the store will be sure to get the owners building a liking towards you. Then, the rest will be history and you will be finding the best, one of a kind pieces there is.
Check For Damages
Damages in items can really be a deal-breaker for the business if they go unnoticed. Annoyingly, this is something that is extremely easy to do, especially in the overwhelming environment of a thrift or charity store.
Therefore, before purchasing an item, don’t feel embarrassed to go over it with a fine-tooth comb. After all, you’re not buying for yourself. Therefore, the standard needs to be of high quality. You don’t know what a client might expect from the clothes, so focus on only getting the best.
Ripped seams and uneven pant legs are what give the business its bad reviews. This will ultimately dissolve the possible clientele that could be built up.
Clean Up Your Findings
Unless the item has been purchased brand new, with the tags still on it, then it has most definitely been worn previously. This sometimes turns people away from purchasing an item. But not us thrifting lovers!
So, in order to get the most of your items and selling, it would be beneficial to clean up the items once they’ve been brought to ensure they are looking their absolute best for the clients. This goes to anything that is found during the treasure hunt of thrifting- shoes, clothes, pillows, even jewellery.
Think of the item as something on a shopping centre shelf. If the packaging is damaged or dirty, it is likely nobody will buy it. Your clothes have the exact same effect. So, take into account what your clients will see, and create ‘packaging’ that will stand out and look brand new.
Purchase a natural soap and gorgeous smelling detergent, to ensure the items are as clean as possible. Ensuring never to irritate a client’s skin. Natural is best! This will also avoid stripping any colours, patterns or possible images on the items too; while returning them to their youthful state.
Know Where To Sell Your Findings
In this day and age, online is the best place to be. And, for a seller to reach a high amount of clientele, posting on social media is one of the most successful ideas.
There are a huge amount of online platforms that items can be advertised onto, in order to sell them. For example, there is the infamous app ‘Depop’, ‘Shpock’ and even ‘Facebook’ or ‘Instagram’.
The item that you are selling would normally dictate what platform it should be placed onto. For example, clothing would normally go onto Depop, and household items onto a reputable Facebook group. But, for someone just starting out like yourself, posting all of your purchased goods on each app will not be an issue. It gets the advertisements out there!
Upload High-Quality Photos
Realistically, when selling online, the photo is going to be the dealbreaker. The small selection of images will truly determine whether or not the audience takes notice of the items.
Therefore, it would be critical to either invest in or get good at taking photos of your items. Think of it as an advert you see on the television. The lighting is right, the objects look great, and you can truly see what it looks like from every angle. Try and mimic this. Of course, you won’t have a whole studio helping you, but it is still worth the effort!
Most newer smartphones have an exceptional camera, and being the most popular device, chances are you have one.
So, focus on getting your items (whether its clothing or household) into a good light, with a plain background setting. This way, there will be no colour clashes or attention taken away from the product. Then, photograph every angle of the image- the back, front, and sides. This way, the audience will be able to see exactly what they’re purchasing.
It is important to remember how you physically shop. An item is picked up, touched, turned over- all aspects are assessed. This privilege is taken away on the phone, so do the items justice and make them shine!
Make The Description Worthy
Likewise, with the images, the product description will also be a point of interest to the audience. Here you should fully describe the item. From what it is made with, the colour, and even the ways in which it can be worn or styled (depending on what is being sold).
It is important to make the product sound like something the shopper needs in their life-they can’t live without it. So the description is where this, magic needs to happen. Whip out your best writing skills and get going.
It only has to be a few words outlining everything important about the product, but show your passion. This will be very helpful when closing those deals!
How to write a good product description?
When creating your product copy, there are a few guidelines to follow to help sell your product and increase its visibility to potentially interested buyers. A vital area, your product description is your opportunity to fully describe your product, its features and why that it should be brought. Compelling copy is essential, while making sure that all areas are covered are key, think of it as your opportunity to cover all corners so that the buyer has no questions at the end.
Shopify has put together a great guide on how to write product descriptions that sell. Here are their 5 top tips to selling your thrift found items online:
1 – Focus on your buyer. Write your description with them in mind, ask and answer questions that they may have. By writing with the audience in mind, you can create relatable content.
2 – What are the benefits? What are the benefits of your item and the pain points that your product can address? By featuring the benefits, you could potentially sway unsure buyers into making a purchase.
3 – Avoid bland phrases. Instead of describing an item as in a great condition, try to go into more detail. Why is the condition great? By avoiding bland and quite basic phrases you can inspire and give a clearer image of the quality of the product.
4 – Spark the readers imagination. One of the hardest things with selling online is the inability for buyers to see the product in person, a great way to counteract this challenge and that is to describe and write to spark the reader’s imagination. By grasping and appealing to their imagination, they can visual the product as if it’s in front of them.
5 – Focus on the sensory words. Entice, tickle and seduce with the use of sensory words within the content. This inclusion of sensory words has been found to increase sales, an important addition when buyers cannot see or touch the product in person.
Set With A Respectable Price Tag
It might seem worthy, posting your first purchased items with a higher price tag in order to make some good money, fast! But, you will soon find that this will not sell, probably ever in fact.
The thing that needs to be remembered, is that people will be purchasing pre-used items. Unless they are dying for the Aztec design on the woollen jumper you just posted, then they will likely find their own version, if you have given it too high a price tag.
So, be realistic. These are one of a kind pieces, but they are old. Set the price boundaries in places that can be negotiated or changed, making both parties win. This way, you will see far greater money build-up, as people love a bargain. Selling a handful of highly-priced items every month will not stack up the cash- cheaper items will!
Do you still believe that you cannot make money thrifting! Well, think again.
With time and effort, thrifting and flipping clothing can quickly become a reputable source of income; for those rainy day purchases. Just ensure to follow the tips above. It is important to understand all aspects of selling your own items to the world. So, take into account relationships, prices, quality and the way in which you present your mini- business. All of these features will determine the success that you will receive.
Selling clothes and other items is not a career that will blow up overnight. But, by putting time and effort into what you love, there will be growth and it will become clear to the audience that this is something you are wildly passionate about, so you become a trusted seller.
Thinking about it, it is essentially growing your own mini clothing line. So, if you are an avid fashionista or a lover of thrifting, then this is perfect for you. Don’t be afraid to make yourself seen online, think out of the box even, and make that cash!
Charlotte Johnson is from the sunny South of England and an experienced lifestyle and fashion blogger at Sumrepute who specialises in helping readers to make exciting lifestyle changes. Along with a passion about finding and trying new hobbies, Charlotte is a keen thrifter who enjoys selling second hand items for a small profit.