10 Things to Look for at Thrift Stores to Resell

Thrift Store

There are ton of great side hustles available these days. If you’re not into the idea of getting a second job, using your personal vehicle as a taxi or buying other people’s groceries, then you might consider reselling. Reselling is simply flipping things for profit. The old saying “buy low, sell high” is the name of the game. One place you can find things to flip for profit on a regular basis are thrift stores. When you first walk in a thrift store you might not see much that looks valuable. But there are lots of things to look for at thrift stores to resell. Here’s a list of ten profitable items to get you started.

Small Kitchen Appliances

Vintage electric skillets, Keurig coffee machines, espresso machines, vintage toasters, Ninja and Vitamix blenders, Kitchenaid, vintage Saladmaster are just a few examples of brands and items that can bring a great profit on the second hand market. While some of the vintage stuff will have enough value to be sold online and shipped, plan to flip a lot of this locally so shipping doesn’t eat up your profits. Expect to put in a little elbow grease on clean up and polishing for top dollar.

Sporting Goods

There is a big second hand market for sporting goods and equipment. Ever hear of Play it Again Sports? Exactly. I’ve known people to scoop up a good set of golf clubs at a thrift store, drive it directly to Play it Again Sports and make a profit. Individual woods, drivers, wedges and putters are a big market on Ebay. Baseball gloves, baseball bats, tennis racquets, and fitness equipment can all be worth your time to research, pick and sell.


Vintage toys can bring in big bucks. Collectors and vintage toy shops scour online marketplaces for specific pieces. There’s also a whole subset of people that grow up, start making good money, and then reminisce for their old toys or the toys they couldn’t afford when they were a kid. Just take a look at the prices some of these wrestling figures are bringing in.

Definitely take notice of old action figures like Star Wars and GI Joe. More modern toys can be worth good money too like Jurassic Park dinosaur toys and Monster High Dolls. And don’t ignore the rest of the toys either. There are also collector markets for plush (stuffed animals) and board games.


At most thrift stores clothing makes up the majority of the inventory. Opportunity is abundant with the second hand clothing market expected to double by 2023 to 51 Billion dollars.

So if you’re going to be thrifting, why not take advantage of this ample potential for profit? There’s a ton of different niches that can be profitable: Vintage, Hawaiian Shirts, Pearl Snap Shirts, Polos, Dress Shirts, Suits, Ties, Jeans, Dresses, Active Wear. And with a variety of markets to sell on like Ebay, Poshmark, Depop, Grailed, The Real Real and Mercari it’s not hard to find buyers.

Most people want to know what clothing brands to look for at thrift stores to resell. In my experience brand is only part of the equation. Style, size and material and all factor into resell value for used clothing. Pick one category to research and learn, then expand to others.


Believe it or not, people still buy a ton of books in the digital age. Flipping apps are available to scan the barcodes on books to determine if there is resell profit or not. Used books can be sold on Amazon, Ebay and a number of other platforms. Cooks books, self help books and business books can all have second hand value. If scanning 500 books in a thrift store isn’t your thing, you can still cherry pick. Just a few to keep an eye out for are old role playing books like Dungeons & Dragons, text books, books that are still sealed in shrink wrap, Goosebumps series, first edition Harry Potter or Stephen King, and generally anything that looks weird and interesting.


You may be surprised to learn pre-owned shoes are a huge market. It’s not all sneaker heads and collectors either. A wide range of footwear can find new life with a second owner and provide profit for a reseller. Designer shoes, dress shoes and cowboy boots can all have a big retail price tag. Buyers who want the label, the comfort, or the quality without the big price tag are happy to pick up gently used pairs.

There are many shoe brands to look for at thrift stores to resell. Hiking boots may be rarely worn and then donated. People buy running shoes with the best of intentions but don’t follow through. Specialized footwear for cycling, weightlifting or working in dangerous environments can be hard to find and expensive.


Did you know people still buy VHS tapes? I’m not talking about black diamond Disney tapes mind you. Old wrestling tapes, offbeat horror movies that never made it to DVD and especially blank VHS tapes that are still factory sealed. There are resellers who specialize exclusively in media. The shipping and the buy costs are very cheap and you can store a ton in a small space. Look for sealed Blu Rays, DVD season and box sets and non-sports video games. Music can bring in profit too. Classic rock cassette tapes have had a recent renaissance. CDs can still bring a profit individually for something unusual/rare or in lots of the same artist or same type of music.


Although shipping it is not for the faint of heart, the world of glassware collecting, buying and selling is quite large. Vintage pyrex is collectible, pieces by Fire King, even Starbucks city coffee cups have collectors. Just a spoon rest or salt and pepper shaker from the right China pattern can bring big bucks. It will take research and experience to know what glassware to look for at thrift stores.

But knowing how to spot real crystal or an antique Mason Jar or identify depression glass can really pay off. Even contemporary pieces like Rae Dunn’s line can blow up and suddenly become profitable (although that fad has largely passed now).


This is a huge, high dollar category for reselling. Receivers, Cassette Decks, 100 disc changers, DVD/VCR Combo players, VCRs, camcorders, micro cassette recorders, walkman, discman, GPS’s, old Go Pros, Cameras, even those little hand held games that only play solitaire can turn a profit. But beware, these types of items can get donated to a thrift store because they simply aren’t working any more. So test as much as you can in store, especially if there is no return policy.

Brand New Merchandise

Thrift stores are known for selling donated pre-owned goods, but new merchandise shows up too. The Goodwills in my area get Target clearance items that never sold for example. Anything that’s still new in the package or new with tags could definitely be worth your time to flip. Fortunately, these items are usually very easy to look up via a barcode search.

%d bloggers like this: