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Thrift Store Flipping (Tips & Tricks for 2024)

Don't Work Another Day is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own.
  By Forrest McCall | Last Updated:  September 4, 2021

Thrift store flipping is a term that is not familiar to everybody. This unique process involves investing in items at a local thrift store and turning them for a profit, a great way for many kinds of people to bring in a substantial income. For those that want a way to make a nice profit each month, thrift store flipping is a great way to do it.

Read to learn more about thrift flipping and everything involved with the one-of-a-kind process. If you have the time to search through thrift stores and find valuable items, you can turn a decent profit right from your own home.

It doesn't matter whether you are a stay-at-home dad or have work as a full time nurse, there's money to be made flipping! Let's get started!

What is Thrift Store Flipping?

As mentioned above, flipping is the process of fixing items found in a local thrift store. All you need to do is find vintage items or pieces that could be of value and fix them up, making them appealing to the average audience. Anyone can make a major profit selling these items online if they put enough time into it.

In short, flipping means buying pieces that seem like they are done with and giving them new life. It is a great way to make money on the side. You can even make it a full-time job if you put enough of your time and energy into the process. It does require a bit more effort than other side hustles, so only a few types of people can flip successfully.

You don't always have to restore or refurbish your items to flip them. There are many household items you can find at thrift stores and sell them for a quick profit. It's all about finding a good deal when you flip items.

Check out this list of the best items to flip to make money and boost profits!
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Who Can Thrift Store Flip?

It is critical to note that thrift store flipping takes up a lot of time. Searching through thrift stores is certainly not for those who have a job that takes up all of their day, every single day. You might wonder who the best people are for this unique hobby. Who can take on thrift store flipping? Who is the ideal audience?

Though there is no specific type for flipping, some people might be better at it than others. Some examples of people who will excel at thrift store flipping include:

  • Parents who work from home or take care of children as their career
  • Those who have free time on the weekends
  • Those who work part-time
  • Those who work for themselves

These people generally have the time and freedom to turn thrift store flipping into a job that will sustain them for a long time.

Of course, anyone can flip thrifted items if they put their heart and mind into it. It is not restricted to one type of person. However, the best flippers put a lot of time into what they are going to resell. Keep this in mind when considering if it is something that you want to try.

Thrift stores aren't the only way to make money flipping. You might also try flea market flipping or flipping on eBay.

How Much Money Can You Make at Thrift Stores?

Now that you know what thrift store flipping is and who can take it on, you might be curious how much money you can bring in finding and flipping items. You might be surprised to learn that you can make quite a profit if you are smart with what you purchase and fix up. The resale value is critical to keep in mind whether you sell locally or sell on Facebook Marketplace.

Some items that can significantly affect the amount of money that you make include:

  • The price that you choose to sell it for
  • The location that you sell at
  • The items that you decide to sell

All of these can raise or lower the income that you bring in by flipping items.

It is vital to keep these things in mind when selling. We will go over the best places to sell and factors that can help you determine the selling price you will put your pieces at for others to see. These will ensure that you make the most money that you possibly can for all of your hard work.

Related: Best Things to Sell to Make Money

Where to Sell Flipped Items

Where you choose to sell your flipped items can make all the difference in how much profit you bring in. Some places online have listing fees, and some in-person locations do not allow for great financial relationships. You need to pick a selling location that will permit you to reach as many people as possible at one time so that you are not wasting your precious time and money.

Some of the best places that you can sell flipped items include:

  • Online marketplaces, such as eBay and Facebook
  • In-person locations, such as flea markets and farmer's markets
  • Your Website

All of these are great places to sell your flipped items.

Of course, it is vital to remember that many online locations will charge you a fee to post on their site. You will also need to invest in shipping costs. If you have a personal website, you will need to pay for a website. In-person markets cost gas and require more of your time. Consider what is best so you can bring in the most income possible.

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How to Price Flipped Items

Pricing thrifted items is another critical thing to understand. If they cost too much, you are going to drive away potential consumers. If you price them too low, you will lose money or push down the value of your time. It is vital to know the range that will simultaneously bring in customers and make you a profit for the time you have spent looking.

A few things that can help you know how much to price your piece for include:

  • Knowing the original price and going lower from there
  • Knowing the thrifted price and going higher from there
  • Considering how much it cost you to fix it up
  • Thinking about the people you are selling to

All of these can impact the price that you put on your thrifted piece.

It will take a little bit of practice to nail pricing. Once you have it down, you should be able to appeal to consumers in no time at all. Knowing the correct prices is a great way to make sure you get as much money as possible.

Related: How to Make Money Without a Job

Thrift Store Items You Can Flip

Now that you understand a little bit more about thrift store flipping, you should know about a few of the typical items a thrift store flipper searches for on their fun to a local store. By knowing what to search for in a store, you can ensure that you can turn a maximum profit on what you have spent your time searching for.

It is critical to have a list in mind whenever you go inside a thrift store. This will help you to stay on track and avoid wasting money on items that people will not buy. Flipping items can be hard, so you should ensure that you set yourself up for success right from the start. Read on to learn about a few of the items that you can profit from inside thrift stores.


Collectibles can be hard to find, but if you stumble on one you will be able to turn a maximum profit in an online store. Certain qualities will make a collectible more valuable than others. It can be good to keep these in mind as you search the store for items that you can sell.

Some genres of collectibles that you should keep your eyes peeled for include:

  • Sports memorabilia, such as baseball cards or signed bats
  • Record players that are specifically themed
  • Pop culture statues or comic books
  • Signed pieces, such as pictures or movie posters

All of these items can be used by collectors.

You should take care when fixing these pieces up. Sometimes, it is best to leave them as is. On the occasion, fixing up collectibles can decrease their value overall. Do your research to ensure that you are flipping correctly.

Furniture Flipping


Furniture can be found at many thrift stores. From couches to tables, you can purchase items in this category and fix it up until it is appealing enough to even the fanciest of tastes. Furniture is great because you can sell online for a fee much higher than the listing price at the thrift store you found it at.

Some examples of furniture that you can keep an eye out for includes:

  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Desks

All of these are pieces that consumers will constantly seek out.

It is vital to remember that anything with a cushion will be harder to fix up. Shipping costs are also significantly higher if you are selling to someone across the country. Aim for lightweight wood pieces, and try to find consumers that can come and pick up the piece from your home or place of work. Be careful when doing this, so you do not get scammed or hurt.

Related: Make Money Flipping Furniture

Video Game Consoles

Video game consoles are rare finds at thrifts stores. If you do find them, they are often broken down or way too damaged to use. However, there are rare occasions where you might find a console that is good enough to fix up and sell. These can turn quite the profit. Many people will seek out affordable video game consoles online since they are incredibly expensive brand new.

Some examples of consoles that you can look for include:

  • Nintendo products, such as Wiis and Switches
  • Xbox
  • PlayStation

All of these are products that people want to buy.

If you find something in a store that is in decent condition, you should buy it. There is a high chance that you will be able to fix it up and sell it. Even if you cannot fix it, you can sell it to someone who knows that they will be able to. There are many options with this piece, so ensure that you take advantage of them.

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Designer Bags

Designer bags are rare finds in these stores. If you do find one, you should jump on the opportunity and invest in the bag. Fixing one of these up can bring you in a ton of money. Any designer labels that you find are sure to attract customers that will pay quite a large sum for the piece that you have obtained.

Some brands that you should keep an eye out for include:

  • Gucci
  • Coach
  • Kate Spade

All of these are sure to turn a profit if you fix them up.

Because thrift store prices are so low, you can flip these and make more than double what you purchased them for. All you need to do is ensure that it is in good enough condition to be used for many years to come. Handbags are highly desired pieces, so if you can get your hands on one you should treat it like it is a bar of gold.

Unique Clothes

You will need to be careful with clothes, as some can be stained or destroyed past use. However, clothing is great because most thrift stores carry them. Often, you can obtain them for less than a few bucks meaning that the profit margin will be quite a bit. Those shopping online can see your deals and invest in them rather than the full-priced versions.

Some types of clothes that can be found and sold from resale shops include:

  • Jeans
  • Linen shirts
  • Tuxedos
  • Jackets

Clothes are excellent items to flip, especially if they are also designer goods.

One of the best thrift store flipping tips you can remember is to always check the brand before buying the clothes. Sometimes, you will get lucky and find a Gucci or a Prada piece. The companies mentioned are sure to draw the eye of any clothes lover. If you provide free shipping, they are sure to buy your fixed-up and affordable option.

Vintage Toys

Vintage Toys

Toys have been around for a long time. When flipping thrift store finds, you should keep an eye out for playthings that look as if they are more than thirty years old. Vintage toys are adored by collectors everywhere. Thrift store flippers treat these items like a gold mine. If you are just starting, you should too.

Some of the most valuable vintage toys that can be found at other thrift stores include:

  • Beanie babies, specifically certain types
  • American girl dolls, especially Molly and Samantha
  • Furbys, particularly the vintage ones
  • Trains, metal rather than plastic

All of these are antique pieces that can put a good amount of money in your pocket.

If you stumble across any of these toys while you are thrift store flipping, it would serve you well to buy them right away. Many people will part with a pretty penny to get their hands on one of these for their collection. Vintage toys are normally hidden in a store, so you might need to search a little harder to find these buried underneath other stuff.

Sports Equipment

Everybody needs sports equipment, especially parents of young children. These pieces can be very expensive. Many adults will turn to online stores and yard sales to get affordable equipment. If you find sports items at a store, you can fix them up and capitalize on this unique market for a great profit margin. These are some of the best items to flip and should sell like hotcakes.

Some examples of sports equipment that you might be able to fix up and sell on the market include:

  • Nets, such as water polo nets and soccer nets
  • Various kinds of balls, including soccer balls, and volleyballs
  • Helmets for sports such as football or baseball
  • Jerseys, including shoes and shorts

All of these can be found and sold for profit, so long as they are in decent condition.

Equipment pieces are some of the best items to flip. You might even be able to make a full-time income if you keep at it for long enough. The more items that you can sell, the more profit you can bring in to use for your purposes. Sports equipment is simple to fix up since it will quickly become damaged when put into use.

Board Games

Board games are a simple and easy item to buy that you can easily sell on most selling platforms. Not only can you find board games at thrift stores, but you can also find them at a garage sale or even estates sales. Big stores almost always have board games that you can fix up and revise to attract a bigger audience.

Some examples of popular games that can lead you to financial freedom include:

  • Monopoly
  • Sorry
  • Yahtzee
  • Life

All of these items, whether found at flea markets or estate sales, can be invested in and sold for low prices.

If you want to add even more appeal to your games, you can customize them and make them unique. Then you can ship items to customers who desire them. With a shipping label and a few shipping costs, you can make your thrift store flipping an international endeavor. Games are a market that not many consider, but they can be of the utmost value to your bank account.

College Textbooks

Although college textbooks can be hard to find in a thrift store, they are one of the best items that you can use to bring in an income. At thrift shops, you can pick up these pieces for a few bucks at the most. Online, college students will pay you nearly one hundred dollars for a textbook in decent working condition.

Some of the most popular types of college textbooks that you can find and fix up include:

  • English textbooks, including compilations of books and mythology
  • History textbooks, such as US History textbooks or European textbooks
  • Math textbooks, such as Calculus or a Math 100 book

General education textbooks are the best types of books to sell to consumers for a decent profit margin.

Of course, some books are in terrible condition at thrift stores. You should make sure it has resale value before you clean it up. Textbooks will find someone who will invest in them, as most college students are broke and would prefer to invest in a used piece than invest in a full-priced document.

Picking Out Useful Thrift Store Finds

When thrift store flipping, it is vital to note a few things that you should keep your eye out for when purchasing items. To sell items, they will need to be in decent enough condition to bring in extra cash. Checking for these things before you put down an investment will keep you from losing money on the same item.

Some items that you might consider when looking for the best store finds include:

  • Scuffs and stains that might be on the piece
  • Wear and tear that could harm the item
  • Any damage that might render it useless

These items can affect the value of the thrifted item, so ensure that you check for these before spending money and taking the time to fix it up.

To become a successful thrift store flipper, you need to make sure that everything you buy is of value. It should have potential that others will be able to see. If it is completely worthless, it will not be of value to you or the customer. Make sure that you check for all of these items before going all-in on anything that you find. These statements apply to all pieces, from stuffed animals to record players.

Final Thoughts on Flipping at Thrift Stores

Now that you understand how to sell items and turn a profit by finding pieces in thrift shops, you can start making money by using your local thrift stores as a place to find bonus money. These shops can be a gold mine if you know what to do with your finds. Thrift store flipping can be a valuable endeavor with enough time.

No matter where you are in life, thrift store flipping can happen successfully. It can permit you to save money for an emergency fund or even become debt-free. If you have a passion and the will to make money, there is little doubt that you will become financially stable in no time at all.

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing expert dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He has a Bachelor's degree in business and has been featured in many popular publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Bankrate, CNET Money, and many others. To learn more about Forrest, visit the About Us Page for more info.
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