Thrill of the Thrift… by JoAnn

A newspaper with the word goodwill on it.

I recently decided that I would take one of my favorite hobbies to a new level.  That hobby is thrifting.  That is the art of shopping at any thrift store, yard or garage sale, flea market, or charitable organization.  All in hopes of finding items at exceptionally low prices.  There is always a thrill in finding a huge bargain!  At least for me anyway.

What makes my recent thrift shopping adventures different from my past, is the fact that I have decided to venture into the world of “Reselling”.  

The profession of reselling for profit is nothing new.  It’s been around almost as long as thrift stores themselves, which were first called junk shops back in the 1800s.  

Fast forward to 2019 and you will find that thrift stores are nothing like their humble beginnings.  Most started out as only containing used clothing.  Donated of course and meant to help the poor.  Now, thrift stores like Goodwill are a booming business.  Goodwill is so successful, they no long move into empty, older buildings like closed grocery stores.  But they are building brand new modern stores near affluent shopping centers.  

Why are thrift stores so popular?  There are several reasons.  The most obvious being that they offer huge bargains.  The fact that Americans have become a “disposable” people.  No longer wearing clothes, or using household items until they wear out.  We can change our home’s decor as easily as we can change our shirt.  So, there is an abundance of donations.  But also, with Americans becoming fans of recycling and upcycling, the thrift stores are no longer just popular with the poor.  Everyone enjoys shopping there.  The stores now have everything you could ever want or need for your own person, or your household.  

All of this adds up to a reseller’s dream.  It’s so easy to walk into a Goodwill for example, spend a couple dollars for a vintage collectible, then turn around and resell it for a profit!  And it’s FUN.  It must be or so many people wouldn’t be jumping on the reseller bandwagon.  I have to say I have been shocked at the number of people posting videos on YouTube of their own journeys with reselling.  I have been watching at least a couple videos every day for the past couple months, to educate myself in my new adventure.  

I used to sell my own used items on eBay about 10 years ago when I found myself downsizing.  It was much easier, and much more profitable than having a yard sale.  Unfortunately, a lot seems to have changed in 10 years.  The selling game is a lot more competitive, mainly because SO many people are into it.  And eBay is no longer the Lone Ranger of resell.  There are more online resell sites than I can count on both hands.  Although I must say, eBay is still the most preferred by sellers, and by yours truly. 

The past few weeks I have been building my inventory.  Visiting my local Goodwill several times a week and catching any yard sales along the way.  I have gotten dirty, sweaty, and exhausted from digging and sorting through other people’s hand-me-downs.  And I have purchased many hopeful treasures.  No matter how tired the end of my day is, the thrill of the thrift was there!  

Bringing my latest find home and researching it online is always exciting.  But the best thing of all is finding out that treasure may bring me a profit!  For example, today I purchased a large Panda teddy bear.  Plush, soft, and in excellent condition.  I came home, researched it on eBay, and found my new friend was selling between $25 and $45.  I paid a whopping 49 cents for him.  Now that was a thrill!    

One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.  Don’t knock it till you try it!