Many people have found extreme success working from home using online platforms to resell items. I resell part-time and cross-list between Ebay, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace and find it a great way to bring in some extra money every month, but there are others that have made it a full-time job.
I have been a clothing reseller for about four years and the sourcing is becoming more difficult by the year. This is not only because there are so many other sellers now, but also the common locations are getting in on the game as well.
Many people are opting to source in locations other than thrift stores because the prices have increased tremendously over the years and many times there just isn’t anything left worth buying. This leaves people searching for other options and here are eight places I still find great deals for my online shops.
PRO: YOU CAN FIND BRAND NEW ITEMS
CON: THE ITEMS YOU SOURCE MAY BE SLIGHTLY MORE EXPENSIVE THAN IN OTHER PLACES LIKE THE THRIFT STORE
When shopping online, many people only want to purchase new items and as a reseller that can be pretty difficult to track down unless you dabble in retail arbitrage. Retail arbitrage is basically shopping larger mainstream stores for new items to stock your resell shop. When places like Target want to get rid of stock and have major sales I recommend scooping up as many of one or two like items that you can find for your resale shop. Not only does it make your shop look professional because you have multiple items in various sizes it’s great for your bottom line as well. If you want to learn about my favorite stores to find great deals, you can read here. (LINK TO ARTICLE ABOUT WHERE TO FIND CLOTHES)
2. FAMILY AND FRIENDS CLOSETS
PRO: THE ITEMS ARE USUALLY FREE
CON: IF THE ITEMS WERE GOING TO THE THRIFT STORE, THEY MAY HAVE GONE TO SOMEONE LESS FORTUNATE
Most people will start with their own closets and totally neglect their friends and family. Most people simply toss or donate clothing items themselves that are still in good to great shape. If you have friends or families that are willing to help in your latest endeavor I recommend asking them to let you look through the pile they are getting rid of before they toss or donate it.
3. GARAGE SALES
PRO: YOU CAN USUALLY FIND OR HAGGLE FOR GREAT PRICES
CON: THE ITEMS ARE USUALLY NOT HIGH END
Garage sales are great places to source clothing that is considered fast fashion which is awesome so that it doesn’t just end up in a landfill. Since no two garage sales are the same, there is a chance you can find some high-end items. One tip is to make sure you get to the garage sale early to get the best items that you just can’t pass up but also go back towards the end to get the best deals. Many times people will work with you and while haggling is usually expected, although I definitely wouldn’t take advantage of anyone in the process.
4. ESTATE SALES
PRO: YOU CAN FIND GREAT HIGH-END ITEMS FOR RESALE
CON: SOMETIMES YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY HIGHER-END PRICES
I absolutely love estate sales, think of them as higher-end garage sales. I know, I know, the items you source are usually from someone that recently passed on and many people shy away from them for this reason. But I usually find some great deals on jewelry and artwork at these locations. Unfortunately, not many pieces make it to my resale shop, but the ones that do have gone quickly.
You can also find great deals on more expensive clothing items, especially vintage ones if that’s your zhuzh. One big tip is to wait until the last day of the sale when things are usually 50-75% off. Many of the good items might be gone, but unless you’re shopping for yourself probably would not have been a great deal anyway. If you want to learn more about what items I find to resale the most and where you can read here. (LINK TO WHAT I FIND THE MOST AND WHERE)
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5. THE BINS
PRO: YOU CAN GET A TON OF CLOTHING CHEAP
CON: THEY AREN’T THE CLEANEST AND IF YOU’RE SOURCING FOR HEAVIER ITEMS, THEY WILL USUALLY WIND UP COSTING MORE THAN THE REGULAR THRIFT STORES
While The Bins as we call them are Goodwill Outlet Stores. The bins aren’t for everyone but I would advise that every serious thrifter visit at least once because it truly is an experience unlike any other! When I went there were tons of people and if you’re a more timid shopper will have to bring out your aggressive side as people make a mad dash for that one Gucci belt or Prada purse that may or may not prove to be a knock off. Think thrift store ‘pickers’ only ten times worse.
They are good for sourcing clothing, but heavier items I would just go to a regular thrift store as the pricing is usually by the pound. However, most locations also offer some items at highly reduced prices. Here is the location map of the stores.
One tip is to make sure you bring and wear gloves, trust me, you’ll need them.
PRO: YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO COME BACK WEEKLY AND FIND THE SAME OR SIMILAR HAND MADE OR ONE OF A KIND ITEMS AND PRODUCTS AS PEOPLE USUALLY RENT BOOTHS
CON: THE BOOTH ATTENDANTS MAY NOT BE WILLING TO GIVE THE GREATEST DEALS
While I don’t source at flea markets often, they are great places to find generic household items or clothing that may not be well known but stylish. Be ready to bargain with the booth attendants and know the worth of various products before you go can help a great deal.My Amazon Picks
7. ONLINE COMMUNITIES
PRO: EASILY ACCESSIBLE
CON: LARGER ITEMS MAY BE DIFFICULT TO GET AS SOME SELLERS WON’T SHIP
Online sellers communities like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great ways to find just about anything. While I’m not a fan of Craigslist I do currently sell on Facebook Marketplace and have sold quite a few items. The Facebook Marketplace interface is much easier to use in my opinion and connects you to more sellers as you get to post your items in groups in addition to your main listing.
8. ONLINE RESALE SITES
PRO: DEPENDING ON THE SITE, THE PRICES ARE GREAT DURING SELLS
CON: YOU’RE PURCHASING FROM YOUR COMPETITION, SO YOU HAVE TO DECIDE IF IT’S WORTH IT WHEN IT COMES TO PRICING
Online resale sites are becoming increasingly popular and while I don’t like to resell (I haven’t had the best experiences) on the sites you can get some great deals to stock your own site. Sites like ThredUp and The Real Real can stock your store with great and fashionable items. One tip is to wait for a really good sale and stock up. While the prices are usually pretty good on these sites when there’s a sale they are even better. Also, keep an eye on a listing that may have been on the site for quite a while, it will usually be reduced in a month or two.
The outlets are a great place to find a deal especially if you catch a sale! However, you have to be cautious because sometimes prices can be fairly similar to retail prices.
PRO: YOU CAN GET GREAT DEALS!
CON: IF YOU DON’T CATCH A SALE, THE PRICES CAN STILL BE HIGH AND CUT INTO YOUR PROFIT MARGIN
10. CONSIGNMENT SHOPS
Consignment shops are great places to find designer items at a great price. Unfortunately, most shops will want to sell them to you for a similar amount you may want to list the item for. Like always if you can catch a great deal then, by all means, forge ahead, but these shops would be my last resort for shopping items to resell online. I shop there all the time for my own closet, but usually, they aren’t great for your bottom line if you want to make a profit.
PRO: YOU CAN FIND SOME FABULOUS DESIGNER ITEMS
CON: THE PRICES ARE USUALLY PRETTY SIMILAR TO WHAT YOU WOULD LIST THEM FOR
Let me know if there are any other places you consider sourcing!