Have you heard of the thrift haul trend? A thrift haul is essentially a collection of goods you buy from local thrift stores. Doing so is a trendy way to beef up your wardrobe or buy new home furnishings without spending a fortune. It turns out people actually make money doing it, too. They don’t accumulate the weekly thrift haul because they need more stuff for themselves. They buy what they buy in order to resell it.
Making a living at the thrift haul game isn’t easy. In fact, it is downright hard. You have to buy goods that you then markup to make a profit. But why would someone buy from you at a higher price when they can go down to the thrift store themselves?
There are two tricks to making money: knowing what to buy and knowing where to sell it. In terms of the former, the best items to pick up are clothing, home furnishings, and any little items that can be turned into designer decorations. As for where to sell your best thrift haul finds, here are four suggestions:
1. Local Flea Markets
If you have access to flea markets where you live, they are a great place to sell thrift haul finds. The people who visit flea markets are looking to save money. They are looking for deals. Best of all, they go planning to spend money. They are the perfect customers for your gently-used clothing, home furnishings, sporting goods, etc.
Your typical flea market rents table or booth space by the week. Some let you rent by the month or quarter. It really depends on management. The one downside to the flea market model is that you have to be present for specific hours every day. Flea markets do not like it when people rent space and then don’t show upsell.
2. Local Co-Ops
You can sell your best thrift haul finds at a local co-op if you don’t like the flea market model. Co-ops are organizations of business owners that rent retail space together. Generally, business owners take turns ‘manning the store’ so that individual vendors don’t have to be there whenever the doors are open. Vendor spaces are separated by partitions, and each item’s price tag is color-coded so whoever is staffing the cash register knows which vendors’ items are being sold.
3. Sell Online
There are a lot of self-proclaimed junkers who sell their thrift haul finds online. Some use auction sites like eBay. Others use online classifieds. Still others use specialty sites that focus on one particular item. For example, Poshmark is a combination of e-commerce and social media site where people buy and sell used clothing. You will find a lot of thrift haul items on Poshmark.
4. Open Your Own Shop
If you are especially determined and industrious, you can bypass all the other options and just open your own shop. You can find such shops all over the country. Jami Ray Vintage, in Lehi, Utah, is a good example. The proprietors consider themselves full-time junkers. They seek out all sorts of thrift haul finds that they can rehab and sell to the vintage farmhouse and antique crowds.
Like any business, making money on thrift hauls takes hard work and creativity. You will not make a living doing it overnight. But with some determination, sweat equity, creativity, and a little luck, you can eventually build a strong business as a professional junker and thrift hauler. And if you never get to full-time status, you can still do it as a part-time hobby.