I have written quite a few articles about thrift store flipping and I thought that I’d share with you guys my weekly routine in case you become interested in doing something similar in the future.
I have been buying and selling thrift store finds for a couple of years now as my side-hustle. And I just treated this as my full-time hustle only last year when I started adding clothes to my inventory. I started with selling bags and accessories, however, due to the declining number of bags (worth selling) that can be found on the thrift stores, I started selling clothes as well.
If you are new to thrift store flipping, it basically means buying anything from a thrift store and selling it for a profit. I wrote a separate article about it which you can find here.
My Main Weekly Tasks
Buy New Inventories from Thrift Stores
My goal is to visit a thrift store at least once a week to buy new inventories to sell. I don’t have a fixed target or a number of clothes that I want to buy but usually, I buy around 20 -30 pieces of clothing items on a good week.
Sometimes, I don’t find anything worth selling and I’d go to a different thrift store in some other days.
The thrift stores that I go to are not located in my city. I usually travel to other cities to look for new inventories. And sometimes, I fly out to other islands to look for inventories. This is one of the reasons why I love thrift flipping so much. It’s like a game of scavenger hunt for me.
Tips When You Go Out to Thrift
Wear Light and Airy Clothes
Some thrift stores are air-conditioned but there are some that are not. So I always light and airy clothes to keep myself comfortable while looking for new items to sell.
Check All Clothes Racks
Thrifting is not a glamorous gig. I know that this is not for everyone. Some friends have joined me in my thrifting adventure because they thought that it’s so much fun and easy, but the truth is that it’s not. It’s a very tiring thing to do. However, for those who enjoy the scavenger hunt game, then it’s a fun thing to earn from. I’m one of those people who enjoy this so much that’s why I have decided to make this as my full-time gig.
Once I get into a thrift store, I check all racks. I check all clothes. I check them one by one to see if there’s anything that is worth selling. I look for brands that have a high resell rate and I look for designs that are unique and uncommon.
Check All Clothes Before You Check Out
When I started selling clothes, I was too lazy to check the items before check out. And I often find damages on clothes once I get home. If the damage were repairable, I bring them to a local seamstress for repair which costs money of course.
Nowadays, I really have learned my lesson well. I always check everything before I pay for the items that I have picked. I check the seams, hardware (buttons and zippers, etc) and I check if there are stains and tear on the exterior and on the lining.
Once I’m done checking all of the clothes, then I pay at the counter. By the way, before I even start looking for clothes, I ask them how much the last price is and I already bargain even before I start. Once I’m at the counter to pay for everything, I also ask for a discount for a total amount.
Some thrift stores are very generous in giving discounts and some are very strict in following their set prices.
Go to Nearby Thrift Stores
To maximize my day I try to visit the nearby thrift stores, especially when I didn’t find anything from the first thrift store that I initially went to.
Wash, Iron, and Steam Clothes
Once I get home, I load everything up to the washer to wash all the clothes that I have bought. If there are some designer clothes that will command a high-resell price, then I don’t risk washing them in the washing machine and I bring them instead to a dry-cleaner.
Once all clothes have been washed and dried, I will then iron or steam them so they will look good when I put them on my mannequin (for picture-taking).
This process of washing and steaming the clothes usually take 2 – 3 days depending on how many clothes are there.
This is the process that I am planning to outsource soon since it takes too much time to do.
Take Pictures of Clothes
Once all clothes have been washed, dried, and ironed/steamed. I will take pictures of them on a mannequin. I usually do this in the morning to ensure that there’s enough daylight. Aside from natural light, I also turn on all our light sources in our living room where I usually take pics and I also use a ring light with a stand to add more light.
This process usually takes a day or two depending again on the number of clothes.
Post Items On Online Buy and Sell Websites
Once I’m done taking pictures of all clothes, I will then post them one by one on Carousell, eBay, and Instagram and sometimes on Grailed. This process also takes a day or two, depending on how many clothes need to be posted online.
During this process, I take the actual measurement of clothes. I don’t accept returns and to avoid getting negative feedback, I always post the actual measurement of clothes. This is to ensure that customers are aware of the actual measurements and won’t complain that they bought the wrong size.
If you are new to this business, please be aware that the size on the tag of used clothing does not always reflect the actual size of the clothes due to a variety of reasons (such as constant wear and wash).
My Weekly Tasks in Between Processing New Inventories
Oh, man! You have to be very patient once you decide to do this as your side-hustle or as your full-time gig as you will find yourself receiving questions about a variety of stuff even if you already provided that information on your posts. Some of the questions that I frequently get includes:
- Size and Actual Measurement
- Material/Type of Fabric
- Does the fabric stretches or not?
- Cost of shipping
And also, people asking for discounts which I’ll be happy to give especially to those who buy multiple items.
One thing I like about eBay and Carousell is that you can provide feedback to each other. This is to ensure that all buyers and sellers are legit people and not scammers. Having a big number of feedback ensures your prospective customers that you will really ship the items to them.
Browse Buy and Sell Websites
On a slow day, I always check the buy and sell websites to see if there’s anything that I can flip (buy and sell for a profit). Every now and then I find items that are worth buying from other online sellers and once I receive those items, I also post them again to those websites to turn it into profit. I limit my online purchases only to vintage designer labels.
I usually ship items twice a week but if there are many orders that came in, I try to ship them the day after I receive their payments.
Monitor Shipped Items
Since I have a copy of the pro forma invoice from the courier with the tracking number, I always track the packages that were shipped at least two days ago. This is to ensure that I won’t be shocked to find out that I have a missing parcel or a delayed packaged.
Being proactive in tracking your shipments gives you better control in managing possible issues with customers concerning their packages.
Clean and Organize my Stockroom
Every now and then, I also clean my stockroom. I also buy new storage boxes every couple of months to ensure that no merchandise is just lying on the table. Having an organized stockroom makes it easier for me to find sold items that need to be packed for shipping.
Buy Packaging Materials
I also ensure that I always have enough packaging materials on hand and if I’m running low on supplies, then I just buy online or I buy supplies whenever I go out to ship sold items.
Browse the Internet for Continuous Learning
I spend a lot of time browsing Instagram and Pinterest about the latest in fashion. I also spend a lot of time in understanding authenticity by reading blogs and tutorials on how to check the authenticity of items.
I also continuously look for Instagram accounts of international sellers especially those who are selling vintage items to keep myself informed of what to look for the next time I go to a thrift store.
This is the foundation of thrift flipping that a lot of sellers take for granted. Continuous learning about brands (new and old) and design aesthetic will help you grow your thrift flipping business and will help you stay in this business for a long time.
Are you also a thrift flipper? Feel free to share your thrift store flipping routine and also your thoughts and recommendations on the comment section below.