Besides your local thrift stores, consider other sources especially if you are a collector. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of outlets for you to peruse and satisfy your thrifting bug. Your sources for thrifting can be plentiful.
Though they tend to be on the higher end price-wise, these merchant co-ops, though largely antique-centric, may also carry primitive antiques or replicas, collectibles, decorative items, hard to find items, and sometimes hand-crafted fare. Some booths in the shops have themes or specialize in a certain era or look.
These merchant co-ops function much like antique malls. They offer a percentage of used and new items depending on the guidelines set forth by store policy or owner. Here you may find old furniture or accessories that have been refinished for an updated or primitive look or re-purposed into something that serves another duty then it was originally intended. Some vendors offer new or vintage clothes, jewelry, and shoes, collectible figurines, books or cards. Some merchants have unique or hand-crafted items. You will probably find the most variety in these establishments.
The flea markets of today are not the same as in yesteryear. Today, most flea markets are full of t-shirts, widgets, and knock-offs. But you can still locate some good finds with some diligent searching.
Besides the big names like Goodwill and Salvation Army, many local charities have opened storefronts to help distribute the many donations they receive. Many of these have religious affiliations or ties to needy causes. Shop these merchants knowing that your money is being recirculated into the community.
These shops usually have a specialty such as women’s clothing and accessories, furniture or baby items. For a fee or commission, these merchants will sell your items for you.
Don’t discount pawn shops when hunting for bargains and hard to find items. Often people have given up a valuable keepsake or collectible in exchange for cash to be resold at these merchants.
Yard Sales & Garage Sales
Some people enjoy the thrill of the hunt that shopping their neighbors’ discards can provide. A moving sale or church sale can be just the opportunity to snatch up great items at cheap prices.
Yard Sales – Garage Sales – Tag Sales Moving Sales – Bake Sales
No matter what the name, these events can help downsize and/or raise money from otherwise unused or unwanted items.
- The best day for a sale is Saturday, but a multi-day sale over a long weekend will attract more hard-core shoppers.
- Sunday traffic will depend on worship services.
- The best times of the day are early morning to late afternoon.
- The best seasons are Spring and Fall unless you live in a continual warm weather climate. People tend to purge items during these transitional seasons.
- Pair with a friend, a family member, a neighbor or a co-worker. The more items to choose from, the more traffic you will attract, the more successful your sale will be and the more fun there is to be had.
- Devise a system for tracking whose items sold such as color-coded stickers.
- Thrifters plan their routes and shopping days from many sources.
- Place an ad in the local paper and the paper’s website in advance of the sale.
- Advertise in your church and/or work newsletter.
- Placing an ad will provide a good return on your investment.
- Clean, mend or repair, and tag items that are collected for the sale prior to the day of the sale.
- Know the prices for everything you are selling.
- Tag all items before the day of the sale.
- Have plenty of spare change available. It never fails that the least expensive items will be paid with the largest bills.
- A good mix is: 2 tens, 6 fives, 20 ones and $10 in coins.
- Utilize hangers for clothes that can be hung. They are unappealing all piled in a box.
- Press expensive items to make them more attractive.
- Provide a private area to try on clothes, preferably without having to enter your home.
- Provide an extension cord and power outlet so shoppers can test electrical items.
- Make large legible, durable signs. Account for a chance of wind or moist conditions.
- Place signage to direct shopping traffic precisely to your sale. A sign or clear maker at ever turn to your sale is a safe bet traffic will find it.
- Be sure that the signage is approved for the street and/or subdivision.
- Display as much as possible.
- Place interesting or unusual “teaser items” out in front or on the curb to lure in the browsers.
- Be ready at least an hour earlier then your designated start time. There will always be early birds expecting to catch the best deals.
- Have a plan for items that don’t sell.
- Will you take them to Goodwill? Many agencies will pick your unwanted items.
1. Visit your favorite thrift spots a few weeks after a change of season. Many people clean out their closets to make room for new clothes.
2. Try on all items. Previous owners may have had garments altered.
3. Consider altering items that may not fit perfectly. Even with a nominal tailoring charge, you’re likely to come away with a great deal, especially on high-end designer items.
1. Antiques are, by definition, at least 100 years old. Anything else is “vintage” or a “collectible”.
2. Move the piece away from walls and other items so you can get a good look at all sides, including the bottom. Study the piece under bright light or ask to take it outside in the daylight.
3. Examine the finish for natural signs of wear. Authentic pieces will have dirt in crevices or in places that are hard to clean, and wear around knobs and on drawers caused by friction. The absence of such wear may indicate that the piece is not old, or that it has been refinished. The latter is not necessarily bad if it’s been done well, but it will lower the piece’s value in most instances.
As a seller, generating interest in your items is key to selling well. Keep these tips in mind when preparing your online sale:
Select Optimal Category:
Search for items similar to what you are offering to see which categories other sellers have chosen. The more specific your category, the easier it will be for your buyers to find your items. You may also send a suggestion for a category to suggestions.
Be as descriptive as possible. Include information that you as a buyer would want to know about the item: dimensions, uses, etc. What are the item’s highlights? What words are potential buyers likely to use when searching for your item?
Post at least one high-quality picture of the item. Multiple pictures showcasing its best features and its intended use are more ideal.
Research similar items on the internet to gauge a starting and ending price. This will inform you on what to expect to earn. Most sites will include a “buy now” option for the sale.
Specify in your posting that packaging and shipping costs are not included in the sale price and provide a link to or list of costs that may be expected. Choose shipping options that are inexpensive, yet will deliver the item quickly and safely.Consider manually delivering the item, arranging a meeting to exchange funds and the item, or even allow the buyer to pick the item up.
Methods of Payment:
Make sure your buyers feel safe with their purchase from you by choosing the most common forms of methods of payment in your posting or profile. SpiceMines recommends creating a PayPal account which is the most common form of online payment.
Buyers may inevitably have questions about the item, payment, or shipping details. Develop a strong relationship with your potential customers by responding promptly, honestly, and professionally to their inquiries. A satisfied customer can be your best word-of-mouth advertising.
Confirm the item is not prohibited by the site and/or in violation of the SpiceMines User Agreement. Any prohibited listings will be removed without compensation.