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I love thrift store shopping probably more than any other type of shopping you can think of. Flea markets, yard sales, garage sales, auctions and estate sales come in a pretty close second.

What can I say?

I LOVE the thrill of finding things and using my imagination to come up with creative ways to repurpose and recycle things!

It only made sense for me to pursue these passions and find a way to make money doing something I absolutely love.

And so this began my journey of researching how to start a thrift flipping business. If you’re wondering what a thrift flipping business is, it’s pretty similar to any other sort of “flipping” business.

Thrift Flipping works like this: Buy something cheap. {The THRIFT} Improve it or make it marketable and sell for a profit. {The FLIP}

Contrary to what a lot of people may think when they first hear about this type of business, it’s not necessary to buy your products at a thrift store. You can find used items cheap just about anywhere these days – at local sales, on online classifieds sites, by volunteering to help someone clean out their attic. The key is to understand how to manage and run it like a business to make it profitable.



How to Start a Thrift Flipping Business

#1. You’ve gotta treat it like a real business.

You’re going to need a business plan. A bank account. A budget. And understand sales tax laws for where you live. And do some accounting. You may need a license or permit to start your business. You may even wish to create a fictitious business name or register your company as an LLC. Basically, if you want to be in business, you’ve got to start acting like a business! If you’re in the U.S. – the sba.gov website has pretty much every tidbit of information you might need in order to get off on the right track and make sure you don’t break any important laws. Once you have all the paperwork in place, you can then move onto the next step.

#2. Source Products to Sell

This can be tricky. You might go to a thrift store only to come out empty handed. Worse, you might buy something thinking it’s a great item, only to realize it will either never sell or you will never get the profit you had hoped. It takes a lot of time to research the market and understand what items are going to be the most profitable for you to sell.

When trying to decide what to sell, think of basic supply and demand. Know what types of items are popular and take some notes on what’s selling well on auction sites.

#3. Make the Products Shine!

If you find a product to sell, you’ve got to make it marketable. This might mean taking really good pictures when listing it online, spray painting it, making repairs, adding some glitter – you get the point. Whatever you’d like to do to make it beautiful and marketable.

#4. Sell the Item!

You can sell your item pretty much anywhere you’d like. There are a number of online choices, you can sell at marketplaces or classifieds sites – whatever seems like the best venue for the type of product you are sourcing and selling. If you’re feeling really adventurous and daring, you might even make your own eCommerce website to sell your items.

#5. Remember Some Basic Tips:

  • Postage and packaging is expensive. Be sure if you offer free shipping that you will not lose money on the deal. I once mailed a piece of artwork to someone who paid me $50 – It cost $45 to ship because I needed special packaging. I was not very happy!
  • Do as much research as you can!!!!
  • Be sure your business is registered and following all applicable laws in your city/state/country/ etc.
  • Set a Budget so You Don’t Lose Money. Actually, set a budget with the premise that you might lose it all. Starting any type of business can be risky. Any investment or large purchase can be risky. The thing to remember however is with risk there can be great reward!


Starting a thrift flipping business isn’t really much different than starting any other business. Arm yourself with a solid business plan, know your budget, know your target audience and what products appeal to them, and go make some money! While I can’t guarantee you will make any money {keep in mind even accredited universities do not guarantee you will get a job or make money as a result of anything} – you can learn a great deal of knowledge and start a business based on a passion you absolutely love!

Any questions on how to start your own business reselling thrift store items? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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