In October of 2017 I started flipping Goodwill and Estate Sale items for profit, I needed the extra money and I didn’t want to get a part time job away from the home, and since I already work over forty hours a week any more time away from my children wasn’t an option for me. I had a good background knowledge of vintage and antiques (my Aunt has been taking me along to thrift stores, Goodwill stores and curiosity shops since I was about two years old- shout out to Tia!!) so I decided to go that route, and anyway my house needed a good purge as well—having three boys creates a lot of extraneous “stuff”. Since October I have made almost $3000 by simply buying items at Goodwill stores, Estate sales, and cleaning out our closets and reselling the items for profit online. I have been using a website and smart phone app called Mercari and for the most part it has been extremely simple to use and straightforward.
The things that I have personally had the most luck with flipping are housewares, children’s clothing, and vintage and antiques. When I started out I thought that I had a great handle on what was worth something or not. I was really drawn to vintage china, and at first I picked up everything I saw with a stamp! I have a beautiful collection of plates now, but most of them weren’t worth what I thought they were. Now, I concentrate on anything that is Vintage Homer Laughlin, or Fiestaware, Royal Albert or anything that is made in America in the early part of the twentieth century. I also tend to zone in on Vintage Pyrex, which will always be a winner to resell online as long as the colors are vibrant and there aren’t too many scratches or chips. I have also had luck digging through the ten cent silverware bins for real sterling silver, I recently sold a serving fork for $30 that I spent less than ten cents on.
Once I get everything home and cleaned up, I list the items online. First I take a ton of photos- and I really mean a ton—every angle, best lighting possible, or even styled to give people an idea of how to use the item. I cannot stress the importance of this step, a good photo could be the difference between selling and not selling an item. I set a price based on similar items pricing on other websites. Then I set a shipping amount and carrier (USPS or Fed Ex) and I am done. When someone has a question or would like to make an offer on one of your items you get a message. Once the item has been purchased you are required to ship the item promptly and safely and once the buyer receives the item and tells Mercari that it is in the condition listed I receive my money
Along the way I have also learned a few tips and tricks for shopping at Goodwill that I think are worth passing along. First, sign up for their points cards, you get points per dollar amount purchased and get a coupon when you get to a specific tier, and if you are reselling that makes an even greater profit for you. Make sure to give them your email address when you sign up as well, an email blast goes out once weekly in my area and details all of the manger’s specials at different stores (so you know where to go an look for like new children’s clothing for half price). Lastly, carry your own reusable bags- in my area you get 5 free points just for using your own bag- that’s a no brainer to me!