What is a Thrift Flip

The term "flipping" is used colloquially by many salespersons.  For instance, it could mean ‘flipping' houses or ‘flipping' merchandise at the pawnshop to get rid of old items and make a few bucks. The concept of thrift flipping, often known as a thrift flip, is the same: sell for a profit. Rather than flipping houses, vehicles, or souvenirs, the new fad is to thrift flip your slightly used clothes, apparel, and accessories for a higher price than you originally paid.  The main purpose of a thrift flip is to find a way to raise the value of your slightly used yet still fashionable clothing and accessories so that you can sell them for a profit. This can be challenging because you must persuade others to pay a higher price than the lower retail price initially paid when the clothing or accessories were brand-new.


Why Choose to Thrift Flip Instead of Donate?


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Is thrift flipping merely a trendy, polite term for gentrification?  No, the principle of thrift flipping is intended to help others find clothes at affordable prices while making a buck or two of your own.  There is nothing immoral or wrong about choosing to thrift flip instead of donating your goods.  The donation stores will not shut their doors anytime soon due to the influx of the thrift flipping trend.  Consignment stores for the indigent, such as Goodwill, place questionable standards for what they will accept as donations regarding clothing apparel and accessories.  Typically, only 20 percent of clothing that you donate is used for donation or thrifting purposes.  A study conducted in 2014 showed that approximately 11 percent of Goodwill donations are discarded and are sent to landfills.  11 percent of clothing equates to around 22 million pounds of clothing that are wasted.  Sometimes it doesn’t pay to donate, in a profitable and practical sense.


Thrift Flipping Tips


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Thrift flipping is more than a trend; it's a skilled craft that may pay off if you know what you're doing. While several aspects contribute to effective thrift flipping, the most important thing to remember is how to turn a profit.  You might be asking how you can gain traction in the thrift store industry.  The key is to shift your perspective of thrift flipping.  You might find that the thrift flipping process is simple and enjoyable, leading you to aspire to turn your side hustle into a major source of passive income. But first, let's look at some tips that lead to successful thrift flipping.

Below are some of the most effective ways to get started with your thrift store flipping.

3 Beginner Tips to Successfully Thrift Flip


  1. Research the Thrift Shop Market- After scouting the thrift store market, you gain a better sense of what certain clothing apparel or accessories they are looking for, as well as the target customers.  Once you know what is trending in the thrift shop industry, you can begin to search your closet for slightly used clothing that meets the demands of the market.  If necessary, you may need to repair minor "wear-and-tear" signs, such as stitching, conditioning, and making them appear new.  
  2. Consider Thrift Flipping Online- There are a variety of online shopping sites available, including eBay and Amazon. People are always on the lookout for designer labels, and they are willing to pay extra for the convenience of the sale. This means you can raise the sale prices of the clothing and accessories for a larger profit. Clothing from well-known brands like Calvin Klein, Gucci, Coach, Michael Kors, and Express sells well online, especially when the customer can see that the clothing hasn't been worn much. So, if you decide to thrift flip online, make sure you take good photos of the products you're selling.  In this case, presentation is especially important.
  3. Sell What You Would Purchase- Take on the role of the customer, or, more importantly, the thrift shop proprietor who decides how much to compensate you for the items you thrift flip.  Some things to consider when presenting your items to thrift flip are the appearance of the clothing, the feel of the clothing, and even minor details such as if the clothing has stretched.  If your clothing has been worn beyond simple repair and restoration, it is best to keep it in the closet or discard it.  Rule of thumb: Only sell what you would buy.

Thrift Flip as Passive Income or Career


Thrift flipping is a retail industry and therefore requires you to understand how retailing operates. You must evaluate what will sell and at what price it will reasonably sell for based on consumer demand.  Remember that designer apparel and accessories are the most profitable commodities.  If you are truly considering thrift flipping as a primary source of income, you should also thrift flip other goods you have lying around the house or that you can buy at a marked-up price, then sell for a much higher profit.  It is important to know what products are trending and to keep current with retail sales.  It is highly useful to find out what brands and products other suppliers, aka the competition, are selling on the online market, as well as the supply and demand for those products.  This places perspective as to what products to thrift flip---but only at a marked-up price.  These are just some of the fundamentals of career thrift flipping.  It may or may not be a lucrative endeavor.  But with time, patience, and diligence, you never know until you try.

Other Hot Items to Thrift Flip

  • Glassware and Vases- Many kinds of glassware products are popular among middle-aged women.  There are many reasons for this, but for thrift flipping purposes, we’ll stick with the hottest glassware items in 2021: Wine glasses, shot glasses, cocktail glasses, and Pyrex products.


  • Infant/Child Products- This can range from anything from slightly used clothes to

Lawn tables, chairs, and other similar outside furniture, especially items for covered patios.


  • Books- In today’s world, most books are digital.  You may not make much of a profit from selling your everyday genre fiction such as a Stephen King or John Grisham novel (unless perhaps it was to be purchased in bulk).  But antique or first-edition copies of literature can reel in some serious cash.


  • Video Games and Video Game Consoles- This means hunting down sales of the Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo consoles and new games.  You must find relatively new games and purchase them at a reduced price to turn a profit thrift flipping these kinds of items.


  • Cell Phones and Other Electronics- The concept above also applies here.
  • Sports memorabilia or collectibles- Sports fans will pay top dollar for rare baseball cards, figurines, or jerseys.  You can find some uncommon and rare sports memorabilia and collectibles at your local comic books or specialty stores.


Final Thoughts:  Is Thrift Flip Right for You?

Thrift flipping is a trend in which everyone may partake. Whether you want to thrift flip once for some quick cash or sustain a steady income through thrift flipping depends on how enjoyable, challenging, or profitable the process was for you. At the end of the day, your possessions are yours to use as you like.  The next time you're cleaning your closet or dresser, think about thrift flipping before you donate or toss some slightly used clothes or random junk.