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Thrift store flipping 101

Date posted:  11/3/16 01:00:00 PM Thrift store flipping can put a few extra bucks in your wallet.

We all know about the benefits of shopping at the thrift store.

You have to dig around for a bit in the racks of clothes and other items, but if you spend enough time searching, you'll eventually come across a worthwhile item. Finding a truly unique article of clothing or a book no longer in publication makes it feel like you struck gold.

Yet, there are other benefits to shopping at a thrift store, especially if you're looking to make a few extra bucks.

With thrift store flipping, you'll need to spend money in order to make it, and it can be worth every penny.

What is thrift store flipping?
Some individuals might have the mindset that thrift stores are filled with nothing but ugly clothing and junk. Sure, some items are less than stellar, but those rare finds are worth looking for. Thrift store flipping is when you purchase items intending to resell them. And, because most items at these establishments are very affordable, you could make some extra money in the process.

Just as there's a process when it comes to shopping at thrift stores, there's also a process for flipping items.

Know where to shop
You can't just shop at any thrift store. If you are looking to flip items, you'll want to make an effort to visit locations that are considered to have more high-end items, Money Crashers explained. These items will more likely have interested buyers and can sell for better prices.

Other tidbits
After buying an item, clean it as best as you can. This may involve using a professional cleaner, depending on the item, so you'll want to weigh the cost against the benefits.
You also need to look up the value of the items you're looking to sell. The internet is your best friend here. Check websites such as eBay or Craigslist for similar listings so you can estimate an asking price.

Finally, you won't always sell thrift store finds to people in your city or neighborhood. Shipping across the nation or to another country can be pretty expensive, and these expenses will lower potential profits. A good way to avoid high shipping costs is to either only sell locally or request that the buyer pay for shipping.

What are the best items?
A few thrift store finds stand out above the rest if you're looking to flip them.

Retro video games are hot commodities among gamers and collectors, specifically games made for systems released in the 1970s and 1980s. You have to be careful, though, to ensure the system works. And if you can, try to pick up extra controllers and other system accessories.

Vinyl records are another popular category, but with a limited number of record shops, music fans may find it difficult to find the albums they're looking for.

You can help these music fans by picking up records and record players from your area and selling them online.

Textbooks and books are also popular and easy to find at thrift stores. Look for recent college textbooks and sell them to students when the next semester starts. Older books, classics, and in particular box sets, are also hot commodities.

Thrift store flipping is a unique way to earn money while shopping. It will take time and patience as AOL Finance pointed out, but could pay off in the end if you stick with the process.