What I Learned After My First Day Thrift-shopping to Flip
Yesterday I gave thrift shopping in hopes to flip another go. I talk to my roommate Rob earlier last week and told him I was thinking of going thrift shopping. He seemed super interested so we set a plan to wake up early Saturday morning and drive down to Cranberry Township PA to see what they had to offer at their two Goodwill stores. We got up early on Saturday morning to ensure we were the first people there. We headed out and drove the 45-minute ride down to the first store.
I think I’ve only ever been to Goodwill a handful of times, and I don’t really remember much about them. Without much previous experience to go off of, we were taking a shot in the dark. We have gone to the Salvation Army down the road before but never had we been to a thrift store in a wealthy area like Cranberry. We went in and I quickly noticed the bike selection. I in no way want to try and figure out selling a bike on eBay, but I thought it was interesting they had them there. I also quickly spotted a Six Flags Bugs Bunny SnapBack sitting on a shelf. I threw it into my cart and started browsing. I passed some toys, clothes, and other typical thrift store items as I went straight to the mugs. The dishware section quickly became my “zone” that I hit first when I came into the store. I first found some cereal bowls from the 1990s with Kellogg’s characters on them. They were $2 a piece, and weighed a ton, making them hard to ship if need be. I decided against them, and quickly found some McDonald’s Disney glasses that they gave out in happy meals. There were some there, but they weren’t selling well on eBay, and the full set was not in the store, so I moved on.
I eventually spotted a Disney Musical plate of Aladdin with a music box attached for $2.99. I quickly looked it up on eBay and found that one had sold for $48 with $12 shipping. My eyes lit up and I quickly added that to my cart. I later found out that the COA for the plate is needed to sell for that much.
I then found a creepy nutcracker head mug that looks like something that would haunt you during Christmas if you weren’t on the Nice List. I honestly have no idea why I bought it, but I did impulsively because I felt like I wasn’t finding enough to buy. At least it was only 99₵, and it was hand painted, so that’s worth something.
I then found a Coor’s Golden Beer shirt, still with the tags on it for $1.99. I looked it up and saw it selling anywhere from $10-$15. It seemed like a relatively good sell so I went for it. I later saw in better lighting that the bottom was slightly darker than the rest of the shirt, looking like a huge shirt-wide stain for the bottom half of the shirt. Not finding anything else, I decided that the Bugs Bunny hat was too hard of a sell and put it down. Rob found himself a large purple Furby for $5 with Bluetooth capability (which actually just sold already on eBay for $25) and a Monsters Inc. on Ice hard hat. We didn’t find too much else in the store for flipping, so we went checked out and went to the next one.
We went to the next Goodwill and immediately, I knew we had a better shot of finding something here. This one looked huge like a department store and had racks of clothing, dishware, and stuffed animals to buy. I first went for the mugs. Quickly I found a pink mug with flowers, and turned it over, revealing the Starbucks label. This was exactly what I was looking for. Starbucks mugs sell fast, and I knew this one would flip. I then found this old, vintage mug from Austria that was manufactured in the Czech Republic. I figured there could be some value in that and through checking eBay, the only one listed that was even close to mine was $15.
I kept looking and came across Rob, who had found 2 Starbucks shot glasses. I wished I had made my way over there sooner, but I was still glad he found something of value. I split off again, this time going to the front of the store in search of stuffed animals. I found a huge motherload of them, full of TY Beanie Babies and Disney Pixar characters.
Quickly I made my way through them, checking to see if what I was pulling out of bins was worth anything. I found several worthless Beanie Babies before finding Humphrey, the camel. Humphrey was discontinued in 1994, he is worth anywhere from $70 to $2000. He is eBay’s number 4 most valuable beanie baby. I was so pumped. I quickly stored him in the basket I had and kept moving. I also found a Mike Wazowski plush for 1.99 from Monsters University, which was an easy sell for $17 from the looks of eBay.
Not finding too much else, I went and found Rob. As I explained to him about Humphrey, something didn’t feel right. I looked at his tag and saw he was made in 1998. This didn’t make sense because he was discontinued years before. I quickly found out that TY made a “Buddies Collection” in which they remade the original beanie babies in larger form and sold them. My thousand dollar beanie baby was worth $10 if that. I put Humphrey back and continued searching. Rob found 3 NFL plush animals, one for the Colts, Eagles, and Dolphins. These Lil Fans were selling for about $12 on eBay, but there had only been a couple sold. Rob also found a Fila backpack for $10 and an iPhone 6 Otterbox for 99 ₵. We finished up and headed back to Grove City.
We decided to make one last stop at the Grove City Salvation Army. They didn’t have a ton of new stuff, but Rob managed to find a Buffalo Bills Pillow Pet that was recently sold on eBay for $26. He picked it up and checked out and we came back to our apartment.
All in all, it was a good day. I set up a photo shoot area for the stuff we bought and started taking pictures of everything we had. We got everything listed on eBay and have so far, sold one item, the purple Furby. Rob did extremely well for his first time going, and I did so-so. I’ll hopefully break even thanks to the Starbucks mug, but I learned a lot through searching the Goodwill for my second thrift-shopping excursion. I’ll keep you up to date with what sells and what doesn’t. I’m excited to learn about flipping and listing on eBay, and to begin thrift-shopping and garage-saling this upcoming year. I hope to make some good money on the side doing it.
As always, thanks for reading!