Can I tell you how much I love searching for vintage at thrift stores buy and resell for profit? I LOVE MY JOB! I seriously get excited when I have to wake up at dawn to get ready for an all city sale or special vintage estate sale.
Who get’s excited about waking up at the butt crack of dawn?
Being a vintage seller means you haunt thrift stores on a regular basis looking for quality vintage pieces you can buy and sell for a tidy profit! I’m usually in a thrift store 3 to 4 times a week if not more.
And if we go on vacation I plan stops around where thrift store are along the way. I would hate to miss out on good vintage finds when on vacation after all!
Vintage buyers are looking for unique items that can’t be purchased at a big box store. There are certain items I always search for that can bring top dollars on the resale market.
What to Look for at Thrift Stores to Buy and Resell for Profit!
Reselling Vintage Glassware/Dishes
Ironstone – White ironstone can be found for a few dollars at thrift stores and be turned around for anywhere from $60-$150 or more depending on the piece.
Pyrex – this is one of my favorite things to look for. You can find popular patterns for a couple dollars a piece at thrift store. If you keep your eye tuned you can sometimes find entire sets. Be aware though that not all pyrex fetches a high price. Also make sure the pattern has not been scrubbed off. If it’s in good condition do a quick pattern search to see if the pattern is worth your investment.
Made In Occupied Japan – is very hot for collectors right now and you can find it hiding at your local thrift store for pennies. A figurine picked up for 99 cents can be resold for $10 and up depending on the piece.
Chalk-ware Wall Hangings – This one blows my mind. Chalk-ware wall hangings that can be purchased for 50 to 99 cents can be resold for $50. Some of the most popular designs are the mid-century chalk-ware bathroom wall hanging fish.
Salt and Pepper shakers – Pieces from the 40 & 50’s of spoons or fruit with anthropomorphic
details are very collectible.
Vintage Advertising Pieces – You can still find vintage advertising pieces in everything from ironstone crocks (highly desirable) to cigarette tins like Lucky Strike hidden on the shelves of thrift stores. Beware of reproductions though.
Blue & White China – always a classic but it’s making a come back push in a big way. Look for older piece and not newer reproductions.
Garden Decor – rusty iron plant racks, cast iron & concrete planters, flower frogs, Cloches, and vintage terrariums – I don’t even think twice about picking them up.
Reselling Vintage Clothing/Accessories
Levis are always a good purchase. If you can find a pair of vintage Levi’s then you can bank a lot of money but they are getting harder and harder to find.
Designer clothing if it’s in good condition can easily be turned for a profit. It takes a lot of digging to find pieces that are in good condition-examine the garments under bright lights (bring a flashlight if need be) to ensure there are no stains anywhere, check zippers, buttons, and seams.
Vintage Leather Jackets – I don’t think these have ever gone out of style. Even leather that is worn can still fetch high prices.
Cowboy boots – People love them and love them new or worn. Sometimes ones that are broken in can fetch a pretty penny. Just make sure they are real leather.
Wedding Veils – Vintage Wedding Pieces are very popular. The veil headpieces can be turned for a nice profit. The
netting can easily be replace with new netting if the old piece is worn or damaged.
Reselling Vintage Furniture
Drop leaf furniture is always popular and easy to turn over for a profit. They are very popular because of the flexibility of the drop leaf design. Hepplewhite Shield Back Chairs are an extremely popular designs for furniture.
They have an upholstered seat that is easy to update which makes them a classic. I can usually find Hepplewhite Chairs for $5 or $6 each at thrift stores. Waterfall style furniture from the 1930s can usually be for for reasonable prices and the unique design makes it very desirable after a coat of paint.
Mirrored furniture is still holding its own in resale circles.
Mid Century Furniture with it’s clean lines can fit into so many designs styles so it’s easy to buy and resell quickly.
Queen Anne Style Furniture is extremely popular because of the legs. If it’s solid wood so much the better.
french provincial furniture is very feminine and highly sought after. I always paint them pink or white for a fast sale.
Reselling Other Vintage Home Decor
Ornate Mirrors – Large gold mirrors automatically go into my cart especially if they are $20 or under. With a quick coat of paint and some light distressing they can be sold for $70 and up depending on the size and how ornate the design is on the piecee.
Vintage Holiday decorations – the kitch-ier the better when it comes to holidays. From silver Christmas trees to vintage lady liberty designs to every holiday in between!
Silver – Yep, you can find real silver hiding at the thrift store. You can sell these pieces as is or you can bring them to a jeweler and sell them for the silver content which might net you a bigger profit.
Records are back! And flying off the shelves so find out what records audiophiles are looking for and start hunting!
There’s So Much More Vintage to Be Found at Thrift Stores to Buy and Resell for Profit
I know it seems weird that I show people what and how I shop thrift stores and other sales to sell for a profit, but I believe there’s so much more to find out there and I can’t be everywhere. I want more people out hunting for great vintage treasures. If you are looking to start reselling don’t forget to check out my helpful Etsy Selling Tips!
Now with any selling tastes vary wildly from geographic location to geographic location, so if you’re planning to sell at a brick and mortar store, what sells in your area will probably be different from mine. What I’ve listed above will help you get started though.
I would love to hear what’s selling in other areas. Comment and let me know what’s selling in your area!