How to Make $500 a Month From Shopping at Thrift Shops

how to make an extra $500 a month

I used to hate thrift shops.

I didn’t like the smell of the stores, the employees always seemed mad, and well, I felt a little too proud to shop there. When I look back now at that attitude I used to have, I feel a little embarrassed at myself. I also could just kick my old self for losing out on all the treasures that thrift shops have and the potential of making money from them!

Now, I know the value of thrift shops!

One day on a whim, I decided to go into our local thrift shop (I hadn’t been in one for years) with my daughter. I wanted to see if they had any pretty plates to use for a food photo I wanted to put on my blog. I planned on just running in and out as fast as I could.

While scanning the dishware aisles, my daughter asked if we could look at the toys which were on top of the clothes racks. Hesitantly, I agreed since I was having no luck finding the right dish anyway. As walked up and down the clothes aisles, I started noticing the jeans. Curiosity lead me to start skimming through the jean racks.

In about five minutes flat,  I found a cute pair of American Eagle jeans in great condition. Then, I started noticing a bunch of name brand of jeans in good condition.

Could this be true?

I’m a big eBay researcher (meaning, I’m always looking for what sells well-it’s an odd hobby of mine), and I noticed some brands of jeans that sold well on there. I took a chance and bought three pairs. They were my size, so I figured I wouldn’t be out anything if they didn’t sell.

I took them up to the register and had my $6 ready to pay, when the lady said, “Two dollars, please.”

I asked if there was a mistake, and she shook her head and said it was a red sticker sale day.


I quickly headed home and took photos and listed them that day. The first round, they didn’t sell, so I adjusted my price and then the next round they sold for $8 a piece. Now, that doesn’t seem like a lot, but remember, I only paid $2 for all three. Just think if I found higher end brands?

I was hooked!

I knew I had a great side hustle potential, so I did my research to find out what the sale days were and the best locations.

Since then, I’ve been selling name brand jeans as a part time hustle and have done pretty well. It’s how I supplement some of my income and building my savings.

How to Start Reselling Thrift Store Jeans

Don’t get in over your head

You don’t want to get too much inventory upfront-unless,  you find a real gem of deal and know all will sell for at least some kind of profit. I started out investing no more than ten pairs at a time.

You will need cheap shipping supplies

You can get a cheap scale for $15 on Amazon and you can find plenty of packaging supplies from the dollar store. For shipping materials, I use USPS’s free flat rate envelopes. Jeans are heavy, so that works best.

Go to the best locations

I did some online research to find thrift stores in wealthier areas, where people were more likely to donate higher-end goods.

Stick to best selling brands

I’m still learning  what brands sell well.  These brands seem to do best so far:

  • Diesel. Men’s and women’s jeans, made mostly in Italy. Jeans sell for $10 to $210 on eBay.
  • True Religion sells for $15 to $300 on eBay depending on the style and condition.
  • Hudson.  These sell from $10.49 to $85 on eBay depending on condition and style.
  • BKE. Made by Buckle. Men’s and women’s jeans $20 to $250 on Ebay.
  • Levi’s. Levis typically sell for $15 up, but vintage Levis may sell for much more.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, American Eagle: not considered high-end but these brands are popular.

Clean up the jeans

As I mentioned earlier, thrift shops have a “stink” to them and it gets on the clothes. A great hack is to throw these items into the dryer with the Woolite Dry Cleaner system. For less than $10, the kit makes full loads of clothes smell fresh and new.

Take great photos

Good (great) photos are a must to make your products stand out over other ads. You can find cheap mannequins on Amazon-they even have lower half bodies-just legs and a butt-that works perfect for jeans.

Go the extra mile when packaging 

I bought thank-you notes from the dollar store and sign each one with a smiley face. Customers appreciate it and keeps feedback good. You can even order free business cards from VistaPrint.

Learn SEO

I learned fast that I needed to know SEO to get my items in front of more people. YouTube has a great source for learning about SEO-and it’s free!

The money has been excellent supplemental income and with clothing constantly coming in at the thrift shops, I always have fresh inventory to sell. Who knows, maybe as my profits grow, I will think about taking this side hustle to the next level and maybe making it more of a full-time business.

All I know is, it’s been fun so far!

Have you ever tried selling thrift store clothes on eBay? : )

how to make an extra $500 a month


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