How to Find Thrift Store Items to Sell for Profit on eBay

by ContributorUpdated September 28, 2017

Many people earn their living by selling gently thrift store items on eBay. Learn what to look for in thrift stores to turn into cash on eBay.

Do your homework. Check eBay's completed listings for what items sell and for what price. If you have a hunch about an item's value, check it out on eBay before buying it to resell. You don't want to be stuck with a bunch of items that nobody wants.

Look for any items, still in the box or with tags. Many people donate items to charity that are brand new. These items may have been gifts, clothing in the wrong size, or they may never have had the chance to return them to a store for a refund or exchange. You will find items new in the package like candles, office supplies, cosmetics, bath gel, board games, kitchen gadgets, and baby items.

Look for high end, designer leather goods such as handbags, coats, boots, shoes, and belts. Authentic leather items sell well on eBay.

Check the front counter or special display areas for high dollar items such as perfumes, china dolls, cosmetics, leather motorcycle jackets, electronics, and gift items. Many thrift stores know the value of these items and will sell them for more than the regular inventory on the sales floor. These items may be more expensive than other items in the thrift store, but you can still make a good profit selling them on eBay.

Kitchen items. Look for calphalon, circulon, cast iron, Pampered Chef, Corningware casserole dishes, and vintage Pyrex items.

Linens. Childrens items do well - focus on whatever characters are popular at the time. Sheets, comforters, pillows, sleeping bags do well. Look for electric blankets of all sizes. Make sure they work properly before purchasing.

Vintage character items. Anything with characters such as Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Peanuts; Smurfs, Evil Kneivel, Disney characters are good sellers. Look for items such as bed sheets, lunchboxes, mugs, puzzles, dolls, etc.

Candles. Look for Yankee Candle, White Barn Candle, any that are expensive when purchased retail. Even if the candle it burned a little, you can still sell it on eBay. Some of these have been retired and aren't being made any more.

Anything with a unique theme. People collect anything and everything. Look for items like men's unique ties, shirts with a specific theme (animals, vehicles, etc), salt pepper shakers, kitchen and home decor.

Check the resources section below for more information on how to make money selling thrift store items on eBay.


Don't be afraid to experiment with new items. If an item only costs you a few dollars, it is worth the investment to experiment and try to sell it on eBay. You may find there is a market for an item no one has discovered yet.

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