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3 tips for earning money at the thrift shop

3 tips for earning money at the thrift shop

  1. Macklemore may not be the most conventional source of wisdom on a a regular basis, but he was onto something with his single "Thrift Shop." There are dozens of ways to save money during a visit to a thrift store, and if you put a little extra effort in, you could even make a little cash during the trip.

You can invest in a few cheap deals at a thrift store or make money at home online using the things you find. Here are just a few examples of what some people have done to turn a few quirky items into a treasure trove.

1. Find a masterpiece
Most thrift shops are filled with paintings perfect for decorating, but you can get a little creative with them, too. Some people are lucky enough to find beautifully crafted portraits that can actually be sold for big bucks online. Others manage to attract a decent following and even make some money by painting over thrift store paintings in their free time.

Still, if you don't find any great art or have a knack for painting, there's one more trick you can use to score some great finds. Pay close attention to the frames the portraits come in. Many frames - especially decorative ones made of high-quality materials - can fetch a pretty penny online, or you could keep them for yourself. Either option is better than paying too much for a flimsy frame at a store.

2. Sharpen those tailoring skills
Of course, the most abundant items in thrift shops are apparel, and if you know your way around a needle and thread, you can refurbish your wardrobe for pennies on the dollar. What's more, it's the best place to find vintage clothing that can either be sold online or used to upgrade your style.

According to the Money in the Garage blog, vintage sportswear items make for particularly great investments if you post them online. If you spot any retro Air Jordan wear, scoop it up or look up what it could be worth on a smartphone. Likewise, snatch any other brand name athletic gear that's still in high quality. If the price is right, you could make a fair amount on eBay, Amazon or the like with your finds.

3. Research those old-school trinkets
You'll find dozens of odd antiques during any trip to a thrift shop, and there's no way to know exactly what they're worth without a little research. Take your smartphone with you and put in some time to hunt down the right money-making finds. Everything from vintage board games to glassware to holiday decorations and more could be the equivalent of a diamond in the rough. 

Don't count those odd items out either. You never know what could be a collectible. Look up logos you find and pay careful attention to items that look like they could be worth something, like crystal and silver crafts.

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