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Save Money and Make Money by Shopping at Thrift Stores

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

There is good fun to be found shopping at thrift stores.

There is good fun to be found shopping at thrift stores.

Perhaps the reason why my mom is so thrifty is that she was brought up in New England and was always proud to be a "Frugal Yankee." I am so thankful she was, though, because she taught me so much about saving money. She clipped coupons, sent for refunds, shopped sales, visited yard sales and thrift stores and watched her pennies in every area. And I was her star pupil!

I became so good at saving money that I taught classes in my community about how to save money with coupons. When my children were little, I shopped at yard sales every Saturday, and when I ran a home daycare, I bought most of the toys and equipment I needed at yard sales and thrift stores for great prices.

And when Goodwill came to town I was a regular shopper there. In 2014 I moved to Georgia and discovered the amazing thrift stores here in the South and am even more hooked for life. Not only does shopping at thrift stores save money, but it can bring a lot of enjoyment as well save money. And I have turned my passion for shopping at thrift stores into a business by selling my treasures on eBay.

I will share many of the items I have found in thrift stores not only for my home but personal items such as clothing, shoes, and accessories. Aside from saving money, part of the attraction for shopping in thrift stores is the thrill of the hunt and then finding a treasure that you never thought you would find in a thrift store.

The first and largest two groups of items I will share with you is clothing for women and men because I do best in those areas for myself and to sell on eBay. The prices I can purchase the items for are amazing and I think you will agree once you see what I have found over the past few years.

Here are a few of the women's items I have purchased at thrift stores and Goodwill in Georgia:

Clothing Treasures for Her

From sweaters to dresses to jeans and jackets, there are plenty of wonderful items for sale at reasonable prices in the area of women's clothing. I was never one to purchase brand name clothing before shopping at thrift stores. I thought it was a waste of money to pay exorbitant prices for clothing just because it had a certain label. But now that I have gotten the knack of it, I have found a lot of beautiful brand name clothing at just a fraction of the price I would have had to pay had I purchased it brand new. Even my husband has commented on what nice clothes I am bringing home from the thrift stores now. Below are some more examples of items I have found both for myself and to sell on eBay.

Clothing Treasures for Him

My husband is not the type to wear clothing from thrift stores, but my grown son is fine with it, especially if I can find him some Carhartt shirts which is one of his favorite brands. I sell most of the men's clothing, shoes, belts, and ties that I find. Below are a few examples of those.

Clothing for Kids

My children are grown, and I don't have any grandchildren yet, but I do know a few young women with children and will often pick up items for their kids if the price is right. Here are some examples of what I have found.

Arts and Crafts Supplies

If you enjoy crafting, you will want to watch for craft supplies at thrift stores. You will have to do some searching because many of these items are small and are hidden under piles of other items but it's worth the time to go through them to find items that would cost much more in thrift stores. I don't purchase craft supplies for children because as I said, I don't have any children, but I often find kids crafting kids.

I am a scrap book enthusiast, and I am always amazed at the items I find for scrapbooking. I also find stamps for people who make cards, and I sell those on eBay. Below are a few of these crafting items that I have found in my searches.

Items for the Home

From furniture to bedding to dishes and holiday decorations, items for the home are probably the best buys at thrift stores. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of furniture from thrift stores because I haven't needed any, but I am sharing items below that I have bought for my home and to sell on eBay. If you have bought any furniture at thrift stores, please feel free to leave your deals on furniture in the comments below.

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If you are a book lover, you owe it to yourself and your pocketbook to check out thrift stores for good prices on books. One of the stores I go to sells all children's books and adult paperback books for 25 cents each and 50 cents each for adult hardcover books. At all of the Goodwill stores in my area, books run from 77 cents to $1.77 regular price, and if you happen to go to the thrift store in a senior day, student discount day or service person's discount can reduce the regular price by 25%.

One of my favorite activities to do in life is to shop in thrift stores. It's so much fun, and when I am all done and get my treasures home, I always look forward to the next trip. If you have found some treasures at thrift stores, please leave a comment below. I love to hear about other people's deals as well.

Whether you shop at thrift stores to save money on items for your family, or to resell on eBay, there are plenty of treasures to be had. I have even started a blog about how I find items at thrift stores and resell them on eBay because I am so excited about the many beautiful items I have found and resold. If I see something by Pendleton, Orvis, Woolrich, and a few other high-end companies, I just can't leave it behind. And my customers always seem happy with what they buy from me on eBay. I am not allowed to add links to this article, but to check out my blog, you can find it on blogger under the title of Thrift Shopping for eBay.

Poll: Shopping at Thrift Stores

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2016 Karen Hellier


Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on April 22, 2017:

Normally, I don't shop at thrift stores. Our budget is SO tight, that we really can't afford any extra shopping at all. That said, there were two times when I bought something from a thrift shop.

The first time, my husband had had a surgery and could not raise his arms overhead, so he needed some button-front shirts. He hates those--is a t-shirt guy, so I wasn't going to go to a regular clothing store and spend big bucks for something he'd only get use from for a couple of months.

The second time, we'd been invited to an "ugly Christmas sweater" party, and we had no such garments. I found a sweater for myself, but not for my husband. However, I did find a plain knit long-sleeved thermal shirt, onto which I was able to sew a number of oddball holiday-themed items, turning into an 'ugly sweater' of sorts. ;-)

As for buying and re-selling on ebay, I can't even unload the things around the house I need to clear out (so I don't need to be out acquiring more!). I have had 3 sales of small items in the last 3 months...all my other listings went unsold, and again unsold after relisting. It's very frustrating for me.

Nell Rose from England on February 25, 2017:

I love shopping, specially the charity shops. In fact I did a great deal two days ago! I bought a lovely blue check coat with hood for 3 pounds! approx. 4 dollars!so yes its so lovely to be able to get good stuff only cheap!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on December 12, 2016:

Thanks teaches12345 ...and the deals keep coming. And of course I am hooked! I will be adding some more deals to this article over the coming months. Thanks for the comment.

Dianna Mendez on December 10, 2016:

I do love shopping at thrift stores. I have found some wonderful items over the years worth much more than the price paid. You found some really good deals.

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