I read that some people find inventory at Goodwill and Thrift stores. So I decided to visit our local Goodwill store and check it out. Clothing can be very tricky because most of it is worthless especially in pre-owned condition, you have to know what brands have a good resale value. What is crazy is the brands you would think have value do not have any value.
TIP: I have always thought of Abercrombie, American Eagle, Express, and other mall brands as higher priced items and they hold value with me, but they do not resale well at all.
Goodwill is fun because almost everything in the store is $3.99. So noticing the price point, I was walking through the store thinking what could I buy that someone would pay a minimum of $12 for, remember the markup goal is 3 times the purchase price. I started looking through men’s shorts and found these Nike Dri Fit golf shorts. I knew Nike golf shorts cost $60-$80 new, I thought someone would at least pay $12 for them if not more, so I bought them for $4.23 including tax. I love Nike golf clothing, because even after a million washes their clothes still look good.
TIP: Visit a Goodwill or thrift shop in the nicest part of town. The more money in an area the nicer the items will be. I find unbelievable brands at our Goodwill and a lot of the items I find still have tags on them.
TIP: If you purchase pre-owned clothing look it over very closely, make sure there are no tears and/or stains and make sure all the buttons are intact. I think people on ebay buying pre-owned clothing want near perfect condition. Also, you may not like this one, but smell the item, make sure there is no funky smell. Since the item has been in a neutral store setting it should smell fine, but you never know. A cigarette smell can be strong, so you don’t want to buy a smokers shirt and have someone buy it from you and return it because it smells like an ash tray.
TIP: I check the no returns box on all of my items. I list all of my items very accurately and I have confidence in what I am selling. I have a sales background and I was always taught never present rescission. If anyone ever had a real problem with something they bought from me of course I would make it right and fix their problem, but I don’t advertise returns. Maybe I would sell more if I stressed that I accept returns, maybe I would sell the same and have more returns, I don’t know, but the way I have been doing it seems to work well for me. I do know that if you reach a top rated status and you want a discount in ebay fees you do have to accept returns. I don’t know if the discount in ebay fees would out-weigh the headaches from handling returns, I have not walked that path. Maybe someone who has can provide their feeling on the topic. Ultimately it is your choice, do what is best for you.
I listed the shorts as an auction because I had no idea what someone would pay for them, but I knew I wanted at least $12 out of them. I started the auction at $9.99 plus 3.99 in shipping. My auction started on a Tuesday at 11:30am pacific time which was 2:30pm my time. I was not yet aware of the value of starting my listings on the right day at the right time. Anyway the listing ended the following Tuesday at 2:30pm, while everyone was at work, I had one bid at my minimum price of $9.99 plus $3.99 shipping, for the total price of $13.98; I had 16 page views that week for this item.
$4.23 Item cost including tax
$3.65 USPS shipping fee
$1.40 ebay fee (10% of the total sale)
$.42 paypal fee (3% of the total sale)
$.08 poly mailer
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The total cost of my item including all fees was $9.78, my item sold for $13.98 so I made $4.20. That is almost 100% return on my money, not bad for my first try selling a thrift shop item. I really like this concept because by purchasing from Goodwill/Thrift shops you are supporting good causes in your community. My profit of $4.20 is 2 toys at the Dollar Tree and 1 small frosty at Wendy’s, which I split between both of them. If you haven’t taken your kids to The Dollar Tree yet you are in for a treat. When you walk in the store tell your kids they can pick out any toy they want in the whole store, you will watch their eyes light up, but make sure you have time because it is an hour ordeal. My kids will choose The Dollar Tree and frostys over Chuck E. Cheese’s, crazy, but it works.