The past few years in January, I’ve done a Top Thrifting Finds post. It’s always fun to go back and take a look at how the year went and review some of the highlights of the thrifting year. (This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full policy here)
This year I decided to do something a bit different. And of course it’s mid February already but better late than never. (Honestly, I was still in debate with myself about blogging and had even played around with starting a fresh new blog but in the end…came back to here. Hopefully you’ll see me around a bit more often again. 😉 )
This year I thought I would do a recap of some of the most SURPRISING finds and flips of 2019. Not so much that finding them was surprising…but the resulting SALES were kind of surprising. The ones that make you go…”what? That sells for how much?” Things that maybe you’d overlook.
Let me give you an example.
First a quick note: You may have seen some of these before either here on the blog or in my newsletter. Sorry for the repetition but it’s kinda fun to have them all in the same place.
I found this Personal Touch Razor refill pack at my local thrift store for a couple bucks. I knew from my years in the reselling scene that the Personal Touch razors were something to keep an eye out for. Anytime something popular is discontinued, value and demand can go up. Usually there’s a time limit on it…but for some reason, these are still hot. Mine sold for 49.99 with free shipping. Here’s a link to SOLDS of Personal Touch items.
Here’s another one.
There was a baggie of these Calphalon rubber grip handles. Cool Grip, I think they’re called..they are rubber and slide onto the handle of the pan. Again probably a couple bucks for the bag…There were 3 of them. I sold them separately and ended up with $64.97. I knew Calphalon was a good name in cookware. Often it’s beneficial to check on accessories to well-selling brands – they can be a good flip. Easy to list? Easy to ship? I’m in!
Next up is another sale that still kind of has me scratching my head. But I’ve repeated my success a couple times so I’ll throw it out here. I may have mentioned this in one of my newsletters. (Sign up at the end of this post, wink wink). Wooden drapery rings. Yup. Now I will say that I seem to do better on these the more that I have. So this lot of 36 sold for 49.99. I have a smaller lot listed and no dice. Be sure to give the measurements – inner and outer diameter – people will ask. I’ve heard random things about these being used for crafts…but I think my buyers were using them for…..drapes! Go figure.
(This one’s a two-fer). Maybe not a new thought for you…but obsolete electronics and blank media can still be a great flip. I don’t come across them that often, but microcassettes have always sold well for me. Especially in a pack. This 9-pack sold for 28.99. Easy list, easy ship.
The same day I sourced those microcassettes, I found these Sony MiniDiscs. They sold for $49.99. The crazy thing is that I listed both these items the day after I bought them and they BOTH sold the day after that. Fast sales!
I have this thought that microwave cooking was a big thing in the 80s. Am I right? Not thinking it’s such a big thing anymore. Hello, Instant Pot, I’m looking at you. But there IS still a market for the microwave cookware. My son and I sourced this unused set for about $7. The box was trashed and not all the pieces were there but we salvaged what was still there and listed it. It sold for $60 plus shipping. Here are Littonware solds on Ebay. Looks like new old stock items or lots are a good way to go with those.
This is a niche I’ve dabbled in here and there: vintage or discontinued perfumes. I tend to not do too much since Hubby is sensitive to fragrances and I don’t want to fill the house with these scents. But this Jovan MAN Cologne was in a nice plastic box so I took a chance. And it paid off to the tune of $50. I even had other buyers message me afterwards who were upset they missed out.
One thing I’ve also learned over the years too is that even if a brand or category as a WHOLE may be kind of ho-hum…there are sometimes exceptions within that brand. For example. I’ve sold pieces of Frankoma pottery before. But as a whole, I don’t bother. If I see an unusual piece or color, I may look it up but generally it’s still not worth reselling. That’s my experience. YMMV. But I’m glad I double checked this mug that I found last year. It’s in the shape of a drill bit and was a fairly unusual color. Sold for $60.
TIP: What I do sometimes is search the brand on Ebay, switch my search view to SOLDS and order them from highest to lowest. I sometimes even add “-lot” or “-set” to exclude those listings. Then you see what the stand out items for that brand are. Things like this can help hone your thrifting eye.
Last one for now. Hubby and I had done pretty well selling brass candle sticks. The tulip ones that come in graduated sizes? Hubby listed and sold a few sets very quickly a few years back. We did sets of 3, 5 and even 7 I believe.
We had some stockpiled still and I had seen how eclectic lots of these candle holders were going for pretty good money. I was surprised at how quickly and how much they sold for however. This lot sold for $165 on Etsy (i believe the better market for this type of thing) about a year ago. There were 22 pieces. As a disclaimer: This could very well be a decorating fad that will pass by. Check recent solds or listings to see if it’s worth collecting up a lot.
A few words in conclusion. These were definitely some of my most surprising sales of 2019. For some, the surprise came when I looked up the item on my phone in the thrift store. For others it was how quickly the item sold. I would say most of these items were fairly quick sales. And sometimes the surprise came from the fact that I had success with a BOLO that I read about from someone else. I’m usually too late to the party. 🙂
Most of these items were also not very expensive at the thrifts. I’d say they average $5 or less (except for the candle lot). These under the radar flips could very well be under the radar of thrift store employees as well. These are types of items that need a specific audience and online reselling gives us this audience.
You’ll also notice that none of these items fit my usual niches. Well, except the coffee mug. It’s things like these that to me, make thrifting and flipping fun!! The thrill of the hunt, the research, the never knowing what this thrift store might have!! So while I will probably always have niches for bread and butter sales…thrifting and flipping the one-offs will always be a part of my strategy.
What about you? Any surprising finds or more importantly, sales last year??