Recently, after visiting a local Goodwill store, I saw a really nice Abercrombie and Fitch hooded sweatshirt. It was selling for $3.59, and I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could sell this online.” I left the store without purchasing the sweatshirt but checked online, and more than a hundred of the same sweatshirts were selling for more than $15. That is almost a 5x markup.
So that got me thinking…I wondering if we should start a smackdown. A Goodwill Smackdown to be specific! Where three of us (Laurie, Aaron, and I) would have a competition. A competition where we have to buy a piece of clothing from Goodwill and resell it on eBay. The person that makes the highest percentage of profit wins.
Each of us will explain what item we bought, how much we paid, how much we'd expect to make, tips we recommend for making money, and other things we learned.
When I visited my local Goodwill, it was extremely clean, well organized, and offering discounts on all “yellow tagged” clothing for only 99 cents. I first looked in the jewelry section to see if there was anything worth selling in that section and moved onto men's clothes. I figured I knew which men's clothes would be good resellers. To my amazement, I found a number of shirts (like Abercombie, American Eagle, Ralph Lauren, Nike, and Mizuno). Before checking out I had about 6 shirts that would have been very viable options to resell.
What I bought
After finishing up with men's section I went over to the women's sections and found a brand new (with tags) Iguana Med Flex III Scrubs Pants – Medium. I couldn't believe it. Score!
How much I paid
The pants were $5.49, which I knew would be significantly less than what most stores would charge. This was on the high side of what I was wanting to buy, but I figured that with the item having tags on it, then it should be easier to sell.
How much I'd expect to make
I'd expect to make about $10 off the item since it is brand new. I've seen a number of the tops or bottoms selling for $15/each and the top & bottom combos selling for $32+.
Tips and Tricks to Help You Make Money at Goodwill
So before I went into Goodwill I made sure I had my iPhone and had downloaded the eBay app. If you are going to make money reselling items from Goodwill, then I highly recommend bringing a smartphone! The phone alone will probably save ya a lot of money and help you figure out if certain items are resell-able and how much you could expect to make. Here are a few of the tips I leveraged in the eBay app.
- the First search for your item. The search can be general, which might include “American Eagle t-shirt”.
- Once you've completed your first search then click the options for “Completed Listings” and/or “Sold Listings”
- Another great feature of the eBay app is the scanning option. In looking around Goodwill I found a number of items that had tags on them that allowed me to scan it, and quickly search how much I could get for the item. Great feature!!!
As you can see, if you are going to make reselling Goodwill items into a viable business, then I highly recommend having a smartphone. In addition, really look at what days your Goodwill offers sales and if it's based on tag color, and what items are on sale (clothes, accessories, furniture, etc). By taking advantage of these sale days, then you should be able to make a good profit.
So this is a brief overview of my attempt to make money by selling Goodwill items on eBay. All throughout the week, we'll run other articles on tips and tricks that others have used to make money too.
Throughout this week we'll have Aaron and Laurie post their items, and write a similar article based on each of their experiences. At the end of the week, you'll have a chance to vote on whose item will sell for the most. Good luck, and let us know tips or tricks you use for buying and selling Goodwill items!