Ever wonder how people are making money thrifting by buying thrift store junk? I know how they do it… with my help. I show single moms, unemployed dads, and college students how to start their own business in the thrifting/reselling arena. I am elated when my YouTube followers post comments on my social media pages that read: “Dr. Lori’s tips made me an extra $4,000 this month” or “Dr. Lori appraised it and I sold it for over asking price!” or “Dr. Lori upped my reselling game with her videos and tips.” You get the picture. I’m here to help.

I help people spot valuable works of art, antiques, or collectibles that are just sitting around the house collecting dust that can be worth real money. I show people how to pick that item off the shelves that was donated to a thrift store like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Care & Share Thrift stores, and others. These valuable items are relegated to a back metal shelf in a charity shop, thrift store, antique mall, or resale shop. Finding these treasures can be very lucrative. Great finds are posted on online auctions or online estate sale sites too. Here’s how to spot valuable objects from the thrift store by shopping with me.

I teach people which objects to bypass on online auctions or at thrift stores and which objects should be bought as quickly as possible. What’s more, I show folks what to keep for themselves and what to flip for a very big profit or large return on investment. My techniques are about learning to look, knowing what’s hot in the market, and knowing where to sell.

What to Look For

What should you look for to start making money thrifting? Look for condition, construction, materials, quality, etc. I offer many videos with tips on my YouTube channel. The videos have easy instructions about what to look for when shopping for many different types of objects.  I show viewers how to spot the valuable thrift store items and online shopping offerings on auction websites, estate sales, and flea markets. I show people what is hiding in an online photograph of an object that will tell you to buy it or pass on it when searching online auction listings. Something can look good in the photo and be a lousy piece of junk once it arrives to you in person.

Making Money Thrifting Stories

Read these real-life Real Bargains stories to see how people are making money thrifting. Recently, I recognized an Abstract Expressionist painting from a photograph. My client sent in a photo to me through my online appraisal form. The owner asked me to review a photo of the painting. He wanted an appraisal because he had no idea what he had purchased at the Goodwill store. He told me that he paid $12.99 for the painting and liked the frame. He said the frame “looked like something” even though the painting was not his style. he didn’t know anything about the painting. He knew I could help. I gave a pertinent identification and appraisal. I was thrilled to reveal the results. What did he buy? He bought a major work of art by a British artist active in the 1950s. It was a dark abstract painting that many people might have overlooked. It looks like a seascape and he sure was happy that he bought this thrift store piece and brought it home with him. $75,000 worth of happy, in fact. That’s right, his $12.99 painting is worth $75,000 based on actual sales records. Not a bad payoff for watching my YouTube videos, shopping at Goodwill, and knowing enough to send me a few photos. Exciting!

A more common occurrence happened to an Indiana couple who paid $5 for a $500 table. The table was by designer Ugo Mochi and was a mid century modern enameled piece that was offered at an auction where the auctioneer was happy to see it go. The couple was happy to find out the table’s true value from me during a 10 minute video call appraisal session. Schedule your video call with me. Mid century modern furniture is still of interest in the market today. It does not, dare I say, have the same market interest that it once had but it is true that some pieces are still in demand. The mid century modern furniture,  unlike the pottery pieces, have held firm in today’s market.

Another YouTube follower from California –a millennial who loves anything old—told me that she gained the confidence to negotiate when shopping for art, antiques, and collectibles from my fun and informative videos. She was so excited when she bought a signed landscape painting by a Texas artist for $10 when the estate sale organizers were asking $25 for it. She used my polite yet positive negotiation methods to get the best deal on the painting. She confessed that she was a little surprised that my buying tips worked and was happy to get a painting for $15 less than asking price. Her $10 investment and later, my appraisal of her painting connecting the artist to the American master, William Merritt Chase resulted in her learning that she purchased a fine American Impressionist landscape painting worth $3,500 based on actual sales for just $10 bucks. Success!

What to Purchase? What to Pass?

Waterford crystal decanter

Many people ask me what are some typical thrift store items to scoop up when thrift store shopping? Here are a few overlooked items you can find so you can start making money thrifting. Jewelry jars and button jars are great buys at thrift stores. I have seen many people make a great return when reselling items individually that were stuffed into a cheap jewelry jar. Button jars are a wise buy too at thrift stores.

Other items that are helping folks turn a profit when thrift store shopping: designer bedding/textiles, vintage purses, costume jewelry, macramé, embroidery, needlepoint, quilts, paintings, colored glass, porcelain, hand painted ceramics, coffee and tea tins, vintage designer clothing, furniture hardware like knobs and drawer pulls, etc. Dirt is not the turn off it once was when it comes to the items you might find thrift store shopping. Sometimes an item is dirty and while not immediately attractive, it can be spruced up with some careful cleaning. Look for quality, good materials, sound workmanship and construction when you are choosing an object to buy from an estate sale or thrift store.

There are wonderful finds at thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales. Online auctions offer superb options and thrifting is a fun way to treasure hunt and collect great objects. Join us and become a treasure hunter too.

Watch videos on my YouTube channel where I show you how making money thrifting can be fun and profitable. I can appraise from photos or you can show me your finds during a video call.