Need a little extra cash? Here’s an idea to FLIP over!

Flip Tips from by Kate HolmesThe other day, a man sidled up to me to share that he’d found a jacket at a thrift shop and taken it to a resale shop to sell. I assume he was whispering the tale so as not to alert the other folks to the killing he’d made:

bought for $5 sold for $125.

But maybe he just found thrift-flipping sexy and he was making a pass at me, known consignment/resale/thrift maven. Who knows? (Then again, we could have been soul-mates. I like finding the right market for undervalued stuff, too.)

Have you thought about flipping some great items from one market to another? It can be a great way to set aside some cash for a rainy day… or for a sunny beach vacay!

Here’s some Flip Tips:

Shop thrift stores that receive from high-end neighborhoods. If the thrift cannot sell a great item for what it’s truly worth, that’s where you come in, to transport it from a low-end customer base to one that appreciates it.

Know your prices. That;s where a little Internet browsing can really pay off. That basic black Eileen Fisher cardigan for $14? Look it up: Same sweater, on Nordstrom? $248.

Know your knock-offs. Not only are fakes not worth what the real goods are… they are also illegal and immoral to sell, even secondhand. Skip ’em.

Watch that YOUR taste doesn’t interfere with your wallet. For example, I love faded, washed-out black t-shirts. Most people don’t. So unless it’s my size, I let it pass.

Make it look better before you try to pass it on. You and I, as experienced pickers, can overlook its wrinkled or dusty appearance… but won’t it look much better with a little love and soap?

Consider minor modifications. Take that ghastly amateur oil painting out of the expensive frame, and sell the frame by itself. Most folks who aren’t shoppers like you and me would get distracted by the ugly painting and not think of the frame on its own. Or try painting that cute little shelf gloss white instead of the orange-y wood color it is.

Ask your destination shops. Do they have items they can always sell sell sell? Whether it’s sports gear, small dressers or weather vanes, knowing what your market needs is a good starting place for your searches. Ask, too, what they really kinda don’t want. More black handbags. Size 2 dresses. Coffee tables. That way, you won’t mis-invest.

Any tales of great flips? Suggestions for others? Comment below!


Care what you wear: An Earth Day message

feel good in your clothes

This graphic was inspired by this message on Organic Consumers Association. The full text of their 10th reason to care what you wear is:

The choices you make regarding your clothing are not only expressions of style or identity, but are vital to personal health as well as environmental and ethical responsibility.You should feel good in your clothes. Good about the way your clothes were produced and made. Good about their effects on your health. Good about the way they make you feel. Consumerist culture is toxic in the way it encourages people to constantly buy and replace clothing produced through unethical conditions. It can be difficult to divorce yourself from this toxic culture, to establish your clothing choices outside of this pressure. To not care about clothes is not the solution. The solution is to care how fibers are produced and processed. To care how your clothes are made. To care what’s in the garments you wear next to your skin, and ultimately, to care how you feel wearing them. The solution is simple: Care what you wear.

Did you take the 52 Things Challenge?

If you took our 52 Things Challenge to dis-burden yourself, chances are you ended up with a pile of possessions that you didn’t like, love, care about or choose to care for any more. Here’s how I passed on my underloved things, and how you might too.

Now, where to pass these on to?

Now who will love these 52 things more than I do?

Placemats: DONATED to my favorite consignment shop, to keep knick-knacks from scratching the for-sale furniture.

Hurricane lamps: CONSIGNED at same shop, as well as the ice bucket, tray and wall shelf/bracket.

Straw Stetson: DONATED. A local nonprofit shop sets aside things our migrant workers need. A straw hat is right, since much of the work these men do is under the brutal Florida summer sun.

Mid-Century bowls: SOLD to local vintage-furnishings shop. Art-show bowls: CONSIGNED. Orphan salsa bowl, in the DONATE bag for the local thrift shop which raises funds for a cause I believe in.

Tote, bag, knapsack, shoes, clothing: CONSIGNED.

Four black vintage handbags: UNDECIDED. I thought I’d try them on eBay, since I never have done that. But seeing the listings there, perhaps I’ll just consign them or ask at a few local antique shops. We have no great vintage shops around, although this might send me on a quest.

8 necklaces and bracelets: SOLD outright to a local resale shop. Well, except for the two bracelets Sis seems to find a liking for, and the necklace put aside for my friend Merry who has an inordinate love of primary colors…and in whose company, come to think of it, I bought the darn thing.

10 books to used-book store for store credit. I can always find another book or 5 to buy!

Fairy-bunny-ballerina: Gave to the little girl down the street wearin’ the tutu she tools ’round the ‘hood in. The feather-covered balls I put aside for holiday-present decorations. If I don’t use them there, I’ll take them to the thrift shop where I took the wire-art shopping bag and 4 t-shirts which are too well-loved to consign, and the sea gull. Although full of priceless memories, its beak’s been mended.

What I bought and sold these 52 Things for:

Total spent: Originally, about $275-ish. Total received by consigning and donating? $163 plus, of course, the good feelings of having donated some possessions to my favorite community charities.*
* Your mileage may vary. I seldom purchase anything “new”, so all my purchases were deals to begin with. That’s what happens when you ReSell, RePlace… you get to ReJoice!

Find a shop near you on our Resale Shop Directory. Your favorite not there? Tell them  they SHOULD be on HTC!