Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thrift Jobs: The Top 50 Dream Jobs for Thrifters

You live to thrift. The thrill of the hunt is exhilarating, but the magic ends when you return to your day job. That was me, but now thrifting and creating is my career. It's easier than you may think to make a living from your passion for thrifting and vintage.

Here are 25 Dream Jobs for Thrifters. Each one will require hard work, but they are entirely attainable! 

Reselling: Resell thrifted items for a higher price. 

1. Online Reseller:
You resell your thrifted items online via sites like eBay and etsy.
2. Antique Show Vendor: Travel the country and resell at antique markets and events. 
3. Flea Market Vendor: Rent space at local flea markets to resell your thrifed finds.
4. Antique Store Vendor: Rent space in a antique store/mall to sell your finds.
5. Reselling Consultant: Consult with clients on how to resell their goods. 
6. Resell for Others: Resell items for your clients. 
7. Estate Sale Biz: Hold estate sales for your clients.

Pro Picker: Get paid to thrift items for your clients.

8. Set Designer: Use second-hand items to design sets for plays and movies. 
9. Movie Prop Scout: Hunt down specific items from a list for your clients.
10. Antique Scout: Hunt down specific items from a list to help stage restaurants and boutiques with a unique look, like Cracker Barrel and Anthropologie

Writer: Write about the thing you love most, thrifting! 

11. Blogger: Run a thrift-related blog. For an example, look here! Yay!
12. Author: Write thrift-related books. 
13. Magazine Owner: Create a thrift-related online or print magazine.  
14. Columnist: Write a thrift column on a website, blog, or in a magazine. 

Artist: Thrifted items are your muse and materials.

15. Cartoonist: Draw a thrift related comic, online or in print. 
16. Mixed Media Artist: Or "Junk Artist." Make art from thrifted items. (Ex: Junk Culture) 
17. Painter: Paint still lives of thrifted items, or thrift-inspired art. (Ex: Old Skool Junk) 
18. Upcycling:Paint and re-work thrifted items into new ones for sale. 
19. Interior Designer: Redesign interiors with thrifted items. 

Styling: Use the Thrifts to Make People Stylish!

20. Seamstress: Sew thrifted clothes.  
21. Alterations: Modernize vintage clothing. 
22. Wardrobe Stylist: Create wardrobes from thrifting. (Ex: Thrift Store Shopping with Sammy Davis.)
23. Costume Designer:Find authentic period pieces or make new ones with thrifted items. 
24. Clothing/Accessory Designer: Create new clothes and accessories from thrifted clothes and materials.

Shop Owner: The Ultimate Dream for Many!

25. Consignment Shop: Sell people's vintage wares on consignment.
26. Antique Store: Own a shop, or rent space within one.
27. Vintage Boutique:A carefully curated version of an antique store.  
28. Pawn Shop Owner: People pawn their wares off on you, then you resell 'em.
29. Junk Retrieval Business: Scoop up client's"junk" which you can then resell.  
30. Vintage Clothing or Furniture Shop: Reselling vintage clothing or furniture. 
31. Record Shop: Reselling records and vintage music players. 
32. Prop Shop: Selling props or providing props for clients by appointment. 
33. Thrift Store: An obvious choice :) Don't forget Flea Market ownership!

Event Coordinator: Plan events and parties for clients.

34. Antique Rentals: Rent antiques for people to use for fancy events.
35. Murder Mystery Party Planner: Use thrifted props to host fun themed parties. 
36. Wedding Planner/Designer: Use thrifted finds to design/plan weddings.
37. Event Planner: Use your collection of vintage as a selling point to plan events.
38. Vintage Party Planner: Specialize in vintage-style party planning. 
39. Party Prop Creator: Use thrifted items to create special props for parties.

Technology: Pioneer Thrift-Related Technology!

40. Ap Designer: Create phone or web aps that help people. (Ex: Mogasa) 
41. Thrift Website Webmaster: Create thrift-related websites.  (Ex: The Thrift Shopper, Krrb) 
42. Thrift Gadgets: Create or invest in the creation of gadgets that help people thrift. 

Antiques: Capitalize on your antique knowledge.

43. Antique Appraiser:
Appraise antiques for a fee. 
44. Antique Sale Curator:  Create antique bazaars and markets.
45. Auction House Owner: Rent a space and host auctions.  

Media: Entertain the masses! 

46. Television Show Writer: Write and/or sell scripts for hit thrift TV shows. 
47. Television Show Director: Direct a thrift TV show of your own. 
48. Webshow Director: Direct a thrift-related web show. 
49. Play Director: Direct a play with thrifted supplies or thrift-related plays. 
50. Television Show Personality: Star in or host a thrift TV show. 

Remember: the thrift craze is growing exponentially. More people than ever are thrifting and there have never been so many shows in the media dedicated to vintage and reselling. Many thrift jobs are low start-up operations that require ingenuity more than capital.

If you want it, get it! There's unlimited potential in "Thrift Jobs!" Get out there and find the niche for you.

Can you think of any thrift jobs I left off the list? What's your dream thrift job?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. great list van, i like how you've split it up under different categories. and i also like how you've just followed your passion. no, followed isn't quite the right term... grabbed it by the horns? whipped it into submission? ;) something like that.

  2. Thank you! I shall continue to whip it into submission until it gives me what I want! That's how you show love for your passion? Right? :)

  3. Great article....so many things to think about. Right now I am living my dream of having a vintage booth......I thrive on it and get so excited each week thinking about the possibilities. I would love to combine not only having a booth, but working in the environment, helping other people see the potential in something other than its intended use. It's funny how many people you can share ideas with and when they "get it" you see the light in their eyes....how fun it is to take something vintage and make it useful in our everyday lives!!! I love it!!

    1. Yes indeed. I think what I love the most about careers in second hand is the creativity! Close second, teaching others about the thrifty/hippie lifestyle.

  4. Great information. HOw would one start a Pro Picker business. I can so see doing this. Buying with other people's money!

    1. Network and advertise your ass off ;) Advertise in the phone book, craigslist, related publications and network with people in the field you want to pick for.

  5. Wow! Great job on creating this list!! Thanks so much for all of the research and thought you put in to doing this. :-)

    1. 'Twas fun! :) And there's so many more possibilities out there...

  6. Just found your blog and love it! Keep up the good work!

  7. wow. i think one of your greatest gifts is the ability to dream big - very inspiring! i think my dream thrift job would be to be the Rick Steeves of Thrift Shops - travel the world and visit thrift shops and have a TV show about that. wouldn't that be fun? i'd watch that.

    1. Get outta my head, haha! I have the same dream, to host a TV show where we travel the world and all of its thrift stores and flea markets.

      Among many others! I'm getting into a few of the ones listed...

  8. As always: INSPIRED! This is a great list -- a lot of opps I hadn't even considered. Can there be more hours in the day, please? ;-)

    1. I know, right? I wish there was more time to do ALL of it!

  9. Man, I needed this today! Inspiration, fo' sho'. This list made my day, yet made it even harder to keep my mind on my day gig... :-)

    1. I know that pain well! Thank you for letting me know the article made your day!

  10. Love, love, love this list. Dressing sets for movies with thrifted finds is something I think I'd be especially skilled in doing. Hmm. Okay a possible #51...for me, at least. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm going to (hopefully, possibly) get a space for Jackie's Creepy Time Theatre---where I would display and/or perform with all of my creepy finds. And of course there's the thrift-inspired coffee shop/cafe idea where everything except the food is thrifted....like a thrift-gallery meets coffee shop. Oh the possibilities!

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

    1. I want to open a wunderkammer style museum of creepy curiosities, too! And my friend and I are working on that exact cafe idea ;) You should go for it! I get so energized thinking of all the thrift job possibilities!

  11. This one of the most interesting posts I read recently within my blogroll!
    Thanks for inspiring and remembering us that there's life outside the 9-5 :)


  12. Excellent post. The way you catergorized them is brilliant. I have the luxury right now of time & a very supportive husband - now I need nerve :-)

  13. Organized content is the best way to display or post an article, thank you for making it easy to digest your post.

  14. Nope, you seem to have covered them all. I have an online resale business and I just started a blog. I also have a license to run estate sales but I haven't acted on it yet. Note to self - stop procrastinating! :)

  15. Thanks for the great post - I've been reading a lot of articles online trying to validate what I'm doing (just opened a curated designer brand clothing resale website!!). It's my second attempt at starting a business and I'm really going to keep my eye on the prize this time. Love your blog, keep the great posts coming!

  16. I echo the sentiments of the others...wonderful post, and great validation! Opens up a lot of possibilities! Thanks, Van!

  17. Fab! Love it, I do several of these now, and the gettin' can be tough in rural America. Thank God for USPS and the internets!

  18. This is the best! Yeah I am late to the party but this was truly inspiring. I find most "list" posts to be fluff but this is full of actual, real ideas. I'm currently pursuing a "useless degree" (English).. my first degree ever, too. I am also 42 years old and thinking about grad school and being almost a half century old when I finally finish school, and worrying about ageism and thinking about how I really don't want to work for someone else in the first place and never have! Oh, and I've been thrifting and re-selling for years (on eBay) as it is, but would much prefer a brick & mortar space for many reasons. I've never managed to take it all the way to full time on eBay for long but your list has me thinking outside the box! I just know there's a way for me to combine writing skills and "finding" skills and turn it all into a way to live. :)

    Thanks so much!

  19. This is great! Thanks! Any tips advice on where how to hire find Pickers for my online shop?

  20. I've created a business buying and combining thrifted garments into new fashions a.k.a. ""Upcycling". I sell detailed instructions for sewers so they can also deconstruct and reconstruct thrift store finds into new one-of-a-kind garments. I love it! Www.paganoonoo.com

  21. Hi! Love your site! I just stumbled upon it while looking for ways to turn my thrifting passion into a career and this wonderful article popped up! How would you suggest getting into vintage wardrobe styling? I can't sew or anything. I just have an eye for putting fun things I find together, everything from business wear to a fancy gala. Thanks!

  22. Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks DELED Result

  23. For many people this is the best solution here see how to do it. Salary In Pakistan

  24. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written. job posting


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