Thursday, November 29, 2012

Top 3 Trends in the Thrifting and Reselling Community: 2012


The thrift community continues to thrive! New Thrift TV shows, websites, blog, books, clubs, and online social networks aimed at thrifting and thrifty living are being created. There are pros and cons, but I'm a cheapskate for life and enjoy being in the middle of the movement. Last year we saw the concept of thrift become a mainstream media fixture. This year, Thrift Stores are taking it a step further.

Here are the Top Trends I've noticed in the Thrifting Community:

1. The Number of Resellers Continues to Grow:

With the job market feeling unstable and the increase of Cash in the Attic shows that promise riches for selling vintage items, many people are flocking to reselling as a way to provide for themselves and their families. Not everyone succeeds, but you can't deny more people are joining the party every day.

2. Prices for Second Hand Goods Increase at Thrift Stores:

In a controversial big to strike while the iron's hot and get more income for their causes, Thrift Stores across the nation are raising prices. Sometimes printing out proof of the "eBay price" and taping it to antique or retro items. Prices even go up on clothing and other essentials some feel should be priced more reasonably to benefit the needy.

3. Thrift Stores and More are Taking it Online:

Along with an increase of self-employed individual online resellers, thrift stores are selling valuables online rather than in their brick and mortar shops. Websites, social networks and blogs on thrifting and living thriftily continue to surface.

It's important to evaluate and discuss the trends in your field to see where you should move forward with your business. I'm a frugal person for life, no matter where the trends take us, I'll be right here saving (valuable moolah!) and reporting from the trenches!

What are the top trends you're noticing in the thrift community? 
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24 comments:

  1. here in canada, thrift prices are CRAZY. we're talking dresses from stitches (our version of a charlotte russe) for $12-14.99!!! Furs and leathers ALL over $60, it's now at the point when you could buy it new for only a few dollars more... which makes it very hard to resell. :( it sure makes thrifting a lot less exciting, because when you find a great treasure on the rack you might not even be able to afford it!

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    1. That is crazy! It's not the norm here, but we do see prices like that at some of the stores here in the South East USA. You can definitely find stuff at retail price for less without looking too hard.

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  2. I've learned that even though there are more resellers, I can find my own niche of things to look for when buying at thrift stores/yard sales.So while everyone is fighting over the cart of books and dvds that just came out,I can quietly go in and score on things people overlook.

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    1. I do the same. There may be more resellers, but there's also abundant loot out there. I will never fight at the thrift store, there's too much out there for that.

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    2. While I won't fight at thrift stores, I've learned to keep my mouth shut or my voice down when I talk about what I'm looking for.

      I was looking for a particular book series at a reuse shop, talking to my boyfriend about it & the lady near me found one of the books and grabbed it.
      Lesson learned.

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    3. Sometimes it is more fruitful to hunt silently and stealthily like a tiger stalking its prey! I use to thrift with friends often and still do sometimes, but these days it's more of a relaxing, quiet, solo venture.

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  3. I won't get in the middle of the crowd grabbing stuff, but I do kinda secretly wish someone would try to fight with me.I test for my black belt in two weeks and I've always wanted to try out some of the techniques that I've learned,but are too dangerous to use while sparring.The only thing that would really hold me back is the thought of getting banned at the thrift store...and arrested..but mostly getting banned.Is that wrong?

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  4. My local Salvation army is pricing train cases and cute vintage luggage for at least $20!

    I'm torn between thinking they have just as much right as we do to try to make money on popular items and thinking that is not the point of a thrift shop.

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    1. They have a right to maximize profit, that doesn't mean we have to like it. : p

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  5. i totally agree that prices are starting to get ridiculous. i blame Value Village for triggering that trend but i also wonder if the growth of reselling is also fueling that fire?
    i volunteer at a charity thrift shop so i totally understand the desire to get the most money you can from your shop so that you can direct those funds to your charity. but at what point do you raise your prices so high that you drive your customers away?

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    1. We don't have Value Village down here. I wonder what their prices are like. The rising price trend has me hitting flea markets for deals.

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  6. Being in Australia I would nearly say the trends you mention as being global. I do find it bothersome resellers wanting to enter the game who really do appear to lack the knowledge. For example a reseller I've seen recently selling dresses stating they are 1960's, but all indications and investigations of the garment point to late 1970's at the earliest. I think some new resellers entering the market seriously haven't spent the time educating themselves in their niche or field of interest. You can't expect to have longevity if you can't deliver on the knowledge. I could go on about this for ages, I think some people see quick money to be made and thinks its as easy as selling something that "looks old".

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    1. I agree, we are seeing resellers that are not dedicated to quality setting up more and more. This will only make the quality stores stand out more.

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  7. I've watched the three thrift stores I haunt regularly change since this summer. 1 is now looking for retail pricing on new/like new products. The 2nd is creeping up and fortunately the 3rd is still realistic. If you go at the right time of day there are so many dealers in there it looks like a zombie attach. That said, most are grabbing the stuff that aren't in my categories. Knowledge = dollars, always.

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    1. I agree Bob, knowledge will take you far!

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  8. I like to go to thrifts and antique stores to check out what is out there. If I don't know about it, I won't know how to buy it when I see it at a garage or estate sale. The Goodwill by me is now doing an auction with their nicest products once a month. Fortunately, they are not anything that appeals to me! They leave pyrex and royal haegar stuff sitting on the shelves for 1.99!

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    1. I do see pyrex on the shelves for okay prices at times, so much still does slip right through the cracks! It's still worth it to stop by thrift stores to look for the good deals on valuables.

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  9. We rescue art from thrift stores in the east and midwest. Most Goodwill stores have 50% off on a certain color price tag. The system is different in each state, yet it is easy to figure out. I save art only on half price days. This is one way to dance with the higher price trending.

    Here is a secret for find excellent quality art at thrifts: pick at stores that are in low income neighborhoods within high income cities. The high income folks have extra art they can't find a wall for, so they drop it off at the thrift as a philanthropic gesture. Everybody is helped when we rescue a nice piece.

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    1. I love the tips, thanks for sharing Rodney. The Goodwill stores in Jacksonville Florida no longer do 50% off sales on certain color price tags and it's store policy not to haggle with prices, but I ask anyway. Sometimes I can still get deals on items. As a kid I remember Goodwills having frequent shopper cards and my mom would fill them up in no time, then earn a percentage off her purchase. I wonder if Goodwills anywhere else in the world does this anymore?

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    2. Good afternoon Van,

      Yes, Massachusetts has a little card that is punched or marked to get $5 off after so much shopping. Connecticut has a high-tech magnetic card that tracks members and gives discounts for things over $15 (?). The staff in the MA stores think they are old fashioned.

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    3. No fair! I wish we had those systems down here.

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  10. Hello Van,

    I am reflecting on the rising prices of art in the thrifts. If they realize they have a piece of value, let them charge for it. Good for them!
    Yet, we can add value. First, by cleaning and repairing the art. Most problems are created by years of living in dirty environments. Second, by listing the art on internet sites, we have brought it one or two rungs up the market scale, so it is inherently more valuable than it was in the thrift. Third, and this is our specialty at Rescued Art, we can enhance the value of art by writing stories about its history and how it was saved from the forgotten corner of the thrift.

    Prices are going up, yet good art from thrifts can be wonderful profit makers.

    "All People Deserve Art"

    Rodney

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    1. That's the beauty of it, no matter how high the prices go, there will always be enough to go around and ways to use what we find creatively.

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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