5 Top Places to Find Clothes to Flip

Garage sales are seasonal in many regions. In the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, they seem to thrive in the spring, become sporadically available during the summer and then finish strong in the fall. Not everyone has access to garage sales year-round, but they need the business opportunity to source inventory in any season. 

Keep your flip game alive all year by hitting up these locations. Are you a flipper who made a serious profit? Find us on Twitter at @137pm and tell us your story.

1. Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are number one on this list for a reason. If you buy for eBay, thrift stores are the top places to look when garage sales are slim. The locations can be found by searching on Waze or Google Maps. In my case, I’ve hit up countless shops, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army and Savers. Start your search with these company names. As a rule, the inventory at these stores is usually heaviest in the spring and late fall for two main reasons: Households are often doing their spring-cleaning and purging, and people are looking for that quick tax write-off in anticipation of tax season. Thrift stores have a lighter inventory during the Christmas shopping season and at the beginning of the New Year when the average consumer is enjoying their holiday splendors.

2. Dollar Stores

Sometimes you don’t need a retailer to host a major sale, you just need buyers who can’t find what they are looking for. Dollar stores and regional retailers such as Walgreens have collectibles that many people want but don’t have the access to purchase. The brick-and-mortar locations will get high-demand exclusives from big brands such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Pepsi and many more. These places require frequent check-ins, but the rewards can be very high when you make the effort.

3. Retail Sales

This option is amazing for many small-scale resellers. 

Whenever a store has a sale, look at a list of their discounted items online. Sometimes you could stumble upon an item while walking through a grocery store or looking to buy yourself new jeans at a department store. Even when you’re out shopping casually, it’s crucial that you are always on the hunt for sales that you could take advantage of. Always turn on the eBay app to start scanning items you feel could sell for a higher price online. 

Post-Christmas sales are undoubtedly the best. Some pop-up shops in malls need to liquidate their year-end inventory. Find them. Other stores try to offload their seasonal items by discounting them heavily. Black Friday and other holiday sales bring discounted items to a price that is low enough for favorable margins. Check it all out.

4. Liquidation and Bulk Buys

Liquidation sales—when a store is going out of business or restructuring its inventory—can be a great place for acquiring diverse products. You can find websites selling returned items from major retailers such as Walmart, Amazon and Target. While the sellers don’t test each product and therefore cannot guarantee that the items work, the margins should be high enough to take the gamble as a flipper. Before you bid on these lots, keep in mind that there will be shipping costs. 

Bulk buys such as Alibaba are different. Committing to one item could be highly profitable, but it limits your listing availability and could fill your storage space quickly. So think hard about buying these, but reap the benefits when you get it right. When buying on Alibaba, you could commit to hundreds of the same type of item. This could mean you’ll need to keep these items for a while unless you are a master of the sales arbitrage. On a liquidation website, you are buying returned, salvaged or refurbished item lots. The item lots can have various types of items, in various conditions with different resale values. A lot can have several brands of items. For example, one lot purchase could contain five Under Armor polos, three Champion sweatshirts and 14 private-label shirts with a total value of $100. There are shipping costs, and sites like Liquidation can give you a quote with estimated tax as well.

5. eBay, Amazon and Craigslist

Interestingly enough, there are plenty of items that you can buy on one digital platform to resell on another, generating a solid margin. With Craigslist items, you almost always have to commit to picking up the purchase in person. You can ask the seller if they’ll ship, but you’ll need to work out the costs. Amazon and eBay sales are easier. You can sell on one platform and arrange to ship from the other. In this scenario, you won’t need to handle shipping at all, just inputting the buyer’s details.

Read Next: Why Does Streetwear Cost So Much?

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