Thrifting Tales: Navigating the Controversy of Reselling with Purpose

Hey you, yes you! My fellow reseller and friend of the interwebs. Have you ever gone into a thrift store only to have someone tell you that you’re not okay being there? Or perhaps you’ve traveled to a free site with some inventory only to be pushed away because of people feeling like donating is a better cause than you profiting from their goods. Is reselling from thrift stores wrong? A touchy subject for some, but alas, we’re going to talk about it!

So…Is Reselling From Thrift Stores Wrong?

As resellers, sometimes we can get a bad rep on picking things up from the thrift stores. We often get side eye-d, huffs and puffs from fellow shoppers, or weird looks when we’re diligently scrolling through our comps in the corner like a goblin.

My favorite times have been when I get super excited randomly when I’m already in line and then shout an “Ooo!” out of nowhere only to leave the line and run to the item that was just spotted with my reseller eagle eye. It’s a whole scene and I’m here for it. Yes, perhaps we may annoy some other shoppers with our over-excitement about other peoples junk, but after nearly 8 years of being in the wild, it no longer phases me, and you shouldn’t let it bother you either!

I find that a lot of people are either extremely interested in why I’m hunched over my over-filled cart staring deeply into my phone, or sometimes people just straight up tell us that we’re stealing from the poor. Raise a hand in the comments if you’ve heard that before!

Unfortunately what most don’t understand is that what funds we so graciously dump into the thrift stores we’re in, actually goes back into helping those in our communities much more than a high end bag or retro sweater could possibly do.

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting and talking with one of the persons that helped open a local thrift store, and boy did she have a lot to say!

Related: The Reselling Route: Maximizing Profitability with a Thrift Store Focus

Don’t Feel Bad… You Are Actually Helping

When I first started thrifting, the peering eyes got under my skin. I heard stories of others telling cashiers they were going to donate the items even though they planned to sell them. Which I never understood, because eventually you’ll want to go back to that store and that probably wouldn’t end well.

We shouldn’t need to “feel bad” about where we find our inventory, whether that be local free spots or digging through the Goodwill outlets or spotting a long forgotten vintage piece in the back corner of a flea market. We’re quite literally giving a second life to these items, modern, vintage, new with tags, or old and ready for repurposing!

The lady that I spoke to, mentioned a few of her thoughts about why she’s confused when people get upset with resellers coming into their thrifts. I asked her how she felt about when people come in to buy with the intention to profit from those goods, and she then told me how important it actually is for the community that people like us come in!

Oftentimes, the chain corporate stores that we all know and sometimes love are out in the open on every corner of a city. However! The little mom and pop ones, (you know, the ones with the best deals!?), are usually in places that aren’t as prevalent and may need a little more research on how to get to.

Because of this, they don’t have as many people coming into the store, which in turn ultimately leads to less sales! When influencers, resellers, and the like join the crowd though, they typically get a surge of new shoppers which can drastically increase their revenue!

And guess where that revenue goes to?!

Related: How I Choose What to Leave Behind in the Thrift

Where Do Sales From Thrift Stores Go?

The fact that we as resellers are basically in the position to help out the community by just supporting our local thrifts is so cool in itself. All we have to do to help out our fellow neighbors in need is to support the places that are supporting them! It’s really that easy.

So if you’ve been looking at different ways that you can increase your volunteer time or want to donate to a local cause, you can do so by shopping at your local thrift stores! Why not gain some inventory and help out at the same time?

If you’re just starting out though and searching more for a free kind of route, I highly suggest checking out your local spots on CraigslistFacebook Marketplace, or OfferUp. These platforms usually offer an option to check for free items in your area.


Related: How To Get Started on ebay and Where We Are 5 Years Later

The Reality Of Thrifting And Its Impact

Recently I came across one of these spots that I mentioned in the beginning of this post. Not only was another seller there already digging through the clothing, (which if you’ve been following us, is why we’ve not switched to being an everything seller!)

*Side Note! …Oftentimes I’ll come across other sellers that are clothing or shoe only sellers. This highly limits what you can look out for to resell in your store, so like I’ve mentioned in other posts before this one, be sure to level up by increasing your knowledge so you can snag those other hard goods laying nearby!

Okay, back to the clothing seller…she was going through it while telling me she was going to take it to her store. Which was awesome! I’m all about supporting each other as most of us have different categories that we sell in. But when I gave my card to folks in charge, they talked about preferring to donate these items instead of giving to someone that will simply profit on them.

This boggles my brain. I am 100% behind donating for a good cause, but most of those items will end up in the Goodwill Bins, or a pile across seas. When you support the local resellers in your area as well, we can spruce these items up and turn the over for an affordable price to someone on the other end who is in desperate need, near or far!

What’re your thoughts on today’s post? We’re happy to hear about any experiences or feedback you have regarding this topic. Although it may be controversial, it is something that we all need to be on the same page about! Let’s help each other by creating a circle of trust among the reselling community and the community at large.

Thank You For Reading “Is Reselling From Thrift Stores Wrong? Why I No Longer Get Bothered In The Thrift”

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all those who have supported us thus far on our journey including today’s post about whether it is wrong when reselling from thrift stores in 2024.  At Rooted Drawers, we deeply appreciate your ongoing readership. We hope that you will continue to visit us in the future. Check out our resource website today!

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