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"How Do You Know Where To Look?" Is a question that I get all the time. The most obvious places are at Thrift Stores, Estate Sales, & Garage Sales, but people always tell me that sometimes they're just overwhelmed at the sheer amount of stuff. Having a plan of attack before you get to a thrift store makes it less overwhelming! I can be in and out of a store in less than 15 minutes if I have made my rounds and haven’t seen anything that I like. But if you have extra time to kill, keep looking! You’ll be bound to find your next big flip!

1st Stop: The Jewelry Counter

I can't help it, I'm addicted to jewelry! I always see what they have in their ‘nice’ case first because I have good luck selling jewelry. By knowing some solid jewelry designer styles, you’ll have an advantage. There are also better things behind the counter, but usually they are overpriced based on eBay ‘asking’ values. (Wait for 50% or sale days. They usually separate their gold and silver from the regular costume, but this can also be to your benefit since most thrift stores don’t know vintage designers.

Things I look for: Sterling Rings, Gold Below/At Melt Value, and Vases of jewelry.

2nd Stop: The Housewares Aisles

Some of my best items come from the housewares section. I scour the shelves for things of value, and really use my eBay sold listings trick here. The more unique the better! This is where I find my good solid midrange items. I try to buy things that will make me a profit of at least $25-50 here.

Things I look for: Bookends, Sculptures, Signed Pottery

3rd Stop: The Kitchen Aisle

This can be a fun aisle to find all those kitchen gadgets that you see on tv that you don’t want to pay full price for. It is also a great place to find vintage bakeware. If you know what you’re looking for, some rare Pyrex dishes from the 50’s can be worth some big bucks! Trust me, it’s not easy to find them though. Here is a link to Pyrex patterns. Remember, if it’s brown, PUT IT DOWN!

Things I look for: Colored Pyrex, Starburst Silver Ware, Cool Barware

4th Stop: The Art Aisle

Do I need more art? …No. Do I buy it anyways? Of course! One of my favorite sections is the art area. I’ve learned to stay away from prints (unless well known and signed/numbered), fake art, and anything mass produced. Right now big colorful art is in style, so if you see a large, vibrant painting, jump on it! I've also learned that art doesn't sell fast, so make sure you love it too!

Things I look for: Abstract Art, Signed Movie Posters, Signed Paintings

5th Stop: The Furniture Section

I live in a condo so I can’t take anything too big home, but there are a lot of good finds to be had here! I look for a solid pair of fun or funky lamps (singles are harder to sell), musical instruments that are in working condition, and any small solid wood pieces. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell vintage furniture! Keep on trend with what's in style to keep your spending in check.

Things I look for: Pairs of Lamps, Keyboards, Mid-Century End Tables

6th Stop: The Clothing Section

This is usually my last stop because to me, it’s the most tedious. I can walk through the aisles pretty fast and see a lot of things just by looking at the type of materials. Knowing brands is good here, so some fashionistas excel in this section buying clothes for their Poshmark or Depop store. I usually stick to jackets and outerwear because when I sell online it takes a long time to measure things that are fitted. Usually outerwear has more give.

Things I look for: Funky Sweaters, 80’s Puffy Jackets, Vibrant Patterns

Now I do look at every aisle- I have found great stuff in the toy section, or even some great finds in the purse section! But those aisles take a lot of time, and you really have to know your stuff. I don't recommend purses unless you're really good at spotting counterfeits! And with toys you have to make sure all the pieces are there. Rule of thumb, if it's too good to be true, it usually is! About 9.9/10 'Louis Vuitton' purses behind the counter are fake. Save yourself the loss and stick to know you know!


In my last post, I mentioned the importance of SOLD listings. Right now, there is a huge thing going around about how “Your Corning Ware Might Be Worth Thousands of Dollars!”…And sadly that’s just not true. People are asking anywhere from a few hundred, to tens of THOUSANDS of dollars! Common sense tells me that the thick white glass dishes that are always found at Goodwill are not just a cash cow waiting for someone to come along. In reality, these dishes are worth around $5-$20 at BEST.

To check sold listings, first type in what you want to search. For this purpose I am going to type in “Corning Ware Spice of Life Dish With Lid’. This is what comes up:

Now, this looks REALLY exciting! You feel your heart start to beat faster while you think of raiding your grandma’s cabinets and cash in on all her old dishes…. But that smile soon fades when you click the sold listings button and womp womp womp…. Your dreams are crushed.

The first inkling of the prices being inflated in the first photo is to see that the middle one has a couple bids... at $23. To get to the sold menu, you need to go to left column, and all the way at the bottom check 'Sold Listings'. Completed listings will automatically be checked.

On mobile, on the right hand side, click 'Filters' then scroll down until you see 'Sold Listings'. Personally I do most of my checking on mobile.

Now, you may say, “But Jenn! Some sold for almost a hundred dollars this week!” And that is true. Because people 'buy into' the thought that they need these 'valuable' dishes. I call this a “bubble”. The mass hype brings attention to eBay listings but if you go back just in December, nothing is that high and gives you a truer estimate of value.

Edited to add: some people reached out and asked why there are some "sold" for large amounts. Now there are a few things in play here. First, "Accepted Best Offer" doesn't actually show you what their offer was. It could be $6,000.... Or more likely $10. Same thing with items with only one bid. Sometimes it's someone who won't end up paying, other times its people shilling their own listings and then canceling the sale. This item for example, was 'sold' at $6,000, but magically relisted at $200. Still inflated, but that tells me that big sale didn't go through!

Still seeing ones sold for thousands? Worst case scenario- Money laundering. Same thing happened with Black Diamond Disney VHS tapes... No, they are not worth thousands either! (more on that coming soon!) Look for items with multiple bids, and items that are an odd number (more authentic of a sale). This will help keep you from overpaying or overvaluing your item.

Worse comes to worse, list your item high! ...but sometimes if something is too good to be true, it probably is.

The last thing I will leave you with is that just because someone sold one on eBay cheap one time does not mean your item is not valuable either. I also recommend trying a few different sites for value as well. For example, I have a Worthpoint subscription that I use, but you have to pay for that. If you have an item that was limited in production, made of a precious metal, or in better condition than one sold online, fear not. At the end of the day things only sell for what someone is willing to pay, or what someone is willing to let it go for. Sometimes things slip through the crack and someone ends up getting a good deal. Do your research and you can avoid being unaware of what you have!

Now you know, the best place you can find Corning Ware is on the shelf, right where you left it.

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Thrifting is awesome! But when you're thrifting to make money, here are some mistakes I first made (and what to do instead!) that I've learned along the way.

Mistake #1. Buying Something Cool, Even Thought It Was Broken.

Don't buy it if it's broken. This is an easy one. Sometimes you'll find something really cool!... and then there's a crack in it, or a small chip. Many times I have told myself, "But I can fix it!". But I didn't. And if you're selling online, you'll have to photograph and disclose any flaw driving the customers to find a more pristine piece. My advice? Unless it's super rare and you'll make over $50 profit even if it's broken condition, leave it. You'll thank yourself later.

Mistake #2. Buying Something Solely Because It Was Old

Just because it's old, doesn't mean someone wants to buy it. When I first started thrifting, I would scour the shelves looking for anything old. I ended up having to re-donate or sell things almost at a loss at the thrift store because I just didn't have the market for them. My Advice? Do yourself a favor and learn how to use eBay sold listings. It's super easy- you just go to the advanced settings on your mobile phone, or on the left-hand side on your desktop and check 'Sold Listings'. This can show what current things have sold for, and sometimes it's disappointing!

Mistake #3. Not Aiming To More Than Double Your Money

I've learned to set my sights on higher than just doubling my money. I won't buy a $5 item if I can only make $10 on it. Why? Because if I am paying rent in a booth (or giving up space in my house!) I can't afford not to maximize my profits. Have a limit for what you're willing to spend on things and stick to a profit margin. My advice? Try to aim for x4 (or higher!) on each thing you buy. It's not always do-able when you get to larger priced items, but if the item is $5, make sure you can get at least $20 and so on. Do not buy something just because it is old. See mistake #2.

Mistake #4. Not Having Your Niche

Referring to mistake #2 again, just buying something because it is old isn't good enough. I learned the hard way trying to keep up with everything I thought everyone else was selling, and I ended up with a really strange mix of items. My Advice? Stick to a decade range or pick a theme. My sweet-spot is 80's and 90's right now, but I do love classic MCM as well. By staying with your niche, you can keep your spending in check.

Mistake #5. Buying Something I Didn't Have The Space For

We've all been there. There's a huge couch at an estate sale. And it's the perfect shade of teal and it's $35......but you don't need a couch and you live in a studio apartment. With stairs. Don't do that to yourself by overcrowding your space by buying something too big. My advice? Unless you have a sale lined up to a fellow dealer or customer that same day, leave the big stuff alone and pass the tip on to another reseller. They will thank you and remember you the next time they see something YOU like!

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