Today at the thrift store, I found a Hanna Andersson playdress for $1, a Hanna sweater for $2, a pair of practically brand new leather Keds in the baby's size for $2, and a Folkmanis puppet for 95 cents!! Woohoo!!
Do you know the beautiful Katwise sweater coats? Well I'm making kid versions for some craft fairs my mom is going to go to this fall/winter. So, I've been scouring thrift stores this past weekend for sweaters. It's funny, I have found more cashmere sweaters for $1.49 than wool ones. You would think those would be more expensive? But...oh so soft!! Hopefully in the very near future I will have a showing of Molly's sweater coat I'm working on ala Katwise. (Don't tell but hubby wants me to make him one, too. I'm not so sure...but we're talking about a man who bought a kid's hat with a giant stuffed duck on it at a thrift store and wears it in public.)
Anyway...You can do this too! Being a stay-at-home mommy with only one income, hubby and I have become thrift store aficionados. We buy our clothes nearly exclusively at thrift stores for both of us. I once found a wad of cash in a pocket of dress pants I bought hubby at the thrift store. My oldest is still a thrift store snob, but she's seeing the fun in it lately, especially when I can find her favorite brands. The younger two could not care less where their clothes come from. Mr E thought it was awesome when I found him a t-shirt from a Soviet airlines.
The baby gets 100% of her clothes from thrift stores, and I exclusively buy boutique brands or nice brand names of stuff like Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, and the Gap. You would not believe the stuff I find in thrift stores practically new. Aeropostale, Abercrombie, Land's End, and all kinds of boutique brands.
We have also started a little eBay biz with thrift store scores. I found a Coach purse a couple months ago for $17, vintage Tupperware for 39 cents and sold it for $3, every Hanna Andersson piece I put on eBay usually sells with the BIN button. Our best so far was a recent purchase of a vintage Peterson strobe tuner. Hubby found it at one of our thrift store outings for $15. He played with it for about a month, and then we sold it for $118.
To do this, all you need is to specialize in a few things, so you can easily know your product and figure if what you want to purchase can be sold at a profit. My specialties are baby clothes, contemporary and vintage sewing stuff, and vintage food stuff like Tupperware. Hubby specializes in vintage electronics and musical equipment. I don't buy something if I cannot make at least 200% profit on it, minus the fees on eBay.
A lot of times if we aren't sure, we use our iPhones with the eBay app and check "completed listings" to see what stuff sold, while we are in the store.