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Twenty Dollar Challenge Thrift Shopping

Updated on February 13, 2014
when looking for womens clothing I tell people I cross dress on weekends, LOL
when looking for womens clothing I tell people I cross dress on weekends, LOL

What Does 20 Bucks Buy

the great part of the $20.00 challenge is that no matter where you are in your business building there is something here you can use.. As you will see as we get better at the shopping, our profits will increase just as well...

if you dont have a smart phone, I am not sure how you survive being in business, I am not saying it cant be done, but you do limit how much on the fly research you can do as you will see further along, I carry two smart phones from two different providers so that I have a better coverage of service... they pay for themselves in the end... But you can do it without a smart phone to start, just have a very small BOLO (be on the look out) list...

When you first walk into a thrift store, it can be overwhelming to decide where to look first, remember $20 bucks will only go so far even in a thrift store... So where to start, this is a personal decision but I am going to show you my method to madness, when I walk in to the local thrift store everyone knows why I am there, I dont hide the fact that I sell every item I buy on eBay... Why hide it, I have meet some great people because of it... Plus when someone approaches you when you are looking through womens sweaters and says ohh shopping for valentines day you can say NO WAY I am a cross dresser on the weekend... LOL Yes thats my mugshot on the right...You should see the looks I get after that...

The first place I head is the cashier to see what specials are running my local stores always have something going on... Good will I use alot and they have 50% two colors every day... Armed with that information I head off to the mens casual shirts and I start at one end of the rack and touch and look at the tag of each shirt, I am looking for button front hawaiian shirts mainly... I will look at the color of each tag as i find one on the rack... Not half off I move on unless it is on my must buy list of Harley Davidson, Tommy Bahama, and the likes, we all have those lists... IF not join some groups or search youtube... If I find a hawaiian style shirt that is SILK and half off but I dont know the label it gets looked up on eBay for a quick reference, if it is decent I will put it in the cart... If the shirt is really odd looking or has a new tag i will check it out closer, I rarely buy polo shirts I dont do well with them... So I find this sweater type shirt, looks new, and I look it up, turns out it is vintage and actually sells pretty well, in the cart it goes, at the end of the rack I may have 3 shirts, on a good day i may have 8 or 12... From here I head for dishes and glasses, I love china and glass more personal then for resale... Although I do list it all for sale I dont count it for the challenge...

Next I head back to mens to look at tee shirts, if I find 2 I feel like I made a million dollars, I do find some great ones, Jimmy Buffet, Harley Davidson, Tommy Bahama, Hard Rock Cafe, now once I touch every tee shirt I turn towards womens clothing which I hate to do but there is gold in those racks... I been doing this for a while now and still struggle with womens clothing, only because there is so much there... racks and racks and racks... LOL...

One Shoppers Haul

$20 wont buy this much
$20 wont buy this much

Overflowing Cartload

After I have touched a few hundred pieces of clothing time to check out, NO not at the cashier, Lord knows we got well over 20 bucks in the cart... This is the great part of the challenge as you will see later on... (yes there are times you just hit a gold mine and whip out the credit card)... But for the most part what is in the cart is just bread and butter stuff, average stuff that sells everyday.. You may have one or two pieces that are your diamonds... I normally go back to the furniture and start going through every item in the cart again...

Sometimes I see a stain right away, that I missed in the isle, sometimes I find a missing button, a seam tear, I mean I go through this stuff with a fine tooth comb, I only got 20 bucks... So the weeding begins... Here are some of the name brands I have left behind on a shopping trip, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Bahama, Burberry, Saks Fifth Ave... and the list will go on and on... You may think I am crazy, I know I did even thought about turning around and going back for things... Just because of a name, there really wasnt anything wrong with the item, but they were "used" what I am looking for is the like new, almost new, perfect put in my own closet type stuff... So now half the cart goes back on the racks... I will double check some of them on my phone... Remember tomorrow is another day...

okay I got what I came for, the cream of the cream... my cart has 5 sweaters in it... 2 ralph laurens, one a black label, a rabbit hair sweater with a poddle (see above picture) an Italian NWT ellesse sweater and a burgiti coogi sweater polo ugly but it will sell... I go up to the cashier to check out... With my military discount and half off sales my total was 13.50...

Now on the flip side later that same day, i rushed to the cashier with a saks fifth ave vintage purse for 5.37 got home and started looking closer and it just isnt as nice as I thought it was... Will I list it of course I will, BUT if I was using the challenge method I am not so sure I would have bought it...

Back to the sweaters, Yes I would have bought these if I wasnt on the challenge, but I also would have bought 20 bucks worth of average selling stuff that I would have had to list at some point, taking away from having more time to thrift...

I bought 5 sweaters, I paid 13.50, working the challenge system I will probably get 40 bucks for the 4 average sweaters, and I will hold out on the black label until I get 100 bucks or so for it, the purse i will run an auction starting at 24.95 and see where it goes... I will clean it up and make it a little nicer to sell...

The key to this challenge isnt to see how fast you can spend and list 20 bucks worth of average stuff, it is to find the stuff just above average to perfect, smaller volume with a higher profit... Listing time will be under two hours for the sweaters, and an hour for the purse to clean it up... (will teach me not to look closer at every item)

This is just the first time, I am sure you will have many questions, but it gives you an idea of what and how I look for my items for the 20 Dollar Challenge... Remember to give this a thumbs up below..

God Bless

© 2014 John Chartier

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