20 Best Tips to Find Hidden Treasures in Thrift Stores

photo of woman near clothes

Do you love shopping for things at discounts but shopping malls are always selling things at a high price? Fear not, as there is a solution that won’t break the bank – thrift stores! Many people overlook thrift stores because they aren’t well decorated, but they can be a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. With a little bit of time and effort, you can find amazing titles at a fraction of the cost of buying them new.

Why Thrift Shop Shopping is Fun

Thrift store shopping has become one of the most popular side hustles popularized by Gary Vee. With the possibility of finding hidden gem people don’t realize, it’s no wonder there are some who would treat it as a main job. There is even a case where in 1974, a man bought a Rolex for $345 only to realize years later it is now worth over $400,000.

Where can you Go thrift shopping in Singapore?

women shopping in a clothing store
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Thrift shopping has become increasingly popular in my country; Singapore. I’m surprised that there are actually quite a number of thrift store in my country as well. Here are some popular places to go thrift shopping in Singapore:


Thrift Shop Run by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, New2U Thrift Shop is a popular spot for thrift shopping. Located in Waterloo Centre, the store sells a variety of clothing, accessories, and household items at affordable prices.

The Salvation Army Thrift Store

The Salvation Army operates several thrift stores in Singapore, including outlets in Bukit Timah, Punggol, and Jurong West. The stores offer a wide range of items, including clothing, furniture, and electronics.

MINDS Thrift Shop

MINDS Thrift Shop is run by the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and sells secondhand clothing, books, and household items. The store is located in Serangoon and is known for its affordable prices.


Refash is a thrift store that specializes in women’s clothing and accessories. The store has several locations across Singapore, including outlets in Bugis Junction and Orchard Gateway.


While not a physical store, Carousell is a popular online marketplace in Singapore where users can buy and sell secondhand items. The app offers a wide range of items, including clothing, electronics, and home decor.

How to find Valuable Items at Thrift Stores

It takes skill and experience to learn to determine what items are considered valuable. Here are 20 quick tips on how to find product that have potential to sell for higher price.

1) Look for Classics and Collectibles

Thrift stores often have a wide selection of classic literature, such as works by Shakespeare, Dickens, and Austen. These books are timeless and are always in demand, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them. You might also stumble upon collectibles like first-edition books or signed copies, which can be worth a lot of money.

2) Check the Copyright Date

Another useful tip when browsing thrift store bookshelves is to check the copyright date. Older books are often more valuable, especially if they are in good condition. You might find a copy of a book that was published decades ago and is now out of print, making it a rare and valuable find.

3) Look for Popular Titles

Thrift stores often have a large selection of popular titles, such as bestsellers and books that have been turned into movies. While these may not be as valuable as classics or collectibles, they can still be great reads and are often priced very reasonably.

4) Check the Condition of the Book

Before buying any book at a thrift store, be sure to inspect it carefully for damage. Look for signs of water damage, tears, or missing pages. While some wear and tear is to be expected, you don’t want to buy a book that is falling apart.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for a Discount Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount if you find a valuable book that is priced higher than you want to pay. Many thrift stores are willing to negotiate prices, especially if the book has been sitting on the shelf for a while.

5) Research Profitable Items

Before you start thrift store flipping, it’s important to do some research on which items are the most profitable to sell. This can include clothing, vintage items, electronics, and collectibles. Look up items on online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon to get an idea of what they are selling for.

6) Check for Flaws

When browsing thrift stores, it’s important to thoroughly inspect each item you’re considering buying. Check for any flaws or damage that might affect its value or salability. This can include stains, tears, missing buttons, or broken zippers.

7) Look for Designer Brands

Thrift stores can be a great place to find designer clothing and accessories at a fraction of their original price. Look for items from high-end brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Prada. These items are often in high demand and can be resold for a significant profit.

8) Take Advantage of Sales

Thrift stores often have sales or discounts on certain days of the week. Take advantage of these sales to maximize your profits. Some thrift stores may also offer a discount if you buy items in bulk.

9) Sell Online

After you’ve found items to resell, consider selling them online through platforms like eBay, Amazon, or Etsy. These websites have a large audience and can help you reach a wider customer base. Make sure to take clear, high-quality photos of each item and provide detailed descriptions.

10) Build a Reputation

As you start to build your thrift store flipping business, it’s important to establish a good reputation with your customers. Provide excellent customer service and be honest about any flaws or issues with the items you’re selling. This will help you build a loyal customer base and increase your sales over time.

11) Consider Your Target Market

When selecting items to flip, it’s important to consider your target market. Who are you trying to sell to? Are they looking for high-end designer items, vintage pieces, or everyday clothing? Understanding your target market can help you select items that will sell quickly and at a higher price point.

12) Get to Know Your Local Thrift Stores

Frequent your local thrift stores and get to know the staff. They may be able to alert you to new arrivals or hidden gems that haven’t made it to the sales floor yet. You can also ask about any upcoming sales or discount days.

13) Learn to Negotiate

Thrift stores may be willing to negotiate on the price of certain items, especially if they have been on the sales floor for a while. Practice your negotiating skills and don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price. Just remember to be respectful and polite.

14) Take Careful Inventory

Keep track of the items you purchase and their purchase price. This will help you calculate your profit margins and identify which items are the most profitable. You can also use inventory software or a spreadsheet to keep track of your items.

15) Consider the Cost of Shipping

When selling items online, don’t forget to factor in the cost of shipping. Make sure to weigh each item and use an online shipping calculator to estimate the cost of shipping to different locations. You may also want to consider offering free shipping as an incentive to buyers.

16) Build a Network

Join online communities and forums for thrift store flippers and resellers. These communities can provide valuable information and resources, as well as opportunities for networking and collaboration. You can also attend local flea markets and craft fairs to meet other sellers in person.

17) Keep an Eye on Trends

Stay up-to-date on current fashion and home decor trends. This can help you identify items that are in high demand and likely to sell quickly. You can also use social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to keep track of popular styles and trends.

18) Don’t Overlook the Small Stuff

Small items like jewelry, accessories, and household goods can often be overlooked in thrift stores, but they can also be profitable to resell. Look for items that are in good condition and have a unique or vintage appeal.

19) Stay Organized

As your thrift store flipping business grows, it’s important to stay organized. Keep track of your inventory, sales, and expenses. You can use accounting software or a spreadsheet to help you stay on top of your finances.

20) Be Quick

Sorry, it’s been recently sold

Those are the words you don’t ever want to hear from your seller. If you found an item that after you have done your research to be of value. Try to be quick and set a price. Similar to the show Pawn Star, it’s always a good idea to go half-price down and see if the seller is willing to let go. Then learn to bargain to get the price as low as possible from the original price.

A good note to remember is if the item has someone willing to buy it and you see a huge potential earning. You have to be willing to pay a higher price to outbid them.

FAQs about Thrift Store Book Shopping

Can I find current bestsellers at thrift stores?

Yes, you can! While thrift stores tend to have a lot of older books, they also receive donations of more recent titles.

Are thrift store books in good condition?

It depends on the store and the donations they receive. Some thrift stores have a reputation for having a large selection of high-quality books, while others may have books that are more worn.

Are thrift store books really a good deal?

Yes! Thrift store books are typically priced very low, often under a dollar. You can find amazing deals on books that would otherwise be much more expensive.


Thrift stores can be a goldmine for book lovers, providing a way to expand your collection without spending a lot of money. My friend Melissa was able to make more than $1,000 over the weekend by simply thrift shopping. It isn’t hard but may take quite some time for people to get the hang of doing research and learning to bargain. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding valuable items at thrift stores.

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