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In a recent survey, one in ten Britons admitted to selling-on charity shop items for a profit. The average profit made per sale was £10.50.
If you’re interested in making a profit selling on charity shop items but are not sure where to start, we’ve put together this handy guide for you to read so you can learn everything you need to know about making money selling charity shop items for a profit.
Not everything has a good resale value. Here are tips for finding the right stuff to make a profit on.
If this isn’t a one-off thing and you’re serious about making money selling charity shop items, then you’re going to need to put the effort in. To get the best items you’re probably going to need to travel, so bear that cost in mind when considering what items you are going to specialise in. Collectibles, in particular, are going to be difficult to find without hard work.
The obvious place to make money selling charity shop items is eBay. You can sell pretty much anything you want and you can get a good sense of what price you should be looking to put your item up as. You will, however, have to set yourself up a business account if you’re planning on selling items you bought with the express intention to resell (you will also have to notify HMRC, more on this later.) Read our full article on making money on eBay here.
eBay is slightly overpopulated, however, and you may have better luck with less common means of selling. Facebook, for example, has a lot of local selling pages. If you can find one for your area then you can post up a picture, ask for a price and see who is interested. You’ll be sorting everything out yourself, so you’ll be responsible for making sure everything is fair and above board, but the good thing is no-one will be taking a cut of your profit.
If you want to go old school, you could always set up a pitch at a car boot sale. You’ll be able to put your selling skills into practice directly, and if a buyer sees a nice display directly in front of them, they may be more tempted to make a purchase. However, people who go to car boot sales tend to want to pay pennies for everything so make sure you set a price and stick to it. For more information, read our full article on car boot sales.
For collectibles and vintage clothes you’re likely to get the best rates on specialist sites. Take a look at our articles on selling vintage clothes and collectibles (links above) to find the special sites.
How much money you can make depends entirely on what item you buy, how much you bought it for and how much you can get for it.
The average profit made per sale when selling charity shop items is around £10.50, but if you’ve got a good eye for a bargain there’s no reason you couldn’t make considerably more.
Of course if you do make a fortune on one item, it might be worth considering donating a bit back to the charity shop…just saying.
It’s getting harder to make a good profit on charity shop items now, not least because charity shops are becoming savvier and raising prices.
In fact some charity shops even have eBay departments which try to sale their most valuable goods on eBay before they even reach the shop shelves. There’s still profit to be made, but it takes more effort and a little more luck these days.
Equally, don’t forget to take into account the potential costs you will incur. If you sell on eBay, they will take a cut of what you make and if you sell at a car boot sale you will have to pay for your slot. Also, think of the travel costs if you plan on going far to find the right items to sell. Oh, and there’s one more thing to bear in mind…tax.
Unfortunately, if you aim to make money by selling charity shop items on a regular basis then you are going to have to declare it. If you frequently sell on sites like eBay, HMRC will realise and could fine you if you’re not paying the correct amount of tax.
For 2019/20, everyone has a personal allowance of £12,500 which means you’re allowed to earn up to that amount without paying tax.
This allowance is already taken into account if you’re working full or part time and paying tax using the PAYE scheme, so unless you’re earning less than £12,500 then your allowance is already used up.
For this reason you should keep all receipts of expenses, such as travel or the cost of the car boot sale pitch, so you can put it against your profits for tax purposes.
For more information read our article ‘making extra money – Do I have to pay more tax?’
Before we deal with the practicalities of making money selling charity shop items, you have to decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable doing.
Some people, quite understandably, think it is wrong to make money selling charity shop items. Charity shops, they say, are there to help the poor and disadvantaged, so looking to make a profit from items you bought there is distasteful. Some people may also feel unhappy donating their items to charity if people are going to be making a profit from them.
You must decide how you feel about this, and only do what you feel comfortable doing. However, there are reasons why making a profit from charity items might be helpful all round.