Goodwill hunting: Arizona woman turns thrift shopping into lucrative side hustle

People may have noticed it, but there are more shoppers at thrift stores doing more than casual bargain shopping.

These people are focused, intense, and constantly checking their phones.

Watching her shop, one can tell that Jyl Padgett is on a mission, in a zone, doing some serious Goodwill hunting

"I come in and I love the search. I love the hunt for that treasure," said Padgett, who is a reseller.

10 years of thrift shopping has blossomed into a side hustle for Padgett, who has a full-time job at a home builder.

In her spare time, Padgett heads to different Goodwill stores around the Valley. She has her eye out for clothes that are high end, and her goal is to buy low, and sell for higher.

"I quickly learned how to make a small business of it," said Padgett. "I started doing some reselling on an app called Poshmark. Put a price on it."

Some of the items Padgett bought include Prada shoes that she bought during Dollar Day at Goodwill.

"I found a pair of vintage Prada shoes for a dollar, and I turned around and sold them for $88, so that was a pretty good profit margin," said Padgett.

Padgett has sold many items via her online store at Poshmark. Those items include a $3 Burberry tie that normally retails for nearly $200. She flipped for $60

Padgett tries to profit at least $30 to $40 on each resell item. It adds up to about a thousand dollars a month for her.

One day, Padgett came across a vintage, high end and cashmere. Padgett bought it, and it was spotted later in her Poshmark closet for $170. Three shoppers have already shown interest in it.

While some might feel that Goodwill is filled with scads of stuff and it will be overwhelming, Padgett says tech is what makes her business profitable.

"You will see many resellers in thrift store doing quick research on their phones to see if an item is worth flipping," said Padgett.

Padgett says resellers often have carts piled high with items. Then, you need the technology to sell items on various apps.

"There are multiple resellers that have made this their full-time job, and will make 7 figures doing it," said Padgett.

Padgett feels that Goodwill is supportive of resellers, and even targets some blogs and videos so resellers know what’s a hot seller. However, before one thinks this is just shopping and it’s easy money, Padgett warns of various processes that take place after a purchase, including cleaning, marketing, and dealing with items that don’t sell.

In addition, most apps charge a fee on everything that does sell.

"It takes a special person to resell," said Padgett. "You have to really love it going through all the items, finding that treasure and taking the time."

Not everybody is going to do that, but those who do it well have found the return can be pretty good.