Generally, upcycling involves taking an item that has seen better days and turning it into something better. This could be as simple as refinishing a piece of furniture or as complex as using multiple finds to build something new.
Upcycling thrift store finds can easily serve as the foundation of a side hustle. Typically, your upfront costs are low thanks to the store’s prices. After that, you’ll just need supplies to whip the item into shape and the time to handle the project.
If you want to start a side hustle by upcycling thrift store finds for profit — or if you’re feeling motivated by the fact that Earth Day is April 22 — here’s what you need to know.
Have a Discerning Eye
Not every item is suitable for flipping, so you need a keen eye and a willingness to assess the item closely.
For example, if you spot a side table, you need to find out about the materials it was made from. Particleboard or laminate furniture can be hard to flip. Similarly, lacquered finishes can lead to challenges. But, if you can find a solid wood side table, you may have struck upcycling gold.
You also want to check the pieces for damage before you commit to upcycling the thrift store find. Some issues are easy to correct, like light scratches, while others are difficult, like wide cracks in the wood. The condition of the item dictates the amount of work you’ll need to put into the upcycling project. If you’re just starting out and don’t have specific upcycling skills, then choosing items with little to no damage is wise.
Upcycling Thrift Store Finds Takes Space
When you start upcycling thrift store finds, you’re going to need space to work on and store the items. In some cases, it doesn’t take much room, particularly if you focus on small pieces. However, if you want to focus on furniture, you’re going to need a significant amount of space.
Similarly, depending on what your upcycling activities entail, you may need to take care when choosing the location of your workroom. For example, using spray paints in your home may be tricky. The same goes for any chemicals that produce fumes.
Woodworking activities, like sanding and cutting, can also create a big mess while you’re upcycling thrift store finds. Before you jump into a project, consider whether you have an appropriate space for what you want to do.
You Need a Suitable Marketplace
Luckily, there are a lot of online marketplaces that can be great for selling your projects. Anything from Craigslist to OfferUp to Etsy can work, depending on what you produce. Research which platforms are available and see if any cater to your ideal market.
Alternatively, you may be able to sell your items at local consignment shops. This usually only works if you have a nearby store in the right niche, but it’s certainly worth exploring.
When it comes to side hustles, upcycling thrift store finds for profit is a pretty easy one to start. However, your results may vary, leading to intermittent income. If you don’t need cash right away and love crafts, then give this a try. Otherwise, find something that is a little more guaranteed if you need fast money.
Readers, have you ever upcycled anything for fun or profit? Please tell us all about it in the comments section beneath this post.
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