The $40 Challenge Begins in the Thrift Store 6

Oh, my!  What have I gotten myself into with the $40 challenge?

It was an interesting weekend, to say the least.


$40 Challenge Begins

I wrote about my thoughts for this challenge on my challenge year post.

To break it down for you, my mom gave me a $40 Visa gift card for Christmas.

Since I am an eBay junkie, and I am striving toward financial freedom, I decided to create a personal challenge for myself using her gift as a catalyst.

I decided to see how much I could profit create starting with only $40 buying and flipping items on eBay.

Any profit that I make will go straight into my Vanguard retirement account, or my FIRE account, as I like to call it.  I’ll write more about that soon.

I will be using this blog as well as my YouTube channel to chronicle my experience throughout the year.

$40 Challenge

How Will it Work?

I use an awesome program called Easy Auction Tracker to track all my eBay sales.  It has a section which allows you to track consignors as well.

The plan is to use the word “challenge” as a fictional consignor so that I can easily track profit and loss for the year.

I will use screenshots to show you the progress along the way.

I did use $40 cash to pay and just used the Visa card in my regular life, though that is not important.


First Thrift Store Trip

This weekend was my first trip shopping for the challenge.

Store #1

My first stop was a small local charity shop.  I rarely find much at this spot except for high-end shoes.

This trip was slightly different.  No shoes but I found a few small items.  I was able to take small undercover video while I was shopping.  Check it out.

Items I bought on this trip.

  • Tori Richard Shirt
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren Sweater ( I wouldn’t normally purchase this brand for resale but this sweater was a cashmere blend so that made it worth purchasing)
  • 2 Brooks Brothers Shirts
  • Patagonia Puffer Jacket

Total for this stop – $19.26


Store #2

The second store was a Salvation Army.  My family hates to go to this store because it is stuffed. Sometimes they even drop me off and come back to pick me up.

However, this is one of my favorite stores because it is super cheap.

I actually enjoy digging through the junk to find the treasures.

This trip was no different.

They had carts of new stuff that had not been put on the shelves yet.  People were just digging through, looking for stuff.

I spent a little time in the carts but didn’t find much.

Then I moved over to the books and found these:


Living in Georgia, I recognized the name Foxfire immediately.  If you are not aware of these books, it is a book series about homesteading.

Along with several books, there was a bag full of Foxfire magazines.  I was not aware these even existed.

While I know the books sell well on eBay, I am unsure of the value of the magazines.

However, for the price, I was willing to take a chance.

I picked up a total of 8 books and 16 magazines.

The total amount I paid was $5.24.


Stop #3

My third and last stop was Goodwill.

I got nothing there.

Goodwill is not one of my favorite places to shop because I think they are overpriced for resell.



The final outcome for my first adventure.



Got a bit of money left over for the next shopping trip.

I’m going to list this stuff.

I’ll let you know when it sells.

Hopefully, we make a profit.

$40 Challenge Flipping on eBay


About Susan

Susan is an Early Childhood educator who is passionate about personal finance. She is slightly addicted to eBay. She is an avid thrift store shopper who hopes to "retire" by 50.

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6 thoughts on “The $40 Challenge Begins in the Thrift Store

  • Natasha Botkin

    Thrift stores are an interesting treasure hunt. Over the years I have found incredible items. For example, the $400 mohair sweater for $9.99. xoxo

  • Mike

    I love flipping things on eBay also. Except their new fee structure makes it a little harder to pull a decent profit. I usually troll Craigslist and the Facebook sale pages for old smartphones. Those usually have a high return. I also like Salvation Army better than Goodwill. Plus on the flipside Salvation Army does more to help the needy with their profits.

    Cheers, I hope you have great luck with this, I am really inspired to try it myself.

    • Susan Post author

      Agreed, the fee structure makes you have to be very careful about what you are buying to flip. I have tried other “no fee” selling apps and programs and I just don’t see the return on places other than eBay. Etsy can be good for certain demographics but I am too old to understand the market over there.

  • Stephonee

    Fascinating! I always feel like this is something I wouldn’t be very good at – I don’t think I have an “eye” for things that would fetch a higher price than what they’re selling for. Looking forward to watching how you do it, though!

    • Susan Post author

      I understand exactly what you mean. I am a cheapskate so I had to do lots of research when I first started reselling to learn the higher end brands. It’s a lot of trial and error but over time you get better. Smart phones have made reselling SO much easier. Just install the eBay app and start looking up things you find interesting. You will soon develop the “eye” for what sells.
      Also, it doesn’t have to be high end to sell. Normal things you probably throw away such as toilet paper rolls and box tops sell for decen money on eBay. I need to make a post about that. LOL