Like Carhartt, Harley Davidson is a brand that has become a lifestyle. People feel that the brand represents their very being, and because of this, they are willing to pay top dollar to represent!
What to look for: There are actually a ton of different things that make Harley items valuable look for items that:
- Are vintage. The older the better.
- Made in the USA
- Are actually made by Harley Davidson and not just licensed by them.
- Are from an unusual location (we’ve sold shirts from Germany, Alaska, South Africa, and even Moscow!)
- Are made of leather
- Are for a specific bike/model/etc.
- Have crude or profane pictures/sayings
- Are distressed or worn out
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Excellent, especially for vintage items.
Brooks Brothers is the oldest men’s clothier in the United States! For this reason, Brooks Brothers items have had a long time to accumulate in attics and closets – which results in them getting donated all the time! I find Brooks Brothers dress shirts every time or two I thrift.
What to look for: If you can name it, Brooks Brothers makes it. Men’s items are the most valuable, with leather items being on the top of the list. Brooks Brothers produces coats, shoes, belts, shirts, suits, etc. so you never know where you’ll find it next. The most valuable pieces are in excellent condition and are recent, as opposed to vintage.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Fair. Stick to nice dress shirts, sweaters, and jackets.
True story: the first time I heard of Orvis is when I found a leather and canvas Orvis bag in a dumpster. It felt so quality that I looked it up, cleaned it up, and flipped it for $150!
What to look for: Look for canvas, leather, or wool items. Vintage items should get special treatment here, as they are some of the best Orvis items for flipping. Look particularly for fishing gear, hunting clothing, and sweaters with elbow patches.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Unfortunately, the bottom of the market has totally fallen out for newer Orvis jackets and shirts. Stick to vintage or unusual items.
Chubbies started out as a shorts company owned by some frat bros who loved vintage short shorts. Since then, it has grown into a multi-million dollar business which sells shorts and Hawaiian shirts.
What to look for: Keep an eye out for short shorts (sometimes mistakenly put in the women’s section) with bright and fun patterns. New shorts sell for $50-60, and some used ones with awesome patterns can sell for about the same!
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Chubbies are a fairly unusual find, so the market is still strong. As long as Saver’s isn’t trying to sell them for $9.99, pick them up!
While they now make women’s and children’s clothing as well, Vineyard Vines started off as a men’s clothing company that produced preppy beach and casual wear. (Actually, they started off selling ties out of the back of their car at the beach…)
What to look for: Look for ties, hats, shorts, swimwear, and shirts, particularly in plaid. Condition is pretty important because of the preppy kind of fan base that Vineyard Vines has. The only exception to this is distressed looking t-shirts (think beach wear). Vineyard Vines has also done collaborations with several companies/stores (such as Target), and those items are typically not worth picking up.Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Fair. The market remains strong for more current pieces in good condition. Faded polos or grungy button downs will be hard to move.
The market for outdoor brands is super hot right now, and ICEBREAKER is right there among them. ICEBREAKER tends to make slightly more purpose driven or technical gear (as opposed to fashion), so their items are often a bit harder to find – but hold their value better.
What to look for: Merino Wool should be on your list of fabrics to look out for, and Icebreaker is one of the kings of Merino. They make base layers, shorts, jackets, hats, etc. and all of their items are worth picking up. To give you an idea of the value of Merino, a regular old crewneck t-shirt from Icebreaker will run you about $60. The cool thing, is that they tend to hold their value extremely well on the used market – as the value is in the material. So don’t put something back because it’s “just a t-shirt” or “just a base-layer,” because it’ll probably pay for your groceries. The more complex a piece is, the better so also be sure to check for jackets, shorts, etc.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. No signs of slowing!
What to look for: Although t-shirts and hoodies can be good sellers (particularly in bigger sizes), keep your eyes open for:
- Leather Jackets: particularly ones with anniversary patches or from a specific event
- Antique or vintage items. One of our best finds was a vintage “Rodeo Mickey” button down shirt which we paid $5 for, and sold for $300+shipping to a Disney fan in Japan.
- Current jackets. It happens all the time that someone forgets their jacket and has to buy a replacement at the park. When they get home, they donate the jacket they bought…and you buy it! Savvy buyers typically shop for souvenirs BEFORE leaving on their trip, so be there to meet that need!
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Believe it or not, Disney clothing has made us more money than almost every single other brand on this list. We typically source several Disney items per year that sell for $300+. As with most things, the bottom half of the market has slowed, but if you’re willing to pay up a bit or hold out for better pieces, you’ll still have luck.
What to look for: The more embellished an affliction shirt is, the better. Look for leather trim, rivets, spikes, etc. Those embellishments are the easiest way to find Affliction shirts, but unfortunately, this will also find you a plethora of knockoffs (Dedication, Affection, Sinful, etc.) that are worth nothing, so be sure to leave those on the rack!
As far as jackets, look for their hand numbered line (not the “Black Premium” mass produced line).
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Before the market caught up, we intentionally sourced Affliction leather jackets from Mercari, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. and sold them eBay for up to $500 a pop! The market is a bit more saturated now, but we will still pick up everything Affliction, from t-shirts, to jackets, to dresses.
Although Willis & Geiger is no longer around in its original iteration, its items are still in high demand. W&G provided the gear for multiple world wars, arctic expeditions, and record breaking flights. Keep an eye open for outdoor clothing such as shirts and jackets, as well as the holy grail: the leather bomber jacket. You’re unlikely to find one at a thrift store, but you can intentionally source them at auction houses, online, etc.
What to look for: Willis & Geiger was a company that we learned about by luck (or I guess you could say “persistence”). At the beginning of our thrifting career, I was working my way down the men’s clothing rack, looking up everything I didn’t recognize. I came across a shooting shirt and decided to look it up…BAM! Selling for $200. The next shirt on the rack was the same shirt in another color, and another… We found 3 Willis & Geiger shirts that day and 1 the next week. Easiest money I’ve ever made. Look for safari type hunting clothing, coats, jackets, and pants.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good, especially for clean pieces in mint condition.
What to look for: Men’s LuLuLemon items are very difficult to find because of their knuckle-brained idea to not include clothing tags. I typically find jackets or shirts when I’m looking through all the items on a rack and find something that feels very high quality but is missing a tag. If you think it’s LuLuLemon, you can always find the logo on the zipper pulls and typically embroidered on the hood, back, or hem. The size should be on a tiny rubber dot inside one of the pockets. All items sell well and are typically priced well too, because thrift stores don’t recognize them.
Profit Potential & Market Outlook: Very good. We will pick up pretty much any men’s LuLuLemon item that we find.