Flippin’ Ain’t Easy: Half-Off Madness at Savers

As a full-time social worker who lives in Hawaii and wants to do all of the fun things that come with living on an island in the Pacific, it can be hard constantly motivating myself to shop, list, package, and repeat.

For me, it was about deciding what I want and what’s important to me. I had to find my motivation. And trust me, few things will test your will to succeed more than 50% off days at Savers.

I want to share with you my recent trip to half-priced hell.

Oh God…the line!

Where I live, half-off days at Savers are an event that seemingly nobody in the community misses. If you don’t show up at least 45 minutes early, you have no chance of getting a shopping cart. Even then, you’re far from the first person to arrive.

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I got there at 9:15 and began the wait. As you can tell Snapchatting is one of the ways to pass the time. People watching is another.

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A collective paranoia sets in among those who have been waiting. Those people aren’t going to cut us, are they? “Hey you, get away from the line!” Like something out of a Stephen King novel, time seems to move slower and slower with each passing minute, and no minute is longer than the last one.

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But at long last, you get in the door and you’ve got your shopping cart.

It’s time to find some deals!

As a flipper, you should have a good idea what your strengths are. I like shoes and bags. Bryan likes jeans and sportswear. As soon as you get in, break for your section of choice and start browsing.

Pro Tip: There are hundreds of people picking through everything — potentially stealing your deals! —  so my suggestion is to take anything that looks remotely like you might want it and throw it in your shopping cart. You can always put it back later.

With everything half-off, you can be pretty aggressive with grabbing items to purchase. My goal is to make $10 per purchase. That means if I find an item regularly priced at $10 but marked down to $5, I need to resell it for around $20-$23 to hit my $10 profit goal after shipping and fees.

Of course, a $7.50 NWT Burberry Brit swimsuit bottom will do nicely, too. (I eventually sold it for $50.)

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You have to be willing to work for those gems, though. Half-priced days are double-stocked with kids (also known as flipping obstacles!).

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Why do I so this?

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For $7 Gucci bags. That’s why.

I’ll end up shopping for about 2 hours, trying to make the most of my time and scouring all of the racks. If I leave without seeing the register read at least $100-$150, I’ve failed.

After a couple hours of scavenging, it’s time to check out.

Yet another line

Or at least get in line to check out.

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In the image above, I’m still about 300 feet away from the cash register. That line goes straight ahead to the corner, takes a left, and proceeds half-way down the bank of windows where the registers are. It’s time to wait.

And wait.

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And wait some more.

Finally, it’s time to pay up. While today’s checkout wait time was only about 30 minutes, Bryan and I have waited in line for an hour before. Is it all worth it?

Yeah, it’s all worth it.

We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t think it was worth our time. In total I spent $125 on half-off day, which means I saved $125 off Savers’ original sticker prices.

In some instances, like the NWT Burberry Brit swimsuit bottoms above, I would have bought the item even if it was still full priced. In others, the 50% savings allowed me to buy items I generally wouldn’t on any other day.

Between round-trip driving (60 minutes), waiting in line before the store opened (45 minutes), shopping (120 minutes), and waiting to check out (30 minutes), I had invested 4 hours and 15 minutes in this day of sensory overload (both good and bad). I bought 14 items for an average of $8.93 per item, and it’ll take me about 4 hours to adequately research, photograph, and list them all. All things considered, this is about a full 8-hour work day.

For that full work day I expect I’ll be able to take my $125 invested and return $450-$500 after shipping and fees, giving me an expected profit of $325-$375. That works out to a touch over $40 per hour.

After a lot of waiting in line, a little frustration, a lot of elation finding some awesome items, and a few why didn’t that person shower moments, the end result is definitely worth the time invested.

So get out there and take advantage of the discount days at your local thrift stores. They’re definitely worth your time!

 

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Dawn

Welcome to Debt Free Dawn! I'm a social worker by day and second-hand clothing flipper by night (and weekends) trying to pay down $130,000 of student loan debt as quickly as possible. Please comment below with any questions and thanks for visiting my site!

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1 Comment

  1. Very cool! I might end up in jail though. HAHA. Wish we had Savers in Florida. I see flippers find so many good deals at Savers. The closest Savers to us is in Arkansas: 4 states away. So I’m jealous.

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