Reselling items online a viable side hustle amid inflation concerns

Hibbard said she currently pays quarterly and files her taxes at the end of the year like a small business.
One woman shops at thrift stores in the Charlotte area and sells to customers across the country.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 8:12 AM EDT
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HARRISBURG, N.C. (WBTV) - Inflation hit a 20-year high this summer and with consumer prices still high in the fall, Americans are turning to side hustles to keep up.

Related: Understanding the latest inflation report and its impact on your wallet

Lee Ann Hibbard, of Harrisburg, N.C., resells thrifted items for a profit through online platforms including EBay and Poshmark.

“It’s the thrill of the hunt,” Hibbard said.

Hibbard looks for clothing items worthy of her growing online storefront The Lucky Butterfly N.C. on EBay and The Lucky Butterfly on Poshmark.

She shops at a variety of thrift stores in the Charlotte area, including the Goodwill outlet store on Wilkinson Boulevard, and sells to customers across the country.

“[I] come in, dig through the clothes, and look for stuff that’s in style or new with tags,” Hibbard said while combing through bins of clothing.

Hibbard started her resell journey at the start of the pandemic, when she took a break from her teaching job.

“As of right now I’m earning about $1,500 a month,” Hibbard said. “Reselling not as full time as say teaching, but it’s flexible. I have a teenage son so I can work around his schedule.”

Hibbard said while her husband works full time, she is able to take her son to his extracurricular activities while spending about three hours each day on her resell business.

“I have a 100-square-foot room where I take my photos, a place where I do my shipping, and an inventory system to keep me organized,” Hibbard said.

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont includes 29 locations in the Charlotte region. All of those serve customers looking to buy for a range of reasons, from adding to their personal collection to those looking to resell.

“Customers are coming in for all sorts of reasons,” Jose Luis, Goodwill Southern Piedmont’s chief operating officer, said. “Some entrepreneurs come here and purchase goods for their company. With those goods we are able to provide job training skills and career coaching services all for free for the community.”

Luis said demand has not changed consumer prices in his stores since he took the job in March 2021.

A recent report from online consignment and thrift store ThredUp found that the resale market in the United States grew by 58% 2021 and is expected to more than double by 2026 to $82 billion.

With the expanding reselling market, sellers like Hibbard who use certain online platforms must navigate new reporting requirements from the Internal Revenue Service.

Sellers will receive a 1099-K if their sales are at least $600, which is a significant drop from the previous threshold of $20,000 with a minimum of 200 transactions.

“The new threshold and IRS reporting level for information regarding electronic funds payments may catch some people off guard,” Mark Steber, a chief tax information officer with Jackson Hewitt, said. “In the coming tax season, you cannot start too early for tax planning for this tax year.”

Hibbard said she currently pays quarterly and files her taxes at the end of the year like a small business.