A woman who said she recently bought an L.L. Bean jacket for $1.25 at a Goodwill store that’s worth way more than she paid for, is sharing her experience as an avid thrifter who finds high-end items for less.
“That green color has just been super on trend through the winter and through the spring and summer,” Baylie Gerik, 25, a haircare and skincare network marketer from West, Texas, told FOX Business about her purchase, which she showed off in a TikTok video.
In that same trip to a Goodwill Outlet Store in Fort Pierce, Florida, Gerik ended up finding two other green puffy vests for the same low price of $1.25, she said.
“The puffers are really on trend as well, so I was excited to find those,” Gerik said. “I remember they were at the bottom of the bin and they were more considered probably a vintage style. I’m more of a modern reseller, but the green puffers, of course, the green is very on trend. I was able to sell [them] pretty quickly.”
Gerik said the L.L. Bean puffer jacket she bought is worth $249.
The cost of similar L.L. Bean jackets can range anywhere from $40 on eBay to upwards of $200-plus, according to Google Shopping search results.
Gerik said she ended up selling the jacket to someone else for $20 on Instagram.
Gerik has been sharing her “hauls” on TikTok and said she has been thrifting for as long as she can remember.
“My mom always took me to consignment stores and thrift shops,” Gerik said. “I started reselling as my first job when I was 15 or 16. I was selling on the app called Poshmark. And that’s when I first started going to the Goodwill Outlet and digging through those bins and started just picking things up, learning about brands, learning about trends.”
Today she has a thriving side hustle finding high-end clothes at Goodwill Outlets and reselling them on her Instagram page where she has developed a following of more than 12,000 people.
“I mainly sell on Instagram because of the fact that I can really cultivate a community rather than on Poshmark and eBay,” Gerik said. “On those, you don’t get to know the person. It’s just very much transactional.”
“So with my Instagram page, I actually get to know the people, their styles, what they’re looking for,” she added. “I can actually go out and shop for them.”
While Goodwill may have some great deals, Gerik said Goodwill Outlets are where the real steals can be found as it’s the landing place for items that don’t sell at the Goodwill stores.
“Plus overstock donations,” Gerik noted. “Sometimes they get so many donations at regular stores they will send [them] straight to the outlet and it won’t ever hit the floor. Of course you have to dig for it, but it’s a really fun experience and people get deals when I get deals.”
Every Goodwill Outlet prices things differently, Gerik said. While traveling for her husband’s job, she has lived in three different cities over the past year.
“For example, the Waco [Texas] one and then the one that I went to a lot last year in Florida, were ‘pay by the pound.’ You basically just dig through these bins and fill up your cart and then you go and weigh your cart at checkout,” Gerik said. “Typically, if it’s under 25 pounds, it’s around $1.40 a pound.”
Gerik currently is living in San Diego, California, where at the Goodwill Outlets she can purchase 15 items for $25, she said.
“It’s quite the experience because you’re just digging through the bins and not going through racks,” Gerik said. “Nothing is organized. You’ll come across some very interesting things. You just kind of have to pull out every item, look at the tag, feel the quality.”
Gerik said one of her biggest finds was a pair of designer boots — back when she was just 17.
“I went into a Goodwill and I found a pair of $600 Tory Burch boots,” she said. “They were from back when the taller riding boots were in style. I got them for $2 and I remember that that was my first big find. They weren’t my size, but I remember at 17 years old I made like a hundred dollars off of it, so I was really excited.”
For Gerik, deciding how much to mark up her items for resale is easy, she said.
“I pride myself on giving others’ deals if I find deals,” Gerik added. “I typically only mark up 2-3 times, regardless of the price I paid. Most of my Goodwill items I sell in the $8-25 range.”
But Gerik said she does not sell everything she finds.
“I would say 80 percent of my closet I have found at Goodwill or other thrift stores in the past two years,” Gerik said. “I really love finding things like Free People and Lululemon and things that are full price in the store. That’s the type of thing that I look for myself. And you can find quite a bit of that if you take the time to dig.”
“I go thrifting maybe four times a week,” she added. “So I’m always on the lookout for things that I’ve seen online and I want to buy.”
Though she did not start thrifting to promote a sustainable lifestyle, Gerik said it is something she’s trying to learn more about.
“There are a lot of resellers and people in the thrift community who are all about sustainability,” Gerik said. “Before I started getting into reselling, I was someone who was buying a lot on Amazon and Shein and places like that without understanding what goes on behind the scenes and how those products are created. I feel like it is important and it’s important for a lot of people, though it’s not initially why I started.”
Gerik offered advice for others who want to give thrifting a try:
“Just go out there and do it,” she said. “It’s really, really fun. It’s exciting to go in with no expectations. And if you’re not wanting to thrift yourself, look into the secondhand online Instagram, Facebook community. There are so many sellers on there who you can follow to see what kinds of styles they share. They give the deals, too.”