A New Era of Recycling

Sifting through dusty bins of secondhand sweaters was once seen as a necessity by depression era families. Not so today. Now, socially conscious #millennials seeking #upcycled clothing, scour the racks of The Flipping Peddler while young homeowners shop us in search of quality furniture. The resale industry itself is; according to Forbes, a lucrative one and The Flipping Peddler needs more pickers to fill the demand.

Selling used items is big business. Forbes estimates the resale industry in the U.S. to have annual revenues of over $28 Billion. What do you want to resell?  Here are some ideas from the list of best selling items.


Clothing is the largest revenue generator in second hand stores, accounting for over 33 percent of industry revenue at 28 Billion, according to IBISWorld. Instead of paying higher retail prices, many people are switching to thrift stores for their clothing needs. The recent Paris fashion show showing of “Street Clothing” is one proof of this trend. IBISWorld also reports that women’s clothing and shoes accounts for about 60 percent of clothing sales, while the remainder is split evenly between children’s and men’s clothing. We have women’s and children’s clothing in the store, but we need a men’s clothing reseller.


A survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reveals that 78 percent of Americans ages 16 and older have read a book in the past twelve months. We have a vendors “common library” offering a good selection of new and used books at affordable prices. If you have books, we need them. 


Used furniture is very popular at thrift stores. To periodically update their homes with a new look, many shoppers search for hidden gems in 2nd hand stores, with good craftsmanship that can be used “as is” or redesigned with a new look. Antiques are showing a resurgence as buyers are remodeling around more of an eclectic style. Sofas, tables, chairs, dressers and desks are a few of these items that attract buyers looking for furniture at way less than current retail prices.

Home Decor

Home decor items also sell well in thrift stores. Shoppers look for inexpensive items they can later alter to reflect their own design standards. Items such as picture frames and lamps can be customized to match their personality and style. With a little bit of creativity, home decor items can be redesigned into new creations. A thrift store reseller (perhaps you) at The Flipping Peddler can increase the market for these items by encouraging such actions in its advertising strategy.


From Estate Jewelry to new and artistically made new jewelry is a big seller in 2nd hand stores. Some people who come into The Flipping Peddler will only shop 2nd hand stores.  Young couples in love for the first time, find us to be the best place to pledge their love for each other. Vendors new to the business of reselling also find jewelry easy and profitable to sell.

Want to get into the business of resell? We stand ready to help. Come in and see us at The Flipping Peddler, 3945 N. Academy Blvd in Colorado Springs. We are easy to find, just south of Austin Bluffs NW of Harmony Bowl behind Mountain High Appliance.

The Flipping Peddler Story

From the way their stories are told, in their past, both men went “junkin” one day and never stopped. Twenty plus years later, they met, worked together, talked and found a similar passion for the business of 2nd hand and thrift shopping. From that meeting they began to plan and then formed a partnership that resulted in the pair opening The Flipping Peddler a store they like to say “is 10,000 square feet of everything.”

Todd Olhausen and Gary Clark both have a unique twist on the traditional 2nd hand store. They both dislike booth walls, preferring open spaces and bright colors.  Their store reflects this, with the interior color being light green; a color that allows the vintage and mid century furniture to “pop.” “Our shoppers see from one end to the other with very little obstruction. One lady saw ruby red glassware in the back of the store; from the door and made a beeline to it.” said Clark.  Said one shopper, “I love coming in here because it’s bright and cheerful – not claustrophobic and musty smelling like so many antique or 2nd hand places”

Another unique feature of their design is the showcase window where they stage goods from various vendors in the store.  The store is surrounded by glass. “Said Olhausen, “Every vendor’s item is tagged, so we stage their items in the windows. For Easter, we selected an Easter theme with colors and Easter items from over seven different vendors to make up the display in the window.  For the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’ll do the same. Staging also helps the shopper see how an item may look in their home.  

Said Clark, “We have a lot of fun here. While we are vendor centric, these people are our friends first. The store is owned by every vendor who pays rent here. They supply quality items and we sell those items for them. We have over 33 “pickers” (currently) who have highly trained eyes for vintage, 2nd hand and especially quality. From painted furniture to fantastic glassware and jewelry. Said Olhausen, “Even though we call looking for it “junkin,” none of this is junk. It is truly another mans treasure.  Our vendors make it easy for us to help the purchaser walk away from the store with a smile on their face because they found something they fell in love with.”

Both men agree that they are still pickers themselves, but today, they prefer to help the new picker get started and to make a success of their business.   Clark held a teaching credential in Adult Education in California. There he taught Small Business Entrepreneurship.   Olhausen has 20 years in retail markets he brings that experience to the mix.  They freely pass on their experience and knowledge to the vendors.

According to a recent report by Forbes Magazine, “American consumers, most especially the Millennials, enjoy the hunter-gatherer experience of second-hand shopping and have no qualms about owning used goods. As a result, used-merchandise stores notched a 7.6% increase the first half of this year on top of 11.6% gains last year. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/pamdanziger/2018/08/19/whats-trending-now-in-retail-and-what-it-reveals-about-american-shoppers/#18033be57f84)

The Flipping Peddler is located at 3945 N. Academy in Colorado Springs.  Todd and Gary welcome the new shopper and guarantee a great shopping experience. Grab a shopping cart on the way in – you are going to need it.  

On Being a Picker

There’s no cure for being a picker. It’s not an ailment, it’s a gift.  It often accompanies the gift of gab, an eye for quality hidden under dirt and the perpetual smile that comes with having fun. It comes with an extended pride in accomplishing the restoration of an item someone threw away, and it also carries with it a smile that can’t be wiped away. Usually you’ll find that the bulging pocket full of cash is the cause of that smile.   

Pickers are not that rare of a breed.  We all have a bit of “thrift” in us.  We hate to see perfectly good things go to waste.  A little sanding, a little polish and a little glue and that broken dining room set of solid walnut, becomes a daughters house warming gift.  The warmth and feel of vintage oak makes us remember the polished oak floors in Grandpas farm house.  Old books stacked in an old pine bookcase; that stands sturdy and tall, brings back memories of the days when as youngsters, we escaped to adventures created from an author’s imagination.

If you’re a picker or a vendor, come in and sit awhile with us. Have a cup of coffee and tell us about your latest find and we’ll tell you about ours.  We’ll also show you are latest finished project. We are having our Grand Opening on the Last weekend in March and we hope to see you there. The Flipping Peddler – A Pickers Marketplace. 3945 N. Academy. Colorado Springs, CO. 80917

Peacock Dresser

Peacock Dresser

Hey you guys ever just find that one fun piece of furniture you wish you had three or four of, this is one of those for me. Just love the shape and size of this dresser and the fun little mirror insert. After looking at it for a few days I decided on a peacock color and design for it. As always with my bad photo’s it’s hard to see but I used three colors blended together on the bulk of the unit two blues and a green. painted the entire piece in the darkest of the blues then lightly blended the other blue and the green on to create a soft irridescent look to the whole thing. Painted all the hardware gold and added gold leaf accents around the mirror and random gold leaf feather I fond at the craft store to complete my peacock inspired dresser. Very happy to say that someone else shared my excitement and vision and purchased it within its first week of being in my Willowstone market place space{15}, always nice to see your hard work go of to its new home quickly.