Dude, you crack me up. I look forward to this thread to see what you come up with next.
I suspect the impact of this will be less severe and shorter lived than most of us are nervous about. There are several mitigating factors.
Fourth: As a business, this is neither high profit nor low risk. As others on this thread are far better positioned to instruct: One must have a firm grasp of both quality and salability (which are non-equivalents, BTW). It's pretty easy to lose a good deal of money fairly quickly and end up with a closet full of clothing in sizes other than your own and that nobody wants to buy. Do that a few times when your whole goal was to get rich quick and you won't go back to the well.
FWIW, my 2 cents.
I'm on a thrifting hiatus, so I have nothing exciting to share.
I think you're spot on here. Some of these things you're talking about (i.e. where the economy has dealt harshly in a city/region, the thrift stores are more combed over) already happens.
To your point #4: In a former career, I covered the sports collectible/memorabilia market for several publications, even edited one of those fat baseball card price guides you can get at Barnes & Noble. As part of the job, a lot of casual collectors or people who inherited/were given a bunch of baseball cards emailed me "what's it worth" questions, with dollar signs in their eyes.
Most everyone had junk, and I advised them to garage-sale what they had. As I did myself at one point, a trunk full of 35,000 cards (Flea Market Dude drove off with them for $100, and I got the better end of that deal -- and I edited the price guide, I definitely had market research on my side). If this thrift show inspires a million armchair experts to do the same...they will tire of it.
Every once in a while there was an amazing find I referred to a major sports auction house...oh wait, that literally NEVER happened. People who had the great finds had put in the research and work to know what they had in the first place, and weren't casual collectors who randomly found that $50,000 1952 Topps Mantle.
So I'm not particularly worried.
There is one more point to be made about this Oxygen show: THose of us who flip stuff on eBay might get more $$$ for their finds once the public becomes more educated about what the good brands are. Awareness-building can only help as viewers decide they want this stuff and grow frustrated that their local stores only have HSM, Stafford, and Johnny Carson suits or whatnot. So they go to eBay for their bargains. And you gents will be waiting for them, having larded eBay's clothing sections with the stuff you've been posting...