5 Steps: What To Do If You Wanna Have Your Own Thrift Store

What once was old, obsolete and no more useful to someone, may be your something new. A Thrift Store is the place you’re looking for if you want to buy nice stuff for less money, and it is also the kind of business to invest in if you are interested in reviving lots of items that would, otherwise, go to waste.

But, what is a Thrift Store?

It’s basically somewhere you can buy old objects such as clothes, music albums, DVD’s, furniture, accessories, home decor and some random things in general, for a good price. In the US you can even find party dresses for 10,00U$, which would be, approximately, 40,00R$ in Brazil, way cheaper than what we’re used to. A lot of thrift shops are made to raise money for charity. So, how to start a thrift store? Find out in 5 steps!

  1. 1. Choose a spot

    Have in mind that profit may not come right away, once the products are less expensive than those from other stores, and the buyers not always are numerous at the very beginning (to know more about that, go to tip number 5). So, pick a spot you can easily afford and think about what you are going to sell in order to decide the space you’ll need.

    You also have to consider if the chosen location has people passing by, because this is what you need.

  2. 2. Decide what to sell

    If you want buyers, you need to know what kind of people are going to buy your products, therefore, that is what you need to decide: What you’re going to sell. There are a few (or maybe, a lot) of options. To start there is clothing, shoes, accessories, like bracelets, hats, necklaces, rings, earrings, buttons (yes, that diverse), home decor - it can be either lamps or a statue for example -, furniture, home utensils, music albums, DVD’s, technology. Everything counts, but exactly because of that, you have to be careful because you can have a mess instead of a thrift store. Select what you want to sell so you can ask for these select items (tip number 3) and start to have buyers that are interested in your products.

  3. 3. Get your products

    Once you’ve decided what products your thrift store will offer, it’s time to actually bring them in. That’s where the asking comes in; you have to put on social media (tip number 5) your request for the desired items, ask your family, friends and colleagues if they have something they don’t see any use in anymore and would like to give it away, put flyers at your school, college or workplace so everybody gets that you are open to receive their “old stuff” (You can also buy the items, but asking for them saves money).

    When you put your hands on all of the objects, it’s time to select the useful ones, in the condition you think it’s appropriate. If you want to sell the items, they have to catch your buyers' eyes. Once that’s done, you have to clean what you chose, so clothes are going to the wash and the slightly ripped ones are sowed, with the other objects you can take the dust off and repair what asks for it.

  4. 4. Display you products and your orgazine your selling system

    There’s always the option to keep that messy vibe to your store, which is typical of most thrift stores, but if you’d like to up your game, is recommended to organize the products in a way that expresses both your personality and your consideration towards your public, you will have to look very carefully for what they want. Display the products in a way that they can be easily seen and reached, as well as put back in place.

    So keep your store and your selling system organized, take notes of what is missing, of the changes that are needed, of the sellings, of the items you receive, basically everything.

    Try to keep your price reasonable, remembering that you’re selling used items, that they may be donations and that the profit might possibly be sent to charity. The hunting for low prices is one of the main characteristics of thrifting.

  5. 5. Attract your buyers

    Finally, the people! They are the ones you need the most. Nowadays thrifting (the act of buying from thrift shops) is a fever, but there are a few remaining people filled with judgment towards it.

    That is why merchandising is so important, you have to point out why thrifting is so beneficial. Here we have some ideas of what to say to convince people of the importance of thrifting: You can get nice objects for cheaper, but as nice as those with full price, so you can keep the money to spend with traveling, classes etc; Maybe there is that one piece you’ve always wanted to try, but is different from everything else that you own, and exactly because of the low price, you are safe to risk yourself with no regrets. If you end up not liking it, you can donate it  or give it to another thrift store.

    You are free to transform and design your things, another advantage of low priced objects, buy a plane furniture and paint it, or cut some pants into shorts; Find unique things that you wouldn’t otherwise, because a thrift store is not a mass production, but a collection of diversity; Find anything. Name it and you’ll find at a thrift shop; It can be for a good reason, once thrifting money sometimes goes to charity.

    Use those arguments and people will come. Advertise your store on social media, on its own page, and give people cards of your place. It is also very important to come up with an original name for your business. Make your store comfortable, so people feel good in there and trust in yourself and in your team. Make sure to have a good team, because that attracts buyers and helps you to maintain everything in place. Try to find a few people, or even one person, to assist you and as your store grows, your crew will grow along with it.

 Well, this is the “How to” for building a Thrift Shop, at least a physical one, but the concept is also valid if you are thinking about an online business.

A thrift shop can both help others and help you. Good Luck!