Opening a thrift store can be a lot of fun and even profitable if you know what you are doing, so here are 10 tips for opening a thrift store.
- Specialization. Do you want to specialize in one product or niche such as women’s clothing or do you want to offer an assortment of products and appeal to the masses? If you plan on specializing in one niche area, then limit the majority of your wholesale purchases to your target market.
- Build Inventory. You need to stock your thrift store with items you can resell and make a profit on. The best tips on opening a thrift store involve where to buy your inventory. When buying inventory for a thrift store you can buy it from wholesalers, other thrift stores, yard sales, and almost anywhere else you can find or think of. One of the best ways though to buy inventory for a thrift store is at estate auctions.
- Community Needs. Research the community in which you want to open a thrift store and see what it needs. If you can meet the needs of your local community, you are sure to have a successful thrift store.
- Building Rent. A thrift store does not have to be on the busy main drag of a town where building rents cost a lot. If you can find an empty building that has been vacant for a few months, the owner is more likely to rent it out to you on friendlier terms. One of the best tips for opening a thrift store is to look for a low rent building with friendly terms.
- Delivery. Many of your customers will be low income and may not have access to a truck much less a vehicle. If you offer low cost furniture delivery such as $10.00 for a load, you will sell a lot more furniture and your customers will be more loyal.
- Dressing Rooms. You have to have somewhere for your customers to try on clothes.
- Incorporate. If you plan on becoming a for profit business, then you should Incorporate you thrift store. By incorporating your business it will allow you to build corporate credit as well as protecting your personal assets.
- Big Ticket items. Much of your inventory will be low cost items that are under $10.00 with a small profit margin. In order to be successful you need to offer some higher margin products such as new beds, mattresses, and other furniture.
- Merchant Account. The best tip for opening a new thrift store is to make sure you have a merchant account and are set up to take credit cards. Credit cards will play an important role in increasing the number of large ticket items you are able to sell.
- Advertise. You need to advertise a lot so people will know that your new thrift store is open. One tip for opening a thrift store is to network with the local churches, food banks, and homeless shelters to let them know that you have a new thrift store that is open. These types of places can send a tremendous amount of traffic to your thrift store regardless of which part of town you are located in.
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