How to Start a Second Hand Store 1-2-3
At a time when people are trying to save money, second hand stores are thriving.
Furthermore, consignment shops can offer higher-end clothing and not only attract shoppers who want to save
money, but those who want to sell their clothes for extra cash. This can be a win-win situation, especially for
the second hand store owner.
Start-up costs for a second hand business don't have to expensive, since
donations are free and clothing sold on consignment does not require payment up front. In the beginning, you
will be putting your money mainly in a storefront lease plus the cost to fix up your space, store fixtures and supplies, etc.
It is important to select a location that will attract the right buyers. This will depend on the items you
are selling, of course, but having significant foot traffic and other shopping establishments in the vicinity
will help bring in shoppers. If your second hand business is in an area with the right traffic and has good
signage, this is also likely to save you money on advertising.
What Shoppers Like:
To increase your profit potential, be selective about the clothes you choose to sell. You want to be known
for carrying quality items that offer a good value to customers. Make sure clothing is clean, as well as your
shop. If you treat your establishment as an upscale boutique, shoppers will view it as such. Some second hand
businesses attract clients by targeting specific niches, like children's clothing.
Where to Get Inventory:
You can exclusively sell merchandise that is donated or brought in by consignment sellers, but you also have
the option to shop garage sales, estate sales and thrift stores to find items that may appeal to your shoppers.
If you choose to spend a significant amount of time finding clothes to sell, you may need to hire an employee
to occupy your store, or you can simply have your shop open part-time.
The First Steps to Get Started:
Start by registering your business name with your county clerk and applying for a
business license (and seller's permit if applicable to your shop). Open a business bank account, obtain financing if necessary and get quotes on business insurance.
Hire a bookkeeper or purchase some inexpensive accounting software that will
track your business income and expenses. Get set up to accept credit cards
from customers, which willl instantly increase the number of items you sell.
How to Start a Second Hand
The easiest way to start a second hand business is to learn from someone who has already owned one. The good
news is that you don't have to take a time-consuming course or pay for an expensive seminar to get this
Bargain Shopper Lori Soard has interviewed over 100 second hand business owners to find out what it takes to
start and run a successful consignment business. Not only can you get one person's advice - you can get several
in one guide.
Second Hand Store Business Start-up Guide
How to Advertise Your Second Hand Shop
Get Free Publicity: You can get free in your local newspaper by writing a short press release about a
newsworthy even that is going on with your consignment business. Your press release doesn't have to be long,
and you can find press release samples here.
Websites: Set up a simple website for
under $50/year to advertise your second hand shop. This can be a great place to promote special sales, offer
downloadable coupons and provide a map, store hours and contact information for your shop.
Inexpensive Online Advertising: Local Search is becoming more and more popular. People
are many times using online search instead of the traditional yellow pages to find local businesses. Local
Search sources that are affordable and receive substantial traffic include: Google Local, Yelp, Super Pages and
Insider Pages. Once you have your website up - submit it to these local search sites.
Offer Coupons in neighborhood mailers or local newspapers to attract new customers to try
out your service. Obviously, thrift store shoppers like to save money, so coupons are ideal for attracting your
market. You can use mailing services or design your own coupons using online coupon