Insight for The Used Clothing Business
The best part about operating a used clothing business is the relatively low startup costs.
You can easily purchase large, bulk stocks of clothing at online sites, yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets, and then sift through those collections to find the items that suit your intended customer base.
A traditional thrift store serves a purpose for the local community, offering decent merchandise to those with limited budgets. If you’re going for a trendy, fashionable used clothing, it goes without saying that you’ll want to set up shop in the hip part of town.
Do some research and see if there are any spots available in the parts of town with popular bars or coffee shops, places where a lot of young people hang out
To run a hip style shop, keep an eye on fashion trends and pay attention to what people are wearing, especially what the people who come in to browse are wearing.
Some shoppers love to search for bargains and vintage clothing in second-hand shops. For budget-conscious individuals, buying clothing second-hand may be a necessity. During any type of economy, a second-hand clothing business may do well, but it may really thrive during bad economic times.
If you wish, you can also set up online. This is a great way to start if you have limited funds and would rather not look into securing loans.
To begin this way, you need only the fashion sense requisite to build up an impressive collection of popular items, and plenty of boxes. Prices vary, but domain names can be surprisingly cheap. If you’d rather not set up a website though, you can do just fine by catering to the fashion-loving eBayers of the world.
One big plus of online business is that your market isn’t just the local community, but the entire world. By offering unique and rare clothing and, you can easily build up a strong base of loyal customers.
- Retail sales skills
- Spotting good deals at garage sales, flea markets, etc.
- Identifying Fashion trends
- Fashion Design is plus
- Clothing repair and cleaning
- A good eye for color coordination
- Good at matching clothing
- List of Common Business Skills
Employee & Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase Or In The Future
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:
If your online, it can be a 24/7 operation. Brick and mortar outlets generally have retail store hours. Flea markets and other used clothing sale outlets are typically open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
- Stain remover and other detergents
- Tags for pricing
- Display Racks/ Display Shelves
- Sewing machine for repairs
- Price gun
- Warehouse or other storage units
- Essential office Equipment
- See Our List of General Retail Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:
Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:
If you shop at yard sales and flea markets, the startup costs for merchandise can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Hangers can be purchased at discount stores. A label maker can be used for racks, but a fine tip marker and paper tags work well for pricing.
Tips and Considerations:
- You will find and repair clothing items that are fit for resale. If you have sewing skills, mending torn hems or ripped sleeves won’t take long at all. Your best finds will come from yard sales and thrift stores. Name brand pieces will sell for more than lesser known brands, but all will sell and bring a profit to you.
- Keep an ongoing inventory of what you have so that you know what sizes to look for when you shop for new merchandise. Launder all clothing before hanging it up for final sale. If special washing instructions are needed, include them with the article of clothing.
- Shipping clothing requires appropriate boxes. Buy boxes, tissue paper, and other packing essentials in bulk to get the best deal. Be sure to figure in the cost of shipping when deciding on the final cost of each item you want to sell.
- When orders are placed, include coupons for discounts on future orders. If someone orders a delicate fabric, include a trial size box of cleaning cloths for stain removal or a box of detergent. Orders over a certain amount can receive free items like garment bags, small storage items, or lint brushes.
- Carry a wide selection of clothing which sells well used. For example, children outgrow clothing fast. Some parents may be in the market for second-hand clothing. Maternity clothing is also a good item to carry. Since women only wear the clothes for a short time, they may want to look for alternatives to buying new clothes. Designer items may also be good sellers since their price tag is huge when new. Vintage clothing, which is hard to find elsewhere, maybe a specialty item that sells well in a used clothing shop.
- Look at the condition of the clothing to determine the price. If the clothing looks new, you may be able to price it higher than well-worn merchandise. Also, consider the type and style of clothing for pricing ideas. For example, if the used clothing is a designer name, you may be able to price it higher than other items.
- An owner of a used clothing retail business in a different city may be more than happy to give you a few tips, so long as your businesses are far enough apart that they won’t compete for customers. Some may not be so helpful; you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share their wisdom with you.
Pros and Cons:
- It can be very lucrative.
- It is a good business for a slow economy.
- It offers several niches such as vintage, used wedding, and children’s’ clothing.
- Sales are relatively simple to make.
- You may have to do a lot of mending and other sewing repairs.
- A lot of laundering/cleaning/stain removal.
- Pricing items can be a chore.
- Good used clothing can be hard to find in bulk at a good price.
Type of Customers:
Low-income families, and bargain-hunters. This is why you will find the bulk of your customers online (such as eBay) and at flea markets or other venues where bargain-hunters shop.
Business Plan for a Start-Up Clothing Store | Chron.com
Retail Clothing Business Plan | MoreBusiness.com
Business Articles & Tips:
How to Start a Used Clothing Thrift Store | Chron.com
How to Start a Second Hand Store | Secondhand4business.com
Starting a Used Clothing Retail Business | Gaebler.com
Brother and Sister Team Start a Trendy Used Clothing Franchise | Entrepreneur.com
Can selling second-hand clothes be profitable? | Toronto Star
How to open a consignment store | Auntie Kate The Resale Expert
How to Start a Thrift Store Business | Mother Earth News
How to Sell Used Clothes Online | Niche Pursuits
Retail Store FIxtures and Racks
Retail Supplies, Store Fixtures Displays | Store Supply
Clothing Racks, Store Fixtures, and Retail Supplies | Discount Shelving.com
Clothing Racks | Retail Racks | Retail Store Fixtures | Allen Display
Display Cases, Fixtures, Retail Supplies | Display Warehouse
Stock Fixtures and Custom Designed Retail Displays & Environments | Grand + Benedicts Store Fixtures
Wholesale Retail Store Fixtures | Specialty Store Services.com
Gently Used Kids’ Clothing | Once Upon A Child
Buy & Sell Gently Used Clothing, Shoes & More | Clothes Mentor
Used Clothing Franchises
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store (Complete Idiot’s Guides (Lifestyle Paperback))
The Everything Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store: All you need to get started and succeed in your own retail adventure
So You Want To Own The Store: Secrets to Running a Successful Retail Operation