9 Tips for Starting an Online Thrift Store

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Written By Berry Mathew

With the high price of so many new goods these days, many people are turning to secondhand stores to purchase clothing, home decor, furniture and more. At the same time, the world of online shopping is taking off. Given these two simultaneous occurrences, the interest in online thrift stores is growing. If you would like to open up your own online thrifting business, doing so can be a rewarding opportunity, but it requires some forethought. Consider these tips to help make your entrepreneurial journey as smooth as possible. 

1. Find the Right Thrift Store POS System

Without a doubt, thrift stores have unique business needs. This is even more true for online setups. For example, inventory management and sales processing are major aspects of business operations, and finding the right thrift store POS system can make a major difference in the success of your business. Working with a thrift-specific POS company such as ThriftCart can be helpful. 

2. Choose Your Inventory Carefully

Speaking of inventory, something else to be mindful of is how you choose your inventory. Depending on your budget, inventory can have a huge impact on your finances. When looking for merchandise to sell, keep your eye out for deals at your local thrift stores, garage sales and other types of secondhand stores. Try to pick out items that you think others would buy.

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3. Sell What You Love

You should be mindful of the market and whether there is a need for the products that you offer, but you should also sell what you love. When you have a personal interest in a product, it makes it that much easier to sell it to others. For example, it can be challenging to promote the sale of something you would not use or do not find appealing in any way. 

4. Remember Your Customers

Thrift stores can have a wide variety of customer types, but you should try to think about all of your potential audiences. When you start selling merchandise, pay attention to buying patterns and be mindful of any inventory requests that you receive. Try to avoid selling bulk items or other things just for the purpose of making extra money. Try to offer a service to customers’ product needs. 

5. Think of a Creative Thrift Business Name

What are you going to call your new online thrift startup? Coming up with a creative thrift business name is a great way to stay in the minds of customers who love your products. If you are fresh out of ideas, you can try using an online business name generator, or you can look for other business naming resources. Sometimes, having a conversation with friends can be inspiring, too. 

6. Identity Your Supply Resources

With thrift store businesses, suppliers can vary greatly. In addition, they tend to be diverse. Some thrift store businesses rely on donations. This is a common approach when it comes to charity-related thrift businesses. Independent commercial startups often obtain supplies from walk-in sales and donations too, but these business owners often score goods at yard sales and from the classifieds as well.

7. Consider Selling a Wide Variety

Although specialization in a certain type of secondhand item such as records or comic books is an option if you have a particular interest you want to run with, there are also benefits to offering your online customers a wide variety of thrift goods. Think about the larger local thrift stores near you. Most of them have numerous departments. By selling a variety of products, you can increase your chances of successful sales.

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8. Ask Customers for Feedback 

No matter what type of company you run, customer feedback matters, and especially for new businesses. For thrift businesses, it is common for many companies to have as-is policies in place and to follow a less customer-centric business model due to the secondhand nature of the industry, but that does not have to be the same case for you. Talk to your customers and see what they think. Also, ask for feedback about products for future inventory ideas.

9.  Have an Awesome Website  

With an online business, having a functional website is an absolute must. Not only that, but you also need to ensure that your site is customer friendly and easy to navigate. If you do not have web design experience, working with a professional company can save you significant time and effort so you can focus on running the rest of your business.  

Starting an online thrift store can be a unique opportunity to sell secondhand goods to people all across the globe. Follow these tips to help improve your chances of success.