Thrifting is the new black and running a thrift store can prove to be very successful, no matter if your goal is financial or charitable.
Here are 10 steps you’ll want to take when opening your online thrift store
1. Make it a business
Even though you’re just starting out, you should go into the process already thinking of it as a business. This means registering your business, setting up a business bank account, and getting an EIN number amongst other things. If you want an easy 30-day step-by-step plan to setting up an online boutique, get our book ’30 Days to Boutique’ on Amazon.
2. Choose a name
Keep in mind that your business will probably grow and change over time, so choose a name that can grow with it. Choose a name that is fairly general and broad but also specific to your niche.
You can also opt for a name that is stylish or just beautiful to you, that is what I did when I started my online vintage boutique Oloumah.
3. Choose a platform
There are many platforms made to run your small business including those like Etsy which has a built-in audience, but less control on your end, or one like Shopify. You have to decide which is better for you. You can read this article to learn more
4. Write out a budget
Your budget should include inventory and marketing.
5. Determine your marketing audience
You have to determine who you are marketing to and what platform you will use. Many people with online thrift stores choose to use Instagram as you can also do live sales.
6. Decide how to stock your store
How are you going to stock your store? Will you source yourself or have people donate, or both? There are also wholesalers that you can purchase from to stock your store.
Speak with other like-minded sellers to get an understanding of how they opened their stores. If you can find a mentor, it doesn’t even have to be someone you know, it can be a person on YouTube that gives great advice. You can also attend networking events or join associations like NARTS: The Association of Resale Professionals.
Before you even purchase an item to place in your shop, you should doo extensive research on the space you wish to enter. Gather information about what items sell well and which don’t, which platforms are best, how saturated the niche is already, and where your audience is amongst other things.
9. Begin with the end in mind
What is your end goal? Do you want to eventually open a brick-and-mortar shop or do you want to have an entire charity based around your thrift store? Having this focus will help influence every decision you make when moving forward with your store.
10. Speak with a business professional
There are many business resources and professionals that work with new small business owners for free or low cost. Score is one good resource to look into, they have free and low-cost workshops and programs for new business owners. They can also help you with a business plan