How can I save time acquiring merchandise for my new thrift store startup?

QUESTION:

I’m starting thrift store. Should I just rely on searching for used clothing from garage sales, auctions, and other thrift stores? Or are there any types of businesses that specifically sell used clothing for startup thrift stores? I understand that searching for the used clothing is part of the businesses, but I’d rather have a better system in place than going out constantly to such places. Any advice or creative ideas would be helpful.

ANSWER:

Naomi Kokubo

Naomi Kokubo

by Naomi Kokubo, Cofounder of Founders Space

You may want to advertise that you’ll buy used clothing in your community and let inventory come to you. Post it on CraigsList, hang a big sign on your storefront saying “We Buy Used Clothing”, and handout fliers in the neighborhood. Let everyone in your community know that you are someone who buys used clothing, and let people come to you when they want to get rid of old clothes.

In addition, if you care less about quality than quantity, you can try buying in bulk. I’m sure there are places that sell used clothing in bulk at steeply discounted prices. Maybe a lot of it is junk, but if the price is low enough, it can save you time running around, and time is money!

Another option is eBay. You never have to leave your home if you buy on eBay. Over time, you might be able to develop some trusted relationships, where you can buy enough clothing to off-set the shipping costs.

Also, see the comments below.  Lots of good ideas!

Comments & Advice:
  1. Monte says:

    I am helping out (volunteering) at thrift store in western Montana.

    We have several shipping containers full on hard items. They have been sorted and boxed up in banana boxes.

    We are looking to sell a bunch of it off. After many years in the business I have learned one thing that has never changed, you can’t make any money storing product.

    If your interested, contact me at [email protected]. You would responsible for shipping the product to your location.

    Might be able to work a bulk deal if you want a full container.

    God bless!!!

  2. Mike says:

    Hello,

    we exclusively supply clothing, shoes, belts, purses for thrift stores. We can do graded items, meaning great quality, specific size ranges, gender type ect. Feel free to contact us.

    Mike Toska
    ReSupply Group
    Sales Manager
    630-995-0754

  3. BESRA says:

    Iam selling my thrift store so I have lots of items for someone who is just starting their own business. If anyone interested please call or send me a text. 703 869 1820

  4. Carol says:

    I’m looking for suppliesvfor housing

  5. Janette says:

    Douglas Burnet, I am interested in Rag Houses in the Dallas area, as well. Please send me info.
    Thanks!

  6. Mayra says:

    Hi. I live in Calif. I am opening a childrens thrift store and would like to purchase inventory in bulk.. Any places that sell to thrift stores in bulk rhat you can refer me too? Thx

  7. I am looking to buy in bulk for my thrift store. I need a help

  8. Chris says:

    Selling all inventory and fixtures
    Work for yourself … All Inventory to start Thrift Store over 15,000 items plus racks and fixtures & trade secrets to stay stocked.

    Delivery option is available
    [4500sqft retail space is full]

    items include clothing [for men, women, boys, girls & infant ranging in size from newborn to sz 52]
    clothing racks / hangers / Antiques / Jewerly / Pictures / Wall Deco / Deco / Furniture / Glasswares / Shoes / Craft / Toys / Collectibles / Housewares / Tools / and more.

    Store closes July 12th[or earlier if inventory is sold], All items will be packed and ready for shipment to buyer either in delivery option or buyer pick-up.

    Closing due to Other opportunities & no extra time. Call or text us today 7152550602 [Everything for less than $1 per item All on the sales floor in good condition. $10k All you need is a storefront.

  9. monica says:

    Hi there!
    I am the owner of Friday Morning Co
    we sell quality used clothing
    please contact us for details
    [email protected]

  10. Sonia says:

    Any body have clothing u don’t need

  11. Janice Davis says:

    I don’t know if you are still looking for used clothing, I am closing my resale store in desoto texas I am looking for someone to buy everything I have, including all of the fixtures, hangers,clothes. For more information call 214-742-0336

  12. Hassan says:

    Hello everybody,

    I’m every interested a used cloth, shoes and refurbished electronics.

  13. Paulette Yarbrough says:

    I own and operate a small boutique in Northern Arkansas. We have so many items that do not sell at the end of the season as we have to buy 6’s of each item. Would you be interested in buying new merchandise at deep discounts to put in your shop? You can email me at [email protected].
    Thank you

  14. We have a nonprofit thrift store and sell our abundance of donations in lots for cheap.

    [email protected]
    512-394-5394

    http://www.theaustinharmonyproject.org

    The Austin Harmony Project’s mission was to enrich the lives of adults with developmental disabilities through art, music and community.

  15. Mohammed Sabir says:

    How can I buy odd ends and left-over lots of name brand clothing for retail business.

  16. Jim Smith says:

    On a daily basis we receive overstock items for second hand stores. We are a recycling company of household items and can accommodate any thrift store with a variety of slightly used items. We get furniture, mattresses, antiques, knick knacks, kitchen ware, electronics, toys, shoes, books, household décor, and clothes. Currently all items are sorted and placed into gaylord boxes for storage until resale. If you are interested or know someone who might be forward them my information. We currently haul between Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa but are able to ship anywhere if needed.

  17. QueenBzz ATL, LLC says:

    I am partnered with a non-profit that has unlimited amount of quality resale items. We are focused on selling to Thrift Stores, Vintage Stores, etc.

    We are located in Georgia, however, we will mail to you postage paid and promise, clean, undamaged merchandise. You must buy in bulk and pay through pay pal.Items as low as $1.00, and designer resale items would cost more, however, they would be authenticated.
    We value our REPUTATION and want you to come back for MORE!

    Please send your name,business,and email address for more information; to [email protected]. Or check us out on Craigslist. http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/clo/4811918143.html

    Kind Regards, Daphne McDonald

  18. Ryan Frankel says:

    Great Thread guys!! I am a large volume wholesaler of vintage clothing based out of Miami. We have been supplying small and large vintage stores around the world for over 25 years. If anyone has any questions about purchasing product I would be happy to assist. http://www.wholesalevintagefashion.com

  19. T.S says:

    I have wholesale thrift store inventory. I load gayloard box with what is requested(Household,tools,clothing etc. Mixed)
    and charge you per pound for the box or flat rate plus shipping.
    however you want to set it up You can drive to local terminal and unload or I can have it arrive at your doorstep.Contact me for details.
    [email protected]

  20. W L says:

    i have lots of items i am trying to get rid of for a fair price

  21. marsha says:

    Hello Mr Burnet I would like information about the sites you have on used items for my thrift store I’m planning on opening thanks

  22. sam says:

    I would like to buy

    used clothing and kids shoes. Call 239-673-4710

  23. Alex says:

    Guys,

    I we sell used clothing by the pound, 100Lb, 500Lb or 1000Lb Bales, Mixed, Women summer, men, mixed winter and more. Prices are very competitive from 0.50 Cents a pound to 1.50 Max.

    Please let us know.

    [email protected]

  24. Janice says:

    Selling resale shop in Lancaster Tx thats Dallas county,if interested email me at [email protected]

  25. Tarnishka says:

    Hey I am trying to start a thrift store for urban kids and I was wondering were can I get a sponsor or find a place to donate to me please and thank you.

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