SECONDHAND STORES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
Posted on October 17 2017
When you think 'secondhand' store what do you picture in your mind? ARC, Savers, Goodwill? Or do you think Vintage or great-Finds.
Before Opening my store and before I became a secondhand connoisseur , I had had very little experience with thrift-shopping. I was lucky enough to have had wonderful thrifting experiences and realized Secondhand Shopping didn't have to be digging thru bins of smelly used clothing and aisles of dirty, food encrusted dishes.
There are three different types of secondhand stores. All three serve different purposes, with different goals and experiences. You choose which is best for you.
A thrift store, such as Goodwill, is a store that sells used items that have been donated by the public. The money made is usually for a charitable cause. This is a wonderful thing for the cause but also for people looking to get rid of items and not wanting to do any effort to sell them themselves. They get a tax receipt to write-off those items. A win-win. Items at Thrift store are priced extremely cheap and nothing is done to the items once they are brought to the store-no cleaning, steaming etc. Items are As-Is and priced accordingly.
A Resale Store, such as Clothes Mentor which is a franchise, is a store that sells used women's clothing. They look thru your items and offer you an amount of cash or store credit for the acceptable items. Items they accept are usually within 2 years old and items they believe their specific customer base will want. They take all the risk so. they will pay you a small percentage of what they will sell it for. Usually 30% of what they will price the item for. Because their focus is to move-merchandise, because they have paid for it, they price the items quite low. Example: you bring in a pair of $90 jeans. They will sell them for around 25-30% of retail, $27. They will pay you around 30% of that amount, $9-10. You get cash in your hand or store credit to shop and customers get items at a very low price. Items are not cleaned, steamed or made to look like-new. The atmosphere can be very nice in this shop but again, they are focusing on taking in and getting out, volume.
A Consignment Shop, such as The Paper Chandelier, is also a store that sells women's used clothing and accessories. They look thru your items and decide what they think their clients will buy. They then 'consign' those items for a specific length of time. They then steam and prep the items to look their best and try to sell them. The Consignor shares the money that the items are sold for. Usually between 40%-50%. Consignment stores are usually the pickiest because they want to sell the best items for the best price for the customer and consignor. Items are usually the most current and stylish. Consignment stores price their items anywhere from 50% of retail to 25%. it depends on how current the item is, brand and condition. The same pair of $90 jeans could be priced for $42.50 or $28.50. The consignor would then get $23.40 or $15.68. Either way, the consignor will make more money if that item sells. Most consignment store donate unsold items or give items back so the consignor can try resale or donate themselves.
There are pros and cons to all three types of secondhand stores.
1.Give to a charitable organization with no hassle or prep.
2. Sell your items for a low dollar amount but walk out with cash
3. Consign your items and wait your time to hopefully make the most amount.
Obviously, I like CONSIGNMENT best but that's because its the biggest WIN for everyone involved. Consignors make the most amount of money per item. Customers get the best, current, high quality items for a fraction of retail. Local charities receive wonderful items for their clients. The Consignment shop owner gets to live their dream and own their own small business.
Whatever secondhand store you chose to use or shop at, it benefits the community and public.