How to Open a Thrift Store

by Contributor; Updated September 26, 2017

How to Open a Thrift Store. You've researched the market and you're seriously considering opening a thrift store. After tossing the idea around for awhile, you realize this is just the venture you've been looking for. You're ready to take the first steps towards realizing your dream.

Step 1

Find the optimal location. Running a retail business demands putting your store where you get the most traffic. Higher traffic areas cost more money, however. Consult a commercial real estate broker to see what is available in your price range.

Step 2

Decide on your inventory. A thrift store can diversify and carry a general line of merchandise, from clothing to kitchen items or it can specialize in one area; used books, furniture, clothing or any other recycled merchandise.

Step 3

Determine your merchandise sources. Your store can issue tax-deductible receipts for donations if you qualify as a 501 c(3), non-profit organization. Otherwise, you can still accept donated materials, but you won't be able to offer the benefactor a receipt they can use for a charitable deduction.

Step 4

Consider selling merchandise on consignment. Allowing others to put their items in your store and paying them a percentage of the selling amount can increase your inventory without any investment from you. Before you open your doors make sure your shelves are full of the items your customers will want.

Step 5

Get all the appropriate licenses. Different communities are very different in their requirements for opening a business. You will need a state license, along with an Employer Identification Number and a sales tax number. There may be other local requirements.

Step 6

Take a business class if you aren't familiar with the basics. You will need to know how to track your profits, what accounting system to use, how to devise a business plan and how to figure taxes and payroll. Nothing substitutes for being proficient in this area if you want your business to get off to a flying start.

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