How to Promote a Thrift Store

by Business Editor; Updated September 26, 2017
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How to Promote a Thrift Store. Promoting a thrift store can be a tricky business proposition. Since it thrives on resale of used goods at nominal prices, thrift stores need to appeal to the right kind of shopper but also to a lot of shoppers in order to gain enough revenue to keep its doors open. Here are some suggestions to help you promote a thrift store.

Step 1

Make it hip. There are lots of young people who frequent thrift stores for vintage clothing, music and furniture. Most of these teenagers and twenty-somethings have favorite stores that they go to a lot because those stores have a lot of the items that they like for very little money. Market your store towards the younger crowds as much as you market it to the older antique collectors. The grandmother looking for a discontinued china pattern from the Korean war might not appreciate the vintage Beatles poster in the corner, but the college dj sure will.

Step 2

Diversify your products. Adding some variety to what you sell is a great way to entice new customers into your store. Sell a multitude of things, from clothing and jewelry to art and furniture, and make a point of adding new items on a regular basis so that your established customers will have a reason to keep coming in and seeing what new treasures they can find. Take suggestions, too; if you notice multiple customers asking about a particular piece of furniture or looking for vintage record albums, consider adding these to your inventory.

Step 3

Offer incentives. Thrift stores are inexpensive places to shop to begin with, but offering coupons or special sale offers is another good way to get new customers through your doors. Have a half-off sale or offer customers a percentage over a total purchase that exceeds a certain dollar amount. A customer that finds two great items instead of just one because of a "buy one, get one free" sale is twice as likely to return to your thrift store.

Step 4

Advertise at the right time of year. Halloween is a big sales time for thrift stores because lots of people turn to thrift stores instead of more expensive costume shops for their Halloween costumes and accessories. Christmas is also a key time to advertise since many people will be shopping for that antiques collector on their Christmas list. If your thrift store is located near a college, pay attention to when students return to classes; many of them will be looking for some used furniture at a bargain price for their dorm room or apartment. Knowing what times of year are key to your business will help you spend money wisely on advertising and maximize your business growth.