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Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN

Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« on: September 04, 2011, 05:44:16 PM »
I am retired and I'm thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN. Any suggestion would be appreciated so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 07:18:53 PM »
I am retired and I'm thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN. Any suggestion would be appreciated so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel.

My suggestion is don't do it, but that is only because I have seen 3 or 4 people do it in the last couple of years and they all "failed" within one year.

If you are the only one in the area you might become a millionaire. Can you compete with Goodwill, Salvation Army and any others in area.

Costs include: facility, labor, acquisition of goods, utilities, insurance, untold headaches,  etc, etc. Still want to try?

Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 08:29:01 PM »
My suggestion is don't do it, but that is only because I have seen 3 or 4 people do it in the last couple of years and they all "failed" within one year.

If you are the only one in the area you might become a millionaire. Can you compete with Goodwill, Salvation Army and any others in area.

Costs include: facility, labor, acquisition of goods, utilities, insurance, untold headaches,  etc, etc. Still want to try?
Lol. Other than a thrift store, what other type of stores could u open by doing this. It certainly can be done, but "thrift store" in general has a stigma to it. Which is why i wouldnt. But reinventing the wheel may actually be the best way to go for this type of thing.

Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 11:36:00 PM »
Thrift Store = cheap buyers that want something for nothing

Estate Liquidations = buyers that expect to pay more for hopefully nicer stuff


I don't know how "retired" you are, but expect to be putting in some really long hours.  It takes a lot of time to acquire, sort, research, stock, and price all that inventory.  You have to keep putting fresh inventory on the floor or people quit coming in......they don't want to see a bunch of stale merchandise that they have seen every trip into your store for the last month, they want new stuff!  It is a hell of a lot of work and a major time commitment.  Done right, it can be very profitable........but you can also burn through a lot of cash during your "learning curve", and there will be one!  Good luck!

Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 01:34:49 AM »
There it is. Thats whats up estate luquidator!
Exactly.

Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 06:32:42 AM »
You may want to start out by running a flea market booth every day from opening to closing.  If that does nothing but get your juices flowing, then I'd recommend you take a small vacation and go to another city and visit some thrift stores in the area and see what you can find out.  One thing to remember, you will NOT be successful in a ritzy area of town. 
   Thrift stores usually do better in the flea bitten neighborhoods.  Upper end area's tend to buy new.
   It's a lot of work, and a lot of effort.  Rather than just jumping in, see what you can find out about whether you even want to do it, let alone sink that amount of money in it.

Offline otbg

Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 08:00:23 AM »
Like some others said, try selling at a flea market for a while and see how it goes. Maybe even pony up for one of the more expensive indoor ones. Even the most expensive one would be a fraction of the cost of opening a shop of your own. See how that goes for 6-12 months then you will be in a much better position to make an informed decision.

Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 09:26:12 AM »
 :D Thanks for all the great ideas. I agree that "thrift Store" conjures up "Very used" and "cheap".
Estate Liquidtors- I'll play with that Idea.
I've worked for "The Man" for too many years and want to do something I enjoy. I'm retired not dead. I like hard work and doing for myself and family is just what I'm looking for.
Goodwill and Salvation Army do have a large presence here and would be competition, so our location would have to be away from their area. Memphis ahs more then it's share of Thrift Stores, so I'm steering away for there.
I'm not afraid of failing, I'm afraid of not trying.
Are there any trade days in the Memphis area?  I know there were a few in TX, where we used to live and they seemed to do better then Flea Markets.  Thanks Again !!!   ::)

Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 10:07:22 AM »
:D Thanks for all the great ideas. I agree that "thrift Store" conjures up "Very used" and "cheap".
Estate Liquidtors- I'll play with that Idea.
I've worked for "The Man" for too many years and want to do something I enjoy. I'm retired not dead. I like hard work and doing for myself and family is just what I'm looking for.
Goodwill and Salvation Army do have a large presence here and would be competition, so our location would have to be away from their area. Memphis ahs more then it's share of Thrift Stores, so I'm steering away for there.
I'm not afraid of failing, I'm afraid of not trying.
Are there any trade days in the Memphis area?  I know there were a few in TX, where we used to live and they seemed to do better then Flea Markets.  Thanks Again !!!   ::)

Obviously, the decision to open a business such as you are talking about is one that is your decision in the end, and we're just offering advice.  Take you time, and you need to make sure you can keep it afloat for at least six months, minimum, because you'll be operating in the red for a while.
   It's just the nature of the beast.  Scout locations, be sure to avoid conflicting with Salvation Army and other such businesses, and make certain your advertising is directed at the market you are aiming for.
   Consider, too, consignment sales, as a way to supplement your income.
   There's a lot of work involved in setting up a retail location, and you need to be sure to understand the insurance requirements, security systems, and workers comp and employment laws on both a federal and state level to cover your ass.
   And expect a lot of long hours.  I don't run a store front, but, as I'm sure chefj can verify, I look at a sixty hour week as a break from the normal grind.
   Being self employed means not only are you the man who determines every thing in the business and is the 'boss', you also are the janitor, secretary and errand boy during the initial start up.
   Any job that has to be done falls to you. No one is as worried about your business as you are, and that means you get all the added stress. 

Offline rulesforrebels

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Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 11:31:17 AM »
I think all of us at one time or antoher have thought about it. I have seen some fail in my area and some succeed. The ones that seem to succeed have a twist to the normal resale shop whether it be it caters to women, has more  upscale stuff, etf.

In my area we also have a bunch of non profit places opening up. They don't buy stuff in strictly take donations so even though were getting bulk stuff for cheap they are getting things for free. I saw one with really good prices like a dollar per clothing item. I think that is pretty competitive. I think Goodwill can be a ripoff. When I bought my house a few years back I stopped in to donate stuff but decided to look around. They are asking like $2 and $3 for a kitchen glass or plate thats not even part of a set. Prices just seemed really high to me.

I think in addition to being a resale shop you need to have some niche or some angle. Also maybe supplement the business by taking things on consignment, doing an we sell your stuff on ebay component to the business,run an auction a few nights a week, etc.

Offline Cobia

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Re: Thinking about opening a Thrift Store in Bartlett, TN
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 08:47:41 PM »
My humble advise is to spend some time brainstorming and think of a "niche" market. Start with areas of your personal interest and experience and see if you can develop an idea that will work around the construct of a
"thrift" store and getting product from storage auctions.

Movieman has made a point, many people are starting up general merchandise thrift stores adding to the supply and you still have to compete against the salvation armys and goodwills who get so much inventory for free.

I am not saying you cannot be successful starting up a general merchandise thift store, I just think catering to a niche market can help overcome the supply side competition that is already established.

Good Luck


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