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How to Start a Thrift Store

Carol Evenson Sep 25, 2019
You see the value in thrift stores, and you want to start your own. The idea of getting free items or purchasing used items at a discount to make money for yourself or others can be rewarding.
The only hiccup you've got to overcome is figuring out how you are going to open one up. Following these tips that will help guide you in the right direction.

Become an Appraiser

First thing you have to do is optimize your appraising skills. You are going to be given a lot of items, and you will have to become an expert at deciding what is valuable. Learn how to tell fine material versus generic, and try to learn about brands.
It may also be a good idea to learn more about jewelry, like the estimate lab created diamond value because you never know when these types of items will be donated. Keep in mind that you are going to have to stock up your store on your own initially, so knowing what to purchase is vital.

Name Your Organizing Business

You will need a good name for your organization or business. Make sure the name is clear, and that it is not used by other businesses. Since, you are going to choose the type of organization you are opening up make sure that it stands apart.
Thrift stores can be a sole proprietorship, partnerships, non profit, or an LLC. Becoming an LLC or a limited-liability company is an option some business people take to reduce the risk they are personally taken by opening up this business.

Getting Registered

Another step you are going to have to take is registering with the state. First, make sure the name you choose is not already registered by someone else. The state should have a database for you to search, and you can usually find this database online.
There are a number of steps you have to take to be fully registered, like submitting a registration form and paying some filing fees. The amount of work you have to do to register your business depends on you, the type of organization you are forming, and the amount of time the Secretary of State's office has to review your submitted form.

Getting Permits

Thrift stores don't normally require specialized licensing, like other types of businesses out there, and that is good because it means you have to pay less money. Still, you will need to get local business permits. The problem is that these change from country to country.
It is important that you figure out the county your business will be in, and contact the county clerk. Most of the time, this process doesn't take too long, but that does not mean you should wait until the last minute. Make your appointment as soon as you can so that you can continue with the rest of the things you have to do.

Getting the Store

It is important that you either lease or purchase a storefront. You can talk to your bank once you have found the right place to secure the storefront, especially if the location is pristine since other businesses might be looking to obtain it as well.
You are going to have to work on making sure you have all the items you are going to need in your store, such as clothes racks, shelving, cash registers, and all the other things you need to have in place before you let in your first customers.
Hopefully, this information helps you start your thrift store right. Be patient because every business takes some time to get off the ground, but hopefully, all this work will pay off.