How To Start a Second Hand Used Clothing Business

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Second hand clothing shops generally do well during any economy.  When the economy is rough, these types of stores will do even better.

To begin, start by making a business plan, selecting a business name and determining what startup costs you will have.  Startup costs will need to include inventory, rental space and deposits, utility deposits, business licenses and related fees, advertising costs and as much operating capital that you can get to help you during your startup period.  If you are going to have employees right from the start, you will need to account for payroll and tax withholding money also.

When you choose a location it is probably a wise choice to go into a middle or lower income neighborhood where you are apt to generate the most business.  High-traffic areas are near retail malls, other second hand stores, antique districts and grocery stores.  Choosing the right location will put you another step closer to success.

You will need to decide whether your store will sell specialty items such as formal wear or maternity clothes, or if you are going to carry something for everyone.  Specialty stores do provide a niche if there are not too many of the same stores in your area.  A group of second hand children’s clothing stores in one town may mean too much competition, while being the only one offering exclusively children’s clothes may in fact be a prime decision.

Where you will purchase your inventory is another decision that must be made prior to opening.  There are several companies which offer seconds and used clothing for sale in bulk amounts.  You may also consider consigning your items at first.  This will allow you to have a full inventory and not have to pay for any item until the item sells.  This is a great way to begin if your startup funding is really tight.

Finally, set a standard for the types of clothing or accessories that you are going to allow out on your selling floor.  Clothes, shoes or accessories that are ripped or stained or damaged in some form are not a good product to put out on the floor regardless of how cheaply you sell them.  Shoddy clothes will give your store a poor appearance.  Once you have set your standards, stay true to them.  People will return often if they know they can purchase quality used clothing at a very good price.


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