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is a 'resale' shop a viable business opportunity?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by jgold47, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Macallan9

    Macallan9 Well-Known Member

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    You should not be doing this if for no reason other than that you clearly don't have working knowledge of how to run a business. There are just so many factors you have obviously yet to consider, only a fraction of which are in this thread.

    If you really think this idea would work, you should draft up a business plan, map out everything (where product comes from, how pricing will work, 5-year plan, 10-year plan) and float it to a consultant that can work out the kinks.

    I highly, highly doubt this would be a successful venture though. Plenty of the online resellers can't even sustain their businesses anymore and they have lower costs than you and a larger customer base.
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Well-Known Member

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    lol. Where do you find consultants with expertise in small resale shops?
     
  3. Sebastian_Flyte

    Sebastian_Flyte Well-Known Member

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    "Hip" neighborhoods are full of stores who aren't doing as well as they hoped, sit on prime real estate, and have an extra back of the shop or corner for you to squeeze some racks in to and man.

    I'd say try talking your way into a situation like that and see if, between the foot traffic and online, you can make a profit off of it, can find merchandise, and think it could work out. Lets you try the business out, pay a pittance to the show owner and deal with 1000% less of a headache than opening your own shop and business from scratch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  4. Superfluous Man

    Superfluous Man Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for the hijack but as a soon-to-be busto college student, I'm exploring the idea of flipping clothing for a little extra money. Other than the thrift thread are there any other good resources out there for learning the craft, spotting fakes, ways of reducing operating costs like eBay fees, etc?
     
  5. loralee

    loralee New Member

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    I just wanted to chime in here. I'm new to this site but this selling of thrifted items is something I've started doing recently.

    I didn't set out to do clothing. I actually just started scouting thrift stores like the salvation army for furniture to restore for proft etc. While I was there one day I found a vintage sewing pattern for 50c I hocked off on Etsy for $20 and then one day I browsed through the thrift stores I frequent and realised that in my area people donate some good designer clothing that I knew I could resell online for profit easily so I only went towards clothing because I saw an opportunity. And its a good chance to kit out my own wardrobe with some really cool stuff :) Just a few days ago I went on one of my buying trips in the local stores and I got at least 25 items. My house is like a factory I have piles for "to wash" "to mend" "to photograph" so you need plenty of space lol.

    I am making profit. But it takes time and I don't work outside of the home or study at the moment so I have time. I work from home so I have time to scout the thrift stores early in the morning when other people who might be interested in that clothing are at work. I have time to prewash it and handwash it if necessary, I re-sew on buttons etc. I don't buy something if I figure I can't recoup the costs of my work to give it some stain treatment or re-sew a button. I don't buy every designer label I see I weigh up the price.

    Most of the time I am buying stuff that is immaculate, I wash it to get the thrift store smell out and then I take some good photos which I edit real quick in online photo fixing tools to fix any photo flaws (I'm not the best photographer). All of this happens when my other at-home work is quiet so its effectively my downtime.

    Its not uncommon for me to resell a $5 item for over $35, or a $15 item for $75. But I have researched and I know what people are buying. I use my android phone to research resell prices while I'm in the store before deciding whether to purchase if I'm not sure about a certain label.

    I occassionally sacrifice one mid range item for $1 reserve to bring attention to my more expensive items. I'm learning to give lots of descriptions and measurements in my listings.

    However, would I see any opportunity to make money at this if I had a physical store? No way. Maybe if I set up a rack in someone elses store space but if I was paying rent somewhere and other associated overheads there is not a chance I would make a cent. The profits are low so I have to keep my costs low.

    Just my two cents :) Like I said I'm still new to doing this and I think I'm lucky that I'm in an area where people donate expensive clothes and it sounds terrible to say, but in the stores I frequent, the staff are usually volunteers that would have no clue what a designer label is they just turn the clothes over quickly like they're told to. And I have been known to barter :)
     
  6. kankle j

    kankle j Member

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    I've had a similar idea recently. Having a classy brick and mortar location, designed to look like a great retail menswear store (Brooks Brothers stores, Zegna Stores, Hugo Boss, etc). Then hand pick suits, shoes, shirts and accessories from trusted purveyors on eBay. Many sellers have inventories of Canali, Ermenegildo Zegna, Brooks Brothers, Turnbull and Asser, Drakes, and the list goes on. Would it be viable for example, to purchase a brand new Zegna suit for 800 and sell in a retail environment for 1600? The store would have knowledgable sales staff that could speak to the quality of the goods and fit, friendly atmosphere and create a positive purchasing experience while still offering new and slightly used goods for half the price of full retail. I could even see myself hiring a tailor to be on staff in the back office, as well as have a gentlemen outside shining shoes to create a stir by the store front. Seems viable to me, but I think that would depend on marketing, foot traffic, and socioeconomic status of the neighborhood, and location and channels of advertising. The business model certainly is sustainable, but it all depends on people are willing to come into the shop to talk, try on, feel, and purchase, as opposed to many ebay shoppers who would rather buy in between commercials of top chef.
     
  7. Bradford

    Bradford Well-Known Member

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    I only know of two places that have succeeded in this type of field.

    They are My Sister's Closet http://www.mysisterscloset.com/ out of Phoenix, which is a consignment chain and has stores that do women's clothing, furniture (My Sister's Attic), and men's clothing (Well Suited). But they don't really pay for inventory, customer's bring it in and consign it. When it sells, you get cash (very little) or store credit (about twice as much).

    The most successful chain I'm aware of is Buffalo Exchange http://www.buffaloexchange.com/(started in Tucson, AZ) which is also a consignment store and according to its website has now expanded to 43 stores and 3 franchises in 16 states, with $72.9 million a year in revenue.

    But again, the common element is that neither of these stores shell out money for merchandise. It's all on consignment and nothing is paid until merchandise is sold.
     
  8. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

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    no god damn way..not a chance ever.
     
  9. CYstyle

    CYstyle Well-Known Member

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    yep

    if those guys are having difficulty selling it at 50% off on ebay, and hundreds of millions of people use Ebay, whats the chance you'll sell it regularly at the retail store?
     
  10. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

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    not to mention, if you want any foot traffic, you will need to stock up on a number of sizes. Given that the inventory will have to be sparse due to supply issues, you may only have 1 or 2 suits per size. And those suits in common sizes you see for 50% on ebay are not staples, but esoteric designs/colors.

    no way sustainable.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Well-Known Member

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    This is the correct answer.
     
  12. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Well-Known Member

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    I know of a few people who do this for a living, and they buy at Estate sales and other various auctions. They do have retail locations, but often have a book of go-to clients that love to collect high end pieces. The shops that don't have a good fallowing will sit on pieces forever.

    They all have a steady income arm of their business that covers the day-to-day expenses and likely the overhead.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

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