Can I Successfully Start A Thrift Store With No Money?


Yes, you can set up a thrift store with no money.

Starting a Thrift store successfully with or with no money is a good idea but with the “no money” factor attached to it, it makes everything a bit harder and everything required would become low cost or low budget. 

But regardless, everything is possible with the right knowledge.


What Is A Thrift Store

How to start a thrift store with no money

A thrift store is a store that sells already used items at a lower price than brand new and sells them to their customers. 

How Do I Start A Successful Thrift Store With No Money


While you are trying to set up a thrift store successfully with no money, there are so many steps you need to look at and answer honestly.


Here are the steps needed to start a thrift store successfully with no money


1- Draw Up A Feasible Business Plan For Your Thrift Store


Business plans for every business are so important and drawing up a good business plan while you are trying to set up a thrift store with no money is very important.

In your thrift store business plan, make sure your plans are very feasible since its low cost to avoid overshooting your budget. 

Your business plan should contain strategies you would use to achieve your business goals, your vision, your target customers e.t.c


2-What Should You Sell In Your Thrift Store

How to start a thrift store with no money

You should already have in mind what you want to sell in your thrift store or you should still discover this while you are trying to set up your thrift store. Also, you should consider the fact that your thrift store is low budget or with no money.

If you don’t have anything in mind yet, some items you can sell in your thrift store includes clothing’s, Jewelries, accessories, books, video games, video players, mattresses, home equipment, utensils, home appliances e.t.c

The market for thrift clothing is quite saturated. Although clothing is a popular choice a lot of thrift store owners go to, if you want to thrive here, you would need to stand out as you are already aware of your competitors.


3- Is Your Thrift Store Going To Be Online Or Offline


This question is really important because judging by the fact that you have a low cash budget for your thrift store, you cannot go with a walk-in store except if you plan on making money from money lenders or taking loans from the bank, an online thrift store is preferred.


How Do Online Thrift Stores Work


For an online thrift store, platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magneto, Squarespace, Pinnacle cart, PrestaShop, Volusion, Software AG, Infusionsoft, Xcart, Miva, CS-cart all offer e-commerce solutions where you can start your thrift store online. Their prices range from as low as $9(Shopify lite) and they also allow free trials before any commitments for your e-commerce themes and they are easy to integrate.


Before you start with any of the e-commerce platforms, you would need to purchase a domain name and hosting first and also SSL so that your site would be safe since your customers would need to input their credit cards online on your thrift store website. But Bluehost offers a free domain name for a year and hosting for just $3.95/ month. Join Bluehost.


Shopify and other paid e-commerce platforms are not the only e-commerce platforms but they are more preferred because not only do they make your work easier, you do not need a developer to do the payment gateway because all these things have already been done for you, just for you to arrange your catalogue and input your inventories.

Also, they make your on-page SEO options easier. SEO plugins like Yoast, Rank maths and All in One SEO are used to enhance your visibility on the search engines.


Not all online thrift stores have an e-commerce website. The low budget online thrift stores go mainly with Instagram pages, Facebook, and Etsy stores. Where they sample their catalogues as pages on their business Instagram account and people pay directly to their bank accounts and have the goods taken directly to their customers using logistics services.


What Makes A Thrift Store Successful

How to start a thrift store with no money

Marketing your thrift store aggressively is a definite way to make your thrift store successful.

Even with a low budget, you can market your thrift store and make money from it.

There are so many ways to market your thrift store.


Here are some ways to market your thrift store that would make it successful


Email Marketing 


The average Return on investment for email marketing is 122%, which is four times higher than that of any other digital marketing channel. Even though a lot of people keep saying that email marketing is dead, it all narrows down to them not knowing how to sell to their customers or interact with their customers properly using emails.


As a thrift store owner, you need to integrate email marketing into your e-commerce store by signing up on one of the email marketing platforms. This helps you to get to your customers directly by sending them personalized emails and sending them new arrivals or items that are currently on sale in your thrift store online.


Here are some great email marketing platforms you can integrate into your e-commerce store

  • Mailerlite
  • Convertkit
  • Optinmonster
  • Mailchimp
  • Sendinblue
  • Sendowl
  • Constant Contact
  • Drip
  • Aweber
  • GetResponse
  • Moosend and a lot more

One good thing about email marketing is that you can automate the messages, send them specific messages at different times or when they sign in, that way they see your messages, go through your catalogues and see all your items and you contact them directly.


Social Media Marketing 


The Return on investment for every social media marketing depends on the content being put out and the reach. 

To be able to market your online thrift store and get customers from social media, you would need to first create a social media account across social media platforms, create compelling content, promote your e-commerce websites by running adverts about different products on your catalogue.


Running adverts on social media platforms at the beginning stage of your business is very important because you want all your customers to go to your online thrift store and the advert gives you options to insert your e-commerce website URL and when they click on it, they land on your online thrift store and most likely join your email list. Either way, it is a win-win.


From Joining email marketing and social media marketing to sorting your orders would be a hassle for you, you can always hire a freelancer to do any of those on Fiverr for you and pay them per hour or as agreed.


Also applications and software like Hootsuite, Tailwind allows you to manage and schedule your content effectively.


How Do You Make Your Thrift Store Stand Out


Aside from marketing, getting good products in good conditions with great prices is a killer combo and perfect to make your thrift store stand out.


When Customer A purchases some very nice items from your thrift store and ‘B’ sees him/her and compliments that ‘B’ is most likely to buy from your online store when the need for that product arises and therefore they go from just ‘B’ to “Customer B”.


What Licence Is Needed To Open A Thrift Store


A business registration certificate is a license needed for any business online or offline and an online thrift store is no exemption. In almost every country, the requirement for any business changes with time so there is most likely to be a difference with time.

A business registration certificate for your thrift store would also be presented if you need to open a business account for your thrift store which is a given. Other requirements like taxpayers identification number. National identification numbers, tax permits and the likes are also going to be required for this registration.


How Much Can A Thrift Store Make


An average thrift store makes about $10,000 to $90,000 and more in sales annually. But this differs with many factors affecting it.

Every thrift store differs with location(offline), online presence, types of items sold, profit margins, amount of goods present in the thrift store, where the goods are gotten from, e.t.c 

All the listed factors above influence the profits of a thrift store.


What Makes A Good Thrift Store


A good thrift store gets good thrift items that are still in good condition and sell them off to their customers from their online or offline thrift store and delivers them at the appropriate time.

They ensure that the goods are gotten from a good source to avoid hassles or issues of ownership when the goods have already been paid for.

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Linda Orjiakor is a serial entrepreneur, content writer and professional blogger with years of blogging experience. She's passionate about helping business owners make the most out of their businesses, leveraging their online space and getting the best out of their online platforms, she also helps bloggers scale their blogs into a real business on her new blog, She has written articles also published on authority websites like BellaNaija >>

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