Thrifting has gone through quite the evolutional arc in India, from being an unheard concept to turning into a huge phenomenon, seemingly overnight. A big part of the reason behind this is that youngsters are making a conscious shift away from fast fashion, instead choosing to explore the avenues of sustainable fashion.
This means if you’re looking for an unconventional business idea, it’s the perfect time for you to get into opening your own online thrift store! If fashion, design, style, and eccentricity are your forte, opening a thrift store will be right up your alley.
What is a thrift business?
In simple words, through a thrift business, you discover old and eccentric items that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Unlike walking into established businesses, when you come across a thrift store you have no idea about what you’re going to find. And that’s the most exciting part!
Today, thrift shopping online has become popular as it allows you to discover cute pieces of clothing on a budget, all while sitting at home and scrolling through your phone. Kool Kanya PowerPass not only teaches you everything one needs to know about thrift shopping but it also opens you up to a world of learning in the fields of digital marketing, social media, and content creation.
From helping you prepare for jobs to giving you a chance to #RaiseYourPower through the required knowledge for starting your own online thrift business, PowerPass covers everything under the umbrella of creativity!
Let us start by highlighting the initial steps you can follow to set up your online thrift store efficiently.
- Figure out your niche
Thrifting today has become an expansive and holistic business. Whether you’re looking for inexpensive and chic options of home decor and fashion, or timeless pieces of jewellery, thrifting can help you find them.
Before starting your business, you need to find out what you will be selling. The narrower your niche, the more you're likely to provide a unique experience to your customers. For example, you choose to sell women’s clothing and specialise in sourcing Vintage Dresses.
Once you’re ready with what you’re selling, it's time to create your brand. What is your brand’s core message and aesthetic going to be? Are your logo, brand name, and design coinciding with the message? Be sure to take your time while thinking about this as this will establish your brand’s identity.
Another point to keep in mind would be choosing a short, memorable, and unique brand name.
3. Pick your platform
An online thrift store is much easier to open than a physical retail store. It is also easier to discover and manage. But even online, you have multiple options for deciding where you’ll sell from.
The most common medium most second-hand stores choose is Instagram. Setting up a business profile on Instagram makes you easy to discover and makes interacting with customers simple.
Other things to consider are selling through e-commerce platforms or creating your own website through WordPress.
4. Sourcing products and managing inventory
You’ve finally come to the good part!
It is best advised not to spend too much capital and effort on your stock in the initial stages. Gather some stock and see how it plays out before you invest bigger amounts. However, ensure the items are clean, usable, and in a good condition before you purchase them. Especially if you’re reselling clothes.
Managing inventory may be tedious, but keeping track of your stock, what you’ve sold, and where everything has been stored is extremely important for your business.
One of the most crucial parts of opening a thrift shop is pricing your products. The very first thing you should do is check out your competitors and study their price range. Keep in mind it's a thrift store, so the prices must be affordable.
If you’re selling something particularly unique, you can hike the price by a bit. Lastly, don’t forget to consider shipping charges. If you’re opting for free shipping, make sure you cover the costs in your product’s price.
6. Shooting your products
Since it's an online thrift store, the pictures you upload of your products play a crucial role in selling them. A few points you can keep in mind are; shooting your products in good lighting, ensuring you take and upload pictures from every possible angle, and zooming in to display the product’s quality as well as condition.
Branded packaging is always a good idea. However, remember that it's a newly opened thrift business and is still in the infancy stage. Before you invest in customised and branded packaging, it would be wise to see how your business performs and give it time to establish itself.
Thus, it is advisable to stick with plain packaging that is light, sturdy, and protective.
To ensure your thrift shop does well, you need to promote it. If you’ve created a website or decided to sell through an e-commerce platform, considering SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) would be a great idea for your business.
Moreover, having a social media presence is extremely important for every business today. Posting behind-the-scenes photos and videos, harping onto trends, highlighting customer reviews, and posting relatable content would make your business likeable and easily discoverable.
The concept of thrifting can get a little overwhelming as there are so many stores online as well as offline that you can discover. Finding out what is good quality, rightly priced, and worth the money is a little difficult to understand.
There are many things to wrap your head around before you dive into the thrifting business. Join Kool Kanya’s “Get your head in the game- Introduction to the world of thrifting” course for a brief orientation to everything about thrift shopping.
We hope this blog helped you grasp the basics of opening up your own thrift shop and you’re now ready to succeed and grow!