Starting A Nonprofit Thrift Store

Rich Sims is a company consultant and also blogger who has aided numerous human being across the UNITED STATE open up little businesses.

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Everyone, whether they admit it or not, shops at thrift stores. Why not open up your own? Many type of people open consignment stores because they execute not recognize how to obtain merchandise for their save any kind of various other method. In this article, I will lay out a method to get quality merchandise for pennies on the dollar.

How to Start a Successful Thrift Store

Decide how your organization will certainly be classifiedAdvertise that you are buying supplied itemsPlan an object transportation strategyCreate a marketing structureBuy fixtures and also racks

Step 1: Decide How Your Business Will Be Classified

I have aided civilization and establishments from all throughout the country set up thrift stores. The significant difficulty in starting a thrift save is finding out where to obtain, and store getting, excellent merchandise. People are offered to donating their offered or undesirable clothes to thrifts run by charities across the country. Many civilization execute not also recognize that these thrift stores just give a small percent of the money to the charity that is on the door. They are run for revenues, and massive profit at that. If you have actually a charity to affiliate your organization via in order to receive donations, then this is an excellent means to do it. Most civilization who run for-profit businesses perform not want to go through the legal steps necessary to take donations and also advertise a charity's name on their door. However, it is not that tough to set up. I perform this on a consistent basis. However, it is not necessary.

Step 2: Advertise That You Are Buying Used Items

Several years ago, I began helping civilization begin thrift stores by advertising to buy clothing for a few cents a pound. Usually, about four to five weeks before the store opens, I have actually them put ads on sites favor Craigslist and also other regional internet posting sites. The ad ssuggest reads, “Wanted Used Clopoint. Will concerned your home and pick up. We pay $.10 a pound-CASH passist on spot.” Be certain to list a phone number as well. If you execute not want to go to their houses, you can have them come to your future keep. I have discovered that going to houses is a better way to acquire started. This ensures that the merchandise is a much better mix. Now, if you wish, you have the right to advertise to buy various other products choose furniture and also household items. It has been my suffer that when you buy their supplied apparel and shoes for $.10, or whatever number you come up with that is fair for your area, you have to ask if they have anything they wish to donate. You will obtain the various other items.


Tip 3: Plan an Item Transportation Strategy

You will need an SUV, pickup, or one more form of truck to make the pick-ups. When you are buying a couple of hundred pounds of apparel, it takes up most room. Normally, within 2 weeks in the majority of locations, five to 10 thousand pounds of clothing and also shoes have the right to be purchased.

Let's say you buy 10,000 pounds of clothing and also shoes for $.10 a pound, the expense would be equal to $1,000. The average number of items per pound is roughly 3. Therefore, 10,000 pounds of garments would certainly have actually 30,000 or so items of apparel to offer. Shoes weigh roughly one pound to five pounds, depending on whether they are children’s, men’s, or women’s. That offers you a cost basis for your apparel of around $.03 per item. I've contained a table listed below that can assist you visualize this.

What Do I Do With Leftover Items?

You will have actually some clothing that are not suitable for reselling. Those must be conserved. Anypoint you cannot resell deserve to be saved up and offered to rag businesses. Large thrift stores sell a container of rag garments for about $.20 a pound. Large thrift stores additionally market many of the clothing that is donated to them in container form to wholesale operations that pay about $.30 to $.60 a pound for the garments. Small consignment, or thrift stores, buy the item for a number of dollars a pound.

Item Type# of Pounds# of Items Per PoundTotal # of ItemsCost Per PoundTotal Cost













Tip 4: Create a Marketing Structure

By purchasing clothes direct from world, you cut out the middleguy and collection your service as much as make astronomical revenues. Even if you sold your clothing for an average of say $2.00 a things, you are making a substantial profit margin. As you are picking up the garments, you should additionally collect email addresses and phone numbers. This is your start of a marketing base to send weekly emails in order to drive business.

Thrift stores are profitable, but you deserve to still have expensive profit margins. If you carry out not plan a great marketing framework, then, also if you follow my previous instructions, your save will certainly not make it. Word of mouth is the finest marketing strategy. By making use of the purchasing strategy I stated over, you will obtain the word out fast.

Tip 5: Buy Fixtures and also Racks

When you begin to set up your save, you will certainly require fixtures and also racks. These are expensive, if you buy them supplied or brand-new. Remember, for thrift stores, you perform not need a department store look. When I am buying racks and also fixtures for my store, I initially ask local chain stores if they have actually racks they are acquiring rid of. I drive behind the regional sexpedition malls to see what has actually been put next to the dumpsters. You deserve to obtain 90% of the fixtures and racks you need, if you start utilizing this strategy approximately 2 months before you open. Many various other points have the right to be uncovered on digital liquidation auctions. At these auctions, you can normally find fixtures for a couple of dollars. I would go to fixture dealers as a last resort. They will certainly make you pay with the nose. Remember, a pretty fixture in a thrift keep does not make you money.

Hangers are an additional significant expense, but these can be obtained utilizing the very same technique you supplied to gain the fixtures (going to neighborhood chain clothes stores and also asking for them). If they say no, remember that their dumpsters constantly have actually lots of hangers. Most stores execute not reuse the hangers, but sindicate throw them ameans when someone does not desire the hanger.

If you have actually any type of questions please write-up a comment through an e-mail and I will certainly try to obtain your question answered. Using the techniques I have described over, a 2,000 to 5,000 square foot store can generally be opened up for around $10,000. Most of that price is taken up by paying for rent, paint, proclaiming, a cash register, and various other non-merchandise items. If you currently have actually the majority of of these items, then you have the right to open up for bit to nothing. Good luck!

This short article is precise and true to the ideal of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment objectives just and also does not substitute for personal counsel or experienced advice in service, financial, legal, or technological matters.

I'm looking to open up a thrift keep to help youngsters that out frifinish the foster care mechanism and need assistance starting their life. Most are thrown out of the mechanism at 18-21 if not embraced. Most foster family members don't adopt so those older children...young adults are then out to ffinish for themselves on their very own. Some wind up in the streets. On drugs. Prostitution... Some acquire kidnapped and are lured right into sex trafficking bereason they have actually no where else to go. I want to he a place that sets them up via assistance beginning college a task. A area to live. Guide lines and limits of course need to obtain collection in place however we need to stop homelessness and it starts through helping our foster youngsters that become young adults not to come to be homemuch less.

They must understand there's a area to aid them end up being someone in this world. If you can aid with advice....direction... donations in founding my thrift company I have the right to be reached at joln2 God bless you.

Theresa on June 29, 2020:

Loved your post. I want to open a thrift shop in my home, I have many of the items i need. I shop eincredibly where and discover points DIRT cheap and resale for a profit. Any tips.

I am interested in opening a thrift shop right here in Nigeria and I would certainly love to know exactly how I have the right to go about it and also a great merchandise that I have the right to get great clothing from. This is my email steffiomasan95 I would certainly be waiting for your response. Thank you

Danial Hrominchuk on December 23, 2019:

I as soon as had actually a Thrift Store called What Not! I marketed most stuff but tright here was too much theft. How I acquired the stuff to offer was basic I bought thrift keep stuff with Ebay. I sindicate put ad on it wanting garments and other items for thrift keep. I got many response. However tright here was even more theft than sales and I only had actually 1 part time employee called Scott (I will certainly leave out his last name for his privacy! The theft killed the business!

Verah on November 10, 2019:

Thank you so a lot, this is the best post on exactly how to open a thrift save. Loads of indevelopment. God bmuch less you.

Lorene Dennis on May 06, 2018:

This indevelopment was extremely useful

Brittany on December 02, 2017:

I’m founding one in my residence in my garage, do u have actually any kind of tips.

Monica on April 22, 2017:

Hi Rich,

Wow, this validates my research! Thanks for your skilled input! I'm considering the principle to support our regional community: Animal Shelter and also Single paleas in hardship, in Arizona.

I would certainly appreciate your thoughts on this..I'm at tinytoeschildcare

Thanks again,

Monica :)

Paul on April 15, 2017:

Do you recommfinish industrial size washer and dryer to finest prepare garments for sale?

Ed on August 11, 2016:

I am interested in opening a thrift keep and I perform have actually currently 2 storage full of merchandise, but the major worry for me is the high rent prices for a small keep front. Any idea? Also what are the legal needs. Thanks

Great article. I have a few questions also.

Jason Brandon on April 29, 2016:

I also am looking to open a non-profit thrift keep in East Texas. I have a few inquiries I would prefer to ask you. I appreciate your time and any type of information you deserve to share via me.


Patricia Bosley on March 04, 2016:

I'm freshly unemployed, I'm 50 years old having actually a difficult time finding employment. I constantly wanted to open my very own thrift save. Any advice

Patrice Turner on February 02, 2016:

I am interested in opening a charity based thrift store of my own. In Georgia perform you think i must take classes on starting new businesses. And your write-up is incredibly advantageous.

Duane on November 20, 2015:

Hello. I have actually an opportunity to lease 4000 sq ft for 1200 a month on a edge that has 8000 cars drive by a day. I have enough inventory to fill it up. Think Ill make money?

Kay on June 10, 2015:

hello... Is it feasible to sheight to you to ask questions?

djones on May 05, 2015:

Thank you for the information , I would certainly prefer to. Set up a apparel thrift save in Florida and also I am affiliated whit a NGO in Africa , please deserve to I have actually your help at bbranco210 .

See more: Implementing A Media Release System For Your Nonprofit Media Release Form


Thank you very much

Tamika Perry on April 01, 2015:

I have actually a non profit taxes exempt organization and I am the procedure of opening a thrift save. Would you please email, I have actually a couple of concerns. Friendslikeme

Tony G. on March 15, 2015:

My question is if I open a thrift keep as a non-profit and donate a percent to a charity, am I able to profit the remainder or can I personally only profit being a for profit thrift keep. I desire to have the ability to accept docountries to aid the community and provide the taxation break. I think this will additionally help in maintaining inventory flowing right into the save. I am in Texas, please respond to tonygomez711

Mona on March 02, 2015:

Hi, im in the start phase of considering opening a thrift shop in Florida and also can use some guidance. Please email me at Mightymo163 Thanks

Ozzie on February 23, 2015:

I'm trying to open a thrift store however out of the nation,I just need aid finding great merchandise like what the thrift stores sale. This is my e-mail izziemontes87 I would appreciate some help.

Ozzie on February 23, 2015:

I'm trying to open a thrift save but out of the country,I simply require aid finding great merchandise favor what the thrift stores sale. This is my e-mail izziemontes87

Caitlyn from Dover, Ohio on February 23, 2015:

Im interested in some information and advice. I would be incredibly appreciative! caitlynbeamish

Tia on December 29, 2014:

I'm in the start steras to opening up my very own thrift keep. I never assumed of buying the garments in mass would certainly really choose to recognize more. Rotia332

Sandra on December 11, 2014:

Hi, I have actually numerous questions about opening my very own thrift keep. For a 700 sf area through many traffic, what kind of revenue should I mean to make? Is there a network or list of regional developers to call about selling brand-new items also? Up front cost? My email address is sandraberto Thanks for any aid you deserve to carry out. Are you still in the organization of helping individuals erected shop?

Lynn on October 08, 2014:

Hw perform you pair with. Charity. BRATEVARO

This write-up was incredibly interesting and very valuable. My husband and also I have actually a small money put back from a vehicle wreck we were in. I'm a large yard seller and also have actually constantly wanted to begin a thrift save. I am looking at doing a relatively large save via a area for garments, furniture, household items, etc. My question would certainly be, when your service is established, what sort of income can you intend to make? I would certainly have to hire at least one employee and also pay myself a small payinspect. My husband has actually viewed many type of thrift stores come and also go and he's paranoid that we might not make it, yet I have great amount of sales, customer business, and also marketing suffer. Can you email me some advice please. My email resolve is jenelectra

Chris Collier from Atlanta, Georgia on September 18, 2014:

deserve to you aid us with our brand-new and up coming (to be opened up soon)


rahina on September 16, 2014:

I will favor to collect supplied garments to assist schooling in Africa .Please give me advices at rboureima13

Thank you.

diana rivera on April 26, 2014:

i have actually been in this business for almost 25 years its not truth whatever this people its saying that takes to open up a thrift save....tbelow its not a such of thing of buying 10 cents a pound.....its 40 cents to 60 cents a need to know the sector,the location that you are,location,excellent merchandise,the appropriate rag out...and so on...its not that straightforward...however its possible to make a lot of money if you have actually the understanding,the funding,location and the excellent merchandise.

debbie on April 24, 2014:

Hi I'm currently running a thrift store for my one has interemainder and never has pastor has shelp on several ocassions possibly you have to simply cshed that point down.Well it has been a aid to many households.I was just wondering if I close it dvery own would it be much better to open it as a non profit and I gain a pay or simply open up it for my own organization and also still give to them that need? I have run it for around eight years via no pay . My household is in need of a payinspect yet I still desire to help those in require .please help me to execute the rite point choose I shelp church doesn't care and suggest I close it.

Garry on April 20, 2014:

Hi rich, first of I have to give thanks to you for so much details on one web page, information that would certainly take a multitude of different we web page to discover. I desire to begin up a trift keep it would not be non profit. Saying that I would prefer to donate money each month to a various charity each month. How would I go around this? If you have the moment I would certainly appreciate your profession input. Gazzmanian1 Thanks Garry

Marie Foster on April 18, 2014:

New Update Craiglist execute uncover now

Marie Foster on April 18, 2014:

I have attempt Craiglist and eextremely time I post an ad I get no replies at all by e-mail or phone So I think Craiglist is another scam ad place

Sherrie Wright on April 10, 2014:

I am trying to open a Thrift Shop in Florida. I am functioning on my Business Plan for proposal for a Business Grant. Is asking for $30,000 or $50,000 as well much to ask as a new service owner? I have actually 6 years of endure in Sales.

I'd love if you emailed me as I have some concerns about, not a thrift store, but actually an exreadjust.

email is zachary.scheiner

All the finest,


annette on April 03, 2014:

i am interested in opening a shop....i have actually 3 storage bins complete of so much inventory, i am bursting at the seams! currently i require a keep front and lots of ideas to make my dream a fact. please assist me ....i am in cleveland also my email is axc101 thanks.

Ricdifficult Ubinas on March 06, 2014:

I am intrested to open up a thrift shop and i should understand just how to buy the clothes.

Thank You. speak to me 1-347-507-0032

contact anytime.

Richard Ubinas on March 06, 2014:

I am interested in opening up a thrift shop and i have to understand just how to buy the garments.

Mike Yarbrough on February 04, 2014:

Great post! I'm considering purchasing a fuunctional thrift shop and also am curious if you can understand of any type of good, less expensive software application to control inventory, revenue and also sales fads. Also, can you be available for consulting in the Dallas area? Please let me understand.


OddsEndz on January 31, 2014:

Good day, I am in the procedure of opening a thrift store. I had actually hoped to have my opening at the end of this month however weather and other situations have actually set that day back. I would certainly favor to have a lengthy standing question answered if you might. I have a for profit (not a 501c) save and have a substantial amount of begin up inventory. I get many items donated off the internet, from auction homes, and flea sector form sales. My question is just how execute I keep track of my inventory for income tax purposes? Is this necessary? I have actually received the majority of conflicting indevelopment on this and also have not prospered in finding an sufficient answer. I've been told whatever from I have to have actually eextremely single item accounted for, (which seems completely ridiculous to me considering that that would equate to tens of thousands of items), to I have the right to group items into lots and save a running inventory this way (of which I still have actually some confusion about). If you have any type of suggestions I would significantly appreciate you aid. Danielle at odds_endz

Danielle on January 26, 2014:

Hi, I'm quite young and also I've been reasoning around what I would certainly like to carry out via my future, and this concept appears simply perfect for me. I was wondering if there was any state that would certainly be even more profitable for a thrift shop? I would certainly prefer to discuss this even more. My email is danielleflaherty1308 thank you :)

aaronb on January 17, 2014:

Look at just how many kind of human being come in to buy vs browse

Sandy on January 13, 2014:

What many world that donated to the massive thrift stores don't understand is that most and also not selling items are provided to the dump and also not to an organization that might distribute the undesirable items to world in need that have no money additionally any type of cells or computer system stuff is offered to an various other retailer to refurbish and sold at close to or the very same price as New not what I would intend if I donated my cell I would certainly want someone to be Abel to purchase it at a low affordable cost

Lorena on December 29, 2013:


I have actually a question about opening a thrift save. My family members has been conserving a big amount of clothes and also so many type of things that deserve to be marketed to people that have the right to discover a great usage to them. The difficulty is that we don't recognize wbelow to open a thrift save or just how to open one and also prefer some advice.

Abby on December 15, 2013:

I am a retail manager and have been for 16 years now. I have actually been reasoning about opening my very own thrift save beings I have actually a "Shop Keeper" mind collection, yet I need info on profit and non profit establishments. Please help. Email me at alwayzabby2011 if you have the right to assist.

Sam on November 24, 2013:

Hi Rich,

I am interested in opening a thrift keep in my location. Would you be available to consult with me on this? I would appreciate it. samrthrift


Rob on November 18, 2013:

Interested in even more indevelopment on this. Sfinish me an email please rob.moise

Ali on September 11, 2013:

I am opening a thrift keep reasonably shortly and I have a few inquiries. I understand also that you are being overwhelmed via emails. When you have actually a opportunity please email me at alimunafkanchwala

Thanks for all the good info

Cinderella on September 10, 2013:

This is my second time operating a thrift shop. I've remained in organization a year & have actually outgrvery own my room. My difficulty is acquiring the $$ to be able to relocate & for advertising/signage. Do you have any kind of tips on gaining some financing/loan/approve. (hopecompletely not based upon crmodify score :(

armard on June 28, 2013:

here is my email for the information on the bridal thrift keep. rashard2883

Chad on May 16, 2013:

Great short article. I have a question for you. How carry out you get rid of the same neighborhood customers that come in week after week? After they understand what you have actually they stop coming as frequently or just looking and unmuch less you can switch out your totality inventory eexceptionally week your sales drop dramatically. Advertisement gets expensive and also it just draws the thrift keep shopper locally as there are thrift stores on simply about eexceptionally edge now days. You can email me if you have the right to aid through these inquiries. (shl796

JR on May 11, 2013:

I am interested in opening a thrift keep in NJ. I require assist in acquiring started. I have actually 15k to invest, I likewise have mannequins and also showcases, I'm just doing not have in knowledge....please someone help!

Gina on April 28, 2013:

Hi Rhonda , No I never before acquired a solution back from Mr. Sims . :/ Sorry it took lengthy to answer earlier.

admckenney on April 24, 2013:

I am looking to open a thriftsave in Texas, and would certainly prefer some ideass or aid via establishing it up, I would also choose to designate a section of the continue to 2 separate charities, have the right to you do that? If so How perform I carry out it, and deserve to I obtain a 501 status through simply a sponsorship from the church. Please rerotate my email at admckenney ThAnks for your aid.

Mindi on April 23, 2013:

Hello, my husband and also I are considering opening a thrift keep. You shelp that affiliating with a charity to get docountries was not also tough to put up. Could you outline the procedure associated with this?

Rhonda on April 19, 2013:

Rich- I sent out you a personal e-mail. I am hoping you would certainly look at it and also hopefully respond. Love the information you common. I am totally fired up! Please let me understand if you got it. Looking forward to hearing from you. rgeissinger


Rhonda on April 19, 2013:

Rich- I sent out you an individual e-mail. I am hoping you would look at it and also hopefully respond. Love the indevelopment you shared. I am completely fired up! Please let me understand if you received it. Looking forward to hearing from you.


Kevin on March 24, 2013:

I am through a donation just thrift save that demands a rise in sales, exactly how carry out you think a purchase plan would work-related via an establimelted store? Would it work doing both docountry and purchasing?


I have actually a couple of questions around opening a Profit or Non Profit Thrift save. Could you please email me at ladygina1969 Thank You very much for your short article.

ISANDY on March 06, 2013:

Thanks for such good information...Can you share some info on opening a thrift shop within a church---non profit company...We are looking to raise funds for our after college regimen and also the concept of a thrift shop looks promising....just how perform i obtain this started?

superliquidators on February 28, 2013:

Great INFO...Do you sell consulting on how to open a thrift? My wife is thinking around opening a thrift store below in Florida. If you perform please call me at raybartolo1



Ann on February 24, 2013:

i am thinking of Opening a children and also moms Thtift save in NY Hudboy Valley area?? What would certainly be the best way for me to get feedago on the town or area inregards to opening a thrift keep is tbelow a area digital were I have the right to put ad add and also gain some feedearlier before morn the store in that area??

kara on February 17, 2013:

What type of deductions carry out thrift shops have? Like advertising, rent, garments donations?

Malek Zarzour from Turessential, Istanbul on February 14, 2013:

say thanks to you for sharing this beneficial info..

zake on February 09, 2013:

Thanks for the indevelopment. Do I require a regulare company license to open a trift store?

Denise on January 29, 2013:

I opened a thrift store 3 years earlier. The town I live in is difficult I'm still hanging in tright here however if you have actually any type of sugestions please I would love to know.

Daniel on January 07, 2013:

say thanks to You for the advice!

i have actually a inquiries please email

XRain on December 10, 2012:


say thanks to You for the brilliant advice!

We are reasoning to open a thrift shop in Staten Island also, and are in search of a low-cost area. What are Your suggestions - exactly how to uncover it.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlancarry out, FL on July 13, 2012:

As a constant shopper of thrift stores for books, music and odds and also ends I found this hub interesting. We have actually a couple of independent thrift stores in Florida. Many of them are operated by Goodwill certainly or churches. Thanks for the information. Welconcerned HubPeras. If you require any type of assist feel cost-free to visit the Learning Center.

Peter V from At the Beach in Florida on July 13, 2012:

Wow, this is a very great overview of what one requirements to begin a thrift shop! I enjoy shopping at thrift shops from time to time. it is fun, bereason you never before recognize what you will uncover, and also you can actually buy it without shedding ore than a few bucks. Very informative!

Mark Shulkosky from Pennsylvania on July 13, 2012:

RichSims, welinvolved HubPages. Great Hub via the nuts and also bolts of how To start a Thrift Store. I freshly created a Hub about why we should all shop at Thrifts. One area talks about opening a thrift. I'll attach your Hub to it. Thanks.