Starting an ecommerce venture is both a fun hobby and a significant investment in the future. What's more, a used clothing store is a fantastic way to help upcycle items and make them available at great prices for everyone to enjoy. Anyone looking to jump in right away should read on for our ten tips for starting an online boutique thrift store in 2021.
Discover Your Niche
Used clothing is a fairly broad category. Without any narrowing down your plans, you'll be rapidly overwhelmed by piles upon piles of baby items, kids' clothing, teen fashion, and so forth. Instead, figure out what's in demand as well as what your expertise includes. It's always possible to branch out once a niche proves successful, after all.
Find the Right Platform for You
Unsurprisingly, what platform you choose matters quite a bit. Many people choose to launch their business on a very small scale to learn first. Public platforms and open internet markets are a great way to test product and marketing ideas without a lot of expertise. When a business becomes more successful, it's less intimidating to move to a home- or professionally-made site. Both have costs and fees associated, so it's often a matter of preference and expertise.
Get Organized From the Start
When it comes to clothes, things can get out of hand very quickly. Staying organized is a big part of any quality ecommerce store. This is especially true of clothes as it's not an accessible item to store or search through. Categorize clothing as precisely as possible to make it easy to recover items from storage. The same is true when building the shop, as customers will not have the patience to scroll through too many options in the hopes of seeing something irresistible.
Determine Reliable Stock Sources
The essential part of any online business is sourcing reliable stock. It's no use having the most popular shop if it's impossible to keep the shelves full and fill customer orders. For the most part, a steady trickle of inexpensive items exists across end-user selling platforms like Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Along the same lines are garage and estate sales.
However, if your business is focused on selling quality used shoes, how likely will these sources always provide enough clean and affordable items to resell? Instead, you'll need to buy used shoes in bulk to guarantee items are always available. The best way to accomplish this is to work together with used clothes wholesalers.
Obtain Affordable Supplies
The low prices of the supply aisle at your local general store are just an illusion. It's essential to acquire a business tax ID well before you begin to stock up on anything. With this handy ID, it's easy to buy any supplies at wholesale prices and quantities. Buying supplies such as boxes, tape, and package filler in larger shipments will bring immense savings over time. What's more, ordering the same supplies will create a sense of familiarity for repeat customers.
Package Like a Pro
There's putting items in a shipping parceling, and then there's packaging items right. While clothing is easily shipped in several ways due to its flexible nature, the easiest way is not always the best; just because you can shove a bunch of shirts into a padded envelope doesn't mean you should. Hopefully, as per the previous tip, you've taken the time to find more appropriate packaging.
Plenty of clothes-specific boxes and packages are available for cheap at wholesale prices. Use those along with nice tissue paper to create a nicer unboxing experience. Lastly, learn to fold items the way nicer storefronts do. No one wants to receive clothes wrinkled up, even if they’ll still be washed by the customer before being worn.
Provide Accurate Listing Information
Even if you have the best inventory at the right prices, customers will only bite if they feel confident in the purchase. For starters, dark, grainy, or low-quality images aren't acceptable in 2021. With even the cheapest knock-off phones supporting 10+ megapixels, there's just no excuse. What's more, light kits are available starting at $20 in many everyday general retail stores.
Dress forms and mannequins can easily be obtained at retailers and used item shops at an affordable price range, too. There's just no reason not to have quality images and thorough descriptions. Failing to do so will make your shop seem shady and not worth the risk.
Price Items Competitively
It doesn't take but a scroll through amateur sales platforms to see endless pricing mistakes. Many people falsely believe their items are of much higher value than they are. As a result, they sit on massive quantities of inventory for years and turn away more customers than they take in. If you're determined to create a shop, the most important of our ten tips for starting an online boutique thrift store in 2021 is to price your selection carefully.
Customers don't just want a deal; they need to know they're getting the best deal. So, find ways to bring down prices or add more value to the package to make up for a higher price. Don't just assume you can overcharge just because other people are. Focus on bringing the best prices to build a loyal customer base.
Take Advantage of Seasonal Interests
For eleven out of twelve months of the year, you may be tempted to toss the pile of Christmas sweaters and Halloween shirts. However, once the season rolls around, those items sell like hotcakes. What's more, seasonal items make for fantastic highlights in marketing images, whether they sell or not. Having the right things to photograph and feature will help get people excited about the season and put them in a spending mood.
Don't Forget To Market
Many people still fail to realize how much work it takes to get found online. The internet is big—really big. To get noticed, it's essential to do plenty of legwork to ensure people know about your shop rather than just stumbling across it. The best way to accomplish this is to join active communities online and create shareable content on a social media platform. Interacting with a fashion-focused community can also be beneficial in acting as a reference point to help you find the prices your potential customers are looking to pay.