Easy Guide - how to Start a Thrift Store with Little Money Easy Guide - how to Start a Thrift Store with Little Money

An Easy Guide on how to Start a Thrift Store with Little Money

Are you considering a business with little money? Why not think about thrift stores? It is one of the booming business ideas which you can start with less money. It never insists you borrow money like other businesses. There is no risk, and it is a super simple setup.

You should know how to start a thrift store with little money.  If you are a beginner, this question indeed rises in your mind, and you want to know everything about it. Even though it is not a large business, every business requires strategy and a master plan. 

So, here is a complete guide related to set up, valuable tips, and techniques for a successful thrift store. To know, go through the article.

What is a Thrift Store?

Most people know about the thrift store, but let me explain it if you don’t know about it. It means a place or shop that offers you to sell all your used things. 

It might be possible that you already visited that type of store or this type of store is present near you. There are too many types of thrift stores, but the main motive of all the stores is the same.


These thrift stores are handled by big and famous charity companies like Goodwill and many others.


A virtual consignment store is another thrift store where everyone goes with their used items and sells them.

Flea Market

Flea Market is an area or a location where too many thrift stores are present.

I hope now you can understand the different types of thrift stores. Even selling used items on online stores like eBay is also considered a kind of thrift store.

how to start a thrift store

How Much Do Thrift Stores Make?

It is a fact that thrift stores are not the fastest way to become rich and make too much money in just a few days. 

According to the business survey of Dun & Bradstreet, the 30 thousand thrift stores will earn around $17 billion in a single year. However, according to them, the average salary of the thrift worker is $120,000 per year.

As for information, the thrift store’s profit is low compared to the other stores. This is because a significant percentage of the profit will go to the physical location. The industry revealed that the average yield is 5 percent which means it is %5000 if your sales are up to $100,000.

The reality is that you have to pay too much if you are going to open a thrift store. It doesn’t matter if it is an online store or offline. It is because you have to pay taxes, and it is 30 percent of the profit. The other bad news for you is that the owner must pay taxes from their income.

The best solution to this problem is to make the thrift store an LLC, which means the limited liability corporation. Overall this is the best way to save too much money. If you do this, you only have to pay taxes according to the income rates. Find this amazing, than read more to know about how to start a thrift store.

According to our recommendation, you have to open online thrift stores. This is because you don’t have to pay a massive amount for the location. Another reason is you will get too many customers as compared to the offline thrift stores. If we talk about the profits of the online thrift stores, it is more than 35% which means $35,000 on sales up to $100,000.

Are All Thrift Stores Non-Profit?

There are too many big thrift stores, and all the stores are non-profit organizations. The reason behind this is that the traditional store doesn’t provide you with a considerable profit. 

The best way to open an offline thrift store and you have to serve as a charity company. In this way, you can easily avoid taxes and make a good profit.  

How to Start a Thrift Store

The person, who is willing, should know how to start an online thrift store and its fundamental steps. These steps include:

Decide How Your Business Will Be Classified

Many companies and people who are going to start thrift stores have to face many problems initially. The primary and rising issue is how to create, manage, and from where to receive items۔

Several charities run these stores, and many people from all over the country get involved by donating second-hand items. These items include clothes, kitchenware, handbags, shoes, and furniture.

Although the charity organizations only receive a tiny amount in return for selling charity items by thrift stores.

These stores are held to get profit from unwanted things. If there is any charity organization near you, then you can associate your business to get contributions. It is one of the best methods.

Those who are doing businesses based on great profit are not willing to follow the legal measures for the donations. Even these businessmen do not want to tag the labels of charity for publicity.

Advertise That You Are Buying Used Items

Before starting an online thrift store, it is best if you make sure of the advertisement. It means you can advertise online about your service on various websites where you are allowed. One of the most known is Craigslist. In your ads, you have to be clear while conveying your service to let them know.

If your plan involves picking up used items from their doorstep and paying some amount in return, mention them. Additionally, provide your contact number if you want to receive things at your store. But it would be best if you go there and pick the items in the beginning. The reason is you can check the article by yourself whether it is in good condition or not.

Advertise That You Are Buying Used Items

Plan an Item Transportation Strategy

As your thrift store idea involves many household items, like furniture, you also need a transportation strategy. Some pickups or trucks will go well when you want to purchase hundred-dollar items. It indeed covers an excellent volume of space.

Suppose you are going to buy items of $100, then plan the transportation strategy accordingly. If the expense of transportation is $60 or above, it will not go well because the cost of the vehicle is more than profit.

Create a Marketing Structure

It is another essential factor that plays a significant role in the efficient working of a thrift store. In the beginning, when you buy clothes from those who want to sell their unwanted and used items. Do not involve any third person because it can cause less profit. You have to give them a share. As a result, exclude them and make huge money as a profit.

Nonetheless, $2 on each selling item can give you a great profit in return. Besides this, it would be best to collect the contact number and email addresses after picking selling items. In the initial stages of a thrift store, you need to send marketing texts and emails. It ultimately results in the growth of the store to a great extent.

As you know these sorts of stores are pretty profitable, even after this, you can consider the vast margins of profit. That’s why marketing structure is fundamental in the whole plan of the Thrift store.

On the other hand, if there is no marketing structure in your master plan.  Even after acting on all the steps mentioned earlier, there is no profit and success. The next thing which matters a lot is word of mouth – it is also one of the most known marketing policies.

Buy Fixtures and Racks

After planning and setting up everything, the next step is to buy racks and fixtures for your thrift store. They may be costly whether you purchase a brand new or second-hand. But before purchasing, keep one thing in mind. Your thrift store should not seem like a departmental store.

You may consider the option of second-hand racks and fixtures. For this, you can visit the city’s local stores and ask them whether they have any racks and fixtures that they want to discard. Indeed many of the old stores may have. About 90% racks you can get by this method as compared to buying brand new.

Another way to find used racks and fixtures is the point of the auction. They also have used items in return for some dollars. If still, you don’t see anywhere, then the last option is moving towards the dealers.

Another thing that is also expensive for newbie thrift stores is hangers. For the search of hangers, you can also visit the local stores and confirm from them.  Don’t forget many clothing stores never use the old hangers, but they prefer to throw them off. Keep an eye and collect hangers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to open a thrift store?

The cost of the thrift store depends on too many things like the cost of the location, space of the shop, and many other things. But the estimated price to open the thrift store is $20,000 to $30,000.

How profitable are thrift stores?

Yes, the thrift stores are profitable, but not too much. According to the business report, the profit of the thrift store is 3.3 percent. It means the thrift store that contains ten employees; the average yield is $111,880 in a year. 

How do I start a thrift business?

  • First, you have to search the niche
  • After this, create a brand
  • Open the shop
  • Bring your products
  • Create pictures of every product
  • Decide the price
  • Plan the marketing strategy

Can you make money thrifting?

Yes, you can make money with the help of thrifting, but it is not the fastest way to become rich or make too much money. If you want to start a thrift store, you can go for it; it also has a lot of fun.


Well! That was all about how to start a thrift store so far. It is more profitable in online service, reused store items like hangers, racks, and fixtures. 

Even though it is slow, but surely you will have a significant margin of profit. If you follow all the steps mentioned above, I am sure huge success is waiting for you.