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How to Start a Used Clothing Store, What You Should Know

Used Clothing Store Business Overview:

The best part about operating a used clothing business is the relatively low startup costs.

You can easily purchase large, bulk stocks of clothing at online sites, yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets, and then sift through those collections to find the items that suit your intended customer base.

A traditional thrift store serves a purpose for the local community, offering decent merchandise to those with limited budgets. If you're going for a trendy, fashionable used clothing, it goes without saying that you'll want to set up shop in the hip part of town.

Do some research and see if there are any spots available in the parts of town with popular bars or coffee shops, places where a lot of young people hang out

To run a hip style shop, keep an eye on fashion trends and pay attention to what people are wearing, especially what the people who come in to browse are wearing.

Some shoppers love to search for bargains and vintage clothing in second-hand shops. For budget conscious individuals, buying clothing second-hand may be a necessity. During any type of economy, a second-hand clothing business may do well, but it may really thrive during bad economic times.

If you wish, you can also setup online. This is a great way to start if you have limited funds and would rather not look into securing loans.

To begin this way, you need only the fashion sense requisite to build up an impressive collection of popular items, and plenty of boxes. Prices vary, but domain names can be surprisingly cheap. If you'd rather not set up a website though, you can do just fine by catering to the fashion-loving eBayers of the world.

One big plus of online business is that your market isn't just the local community, but the entire world. By offering unique and rare clothing and, you can easily build up a strong base of loyal customers.

Image of Used Clothing



Skill Set:

Employee & Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase Or In The Future

Common staff positions needed to run some businesses

Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

If your online, it can be a 24/7 operation. Brick and mortar outlets generally have retail store hours. Flea markets and other used clothing sale outlets are typically open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:


Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:

See our list of common business expenses


See Our Page on Licenses and Permits

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

If you shop at yard sales and flea markets, the startup costs for merchandise can be as little as a few hundred dollars. Hangers can be purchased at discount stores. A label maker can be used for racks, but a fine tip marker and paper tags work well for pricing.

Image of jeans

Tips and Considerations:


Pros and Cons:

The Pros:


The Cons:

Type of Customers:

Low income families, and bargain-hunters. This is why you will find the bulk of your customers online (such as eBay) and at flea markets or other venues where bargain-hunters shop.


Starting Your Business

How To Start A Business Step By Step - A list of important issues you need to address when starting your business, created in a check list style.


Business Plan:

Clothing Retail Business Plan Sample - Executive Summary | Bplans

Business Plan for a Start-Up Clothing Store |

Retail Clothing Business Plan |


Business Articles & Tips:

How to Start a Used Clothing Thrift Store |

Things to Consider When Starting a Used Clothing Store |

How to Start a Second Hand Store |

Starting a Used Clothing Retail Business |

Brother and Sister Team Start a Trendy Used Clothing Franchise |

How I Built It: Startup Takes Second Look at Used Clothes | WSJ

Can selling second-hand clothes be profitable? | Toronto Star

How to open a consignment store: Second Hand is First Rate when you aim for Resale Success! | Auntie Kate The Resale Expert

How to Start a Thrift Store Business | Mother Earth News

How to Sell Used Clothes Online | Niche Pursuits

9 Tips for a Successful Thrift Store Sale | US News

Designer Resale: The Know-How on Selling Your Items | CoutureUSA Luxury Style & Fashion Blog


Retail Store FIxtures and Racks

Retail Supplies, Store Fixtures Displays | Store Supply

Clothing Racks, Store Fixtures, and Retail Supplies | Discount

Clothing Racks | Retail Racks | Retail Store Fixtures | Allen Display

Display Cases, Fixtures, Retail Supplies | Display Warehouse

Stock Fixtures and Custom Designed Retail Displays & Environments | Grand + Benedicts Store Fixtures

Wholesale Retail Store Fixtures | Specialty Store


Established Businesses

Plato's Closet

Gently Used Kids' Clothing | Once Upon A Child

Buy & Sell Gently Used Clothing, Shoes & More | Clothes Mentor


Used Clothing Franchises

Used Clothing Franchise | Clothes Mentor



Used Clothing Wholesalers

Best Used Clothing

Used Clothing Wholesale



The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store (Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback))

The Everything Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store: All you need to get started and succeed in your own retail adventure

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Thrift Store

So You Want To Own The Store: Secrets to Running a Successful Retail Operation



The National Retail Federation


Related Businesses:

Fabric Shop

Tailor Service

Carts and Kiosks


Mall Kiosk Business

Sporting Goods

Shoe Business



Business Ideas : Business Topics : Success & Management : Self Improvement