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Love to Shop Resale? LOVE to Shop Resale!

What is resale?

Why shop resale?

How to shop resale

How to prepare your items for resale

So you want to open a resale shop

Love resale so much, you'd like to read a mystery set in this world?

What is resale?

 All shops which sell gently-used goods are resale shops. There are distinctions within resale: there are consignment shops, buy-outright shops, and thrift shops. 

 Consignment shops accept merchandise on a consignment basis, paying owners a percentage when and if the items are sold. Most pay consignors from 40 to 60% of the selling price, and have a policy of displaying goods for anywhere from 60 to 90 days, although there is a wide range of policies. Some consignment shops also purchase additional items outright from individual owners and/or wholesalers.

 A resale store is the phrase most often used for shops which buy their merchandise outright from individual owners, although it is also used for the general category of shops who resell, regardless of how they obtain their merchandise.

 A thrift shop is run by a Not For Profit organization to raise money to fund their charitable causes. These range from The Salvation Army/ Goodwill type to the small volunteer-run church thrift shops. These can obtain goods through outright donation or they could operate on a consignment basis. Some thrifts do both.

 Why does this matter to you? It may not, unless you have strong feelings about specific charities. You can choose to support a favorite charity by shopping and donating to their stores, and of course the reverse is also true. Note: Understand how much of the profits are used in their charitable good works. There are for-profit companies which make a (big!) business by “renting” a charity's name and reputation. Ask how much of the money made goes to the charity and decide what to do. If they can't/ won't tell you, be leery when donating and shopping.

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Why shop resale?

 Find your favorite style Don't be dictated to by fashion designers. Choose your favorite style when you shop resale. Put together a look that is your own and don't look like everyone else. Whether you're refreshing your wardrobe or your home, make it unique. Plus, at resale prices you can afford to try a new style! Then, if it's not for you, just pass it on again!

 Enjoy a wide selection Your favorite color and design is more readily available in resale than it is in new-merchandise stores, since those new stores can't afford to carry the variety of styles a resale shop can. And the selection is always changing at resale shops. If you don't find it today, you probably will next week... or even tomorrow.

 Get full value You know how a new car depreciates the minute it's driven off the dealer's lot? Same thing happens in clothing, furniture, and equipment. It's common to save more than 50% off retail prices when you shop resale. And savings of 90% are not unheard-of. Your money gets you better quality at any price level. Why buy cheap when you can buy inexpensively?

 Enjoy personalized service Can't find anyone to take your money in a department store? Hate standing in check-out lines at big boxes? Tired of trying to put together a look without someone helping you? Try resale! Most resale shops are personalized, warm places. Whether you're just browsing or seriously shopping, you'll get the service you thought was extinct.

 Be eco-savvy Imagine the cost to the environment for new items: depleting the soil, adding fertilizers to the watershed, increasing air pollution with shipping. Add to that the fact that you're cutting down on the waste stream: now don't you feel good about saving that designer item from the land fill? Besides, you'll have to work less yourself when you shop resale, which has its own savings to contribute to the environment!

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How to shop resale

 Shop often Since the inventory changes daily, you should keep checking. Resale prices are so good, merchandise doesn't hang around for long.

 Get on their mailing list and the shop's request list as well, if you have a specific need. The best resale shops send advance notices of sales, an informative newsletter, and even coupons to regulars. If the shop you love doesn't have a list, suggest they start one.

 Keep an open mind Be flexible. Use your imagination. Resale shoppers are inventive and imaginative. Much more fun than letting some mega-retail conglomerate tell you what to wear or enjoy in your home, like they do at the mall. 

 Carry sizes and colors with you You can grab a bargain if you know what will work for family or friends. Or if you have the pants you've been meaning to match available. Ask the staff's opinion. They'll know if that brand runs true to size.

 Look in all areas Check out all sizes (it could run large or small or be mislabeled) and areas (many's the great bargains to be found in unexpected categories!) Does the shop have a designer area? A clearance rack? A back room?

 Ask about purchasing policies and "on approval" sales Do they accept credit cards? Offer layaway? Will they hold something for you or allow you to buy it on approval?

 Enjoy! Resale shopping is an adventure. Have a good time and don't forget to tell 'em Too Good to be Threw sent ya!

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Prepare your items

 Scout it out If you have items you want to pass on, check out the resalers in your area. Do they carry the type of goods you have? Is the shop clean, appealing, and filled with shoppers? If so, they will welcome a chance to be of service to you.

 Call ahead or ask while you're there about how they operate. Some shops ask that you make an appointment while others welcome walk-ins. The best shops will have a prepared handout telling you everything you need to know.

 Groom your items beforehand for best results. Clean, neat, and in-style sell best and thus return the best profit to you. If in doubt, ask the shopkeeper.

 Understand the agreement Each shop operates in its own manner. Be sure you know what and when you'll get paid, the time limit on consignments, and what happens to items that don't sell.

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So you want to open a shop

There's a page just for you here! Visit Start a Shop for tips and a dandy quiz to tell if you really want to join us in this wonderful profession! The first item to order is Too Good to be Threw: The Complete Operations Manual for Consignment Shops, which is a complete compendium of knowledge and reference. Then go to our Products page and check out all the additional Products for the Professional Resaler we offer. 

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How about a mystery set in the world of consignment shopping?

You will love The Picker Who Perished, a Too Good to be Threw Consignment Shop Mystery. You can order one direct from the author!

A note to my fellow resalers: The wording on this page, as you can see from the copyright notice below, is my property. You are welcome to use a LINK to these pages on your site, your blog, your e-newsletter or your social media to educate or amuse your viewers, but you MUST not use my words as your own. In other words: NO COPYING. Using my intellectual property without my specific permission, will result in hexes on your business.

The above articles are Copyright Too Good to be Threw, as is all the material on all my sites, and may not be copied or paraphrased. Links are encouraged, of course.

Our Manual is the complete overview of resale. 

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TGtbT.com is the premier web site for professional resalers. Start a consignment, resale or thrift store with free articles and Products for the Professional Resaler here on Too Good to be Threw. Want to know how to open a consignment shop, do a business plan, operate your shop, consignment software and selling secondhand clothes, upscale designer fashions, children's gear or used furniture? Consignment shops, resale stores, thrift stores & consignment sales use Too Good to be Threw. As a consignment consultant and two-award winner and lifelong member of NARTS, Kate Holmes creates all information and Products 
specifically for the resale industry

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