How To Turn A Thrift Store Route Into $100,000/Year Cash...Vol.1
Developing a Thrift Store route is an easy and lucrative way to earning an income buying and selling Mid-Century Modern Furniture and Decor. Whats great about buying from Thrift Stores is pieces will typically sell for a lot less then what you would pay if you were to buy the same item on Craigslist. You won't find Mid Century Furniture and Decor at every thrift store you go to, so the key is developing a route of multiple, quality thrift stores. The more quality Thrift Stores on the route, the better your chances of finding Mid Century items will be.
Below are some of the tips that have helped us develop our route:
1. Don't give up on a thrift store until its time to give up on a thrift store: Here's what we mean by that. The first step for building your route is to find all the Thrift Stores in the areas you're willing to drive too. A simple Google search can find them. Really take your time though and zoom in to each little burrow and town to find every one of them. Then build your driving route in the most efficient way possible, visiting all the Thrift Stores you've found. Heres the lesson though, when you go to a thrift store and they have say furniture priced 3 times the amount you'd even sell it for, or say they have no furniture, or maybe nothing good, don't give up on it just yet.
There's been numerous times, where we were close to writing off a certain Thrift Store from our list only to find that on our next visit there was some quality Mid Century Modern gems. So don't give up right away, go at least 4-6 times to each store before you write them off. But then when its time to write them off, write them off. We pass about 25 thrift stores on our route that we don't stop at. We go to the ones that we know are the best and time tested. Sure others might have some items worth buying once in a blue moon, but our route is built for the highest return on investment.
2. Pack snacks: This one is a no brainer but honestly if you live in an area like we do there are so many amazing stores that typically close before we can hit all of them. You don't want to be stopping for 45 minutes to eat. Pack lunch and eat on the way to and from each store.
3. Build Relationships: This is a really good tip for 2 reasons. The first is when you get to know the people that run the stores and work there you will have an easier time negotiating, which you should always do. Even if you just save $10 per item, but you do that 15 times throughout the day you just saved $150. If you go on 4 runs a month you'll have an extra $600 at the end of the month.
The second reason it's good to build relationships with people that work at the Thrift Stores is so you can see their new stock first. We have a few thrift stores that will call us if they get anything Mid Century in and see if we want to come check it out first. Another couple places have let us know what days they get shipments in for furniture (a lot of thrift stores are owned by a bigger store that will ship product to each thrift store from a donation center) and let us go in the back first to see what we want since we do so much business with them.
4. Stay Regular: We don't have enough storage space to go every day on a massive 25 store run but we do go to our favourite stores about 4 times a week. It only takes a few hours and we love going. Staying this regular allows us to get the best items that come in the store. Some thrift stores get donations every day, and the more you are there the better the chances that you'll find Mid Century Modern Furniture.
5. Milk Discount Days and Stamp Cards: This is one of our favourite tricks. You can exploit discount days and stamp cards to the point that you don't even need to find good deals, you can literally buy over priced items on these days and still make money. Some thrift stores will have specials where if you buy a gift card for at least $20 you get a $5 off coupon. We'll buy a gift card at every one of these, as we know we're going to be back to that Thrift Store the following week on our route.
Another good one is stamp cards. Most places offer stamp cards where you get a stamp for every $5-$10 you spend and once you get the card filled up completely you get 30% off your next visit to the store. We stock pile these and save them for when we make big purchases.
Discount Days are another one you should be watching. Most places will have a senior day or a day where furniture is a certain percentage off or a day where lighting is a certain discount. The right discount day can make even the most overpriced pieces worth buying.
Thrift store routes can be quite lucrative when planned and executed properly. Consider planning a route for once a week and fine tuning it each time you take it. Stay tuned for more articles with tips and tricks for building Thrift Store routes.