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products to sell online - One Man's Trash... Could Be Your Treasure - 3 Rules of Thrifty Product Sourcing

by Chris Malta

Thrift Shops and Consignment stores can be an excellent source for your product inventory - they always have fresh items to pick through and you can find some great deals.

Consignment stores, are commission-based. People bring in products for the store to sell on commission - what doesn't sell is returned to the owner.

Thrift stores are often 'not-for-profit' and obtain most of their goods via donations.

In comparing the two, thrift stores are typically more willing to bargain with you, simply because they have more room to do so.

Online retailers sometimes feel that resale stores are not a good place to find inventory because there's not enough of a profit margin. But Kate Holmes, author of Too Good to be Threw, The Complete Operations Manual (TGTBT.com), disagrees. Holmes asserts, "These stores have a very limited market. If there is nobody in their town that happens to want to buy a pair of jodhpurs that week, those jodhpurs will be sitting there waiting for an eBay seller to snap them up." The end result can be amazing bargains on quality items that have an online demand.

In addition to a limited market, Holmes also cites limited space as a factor in resale stores' bargain pricing. She points out, "They only have so much space, so they can only carry so many things.

If they can move something on and bring something else in, they're pleased with that."

3 Rules of Sourcing Products in Thrift and Consignment Shops:
When sourcing secondhand stores, it helps to follow some basic rules:

1. Shop the Edges - Even resale stores tend to carry certain types of products. What doesn't fit a shop's profile, they usually want to move out quickly. They tend to put these products around the store's edges, so start there.

2. Shop Often - They are constantly turning over product and bringing in new items, so don't let a dry trip or two discourage you. Your persistence can pay off in a big way.

3. Cultivate Relationships with the Shopkeepers — If they like you, they'll be much more willing to give you good prices. They may also be more willing to set things aside for you, if they know what you're looking for, and to guide you to items you might have otherwise missed.

If you're just starting out, a good place to find resale stores is in the Yellow Pages, under either "consignment" or "thrift". Don't be afraid to ask the shopkeepers if they know of other stores in the area - if they don't have what you're looking for, they'll usually be happy to refer you to someone they think might.

 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...