How to Get Inventory for a Thrift Store

Thrift stores are charitable retail businesses which are run by independent or non-profit organizations for the purpose of raising money. The goods being sold are usually donated by the members of the public, with the staff working on a voluntary basis. They are generally owned by a charitable group but may be under the direct possession of an independent entity, which is likely to benefit from the sales and in turn generate profit. That profit may be then split up where the owners give a proportion back to the charity.

The major problem faced by thrift stores is finding suitable inventory. As most items will be used once, it is important that they stock those goods which are unique and in appropriate re-selling condition.


  • 1

    Before exploring ways to find the right inventory, it is essential that you decide the inventory you want at your disposal. If you are focusing on certain items, it may be more difficult for you to acquire quality stuff. However, if you are willing to add more goods to your store, it will provide you greater leverage even if those items are not the most sought after. At this point, it may be good to set a budget for yourself and make a list of those things which you require.

  • 2

    Now purchase those items that you want to resell. These will be obtained from various sources such as online auctions where you will be buying in bulk, estate auction and clear sales. Furthermore, you can acquire items from a garage and yard sale or going through the manufacturers overruns.

  • 3

    Other than that, advertising is essential where you inform all charitable organizations about your existence. With the right sort of networking you can easily take help from local churches and food banks which will be more than willing to send all second hand items to your thrift store.

  • 4

    As most thrift stores may be working on a non-profit basis, you are entitled for donations. It is important that you request for donations from large organizations, which will enable you to stock plenty of inventory.

  • 5

    If you have trouble finding the right sort of inventory, then take consignments. While this may not be appealing, it will ensure a constant inflow of customers, where you will be sharing profits with another person.

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