I have been contemplating setting up my own second hand clothes and goods store.
Has anyone any experience in this field or any pointers to put me on the right track.
Thanks for any replies.
Well dont sell used underwear anyway thats all i know
consider how or where you will source your products ?
(many secondhand stores get their products by claiming they are collecting for charity - of course they dont mention that the clothes you give will be sold on so they can make a profit)
there are newer secondhand (or pre-loved) clothes shops offering payment to people 80c per kilo or something like that - advertising along the lines of clear out your closets and make money from it - get rid of all those unwanted items and make money from them etc etc
there are others which offer a swap system (quite rare to find these).
and then there's car boot sales/church fetes etc.
as regards making the business work - its possible ... but you could also look into tax breaks if you are a registered charity (collecting clothes and selling - with some of the profits in aid of a particular charity) - there are lots of benefits for charities.
next thing to figure out is storage ....where do you store the clothes ? assuming you get more than the shop floor will allow !
then there's the shop itself - as with most retail outlets footfall is vital, research the area and see if there's a market for a vintage clothing or pre-loved clothing store (or simply a secondhand clothing store) .... ensure your premises are covered by insurance and security alarm and cameras - even though your products are cheap - someone will want to rob them !! *** learn what you can and cant do in terms of someone possibly stealing from you - you do NOT want to end up in court with a civil action against you for defamation and false imprisonment)
next ...advertising !! ... people will not know you exist unless you advertise - local free sheet, local radio, posters ...a website ....all help bring in punters and bring awareness of the shop....if you go the charity route, look at sponsorship of local events - raises awareness of the charity and the shop.
best of luck with it (if it does go ahead)
Have you done any research on it? Is there an area your looking at opening the store?
I have been researching it the last few months. There seems to be a great market for it in certain area that I have looked at. Getting your stock will be the main thing you need to figure out.
Have a sign outside your store letting people know that you buy goods. The great thing behind this option is that people will come to you with there items. Will you pay for each item of clothing or just x amount per kilo. The problem with buying items that people bring in is that you will need to know how much you can buy the item for and what you can sell it for. For this option to worth you would need to know the value of a lot of items and be good at haggling down the price.
You could just purchase second hand clothing and items from suppliers and stock these items in your store. This would be the most straight forward way of doing it.
Like the previous poster said you could look into going down the charity route and registering as a charity. The biggest advantage to this is all the discounts you could get and people would donate items to you free of charge.
What have you been thinking off so far?
Haha and here's me thinking I could off load my old undies!
Corkbah and Highlandseoghan thanks a million for your responses'. I've been considering going down the charity route but from what I have been told I will need another 5 people on board with me. This is very off putting as most of my peers are no longer in the country and I would not ask my parents.
I had been considering opening up in Phibsboro but worry about the influx of charity shops there. I'm currently working in Phibsboro so know the area quite well. Can there be too many charity shops in one area?
I hope to buy used clothes, shoes, dvd's, household goods etc. and re-sell.
These two sites might help you get some information on setting up a charity and what is required. Going down the charity road you are going to have to set up your own charity and then set up your shop. There is good exemptions if you have a charity but there is rules and regulations you need to stick too.
Phibsboro looks like a very good area for this kind of business and could do extremely well. Good population and only 2km from city centre. Have you seen any retail units yet? What sort of rent are they looking for?
Why are you thinking about going the charity route, is there any reason your thinking about going this way?
I feel there is huge demand for second hand shops selling clothes and items that people are wanting. There is so much unemployment in this country and its going to another few years before things start to improve.
Have a look at Curtain Traders on newtownpark Avenue in Blackrock. They've been in business for about 20 years.
From what I know, they take in unwanted gifts. Everything has to be new. Not sure of any other info about them, but 20+ years shows they are doing something right.
I don't think you've thought this through very well OP. If you know Phibsboro well then you'll know that shops there come and go with amazing frequency. The reason the charity shops are there is because retail rent is dirt cheap. Next you've got to ask yourself why rent there is cheap. I'd say its becausse it is a traffic choked suburb where even parking on the side streets to run to the shop for a can of coke leaves you liable to be clamped- I drive through the place every day and used to stop off in the shop to pick up a sandwich, the paper or whatever I needed. I ain't paying €1 for parking for 5 minutes. but one day I got back to the car to find the clampers just about ready to do me. Since that day six months ago I no longer shop in that Centra in Phibsboro and now just pull into the 24hr Topaz garage on the way home instead. It's sad really as i'd rather see my money go to a Centra rather than an oil company. But its jsut another example of how the city council parking charges has a negative impact on local businesses.
Phibsboro is not a place where people make a journey from elsewhere to go shopping - it is just pure hassle and there are a lot more convenient places to shop.
Other than location though I think if you go down the charity route then you'll be out of business in no time. Those shops you see buying 2nd hand clothes for 80c a kilo aren't selling them on here- they are exporting them to eastern Europe where they place a much higher value on 2nd hand Levis than what we do here in Ireland. There was a lot of fake charity collection scams going on a few years back being run by eastern Europeans and since they've clamped down on that the same lads seem to be behind paying the public for 2nd hand clothes, albeit at a miniscule rate.
Also anytime I've been in a charity shop I've always been struck about how cheap they are, like you can buy shirts for €4 and trousers for €6. You just can't compete with prices that low, you'll find yourself in a shop for 9 hours a day turning over €30 or 40 quid on a slow MOnday. And you can't compete with Betty behind the counter of the charity shop who has gotten to know everyone in the local community so much over the years that they now just pop in for a chat. And even if Betty has a slow day it doens't matter so much for her because she's doing it becase ts for a good cause, it gets her out of the house and she finds out all the local gossip.
If you're going to go into the 2nd hand market then you need to find a niche and I'd say you should stay as far away from the bottom end of the mass market as is possible. If you have to go with clothes then go high end and get to know your labels and their worth- ebay is a god bench mark for this. Check out these guys in Temple Bar- http://siopaella.com/?page_id=17 They buy up luxury brands, handbags that people once paid €700 for during the boom. Many people could never have afforded to spend €700 of a Louis Vuitton bag during the boom but they are still a desirable item nonetheless. So when they can be bought 2nd hand from a shop like this for €250 then that opens up a whole new market of people who can now afford them. The same goes for high dresses, Chanel, etc but like I said you really got to know your products and their value because you can be certain that the wimmens will. A shop similar to that one would go well on the southside, somewhere like Dundrum would suit the bill. And the good thing is that it is that you don't even have to be on a main street- in fact it would be better that your not as Missus Foxrock doesn't want to be spotted by the neighbours flogging that expensive handbag to pay down her credit card bill because her husband is in hiock to the tune of a couple of million on a shopping center investment in Middlesborough.
A side street in Dundrum would do perfect- good signage and a decent shop window. I wouldn't worry too much about there not being much footfall simply because if you are selling luxury brands for 30-50% of what they are costing just up the road in the Dundrum Shopping Center then the word won't be long in spreading amongst women on the southside. It's a perfect recessionary business- you're giving squeezed people the opportunity to keep up appearances and despite many people being deep in debt their natural instinct is to try to maintain a facade to the neighbours. Apart from people walking in to sell you their gear ebay could also be a good source of it too and should be easier than dealing with someone who has an emotional attachment to the item and therefore an unrealistic valuation.
The other niche you could explore is electronics, again high end stuff like 40-60 inch TVs, nearly new Apple laptops and iPhones, if they have a bit of warranty on them then all the better. Stay well away from microwaves and jug kettles. Between 3d technology and internet TV's a lot of the current crop of LCD/Plasmas that cost €800-1200 new will be hitting the 2nd hand market in the next couple of years. I was just down at the recycling center in Coolmine on Saturday and there was about 40 old flatscreen tvs there, the CRT ones that have huge depth to them compared to the thin models these days. So those old CRT ones are becoming obselete and at an age where they're beyond repair. People's option is to buy a brand new one for €500-600 which is a fair lump of cash for many. But if you can deliver decent brands like Sony, Hitachi that are 2-3 years old for €300-400 then there's a few quid to be made. This is especially true if you do 2 things- talk with a local TV repair man, ask him which brands / models to stick to, ones that he feels won't won't break down until 4-5 yrs minimum. Find out the most expensive repair it could cost you and then do the maths- you could charge people an extra €30 for a 6 month warranty and €60 f0r 12 months. Peace of mind is what people want and if you can offer a 12 month warranty then you're giving them the exact same deal they'd be getting by buying it brand new- a one year warranty. For every 5 warranty's you sell you've got the price of another second have tv of similar spec. So you can afford for 1 in 5 to break down in 12 months and still be covered. But if your man knows which models are reliable then it is more. likely to be more than one in 10 that breaks down. At 60 quid a warranty you've got €600 from selling 10 TV's so even if you were really unlucky and two broke down beyond repair you'd still be in profit. The second thing you would need with a buziness like this is a small van to pick up and deliver tv units
@RATM I have to disagree with you on what your saying about Phibsboro. There is a huge market in Phibsboro for a second hand shop selling good quality second hand clothes. Phibsboro is a very busy area with shoppers and people are looking for second hand quality items because they cant afford to go out and get new clothes.
Charity shops selling shirts for €4 trousers for €6. If the op is getting good quality clothing and getting it at the right price he can afford to sell them at these prices once he has a good location and negotiates a good rent. He is also planning on selling other items that could be at higher prices.
I wouldn't advise opening a shop selling designer gear second hand unless the op has a huge knowledge of that market and knows all the brands and there value. The other thing the op would need to know is all about fake brands and how to spot fakes. There are a few fake designer handbags going around that are very good replicas so unless you know exactly what to look for you could get your self into a big mess.
Just wanted to say that I dont think the OP is looking to spend thousands or tens of thousands on stock (so rule out the High End Electronics and possibly the high end clothing line) .....they are interested in trying to make some bit of profit from secondhand clothes - its not exactly a high priced industry !!
Yes - the OP will from time to time come across a bargain - someone has thrown out a very expensive jacket or pair of shoes simply because they dont like them any more or they are from 2-3seasons ago and wont be back in fashion anytime soon.... but that doesn't mean they will make a profit off that product or that the OP will even recognise the value.
I work as a photographer and can find and price most Canon equipment on sight ...online value and approx shop value in Ireland....I regularly seek a bargain purchase but rarely sell my gear (which is why I have far too much of it...but to me its worth more than the retail value as it could be a handy back-up someday !)
I'd have to side with RATM on this one, Phibsboro is a rough spot and its gettign worse and worse. There may be plenty of people around but they aren't spending money in Phibsboro. The shops there are simply all on their knees and the lasting rate for new places is very low.
I think it would be very very difficult to buck the trend, especially as I'm gettign the impression that the OP has no experience in this area and he/she wont have time to learn on the job. Shops with years and years of experience and very strong buyign channels available to them are going bust left right and center
@Corkbah, yeah I hear you, the OP doesn't have much to spend. In that case he might be better cutting his teeth on buying & selling on ebay from home- very low overheads and he doesn't have to be standing in the same spot every day.
If you're smart on ebay and build up a good product knowledge then there is money to be made, provided you avoid fakes. I used to have a few little deals going annually that helped fund me through college. In summer I'd buy up €1k's worth of ski goggles when the prices were low and then sell in winter when the prices were high. This is where product knowledge is important but if you know what people want and set auctions to finish at suitable times (7pm on a Sunday) then you'll always make money.
Another neat trick was buying Weight Watchers books/DVD's in December and flogging them on in January. Not as do-able these days with courses getting delivered online but still a possibility. If the OP thinks seasonally then he can make good money from home, might save him getting into a lease in Phibsboro and then regretting it later, as Hammertime says above it is a rough spot and people don't spend money there. My impression of Phibsboro is that it is populated by a lot of students, trainee nurses & guards, old bachelors and spinsters in bedsits and then elderly couples with kids who have moved on, typically asset rich but cash poor. It's a transient kind of suburb, a lot of renters there are from the country and after their first lease is over they move on to other suburbs that are more suited to them. The clientele there aren't exactly conducive to a ton of repeat business, regardless of how good the customer service was.
Is there VAT on Used goods like that?
Phibsboro is a rough area and is very poulated but the type of business the op was talking about is exactly what people will spend there cash in. Students, less well off people, single parents will shop in this kind of business. I still feel this can be a very good business for the op as long as he can source his products at very low prices which is possible and he needs to haggle a very very low rent.
@teaandcoffee just wondering how your getting on? Have you thought anymore on this business?