The Trick to Resale Shops: 5 Tips to Swapping your Exchanges

Resale shops come in all shapes and sizes. You can find a resale shop for nearly anything. Clothes, books, DVDs, computers – you name it. Yours undoubtedly has a unique flair of its own. Regardless of what that focus is, there are some features that are consistent across all resale shops, and in the spirit of summertime decluttering, we’re going to talk about how to make your business run smoothly so that it doesn’t resemble a dusty, smelly basement. 

Plan, Plan, Plan

Before you pursue any kind of special promotion or take on time-consuming stressors, consider who you are primarily targeting. Consider what specific secondhand items you have been taking in. Are you a Buffalo Exchange, specializing in vintage clothing, or a Plato’s Closet, a popular secondhand store that targets young adults and teens by taking in only the most current clothing and accessories, maybe you’re a used bookstore & comic book shop, or vinyl collector’s paradise. Understanding who you are is vital to understanding what you need to do. Embracing your store’s special niche in a fundamental, precise way is the key to successfully navigating a crowded resale landscape. 

Natural Approaches

Word of mouth is a reliable strategy and you don’t even have to do much to generate it. Offering customers online referral codes and similar incentives are a great way to get people to start mentioning your business. Setting the stage for your store’s journey by embracing good-natured social capital will help you capitalize on the legitimacy of your reputation. It’s also critical that you look at your reputation not only as a business but as a member of the community as well. Being active and engaged with your community will go a long way toward maintaining your business if unforeseen events, much like we are currently experiencing, should ever strike.

Making the time to talk to your customers goes a long way as step one in building your rapport with customers and the community. You can talk about anything. It doesn’t have to be about a sale. Get to know them. If you do that, you will also get a feel for what they’re looking for and what they are wanting. Communicating and connecting is hard, but so is finding new customers and constantly building from the bottom up. 

Easiest Methods to Start With

As with all businesses, it is a multi-pronged approach that reaps the greatest benefits. Part in parcel with creating meaningful connections and social awareness is to offer the general public special deals as well. Coupons on mailers or business cards, discount codes, and student/university/high school and other special affiliation discounts are a great way to generate sales as well as brand loyalty. You can extend these savings also to people who want to shop in your store after selling their old items back to you. This keeps them in the loop and interested in what else you can offer as well as the range of what you take back in inventory. Offer a cash sale price – or a larger in-store credit. It costs a bit more, but there is no cash going out – only goods for which you paid a prudent price.

One Man’s Trash, Another Man’s Treasure

Many resale shops do not offer enticing incentives to potential resellers. Lousy store discounts or paltry cash back policies will more than likely send potential clients back out the door with their goods in tow. When implementing in-store policies, you can very easily stand out from the competition with how you treat their offerings. Pay them reasonable compensation for their items. If you know you can sell it for $40, offering them $1 is a pretty discouraging business deal. You aren’t obliged to give them a significant percentage of your profits, but be fair and do your research before accepting new items. 

But what about customers outside your reach? What are you going to do about them – other than making the decision to not have them be a focus in your customer base? The best solution is to innovate and find a way to offer a service that includes them. Moving your resales online – or offering consignment as well – as a modern innovation that is fantastic in its ability to build extra sales. Consider a new approach to online reselling with sites like Poshmark. Think of the incentives they give their customers to sell with them: keeping most of the money the seller makes from selling, special member-only events, and entrepreneurial programs for ambitious startups. Becoming a conduit is just as important as being the seller. There is a way for everyone to win in this type of environment and the better you are at sussing out opportunities, the more customers will come your way.

Roadside Shows, Roadside Sales

To get people to notice something they aren’t sure even exists makes it impossible to miss. How? By hosting a roadside or sidewalk sale and using banners and sidewalk signs to point the way. If you have a specialty, make it the centerpiece of your sale. If you have new or obscure finds of any kind, display them front and center. This is what will get people talking about your store and have them asking what others find they can score. This approach also works well when it comes to sidewalk displays as well. Give out treats or freebies on a nice day outside alongside your sale racks. As a business owner, it’s up to you to craft the experience for your customers. To make sure they have a nice experience while they stay and make it memorable for them to return. Having a good selection of everything in your niche is also going to play well into your store having a special return from customers.

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