Running a resale store is a great way to give back to your community. However, there are a number of peculiarities to this type of retail that make it quite tricky. Software Advice–a website that reviews retail software programs–hears from a lot of retailers that are thinking of opening a store or currently running a resale operation. To help them out, they’ve put together five tips that can lead a great resale store. Here are their five areas to focus on:
#1 Do your research and run the store like a business — Kate Holmes, resale and consignment store expert and owner of Too Good to Be Threw, thinks an area that many store owners can work on is treating the store more like a business. This means store owners need to conduct vigorous research on how to effectively price and the best hours to be open for business.
#2 Focus your image on the community’s values — One of the differentiators between a resale store and other retail operations is that it receives its goods from community donations or sales. Therefore, it’s important to mold the store’s brand around the community it serves. For example, your brand should be different if you serve college students versus a community made up of single families.
#3 Market through the channels that your customers use — It’s important to use multiple marketing channels to reach customers. Whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, email newsletters, or traditional print marketing, store owners need to focus their marketing on the channels that their customers use. A store that serves older women may want to focus its efforts on newsletters and e-mails, while a store that has mostly younger customers may want to invest in its social media presence.
#4 Lean on other store owners — Cathy Yeomans, President of the Rochester Area Consignment Shops believes one best tips to success is to band together with similar store owners in your area. Through these groups, store owners can share ideas, marketing resources and potentially customers! There are a number of great examples of this, such as STARS in Texas and Atlanta Consignment Shops in Atlanta.
#5 Technology solutions — Holmes put it best when she said, “Managing the books isn’t going to make you money. You need to invest in finding the right solution.” For some, that means adopting consignment-specific software solutions, but what’s really important is finding the solution that matches your work flow so you can focus on running your store–and serving your customers.