A question I often get asked is can you still profit from charity shops. In simple terms the answer is yes. But to be fair to readers it is not as easy as it used to be, but there are still excellent profits to be made, but it does take some work.
In the early days of this product sourcing model you could just walk into any Charity / Thrift shop in any town and pick up items that were low cost and then come home and re-list them on eBay and very soon make good returns on your money.
You would often hear about people who had turned a £10.00 investment into £75.00 without research or a lot of work. Now while those opportunities are still there, it is a lot harder. There is competition out there and also the shops are selling online and using eBay as a price guide.
But if you do a little bit of digging, talking to the managers and those that work in the shop, you can pick up some excellent items that can still make you excellent profits time and time again. And yes I use this product sourcing model for my own business on a regular basis.
Over the years to make it work I have found you need to have a routine or system in place. You need to be able to visit each of the Thrift Stores / Charity Shops in your area each week, and where possible in some of the towns around where you live. Even the smallest of towns have Charity Shops!!
You need to find out from watching and listening to the best day to visit the shops. Try and find out when they put out new stock and then visit those shops on those days. You need to go with set amount of cash in your pocket, and your trusty smart phone to do research on. And you also need to allow yourself a good few hours to visit all the shops.
Most of the shops are normally in the same area, so there is not normally a need to walk far or keep moving your car. Make it a fun time. Remember you are on the hunt for those items other people have missed that you can turn into a good profit. And always ask if there is a discount if you buy several items.
Clients often say to me, but is this fair way to source products. And my answer is yes. We pay the price the shop is asking or after they give us a discount. Remember every penny we give goes the charity so our money is the same as someone else going in.
And also if we turn our £10.00 into £75.00 next week we will have more money to spend in the shops. Now if you do find a home run and you but something for £10.00 and it sells for say £500.00, you can do the happy dance and go back to shop and give them a donation.
Earlier I mention about talking with staff. It is a good idea if you build up a relationship with the manager, and over time they may give you a ring and say “hey we have had some items in we think you may like, we have put them to one side”
Yes Charity shops can be a fantastic source of products for your eBay business. If you would like to know more a good friend of mine Ben Doyle has written a wonderful e-book on the subject. It is called Pre-Owned Profits