How to Increase Sales at a Thrift Store 

How to Increase Sales at a Thrift Store 

The thrifting industry is currently booming. As a result, more and more thrift stores are being opened, making it a highly competitive business landscape. If you want the best outcomes from your store, you should always be proactive in maximizing profits.

This blog will discuss the best strategies for boosting your shop's profits. But before we get into it, let's first answer: "what is a thrift store?" and get the definitions out of the way.


Thrift stores are shops that sell second-hand goods. They are also known as "charity shops" because their profits usually go to charity. The items in a thrift store can be anything from clothes, furniture, appliances, antiques and collectibles.

People go thrifting for various reasons. However, the most common one is because shopping at thrift stores is a more sustainable shopping option. According to a survey, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothes yearly, adding to the 26 billion pounds of clothing going to landfills.

Thrifting is recycling and therefore is more friendly to the environment. So, knowing what is a thrift store is, is the first step to sustainable fashion.

Challenges Thrift Stores Face

Thrift stores face several challenges that can impact their sales. One of the biggest challenges is competition from online retailers. Many customers now prefer to shop online, where they can find a wider selection of items and often better prices. To compete with online retailers, thrift stores must provide a unique shopping experience that can't be replicated online.

Secondly, there is the perception that thrift stores offer low-quality items. This perception can be a barrier to attracting new customers. However, this perception is changing as the secondhand market is providing high-quality vintage items.

Thrift stores also face challenges with inventory management. Unlike traditional retailers, thrift stores rely on donations for their inventory. This can make it difficult to maintain a consistent inventory and to keep up with changing fashion trends.

How to Increase Sales in a Thrift Store

Thrift store owners can use various strategies to increase profits. However, the following are the most effective ones. Keep reading to see the best ways to increase sales in a thrift store.

  • Shop Wholesale at the Right Raghouses
  • Rag houses are warehouses that collect clothing that has been given away. They are the ultimate supplier of the vintage clothing industry and are considered the backbone of the thrifting industry. Thrift shop owners can purchase 1000-pound bales of merchandise for their shop, which is a better solution than hunting down single pieces at swap meets and garage sales. The most suitable rag houses have one-of-a-kind pieces of clothing, shoes, bags and accessories, and that can make your shop one of the best thrift stores in LA.

  • Leverage Social Media
  • There is no specific type of thrifter – your customers can come from all walks of life. Therefore, to reach your prospects, you need to be where they spend most of their time: social media. Statistics show that over 4.6 billion people have some form of social networking profile. If your thrift store doesn't have a social presence, you're missing out on a lot of marketing and sales potential. Since you are selling fashion pieces, Facebook and Instagram are great platforms to start with since they are image focused, allowing you to showcase your fashion items in all their glory. Having a social media presence is just part of it though. It’s important to not only post regularly but create opportunities for engagement with your followers.

  • Run In-Store Promotions
  • Don't be afraid to run in-store promotions to get more people through your doors. However, you need to be careful so that it doesn’t hurt your overall profits. After all, you are offering your products at a lower price, and without the proper preparation, you might lose income instead of gaining it. Some promotions that won't harm your sales include:

    • Loyalty points
    • Flash sales
    • Spend over x amount and get x off

    Effective Visual Merchandising Techniques

    >Visual merchandising is the art of presenting your products in a way that is visually appealing and engaging. Effective visual merchandising can help you attract more customers and increase your sales. When it comes to thrift stores, visual merchandising plays an even more important role since the inventory in thrift stores is constantly changing. 

    One effective visual merchandising technique is to create themed displays. For example, you could create a display featuring bohemian clothing or 90s-inspired fashion. Themed displays make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for and can help increase sales.

    Best Thrift Stores in LA

    >While there are so many thrift stores in LA, a few are doing particularly well when it comes to promoting themselves and differentiating themselves from the competition. Some of the best thrift stores in LA that are worth mentioning include:

    Feature Retro Items from LA Vintage

    Be among the best thrift stores in LA with a reputable fashion supplier like LA Vintage. We offer a top-quality collection of vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories at wholesale prices! We are the largest source of shoes and bags in California, and we can provide you with unique and fashionable selections that you can add to the vintage collections in your thrift store. Email us at or fill out our online contact form to set an appointment.

    Want to learn more about how COVID fueled an already thriving second hand clothing market? Read The Shift To Thrift blog post here.

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