Thrifting is becoming more popular every day, but it can be hard finding items in your style. Yes, there are online thrifting websites such as Poshmark, Curtsy and Depop, but the prices can be incredibly high for used items or they charge you to begin your own store. Did you know there are tons of great Instagram thrift stores, but it can be easy to start your own.
A few years ago, I started using Instagram as a place to thrift some of my favorite items I own now. I loved that there were all of these small business in one spot and how it was sustainable. A lot of brands that are popular now such as Zara, Shein, H&M and more practice fast fashion and use unethical ways to make their clothes. While some companies are slowly becoming more environmentally friendly and sustainable, there are still third-party companies that the products are made with that are not. By buying from thrift stores, we as consumers eliminate supporting these practices and brands directly.
Step 1: Create A Page
Now, you might be wondering how do you even start a thrift store? I had the same question a few months ago and reached out to other accounts for help on developing my own. First, I needed to come up with a name and create the page.
I decided on Thrifty Lou because it incorporated my middle name, sounded cute and was simple. Then I designed a logo for my page and created it. You can design your own logo with Adobe Cloud software, Canva, or other online options.
One thing that is important when creating your store is image. Having a nice color scheme, packaging and theme to your photos makes the page look more attractive. I decided to take pictures of the clothing in front of a white sheet and to use a clothing rack covered in fairy lights.
Step 2: Shopping
Next, I had to go thrifting to find items to sell. I went to my local Goodwill as well as small businesses in Pittsburgh such as Highway Robbery Vintage and Buffalo Exchange.
When shopping for your page, it’s important to remember you are not shopping for yourself. Check other pages and pay attention to the latest fashion trends online and in stores. This will give you a sense of what to look for. You can also create a theme for when you go shopping. For example, I had a “Sweater Weather” sale in December since sweaters are always on trend for the winter. Themes can help make shopping easier.
Step 3: Making Sales & Shipping
Finally, I had to sell my finds for a fair price and ship them out to customers. I decided to sell things using a bidding war and a price that the item can be bought at if the customer does not want to bid. Different pages have different formats, but I find this to work best. I then started at a low price and allowed the bidding to raise the price from there.
After the bids had closed and the winners were decided, I moved on to create the package and ship it. With each order, I chose to insert a note, scrunchie, and stickers as a thank you to the customer. I chose the mailers with a greenery pattern because I thought it fit well with the green tones of my page. I got all of these items off of Amazon for less than $20.
All you need is the scale, a printer, and the website Pirateship.com. This website helps you to create the label and track the shipping for a lower cost than the post office. I also got a parcel scale from Staples for $20. It’s convenient because instead of having to wait in a line you drop off the packages and send out the tracking numbers to the customers.
Tips when getting started:
1. Have a set of rules for customers to follow.
This limits confusion on how the process works and how transactions are made.
2. Not everything you buy will be sold.
Out of every group of items I post, I probably sell 50-70% of the items.
3. Make sure to keep highlight tabs of items you sold, what is available, proof of sales and reviews.
Customers will only shop if they know the page is credible. There are many pages that have fake items for sale making customers nervous to buy. Highlights are a great way to show off the page and keep things organized.
4. Don’t give up!
I had this idea almost 2 years ago and over quarantine decided to finally make it a reality. I was nervous at first, but since I have started my first sale in December, I have already sold almost 30 items and have regular customers. It’s an uphill battle!
If you have any more questions on Instagram thrifting, creating your own thrift page, or want recommendations make sure to follow @thrifty_lou on Instagram and send me a message!
Thanks for reading and happy thrifting!
Written By: Amanda Reilly
Edited By: Crystal Lord