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12/29/2009

Charity Used-Goods Store

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  Charity Used-Goods Store business.

  Business Overview

  I'll bet that a lot of you reading this book did not realize that many charity stores that feature secondhand clothing and household goods for sale are really private enterprises operated for a profit. That is right. The same stores that many of us drop off donations of used clothing and furniture to are businesses that are privately-run enterprises. Only a percentage of the total sales that are generated go back to the charity that the business operates under or in association with. This is a good joint venture program, as charities are not businesses and should not have to lose the focus of their intended purpose, while entrepreneurs are better equipped to finance and operate a business with an aim to generate a profit. This scenario also reduces potential financial risk for the charity. To get a charity store up and operating, the first step is to establish an alliance or a joint venture program with a recognized charity, preferably one that serves the community where the business will be located. The second step is to establish a good operating retail location for the business. Thus, when selecting the business location keep in mind who will be purchasing the secondhand goods. Obviously, the business or charity is not best served by locating the store in an area where household incomes average $50,000. Seek to locate the store in an area of the community where a large percentage of the population has good reason for shopping at the secondhand store. The third step is to have an initial charity drive in order to collect as many donations of secondhand goods as possible. The key to a successful drive is to make the donation process as easy as possible for the donors. You will want to establish free household pickup of the items that will be donated. The fourth step is to make sure that the store's inventory changes on a regular basis to keep shoppers interested. This can be accomplished with a couple of methods. The first is to have two stores operating in different areas of a city. This will enable you to move inventory back and forth to where the merchandise sells best. The second option is to build an alliance with an existing charity store and swap inventory on a frequent basis. Lastly, the final step in establishing a successful charity store that sells secondhand goods is to ensure that all merchandise is in good condition and that the inventory has been cleaned prior to placing the items for sale.
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