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Retail Business

Consignment Clothing Store

The low-cost way to start a clothing store–sell items on consignment.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Consignment Clothing Store

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

The resale field is hot these days, with over 15,000 shops across thecountry and an industry association growth rate of 15 percent per year.So if you’ve got an eye for fashion, design and quality, and great buysmake your heart soar, then a consignment clothing shop or kids’consignment shop could be the business for you.

If you go thechildren’s route, you can specialize in toys or clothing, or both.You’ll take clean, well-cared-for garments or toys and display andmerchandise them for their owners, splitting the profits when you makea sale. Clothing consignors sell mostly women’s garments–along withaccessories like costume jewelry, belts and handbags–but men’sclothing is becoming increasingly popular as a resale item as well.

Because you’re taking the items on consignment, you don’t pay anythingfor your inventory until it’s sold, which makes this business ideal forthe startup entrepreneur. You price garments and other goodies, thenhave the owner pick them up if they don’t sell within a given period oftime. The advantages to this business are that it’s creative, yourstartup costs are small compared to most retail operations, and you getthe satisfaction of helping your customers get great buys for littlemoney.

The key to a successful consignment shop is an atmosphere that’sclean, fresh and fashionable, so you’ll need a flair for display andmerchandising. You should also have a good eye for current fashions andquality and the ability to properly price your merchandise so thatshoppers get the discount they expect and you and your consignees makea profit. To complement all this, you’ll need excellent people skills.

The Market

Your customers will be people interested in the type of merchandiseyou’ve got for sale–basically the same people who shop at regularretail outlets. The trick is to attract their attention and sell themon the benefits of shopping with you.

Besides routine advertisingmethods like local radio and newspaper ads, you can host fashion showsfor local women’s groups and hand out fliers in front of your shop. Ifyou’re located near a business district, you can also deliver yourfliers to offices in the area. And don’t forget ads–perhaps withget-acquainted coupons–in your local Pennysaver-type publication.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a shop and the display furnishings to put in it–glasscases for jewelry, clothes racks, hangers and tables or shelves. You’llalso need sales tickets and tags, shopping bags and a cash register. Acomputer with an inkjet printer and retail operation software will be abig help but aren’t necessary for starters if you can’t afford them.

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Retail Business

Secondhand Clothing Store

People love a bargain. Put your good taste to use by opening a used clothing store.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Secondhand Clothing Store

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

There are a few options available to theentrepreneur considering a retail business that sells secondhandclothing. The first and most capital-intensive option is to open a usedclothing store from a fixed retail location or storefront.

The secondoption is to sell the secondhand clothing items via a flea-marketbooth. The third option is to develop a website and sell used clothingonline.

Of course, all three options could be combined into oneoperating format, and combining all three methods of marketing anddistribution would greatly increase potential business revenue. Thereare even a few companies that sell secondhand designer clothing by wayof home parties and independent sales consultants, which could also bea potential avenue worth investigating.

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Retail Business

Used Children’s Clothing

Help parents out of financial hardship by selling used children’s clothing.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Used Children’s Clothing
Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

All parents want the best clothes for their children, but unfortunately, financial budgets don’t always allow for the purchase of children’s designer clothing. Not to mention the fact that kids can grow out of their clothes as quick as you buy them.

The solution to these problems is to open a secondhand clothing store or flea market booth featuring apparent for children. In both cases, you can purchase good quality secondhand children’s clothing at bargain basement prices–from parents whose children have outgrown them and want to trade them in for credit at your store–and then resell the clothes for a profit.

Accepting consignment clothing is another way to reduce business startup costs. You can also accept used toys and books to add additional merchandise to your offerings.

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Retail Business

Filing Systems

Keep businesses organized with helpful filing systems.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Filing Systems

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Environmentalists once envisioned thecomputer and its electronic information storage capacities as theabsolute final solution for a world that would no longer need toconsume paper products. However, as long as an original signaturestands as the most binding and unchallenged legal identification for aperson, there will always be a need for paper, files and filingsystems.

Operating a business that sells and installs filing systems isa great home based enterprise to set in motion. Not only can you make aprofit on the initial sale of the system, but as your client’s businessgrows and expands you’ll receive repeat sales of filing supplies.

Customers can include businesses and professionals whose business orservice is document-reliant such as lawyers, doctors, advertisingfirms, financial institutions, schools and government agencies. Aim foryearly sales of $200,000 while maintaining a product markup of 50percent. The results will be a terrific home based business generatingrevenues of 70,000 per year.

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