Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate with Your Local Thrift Stores (Huge Tie Haul)
One time when I went thrifting at Salvation Army, I purchased a huge haul of new-with- tags ties. I ended up picking up 91 JoS. A. Bank ties, and then I picked up 115 Allan ties. The Allan ties all had really, really cool designs. I ended up picking up 205 ties in total. On average, I was in each tie for about $1.20 each. They were all brand new with tags.
Here’s the only reason I got this deal. I actually saw a bunch of these sitting out for over a month. Finally I asked, “Hey, is there any way you would do a bulk deal for all the ties?”
So the deal was I got them for 50 percent off. Were these ties the best sellers? Not really, but I would be able to get $12 for each, and I was in them for a bit over a dollar. And they had really unique designs, so that would be a selling point right there.
Options and Pros and Cons
If you ever find yourself making a similar deal for bulk items, just know that you have some options. The first option is to sell everything individually. You would probably get the most money that way; however, you have to take into consideration that it will be more work and will take longer to sell everything. The cashflow will take a while to get to you.
The second option is you could wholesale them. Maybe you know someone else in the reselling community would who want to take on selling these individually. You could check with people in reselling Facebook groups or other message boards. In that case, you would make less money overall, but you would get your money faster and it would be a lot less work. You wouldn’t be the one taking the pictures and writing up the listings.
You just need to decide what makes the most sense for your business. Do you want to invest your labor into making more money even though it will take longer? Do you want to accept less money and move onto the next deal? The answer will depend on who you are and where you are with your business.
Step Up and Make the Deal
The lesson to be learned here is that if you’re ever at a thrift store and see a bunch of the same item, ask them, “Hey, would you be willing to do a deal? Could we work something out?” You never know—sometimes you can grab a deal.
The funny thing in this case was that the Allan ties were the only ones on the floor. When I asked for the deal, the manager went back and found the JoS. A. Bank ties. They never even hit the floor. I got the deal because I asked, but also because I had built up a rapport with the manager previously. Never underestimate the importance of that.
That’s the moral of the story. Network. Don’t be scared to ask. Don’t be scared to ask for a bulk deal. Negotiate. Remember that they want to move their inventory as much as you want to buy it.
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