Final Summary

This class actually inspired me to do a lot of stuff that really wasn’t involved with the class, like I’ve said it past blog post I have been doing this vintage resell for almost 4 years now and never really took the time to start an instagram for it or anything. Since writing in this class about it, I decided it was time to kind of step it up a little bit, I started the instagram and accumulated over 2,000 followers in just two weeks, also starting my own website for my sales, most of the reasoning behind it was just writing about it every week and that made me want to do more.

To better promote my content I believe really just getting more active on twitter or alternative social media outlets to get my name out there more. Like I said in the first part of this summary, this class did help me get more motivated about my own business and I think that was really the best and more impactful part for me, as well as the coding in the class, that was very enjoyable and I wish we did more.

My most popular week was March 11th-March 19th with 11 views and 4 visitors, My most poplar post that I made was my first post actually and my review of the other blog “365daysofthrift”. Again this class really made me want to go in depth more and make my own website etc, which wouldn’t be a bad option to give the incoming students that maybe run a small business like me but need help starting websites and such. Below is a link to the instagram and website I started.

 

https://www.instagram.com/localcitythrift/

https://localcitythrift.bigcartel.com

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Working with Vintage Shops/Wholesale Buyers

Local stores and wholesale buyers will buy your items that you got thrifting $3-10 and give you usually your 50% margin that you need, and leave some extra for them to make money as well. When you have items sitting they’re doing you no good. Selling to a wholesaler or local shop you are still making profit and getting rid of things that really aren’t selling well for you but could sell well in a shop.

When you are getting 25+ items a week thrifting it can become cluttered very quickly even if half of those items sell that week. This is why meeting and working with a local vintage store can make your life a lot easier. Yes you are taking less money than what the item is possibly worth but you are also creating an opportunity to give yourself more capital you need to be back out there thrifting and finding things that sell quickly for you.

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Knowing what you got your items for will allow you go have these opportunities with certain businesses, if you treat them will and have good prices for them then they will try to help you and give you your fair portion of the items. Remember the prices you pay for the item is key to being able to do a wholesale deal, for insistence if I bought a shirt that was $1 but worth $20, to a wholesaler $9-$10 is fair to sell it to them for, you made 1000% margins and they still can make their 50% margin.

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Band/Tour Shirts

We’ve talked a lot about the treasures you can find in thrift shops; more specially, today were talking about old band tour shirts. These overlooked and highly valuable t-shirts may be sitting in the back of your fathers closet or even in a box lugged away in your attic giving you an instant jackpot! Finding the originals from the 90’s can be tough especially with companies like Urban Outfitters that mass reprint concert tour shirts. When you find or touch an original you can instantly tell the difference and the excitement of a good find!

Spotting the difference between original tour shirts and reprints can be a little tough, thank god we live in the Internet era where you can compare and contrast from and original you find online. There are a few things you can look out for, usually tour shirts have a front and back graphic, (promoting the tour), most reprints will just have a front graphic that’s usually just a little different that the originals. Second, most top bands of the 90’s were going through two different companies to make their concert merchandise, Brockum and GIANT, we see this in some of the worlds favorite bands such as Pink Floyd and Nirvana.

For this last paragraph I wanted to show my history with original band shirts and what I have found/kept for myself through the years, also I wanted to include the price of what they go for and what I got them for myself, considering we’ve talked about the business side of thrifting this whole blog. Pictures included in slideshow.

 

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Catch and Release

I see this problem time and time again just going through Instagram, popular sites like Grailed or even eBay, overpricing. People love to overprice their items and just let it sit for months on months, you see this a lot through Instagram, someone will post an item for high then you can direct message them six months later and they’ll still have it.

People usually price things too high on the fact that they are too excited to have found it and don’t want to let the item go subconsciously. This will cause a huge problem in your cash flow, the more items and less cash you have on hand is less money for you to get more items. Which is why I like to do a catch and release mindset towards this business, when I say that I mean I thrift the item and get it in a customers hand as fast as possible. Of course there are items you don’t want to let go but it is a must to make money in this business.

IMG_2703            What you have to remember in this business is the price you’re getting these items for, not saying undercut your hard work and counter for cheap people but pricing an item 10-20 percent lower than the other prices on the web will change how many sales you make weekly by a lot. On top of that, customers see great prices and love great prices, at the end of the day you should still be at least doubling your investment after the 10-20% price decrease and that’s defiantly a win.

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Quality Check

When going through rack after rack and you finally pull out what you consider to be a gem it is very easy to get overly excited and buy before you check the condition or the authenticity of the item. No one likes coming home with a big bag of clothing and pulling out half and realizing they have stains, now it is important to thorough with inspecting especially since some stains are easily removable. In some cases, a little bit of stain remover and a quick cycle in the washing machine will do the trick, but in other cases where the stain is really on there it becomes very hard to sell or even get rid of that item for a steal. Photo below shows the difference in an authentic Tommy Hilfiger Jacket and unauthentic Tommy Hilfiger jacket.

Like we have talked before on this blog, your local thrift shop can be holding many luxurious and designer items, one thing that you must remember though is, there is a lot of knock-offs out there. Usually when you find a higher end item they are a little more taxed on in the first place (authentic or not), spending too much on a unauthentic item can completely blow your margins for the day and not allow you to make the money you worked for. The only way to get better at spotting unauthentic items is learning more about the items you are buying, also having one for yourself at home, same brand, etc, is a huge point of reference that you can use.

Be good to your customers and your customers will be good to you, no one specifically wants to buy a unauthentic item and if you sell them that unauthentic item, you lost their business for good. Along with the stains we were talking about earlier, small, tiny holes need to be known in the descriptions or pictures of your items, basically avoiding all unpleasant surprises that come to your customer. The way I see it, I wouldn’t want to be bamboozled into buying an unauthentic item or an item with holes and stains when it was advertised differently, so I would not do that to my customers.

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365daysofthrift Review

When looking for a blog to review, I came across a thrifting blog gem from “365daysofthrift”, where she takes you through her thrifting experiences and what she has learned. This appealed to me right off the bat since im also doing a thrifting type blog as well as her and she explains into mass detail about great thrift store chains like goodwill. At first glance you can tell whoever is running this blog really cares about what information and pictures she puts on her blog, very high quality and organized blog.

Another reason why I decided to review this blog is, right when you first come to her blog the first post is “The 365 day challenge: Why I Thrift” posted in 2015. This shows me that she has been doing this for a long time and knows what she’s talking about, this was a smart move on her part to have one of her first post on her blog as the first actual post you see, shows her experience. When reading her blog post, I agree with a lot of what she says, coming to the realization that Walmart isn’t as cheap as you think and her personal decision to switch into a thrift mentality was something I did as well.

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The format of this blog is very organized with many different sections such as media and videos, even her personal shop on the site. I really like the fact she has her own sales going through wordpress, since for her sales and blogging go hand and hand. The time you can tell she puts into this blog is very encouraging, this is your one stop spot for many pictures, links, and mass information including everything to do with thrifting.

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Business Side Of Thrifting

Coming home with a big bags of clothing is a great feeling, but of course not everything is for you when you’re in the resell business. There are many sites and outlets to sell your thrifted clothing directly to the vintage community, such as grailed, offerup, ebay, etc. Obviously you don’t want to store all these extra clothes forever so learning what audience is on each site is a big step to faster sales. Typically, on sites such as grailed and offerup can post your everyday items that you’ll make the $5+ profit, but for expensive rare items, ebay is the best outlet for sales since people know exactly what they’re looking for and if you have it, it will sell quick. In the picture included is an example of this, these pair of custom Polo Ralph Lauren was posted by me on ebay for $400 and sold within two weeks.

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Getting your thrifted items into a buyers hands and selling your items as quick as possible is the main goal in this business. Learning the prices that people will pay for specific items is a trial and error process that can lead to you selling things too low or too high, to avoid this doing research on the item you have is very important. This process can be difficult sometimes depending on how rare of an item you have but in most cases you can hit google with the information you have from the item and usually find a past selling price, this gives you a form of reference. In the cases where you cant find anything on the item pricing is up to the owner, a great rule of thumb is what would you pay for it?

If you’re good to your customers, your customers will be good to you, consistency and building a client base moves your inventory faster than anything. Building a client base can be done on any of the sites I listed above since you have a personal connection with the person trying to purchase your item, if they are willing to buy one thing from you, they will be willing to buy more. Many vintage sellers use Instagram to take the next step of connection you’re your customers. Maintaining a fast shipping pace and keeping your customers happy will take you far in this business.

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Thrifting side of the Business

Going out and thrifting is obviously a very exciting experience since anything can really happen, but to avoid wasting time when trying to turn thrifting into a business, learning a constant route is very important. Getting familiar with your local thrift shops is step one, learning which shops are worth going to and searching and which aren’t. Once you get a feel for your cities thrift shops you can eliminate the bad ones and build the quickest route from shop to shop to maximize your time. This is very important since new clothing gets brought out throughout the day and being able to move from shop to shop will allow you to get your hands on more of what you are looking for.

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Knowing what you’re looking for is the next step to the thrifting side of this business, styles change constantly but everyone loves vintage. For example, when thrifting for vintage you are looking for specially clothes before 2000, you can figure out when clothing was made in a few ways. 1. Shirts made in the USA, in the 90’s and before most clothing brands manufactured their clothing in the US and you can see this on the tag. 2. Single stitch vs. double stitch, single stitching shirts was the main tee shirt manufacturing method, this method produced a thinner tee shirt and has more of a hang to the shirt than double stitching tee shirts, this can help you determine if the shirt is vintage. 3. The date, many vintage clothes, like the one in the pictures above actually have the date of when the shirt was made in a small print on the front, back, or tag of the shirt.

With different clothing items such as jackets, pants, sweaters or button downs can be a little more difficult to figure out what is vintage and what isn’t. with that being said there are endless ways of coming to a conclusion including colorblocking, big graphics, and even the shade of the shirt. Familiarizing yourself with these “rules” of vintage will save you a lot of time and money especially when first starting your business.

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Best Bang For Your Buck

Today people will jump through hoops just to get a good deal on what they are purchasing such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Clothing however, is very difficult to find a deal for a full outfit amounting less than $75 dollars even at the many outlet malls or discount stores such as Marshals or Ross. There is however another option that the mass majority of people don’t usually think about which is going to thrift stores around your city. Thrift stores are very popular in big cities such as Austin for example, on the south side of Austin there is about eight thrift stores all in a four miles radius of each other, many these stores go to a good cause such as The Salvation army for rehab or Animal Pets Alive which supports the animal shelters.

Thrift stores offer second-hand clothing that has been donated from all over the country to the store that you are currently in. Since these clothes are second hand and donated for free the thrift stores have the option of prices their items at whatever they feel is fair, because of this you can either find a steal or feel like an item is way too overpriced. People would be shocked what you are able to find for next to nothing in these thrift stores, with so many clothes out in the world this gives the opportunity to find great designer and brand names such as, Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, or Tommy Hilfiger.

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Before we talked about finding a full outfit for under $75 is very difficult in outlet malls or discount stores, in thrift stores you can easily find a great full outfit for under $20 with a little bit of time and a little bit of luck. Though each thrift store is priced differently, they all are usually similar in pricing, $1-$5 Tee Shirts, $2-$8 pants, $2-$50 jackets, allowing, with the right time and perseverance, you getting a great deal!

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Just the Start

Hello, my name is Casey Knodel, I’m 21 and a senior at Texas State University. I started at Austin Community College then transferred to Texas State my sophomore year, along with a couple of my good friends from high school also followed the same route. I’m in a fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, where I’ve met a lot of good friends. I was born in Houston Texas but grew up in a near suburb of Sugar Land.

In my downtime, I like to go thrift shopping and find different vintage clothing. Three years ago I started a business through it, by searching for a selective amount of highly desired vintage clothes from different local thrift stores and flipping what I find. I chose thrift shopping as my topic because it’s something I’ve been doing since middle school. I didn’t start actually reselling clothes until freshman year of college. I mostly only buy Mens clothing so that would probably be my target audience.Image-1

I hope to continue doing this because it’s something I love and I’ve learned a lot of new things from it, met new people and have also made good money from it. One of my favorite stores to go thrifting is at Texas Thrift Store in Austin. I already have an Instagram account for it, but I haven’t updated it in awhile. I hope to restart up my Instagram account, and start a twitter for it to build my following and grow my business.

 

 

 

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