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5 Myths About Owning a Resale Clothing Business

Committing to a franchise business is a big decision. It requires having a solid understanding of the industry you’re entering, including its current trends and future projections. At Uptown Cheapskate, we get a lot of questions from potential franchisees about our business model and the resale clothing industry at large. During the discovery process, we end up clearing up a lot of misconceptions. Here are five of the most common myths we see about resale clothing businesses…and the truth behind them.

1. “Brick and mortar retail is dead.”

For years, people have said that brick-and-mortar stores are dying. They’ve claimed that as people shift to buying and selling online, physical stores will become obsolete. While e-commerce has grown over the past few years, it hasn’t surpassed brick-and-mortar retail—and it isn’t expected to anytime soon. According to Forrester, in-store shopping will account for 72% of all sales in 2024.

Brick and mortar makes a lot of sense for resale clothing stores. The ability to touch and see items in person and try them on is a huge advantage for buyers. And, these stores can turn thrifting into an experience. Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, enjoy shopping in person, especially as an outing with friends.

2. “You need retail experience to succeed in resale.”

There are a lot of behind-the-scenes decisions, programs and operational items that go into running a clothing store. If you don’t have experience with the retail industry, you might be concerned about your ability to succeed.

This might be true if you’re trying to open an independent boutique. However, joining a franchise system like Uptown Cheapskate unlocks a world of possibilities! Uptown Cheapskate provides new franchisees with extensive training and access to proven inventory management and POS systems. Combined, these things support owners, even if they’re brand-new to retail.

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3. “Resale can’t be upscale.”

For too long, “secondhand” has been synonymous with “cheap” in a negative way. As in, people who buy resale clothing only shop there because they can’t afford anything else. This has been paired with the image of thrift stores only existing in dingy locations, offering outdated, poor-quality items. These resale business myths have led potential owners to shy away from opening their own resale clothing store.

Uptown Cheapskate is a thriving example of an upscale resale franchise that’s changing the face of secondhand clothing. Our stores are well-lit, stylish and organized. We quality check all items to ensure they’re both on trend and only gently used. And, we actively look for brand-name items from popular stores our buyers like to shop from. Between these things, our shoppers feel like they’re at just another store at the mall—except the items are a fraction of the cost!

4. “The buyer pool for resale is too small.”

Shopping secondhand hasn’t always been a popular choice. However, the resale clothing industry has begun to boom as more and more shoppers turn to secondhand clothing. The pandemic helped push this trend forward, even though it was already gaining traction beforehand. Approximately 33 million consumers bought secondhand apparel for the first time in 2020. Around 76% of those first-time buyers reported that they plan to increase their spending on resale apparel in the next five years.

Millennials and Gen Z are more cost-conscious than their parents were due to tight budgets and limited expendable income. They’re also much more interested in sustainable clothing choices, shopping local and investing in quality items. This combination of factors has driven them to explore resale clothing. By targeting these customers, resale clothing stores have a huge customer pool to tap into in the coming years.

5. “Resale doesn’t make money.”

Because resale clothing businesses buy and sell secondhand garments for a few dollars apiece, many people mistakenly believe the business isn’t sustainable long-term. This isn’t true! Paying attention to inventory management and keeping overhead low allows secondhand clothing store owners to make a living from their businesses.

Uptown Cheapskate is a great example. Our owners take our proven model, proprietary inventory management systems and top-notch support to build a thriving business. We focus on maximizing profitability long-term and have replicated our success across the nation with 100 stores (and more to come!).

Don’t let misconceptions about the resale clothing industry turn you away from building a successful business. Request information about Uptown Cheapskate’s secondhand clothing franchise and begin your journey today!