How to Start a Resale Clothing Business?

The thrift shop landscape is changing as millions of customers flock to resale clothing businesses

American shoppers are increasingly thrifty when it comes to the clothes they buy, which is why now a is great time to start a resale clothing franchise. In fact, new resale clothing businesses make up the single greatest area of growth in the retail clothing sector, according to Forbes.

“The fashion resale market is exploding, growing 21 times faster than the retail market over the past three years,” Forbes notes. (1) Research from firms like Global Data support this conclusion, and for savvy entrepreneurs with dreams of owning an upscale clothing boutique, the decision is simple: starting a resale clothing franchise is a wise investment.

Before you jump in with both feet, though, it’s important to get the lay of the land, to assess just the kind of resale clothing franchise you want to start, and to determine the business model that’s right for you. That’s why Uptown Cheapskate has compiled this guide to starting a resale clothing franchise, to point you in the right direction so you can tap into a $24 billion resale clothing market.

What is a resale clothing franchise?

A resale clothing franchise is a business opportunity that you invest in, where you own your business and pay a royalty to the franchisor for the rights to use their franchise system. The franchise system is the brand, logos, business model, unique tools, training, and systems that operate the business.

Before you start a resale clothing franchise such as Uptown Cheapskate, consider what comes with the business model you’re purchasing. Franchise businesses all come with upfront costs, the investment new owners make into learning about the brand, building out a store, putting up signs, and attending training.

Not all franchise opportunities are created equally, though. Consider the kind of resale clothing franchise you want to own and operate. Then, find the brand that fits you. Any good franchise opportunity will want to make sure their brand is as good a fit for you as you are for their brand.

Work with the franchise sales team to ensure you’re getting a business that provides you with a brand image, business model, training, and ongoing support you’ll need to position yourself for growth. After all, your new resale clothing boutique is a business, not a hobby.

Why are entrepreneurs starting resale clothing franchise businesses?

There are many reasons savvy investors are getting into the resale clothing franchise business. Among those reasons are sustainability, work-life balance, enjoyment, and the chance to build a lasting part of your community. The biggest reason these entrepreneurs are turning to the resale clothing business is simple, though: money.

The resale clothing industry topped $24 billion in 2019. That growth is expected to continue as the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. As the economic recovery drags on, though, shoppers are increasingly value conscious. They’re paying close attention to every dime they spend.

Every year, resale clothing industry leader TrendUp publishes its state-of-the-industry report. The 2020 report notes more than 62 million women last year purchased clothing on the “secondary market” – gently used clothing from thrift stores, online sites like eBay and Etsy, and through resale clothing boutiques. (2) That figure represents a 10% increase in customers year-over-year, and that trend continues.

Your resale clothing franchise business hits the market high points

When you start a resale clothing franchise, you’re tapping into a vast market that is hitting all of the right notes to maximize long-term growth. You enjoy a growing customer base in a thriving industry with a stellar level of customer pride and engagement, all while engaging in a business that has environmental sustainability as one of its core tenets.

The resale clothing industry is growing, and it’s expected continue to explode in growth. In fact, MarketWatch notes the online segment of the resale industry surged more than 28% during the height of the pandemic, while the overall retail segment shrank 23%. (3) This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, too.

“Resale is expected to be bigger than fast fashion by 2029, with resale projected to be $44 billion and fast fashion at $43 billion,” MarketWatch writes. “Fast fashion is the industry term for mass-market timely adoption of runway trends.”

Meanwhile, customers are proud to share they’ve shopped second-hand. Where “thrift store chic” used to be an insult, now purchasers can hardly wait to brag to their friend how they bought the perfect little black Calvin Kline dress for pennies on the dollar at their favorite second-hand boutique. Part of what drives this pride is consumers’ recognition of sustainability of resale clothing.

“Nearly 2.5 times more consumers plan to shift their spend to sustainable brands from 18% in 2018 to 43% in 2019,” MarketWatch points out. Put another way: that translates to revenue growth as environmentally conscious consumers browse the racks of businesses like Uptown Cheapskate.

Choosing to start a resale clothing franchise that’s right for you

Now that you’ve determined the resale clothing industry is the right investment for you, it’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts of how you start a resale clothing franchise. You’ll need to do a little homework, seek out some guidance, and decide what franchise model is right for you.

First, you’ll need to study up on the resale clothing franchise you’re considering. Companies like Uptown Cheapskate provide robust, information-filled web sites that provide answers to hundreds of questions. On sites like these, you’ll be able to gain insight into the business model, assess its personality, the brand’s image, and how franchise owners feel about being a part of the brand. Also, you’ll be able to find out how much your startup costs are and what kinds of support you’ll receive from the franchisor. But that’s just the first part of the picture.

To learn more about starting a resale clothing franchise with the brand you’re exploring, you’ll need to reach out to the franchise company and speak to their sales team. Uptown Cheapskate provides expert-level guidance to potential franchisees. Via email, phone conversations, and even site visits, you’ll be able to get answers to all of your questions before you sign your franchise agreement. Along the way, don’t be surprised if you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. After all, they’re letting you peek behind the curtain of their business model.

Once you’ve done a bit of due diligence, now it’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of the franchise process. Here, your franchise company will begin looking at your financial picture. This helps them determine if you have the financial resources necessary to grow a successful business with their company. They will also conduct interviews in which they ask you about your past work history, the kinds of jobs you’ve done, and why you have decided to open a resale clothing franchise business.

Don’t be scared or embarrassed. Successful franchise owners come from all walks of life and all industries. You and your potential franchise partner share a goal: to build for you a sustainable, thriving business.

Once you’ve made your decision, now it’s time to start your resale clothing business

You’ve done your homework, your franchise sales consultant has completed the due diligence phase, and you’ve paid your franchise fee. Now is when the real work of opening your resale clothing business begins.

Franchise brands like Uptown Cheapskate provide you with myriad marketing materials, training programs, and business support systems. And before you open the doors, it’s necessary for you to master these materials. Along the way, you’ll have support from the training team, franchise sales team, and other franchise owners. Joining a franchise opportunity is like becoming part of a big, supportive family.

While you’re studying up, you’ll work with your franchise onboarding team to find the ideal location, secure a lease that’s favorable to your new venture, and begin the process of building out your retail store. Also, you’ll be getting insights into where you can obtain stock for your resale clothing business. Pro tip: Right now is a great time to open a resale clothing business because everyone has been home, cleaning out closets and emptying dressers during the pandemic! The resale clothing market is flush with potential inventory. Uptown Cheapskate can show you how to find it.

With training and buildout completed, you’ll hire your staff, do on-site training, and then prep for the big, grand opening celebration. Congratulations, you’re now the latest part of a growing industry with a compelling brand in a market that’s wide open for explosive revenue potential.

Join the Uptown Cheapskate franchise family today

If you think you’re ready to get in on the resale clothing franchise revolution, visit the Uptown Cheapskate franchise information site today. We’ve compiled answers to all the questions you can think of about purchasing and operating an Uptown Cheapskate franchise. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to one of our franchise sale team, and they’ll be happy to begin walking you through the process.

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