“A candle doesn’t lose its flame by lighting up another”
When I started this blog a few years ago, one of the most common questions I received goes something like this: “Why are you sharing your items? Aren’t you afraid that people will start taking your stuff?” It’s a valid concern and I think it touches on the idea of competition with resellers.
Before I go any further, I just wanted to state my official stance on this topic: Personally, I don’t believe in the concept of competition when it comes to reselling thrift store item. I believe that there’s more than enough room for everybody (and I do mean everybody) to start doing this and I’m not the least bit concerned if everyone DOES decide to do this. I’ve been sharing my finds for several years now (through this blog and with family and friends) and my sales haven’t slowed one bit – in fact it’s only gotten better! So, when it comes to competition, I’m not the least bit concerned or worried about it.
Logic Versus Experience
I wish I could say that I’ve always had this mentality regarding competition, but this wasn’t always the case. I was really guarded when I first started and I was very reluctant to share anything – success stories, items I look, things to avoid, etc. – with anyone else because I was afraid that this would benefit the competition and, thus, decrease my sales somehow. Logically, this made sense to me because if someone else is finding these items then that means there’s less for me.
Makes sense right?!
Over time, however, I started to believe less and less with this mindset because my experience tells me that it’s just not correct. It’s inaccurate because it assumes that there’s only a limited amount of great items at the thrift stores, and that’s simply not true. Thrift stores receive new donations on a daily basis so their inventory is constantly being refreshed. Even if you missed out on yesterday’s great items, what’s stopping you from coming back and finding today’s treasures?
There are literally thousands of items to choose from and there are dozens of thrift stores to visit. Even in a place like Hawaii – where the number of thrift stores is somewhat limited- I’m still not concerned with the idea of competition. In fact, my brother and a close friend of mine are also resellers. They’ve read my ebook, they visit the exact same thrift stores that I do, they look for the exact same items that I look for and we’re all doing really well. Sometimes, we even find ourselves in the same exact store at the same exact time and we still manage to great stuff between the three of us.
If you want to improve your results, simply ask yourself the following questions: How can I get better at this? How can I improve my sales? How many thrift stores did I visit last week? Can I visit more this week? Can I list more items? I know there’s something valuable in that section, can I expand my product search? The only true competition you have is against yourself. This is the only competitor that truly matters.
Community, Not Competition
I genuinely get excited whenever I meet someone who resells thrift store items on eBay or I receive an email from someone who’s interested in getting started. I think we’re a great community and I want to do everything I can to support it and make it grow. This is an amazing opportunity to make some extra cash and, at the very least, it’s someone else who shares my passion and it’s another person I can bounce ideas/success stories/strategies with.
Don’t worry about running out of great stuff to find-my experience tells me that it’s not going to happen (and I’ve been doing this for YEARS). There is always going to be more donations because 1) we always seem to buy more than we need (sad but true) and 2) I believe that everyone is inherently generous. So don’t be upset if someone else found something amazing. Rather, celebrate their success and know in your heart that another great item is waiting for you just around the corner!
Thank you again for all your support and good luck at the thrift stores – I really mean that!