Before embarking on the endeavor of running a thrift store myself, I did volunteer work in one close by my home. This particular store sought to give back and help the community. This instilled a love in me for doing the same, so later when I managed a store myself, I followed a similar business model.
The main thing I loved about both this store, and the one I would later run myself was the fact that I was allowed to help those in need. Many times we were visited by families who had lost there homes to fire, or their incomes to the economy. Many of these families had small children, and more than once, I helped single parents with no way to clothe their children, as well.
You have no idea how thrilling it is to be able to give a family in need a buggy, and tell them to simply get what they need. Even more satisfying is the look on their faces as they do so. These where people who were truly in need, you could always tell by their genuine response, which was usually a combination of thankfulness and humility.
Often these families would become regular customers after they got back on their feet. It was in part their way of giving back to us, and in part because the prices were so low to begin with.
The reason we were able to do all of this was that all the things in the store were donated by people in the community to begin with. The fact that we helped so many assured that we would never run short on donations either.
Many of these donations were, of course clothes. We had so many clothes at any given time, that we always sold them for a dollar. That’s a good deal even when you are not in need, so word soon got around, and brought both a wealth of costumers, and more donations.
Still, the best part of either of these stores was the ability to help those in need. The look on a child’s face, whose family has just lost everything in a fire, when you give them toys to replace those they have lost alone is absolutely priceless. If I ever had the opportunity to run a thrift store again, I would jump at it, and I would endeavor to run it in the same manner I did before.
Source : Based on my personal experiences as both a volunteer and a store manager.