We had the good fortune of connecting with Candace Robinson-Rankin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candace, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my 1st business in 2014, which is still going strong, but in 2019, right before the pandemic hit, I decided to start a resale business. I dabbled in it as just a means to having another stream of income because I love to shop, especially at thrift stores. As the pandemic ramped up, the world was beginning to change especially in the workforce. I then started to realize that we as workers at these corporations are disposable and I no longer wanted to be disposable. I also wanted to teach my son that you can create your own money and destiny, so I left my 6 figure job in pursuit of happiness under my own terms.
What should our readers know about your business?
Thrift Isn’t Junk is an online Thrift & Consignment shop. What we sell: new and gently used clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags, and beauty items for women, men and kids. All sizes including plus size. We also sell electronics, pet items, games, and more!
Since starting Thrift Isn’t Junk in late 2019, I had to learn what brands really sell and what brands to stay away from. Just because you think it’s cute or a well known brand, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will sell. I also had to learn how to authenticate various items that are known to have counterfeits such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Lululemon and Nike and also be aware of the resale value of items so that I wouldn’t over or under price.
I can’t say that it has been an uphill battle, but it definitely has been an everyday learning experience. From the customers that can’t understand why the shipping charges cost so much, (which has nothing to do with me, those are the current shipping charges from the carriers) to the various people who inbox me and tell me that my items are overpriced to be a thrift store.
What many consumers don’t understand is that when we as resellers use various platforms such as Ebay, Poshmark, Mercari, Facebook Marketplace, etc…these platforms charge the seller a fee which varies from platform to platform. So for instance, if I sell an item on Poshmark for $5, then my net pay is only $2.05, that’s 59% that they’re taking! We also spend countless hours sifting thru bins (which is literally like dumpster diving) and racks to find the perfect items, cleaning the items, steaming items, taking photos, listing items and shipping items. That all may sound easy, but it’s very hard tedious work and not to mention if you’re making X amount of dollars, you gotta keep up with paperwork because you have to pay taxes.
I did end up building my own website www.thriftisntjunk.com so that I could help eliminate those seller fees, offer a lower price to the consumer, expand my market to international and ship lightweight items for less. Not only do I thrift for items, but I also take donations (drop off or pick up), sell your stuff for you and I consign (buy items from you). And as of July 2020, to help set me apart from other online resellers, thrift and consignment shops, I also started delivering items same and next day to Bartow, Cobb, Cherokee, Douglas, Dekalb, Paulding, North and South Fulton counties.
My most memorable thrifting moment was finding an authentic crocodile Hermes handbag at a Goodwill out in the country part of GA! I couldn’t believe it!!!! I did the happy dance all the way to the register. They had no idea what they had, but I did. I paid $4.99 for it and ended up selling it for $25k. I also found an authentic Chanel handbag and paid .99 cents for it! That’s right, I paid .99 cents plus tax! Since I’m a huge Chanel fan, I definitely kept that one for myself.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As far as my online thrift store, I definitely would like to shout out my ex Josh for making me realize that I deserved better than punching in and punching out of a time clock and for introducing me to all the wonderful thrift stores out there. My ex as an entrepreneur himself, also taught me what an entrepreneur is and isn’t. I also can’t forget to shout out my son and my husband for putting up with my shopping escapades, countless times of them standing in line at the post office, and carrying all the shopping bags. They truly keep me together.