Sourcing On The Go
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Sourcing y’all. I know each one of you love the thrill of checking out new thrift stores when you go out of town, but what about traveling specifically to thrift and find new inventory?
Traveling to thrift is probably one of my favorite things to do as a full-time reseller. It gives me a chance to get out of town, see some new scenery, find brands I don’t normally find in my area, and have a bit of “me time” as well.
I’ve traveled to several different locations, including Los Angeles, Nashville & Atlanta to source inventory, and today I’m going to tell you how I plan out those trips, whether it is financially beneficial to my business and some tips I’ve learned to make it worthwhile.
Planning Your Sourcing Trip
Okay, you know you want to head out of town, but where should you go? How far should you travel, and should you go for more than a day?
There’s a few ways you can get your feet wet with traveling for inventory.
Travel to where a friend or family member is
If you aren’t comfortable with taking a couple days to travel out of town, then maybe a day trip is for you! I frequently take day trips to Atlanta when I’m unable to go overnight. I’m not able to hit up as many thrift stores, but I can usually get to 2 or 3 locations and find a good amount of items.
So, what about going out of town for more than a day trip?
Sourcing Overnight Trips
For lodging, I usually check out sites like hotwire.com, Priceline.com, and Airbnb (click this link to save $30 on your next Airbnb stay!). I don’t usually book an expensive hotel, but I find something decent for around $80-$100/night. This price range seems to be affordable enough that I can recoup my costs still once the inventory starts selling. Also, keep in mind that hotel/travel costs are a tax write-off when you travel specifically for your job, and I’ll talk about that a little further into this post.
I have driven out of town, and I’ve flown across country. For me, traveling to Los Angeles to thrift was entirely worth it. However, I was able to cash in airline miles for that trip, so I ended up only having to pay for Hotel/Rental Car while I was there. I mean, I found Gucci shoes at the bins.
And Mansur Gavriel.
The shoes alone that I sold from my bins trip in LA nearly paid for my trip out there. I spent 3 days sourcing every store I could get to, and I loaded up with brands I’m never able to find here in Tennessee.
If you decide to fly, look into cashing in airline miles, or check out sales on Southwest.com (which is a bonus because you get to check 2 bags for free). I flew Southwest to LA, packed lightly in a carry one, and checked a large suitcase with another suitcase inside of it. On the way back, I fit the majority of my finds in those 2 suitcases. Items I wasn’t able to fit in, I shipped back home. While there, I rented the cheapest car I could find so that I could have my own transportation and go wherever I wanted without dealing with Uber etc. Otherwise, check out name your own price on Priceline, or Hotwire’s cheap deals for flights.
If you choose to drive, don’t forget to use an app like Intuit Self Employed to track your mileage so you can deduct that on your taxes as well. Driving to a city a few hours away is sometimes easier, espe