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Old 12-10-2017, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Maryland
120 posts, read 60,140 times
Reputation: 44

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I would likely have the store in Maryland. I'm more interested in non-profit, but will do for-profit if I have to. I'm just not sure how to go about doing this. Does anyone have any advice on making this a reality? I would love some advice.

Thank you.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:18 PM
 
Location: USA
264 posts, read 317,089 times
Reputation: 296
I don't necessarily have lots of advice for you on this, but I can appreciate the interest in starting a business like that.

When our family moved to Maryland (moved here about 6 years ago for an I.T. job I was offered), I had been running my own part-time side business back in the midwest. At first, I thought I'd just make a new batch of business cards, advertise a lot on social media, and try to pick that back up where I left off. (It was a good gig ... going to customer's homes or businesses on weekends or evenings to do virus removal, computer upgrades and troubleshooting, etc.)

Interestingly? I never could really make much of a go of it out here? It seems like in the Frederick, MD area or in MoCo, there are so many "tech savvy" people, you can't find many left who are willing to pay an hourly rate to have you fix things for them! (The few customers I've had raved about my work and promised to recommend me -- but I never generated much new business from any of them.)

I keep managing to collect up used computer and networking gear though (sometimes it's just old gear from my day job that I'm asked to recycle or dispose of, and I can't bear to trash it). I keep thinking a small used computer shop would be nice, if just as a place to park all of this equipment so it doesn't waste space in my garage, basement, etc.

I try to do some eBay sales, but that's increasingly unprofitable with so many scammers, non-paying bidders and high fees from both eBay and PayPal.

If you would ever consider starting a shop in a smaller community like Brunswick, MD where we live (about 20 minutes outside Frederick), I'd sure be interested in working something out with you to have a used computer/technology section in it!
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:36 PM
 
6,991 posts, read 5,747,630 times
Reputation: 15910
Contact your local SCORE office. They are a part of the Small Business Administration. They will assign you with a business coach.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:36 PM
 
3,692 posts, read 2,204,753 times
Reputation: 13520
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameme234 View Post
I would likely have the store in Maryland. I'm more interested in non-profit, but will do for-profit if I have to. I'm just not sure how to go about doing this. Does anyone have any advice on making this a reality? I would love some advice.

Thank you.
My Uncle Elmer owned an enormous secondhand store and he became wealthy because of it. He knew who his customer base was: Itinerant fruit pickers who needed inexpensive household goods. Lower-class or blue-collar workers.

But he needed a source of merchandise. Thus the other half of the business was doing house cleanouts. There's always a ton of stuff left over after an estate sale and the heirs usually want the house cleared quickly. I don't know the particulars but I doubt if he would have paid for the privilege; more likely he took a look to see if it would be worth his while to haul it away, then did it for free.
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:16 PM
 
3 posts, read 717 times
Reputation: 10
A garage sale would be a good way to get you used to running a secondhand store. After that, it's not that different from running any other business. Know your customers and advertise properly.
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Old 12-16-2017, 02:44 AM
 
143 posts, read 38,467 times
Reputation: 177
There are some hoops to jump through to become a non-profit. I believe you'll need a board of three or more. Most states have a second-hand dealer's license that you'll need to get. That requires fingerprints, background check, etc. Then there are city and (possibly) county occupational licenses to obtain. Having the wrong zoning for your location is a common way to be denied for these. And of course you'll have to get set up with the state to collect sales tax.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:52 AM
 
542 posts, read 179,828 times
Reputation: 1507
And lets not forget a IRS tax number.




XXX.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Maryland
120 posts, read 60,140 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by tw71 View Post
I don't necessarily have lots of advice for you on this, but I can appreciate the interest in starting a business like that.

When our family moved to Maryland (moved here about 6 years ago for an I.T. job I was offered), I had been running my own part-time side business back in the midwest. At first, I thought I'd just make a new batch of business cards, advertise a lot on social media, and try to pick that back up where I left off. (It was a good gig ... going to customer's homes or businesses on weekends or evenings to do virus removal, computer upgrades and troubleshooting, etc.)

Interestingly? I never could really make much of a go of it out here? It seems like in the Frederick, MD area or in MoCo, there are so many "tech savvy" people, you can't find many left who are willing to pay an hourly rate to have you fix things for them! (The few customers I've had raved about my work and promised to recommend me -- but I never generated much new business from any of them.)

I keep managing to collect up used computer and networking gear though (sometimes it's just old gear from my day job that I'm asked to recycle or dispose of, and I can't bear to trash it). I keep thinking a small used computer shop would be nice, if just as a place to park all of this equipment so it doesn't waste space in my garage, basement, etc.

I try to do some eBay sales, but that's increasingly unprofitable with so many scammers, non-paying bidders and high fees from both eBay and PayPal.

If you would ever consider starting a shop in a smaller community like Brunswick, MD where we live (about 20 minutes outside Frederick), I'd sure be interested in working something out with you to have a used computer/technology section in it!
That sounded like a good size business you had in the Midwest. I'm sorry your business did not work as well in Maryland. Ebay and Paypal fees are just so high. it makes it difficult to profit.

You never know. I may pick that area Thank you for your response.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Maryland
120 posts, read 60,140 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Contact your local SCORE office. They are a part of the Small Business Administration. They will assign you with a business coach.
Thanks.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Maryland
120 posts, read 60,140 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
My Uncle Elmer owned an enormous secondhand store and he became wealthy because of it. He knew who his customer base was: Itinerant fruit pickers who needed inexpensive household goods. Lower-class or blue-collar workers.

But he needed a source of merchandise. Thus the other half of the business was doing house cleanouts. There's always a ton of stuff left over after an estate sale and the heirs usually want the house cleared quickly. I don't know the particulars but I doubt if he would have paid for the privilege; more likely he took a look to see if it would be worth his while to haul it away, then did it for free.
Interesting. That is good advice; thank you.
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