Sorry I’ve been a little lax in blogging lately. My mind has been tied up elsewhere. Where might ‘elsewhere’ be, you ask? Oh, the usual places: planning menus, tracking down Christmas gifts, baking cookies, writing novels, changing worlds.
What can I say? I’m a schemer, but I come by it honestly: it runs in the paternal side of my family.
Current case in point:
For a long time, I’ve wanted to open a thrift store that actually charged thrift store prices.
For an even longer time, I’ve wanted to help orphans find families.
In the comments of a recent post, I was re-reminded of one major hurdle families considering adoption must overcome: it starts with “the P” and ends with “rice tag”.
It struck me (again) as one of the saddest things in the world: good Christian families who want to adopt but can’t afford it. It’s a lose, lose, lose situation.
The families lose.
The children lose.
Now I know there are organizations that offer financial aid in the form of grants/scholarships to families seeking to adopt, because I helped fundraise for one of them (Love Basket) in college. But I don’t know all the ins and outs of the application process, and I can imagine that the supply of charitable funds rarely meets the demand of needy families.
What if I opened a non-profit second hand store with all proceeds going to fund adoption costs for solid families?
What if I started out with an online venue–a bit of a ‘testing the waters’, so to speak–similar in format to an etsy store (or any other online shopping experience) with pictures of each product (right now I’m thinking of things that would be cheap/easy to ship: clothing, books, some types of glassware)?
What if I was able to charge competitive thrift store prices, so shoppers were not only supporting a good cause but getting great deals?
It seems to me like it has potential to be a win-win-win-win-win situation: good for families (they get $$), good for children (they get a home), good for customers (they get cheap stuff AND support a good cause), good for the environment (recycling/repurposing one man’s junk into another man’s treasure, all that), good for society (kids in solid homes are less likely to get in trouble in any number of ways)..
Any thoughts? Am I crazy? Has anyone else attempted something like this? Anyone have experience with a good ‘sell stuff online’ host? ((I can’t use Etsy because it’s only for homemade items. Paypal is an option; ebay is an option…I’m sure there are others I’m not aware of yet)).
Would you buy stuff you liked from an online second hand store? What would you buy? Would you get clothes if you had to go by pictures and measurements rather than trying it on yourself? What kind of clothes? What’s ‘cheap’ for clothing in your book–would you pay $3 bucks for a used-but-in-great-condition shirt you liked? $5? How about a dress? Books? Maternity clothes? Baby clothes? Dishes?
Anyone else as excited about the potential in all this as I am?
Help me out, here, people–even if it’s just to tell me that my idea is a no-go. If I hear it from you, it will make Tim’s job (the Reality Checker in our relationship) that much easier.