Business that provides Mystery Resale Shopping Bus Tours looks forward to a return to collaborative effort with regional thrift shop community
VENICE, Fla. [December 17-2020] – Since the pandemic has put its operations on hold, The Happy Thrifter Company found the time to tally up its estimated impact on the regional resale shop community. Through just its first 23 Mystery Resale Shopping Bus Tours, founder Patti Clark estimates it helped to generate revenues of $215,280 for the participating stores.
From St. Pete, Bradenton and Sarasota southward through Venice, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers and Naples, there are plentiful resale stores where shoppers can buy anything from vintage clothes to high-end furniture and home décor, at monumental discounts. Often, these stores are tucked into unassuming nooks and crannies, making them hard to find unless shoppers are familiar with the area or have been tipped off by friends.
The Happy Thrifter Company has, for the past few years, made the discovery of shopping destinations easier and more fun. Its twice-monthly Mystery Resale Shopping Bus Tours bring 60 “Resale Kings and Queens” to a handful of stores in the comfort of a motor coach bus. Guests enjoy prizes, contests, snacks, delicious catered lunch, wine, swag bags, movies and lots of laughs; they also enjoy plentiful shopping at area thrift, consignment and resale stores as well as one vintage retro shop or market. The locations are a secret until after guests board the bus.
All guests also receive a copy of the annual guide book, “The Happy Thrifter Resale Guide,” which lists more than 300 stores along with a handy pull-out map for future shopping expeditions. Cost for the tours, which last all day, ranges from $60-$65.
Clark reports that the stores provide her with an accounting of her guests’ spending after each tour. From these notes, she learned that her guests spent approximately $30 each at each stop. That is how Clark gauged the total economic impact of over $215,000 to the region’s resale shop community.
“I think the Southwest Florida resale market is full of the coolest, most unique stores – we have been pleased to help shoppers in our region to discover great shopping while providing significant economic benefit to numerous small businesses,” said Clark. “We can’t wait for our tours to start back up! We miss our guests and we know community members are raring to get back on the bus.”
The Happy Thrifter Company ran 17 bus tours in 2019 and six in 2020, before the pandemic hit. Previously scheduled 2020 tours have been rescheduled for 2021.
Participating stores roll out the “red carpet treatment” for guests on the shopping bus tours. Guests enjoy raffle prizes and discounts. Some stores, such as The Blue Flamingo in Bradenton, have provided snacks and beverages. St. Matthews Thrift Store in Naples has offered Starbucks coffee and red roses.
“We are thrilled to be included in the guide book as well as a stop on the shopping tour,” said Bradenton’s Loving Hands Thrift Store manager Sheri Ketner “Everyone loves the resale guide book and it benefits both shoppers and the stores included.”
“Our resale scene is not only defined as a traditional thrift stores but also consignments for clothing, decor and furniture, resale shops, markets, emporiums, boutiques, antique malls, vendor supported markets, shabby chic, farm and barn décor, retro, cottage, coastal-beachy-nautical, salvage, mid-century, vintage and collectible markets, and decorative paint suppliers,” said Clark. “There is truly something for everyone in the resale store circuit.”
Clark notes that she is proud of the mutually beneficial synergy that has developed between The Happy Thrifter Company and participating merchants. She also points out that the Mystery Resale Shopping Bus Tours have typically sold out within minutes of being advertised on EventBrite.
Clark hopes to be back on the road soon in 2021 (COVID-pending). The Mystery Resale Shopping Bus Tour schedule – as well as photos from previous bus tours – can be found at thehappythriftershopper.com. For more information, call (816) 352-0975.
*Breaking News- We are up in Clearwater for a video shoot for a PBS segment about our Resale Shopping Bus Tours, to be aired in the Spring of 2021. Growing Bolder episode of “Ordinary People Living Extraordinary Lives”. Separate press releases will be made available in the upcoming week.