✔️ Checklist for Thrift Stores

Whether you are a thrift store, consignment store or vintage retailer, you have a wide range of duties across several departments. From receiving and approving donations, sorting, pricing and finally merchandising items, using a Checklist for Thrift Stores will improve the performance of your operations…and your bottom line.

Use this sample Checklist for Thrift Stores as a guide to start or update your store inspection program.

⭐ Checklists

This post is part of our Checklists series. In highly competitive industries like retail and hospitality, it is critical to hit the ground running with flawless execution of programs and brand standards.
Know how to build a checklist to effectively communicate, execute, and verify essential standards and programs across all sites.
When issues are found, assign corrective actions to ensure they are resolved before they affect the guest experience, the brand’s reputation, and the bottom line.
Bonus tip
Effective retail and hospitality execution requires certain components, first communication, second task management, and third audits / assessments.


When done, here is content other readers find helpful:
  1. Parking lot is free of trash, cracks and potholes?
  2. Sidewalk is clean, swept/shoveled and in good repair?
  3. Exterior signs clean and in working order?
  4. Landscaping, if applicable is maintained?
  5. Window signage is up to date with current promotions?
  6. Exterior entrance, parking lot and donation point adequately lit?
  7. The donation point is well signed and easily accessible?
  8. There is additional parking available nearby should the drive-in point be full?
  9. Is the drive-in point secured when not in use?
  10. Are donation bins and surrounding area free of an overflow of donations?


  1. Are floors/rugs clean?
  2. Shopping baskets/carts are available?
  3. Is lighting adequate with no burnt out bulbs?
  4. Clothing is hung in an orderly fashion on racks?
  5. Are items merchandised within their specific departments?
  6. Are clothing items grouped and labeled by size?
  7. The floor is kept clean of clothing and accessories?
  8. Are accessories organized in an orderly fashion on racks and shelves?
  9. Household items are organized in an orderly fashion?
  10. Is the floor free of any slip or trip hazards?
  11. Walkways and aisles are kept clear?
  12. Are jewelry and smaller items merchandised cleanly and near the cash wrap?
  13. All product has a price and colour/date tag? Check 3 items


  1. Products are cleaned and sanitized upon intake?
  2. Are product sorted by category upon intake?
  3. All products possess tags in line with the company colour/date organization system?
  4. Do employees know how to handle untagged product on the sales floor?
  5. Unsold or unsellable product stored/discarded/repackaged and shipped out as per company directives?
  6. Unsellable product is properly marked? Check 3 items.
  7. Is there a designated area for the unsellable product?
  8. Unsellable product is logged to discourage employee theft?
  9. Is there a designated section for new arrivals?


  1. Current promotional signage is in line with the company directive?
  2. Seasonal product is current and merchandised in high traffic areas?
  3. Location has a designated “new arrivals” section that is refreshed daily?
  4. Does location have a “buy today – get a discount!” product section?
  5. Is product cross-merchandising deployed at end caps and feature areas?
Checklist app for retail and hospitality

Customer and Donor Engagement/Experience

  1. Are customers greeted upon entry?
  2. Do you have a positive first impression of the store?
  3. Is fragrance of store pleasant?
  4. Consignment log is up to date, if applicable?
  5. Sales floor employees are knowledgeable and helpful?
  6. How is the relationship with consigners managed?
  7. Are employees at donation points friendly and helpful?
  8. Is promotional signage clear?
  9. Are informational flyers on donations available?
Finding site issues is good. Fixing them is better.

Employee Training

  1. Are staff restricted from performing self or family purchases?
  2. Do staff understand how to handle damaged or defective products? Ask 3.
  3. Have employees been trained on how to intake donations?
  4. Is product priced by a manager or specifically appointed employee?
  5. Employees have been trained on how to tag and merchandise product?
  6. Have backroom employees been trained on the use of equipment such as bailers or lifts, if applicable?
  7. When was the last date of employee safety training?

Safety and Loss Prevention

  1. There is adequate interior lighting for work and customer interactions?
  2. Does location have backup power in the event of a power outage?
  3. Ladders or step stools for staff in good condition?
  4. Ladders or step stools properly put away when not in use by staff?
  5. Shelving is in good condition?
  6. There are no protruding or sharp corners that may cause injury?
  7. Do all electrical outlets have covers?
  8. Waste removal is done at regular intervals?
  9. Backroom free from sharp edges/corners that may cause injury?
  10. Storage shelves are in good condition and not overloaded?
  11. Is the back door/loading area locked at all times?
  12. There is a peephole or some means to see who is outside the door?
  13. Staff know and adhere to the procedure for opening back door/loading area?
  14. Cleaning equipment stored safely in a designated area?
  15. Up to date health and safety poster for province/state visible?
  16. Workplace violence and harassment poster for province/state is visible and up to date?
  17. Breakroom is clean and free of clutter?
  18. Office is clean and free of clutter?
  19. There is a safe place for the storage of valuables?
  20. Office furniture and equipment is in good condition?
  21. Electrical and extension cords are not a trip hazard?
  22. Are electrical and extension cords in good condition?
  23. Do all electrical outlets have covers?
  24. Is the washroom clean and free of clutter?
  25. Hand soap or hand sanitizer is available?

Special thanks to Goodwill Northern New England for their contributions to this piece.

More ways to improve your operations, loss prevention and merchandising:


Refer to the Thrift Stores category for checklists, how-tos and best practices for the thrift store industry.


If you are looking for checklists to manage your operations and brand standards, you have two options.

  1. Register for a free trial of Bindy and get access to a library of professionally vetted public forms you can use to audit your locations in seconds.
  2. Refer to our checklists category of more than 33 checklists to manage every aspect of your operations.

Leave a Reply