"What's your route?" is a question I get a lot. While it's easy enough to answer, the problem is my answer doesn't apply to anyone but me. Every area is different, every store is different, every person is different, that makes answering this question with any value almost impossible. I will do my best to give you my thought process as I built my route.
I started by going to every store I could find within an acceptable driving area. I live about 40 miles from Savannah, Ga, so for me what I determined as acceptable was one hour's drive time. I hit all the grocery stores, drug stores, retail stores, discount stores (TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning, Big Lots) that I could find. I finally settled on the few that seemed to have a decent turnover of the kind of items I felt comfortable with that I thought best allowed me to utilize my time.
The next step was to group those stores together by location. After all, when it takes up to an hour to get to a store to start sourcing you want to go to as many stores in that area as possible. I have 3 main routes that I hit weekly or every two weeks. There's the Target Route, usually I do Target on Tuesday or Thursday because of their markdown schedule. Then I have my TJ Maxx Route, usually on Wednesday, and finally my Local Route on Friday. Depending on what I find where I don't actually hit every store every time I go.
Here are the stores included in each route:
Target Route: Target, Dollar Tree, Staples, Big Lots, Sam's Club, Walmart, K-Mart, Target, Walmart. Yes, I realize I listed 2 Targets and 2 Walmarts, it's all based on location. If I don't get to every store (which I normally don't) I will hit the stores I missed during my TJ Maxx Route.
TJ Maxx Route: TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning, Homegoods, Big Lots, Walmart, Dollar Tree, Dollar Tree.
Local Route: Walmart, Big Lots, Bealls Outlet. This is my short Friday Route. Bealls has 15% off your entire purchase on Fridays, so that's always a good day to make a quick stop.
This is what works for me, adjust your route to fit your area. In reality I end up hitting most of these stores about every two weeks because there's not enough time to hit them all every week. Some I only go to once a month. I also occasionally look at Publix grocery store and Kroger grocery store. CVS and Walgreens I source when funds are low and I am couponing. That usually happens on the weekend between my disbursement and when the funds actually lands in my account.
You will notice Garage Sales and Thrift Stores are not in my route. I have had very limited success with both of these, so I have decided to no longer go to these places and I instead use that time to work on other parts of my business. That doesn't mean they are not great options for you.
As always, I hope this information helps. Thank you for reading my post. Please comment below with any feedback or questions you may have.