Unique Thrift Shop in Turlock Pays for Your Unwanted, Gently-Used Goods

Jonathan McCorkell/TurlockCityNews.com

Esteban Miranda, 23, didn’t exactly have a “traditional” college experience. When his friends were out partying and hanging out with girls, Miranda was working essentially non-stop buying merchandise at yard sales and selling them at flea markets up and down the Valley on weekends, a skill that he learned from his parents growing up in Merced.

During his senior year at Fresno State, where he majored in business and minored in entrepreneurship, Miranda began building a stockpile of merchandise for his future business, Miranda’s Thrift Shop.

In 2013, about a week after graduating from Fresno State, Miranda opened his first location on a quiet section of Main Street in Merced. Within a few months he moved to a more desirable location in a Raley’s shopping center in the more affluent north Merced.

In June of this year Miranda opened his second shop, this time in Turlock at 1865 Countryside Dr., next to FoodMaxx.

Miranda says that what makes Miranda’s Thrift Shop different from others — his commitment to quality inventory, plus the fact that he purchases everything in his stores.

“I’m the first to say that yeah, our inventory isn’t the cheapest around, but we only buy gently-used items, we thoroughly clean everything we put out [for sale] and most importantly we pay people for everything in the store,” he said.

Unlike many non-profit thrift stores, which typically take donations, Miranda’s will purchase your unwanted, gently-used goods.

“Why donate your stuff when you can bring it here and get something out of it?” he asked.

Miranda says that donation-base thrift stores certainly help people in need, but he does so behind the scenes.

“My main goal is to help people and the people who I help know what I do,” Miranda said. “I don’t need to post it on Facebook and I don’t do it to get publicity.”

Another aspect of Miranda’s success is a commitment to using social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and Craigslist, to reach potential customers and people selling items.
“We get the word out and we want to purchase inventory and then sell it as soon as possible,” said Miranda. “If you want close to new stuff for half the price or one-third the price of stores, that is what we do.”

Miranda’s Thrift Shop carries just about everything under the sun including furniture, electronics, antiques, household decorative goods, clothes, toys from current and past generations, video game systems with games from multiple generations, kitchenware, baby toys, sports items, lawn care, posters, and even baseball cards.

About the only thing Miranda’s doesn’t buy and sell is appliances, which Miranda says he is looking to improve upon.

Another interesting aspect of Miranda’s is that they even offer a warranty on all of their items.

“We always test everything we sell, like video game systems, so we have a same day, cash back return policy and a next day, store credit return policy,” explained Miranda. “After that the sale is final.”

Miranda carries a Second-Hand Dealers License and is required by law to list any inventory he buys and who he buys it from.

Within the next year Miranda plans to open another store in Fresno.

“I would be out there at flea markets when it was 100 degrees and some days I would only make $5,” Miranda said about his early struggles. “I didn’t party, I went to yard sales, flea markets and then came home and did my homework. It was tough, I felt like giving up. People would tell me you can’t do, why don’t you get a regular job?”

However, he realized he never wanted to work for anyone else and thanks to his inner drive to succeed, he pushed himself forward and now he is on the verge of breaking the traditional thrift store model.

Comments 11

  1. dee says:
    What a great sucess story. Good work!
  2. another fluff story says:
    i went to this store and was suprised at the rude disrespectful way the owner handles customers who uses buying items as a marketing ploy(scam)when you get there he will rudely inform you that the buying hours are as posted but there is no buying hours posted then when you jump through his hoops he will then offer pennies on the dollar for the item. prices are posted wrong and are misleaading like the new townie bike with the 24.95 sticker on the basket.lousy service over priced and poor management i will never stop here again especially when there are so many other HONEST businesses in turlock that this reporter must not be friends with since I never see any articles about them yellow journalism at its best and frankly i hope mirandas enjoy a tax right off when he goes out of business.and btw if your gonna pay full price wal mart is a block away and has a better warranty lower prices and a return policy mirandas thrift store lacks.
  3. another fluff story says:
    wow what a one sided lame story about a sub par thrift store with over price items.the fact they buy items is a scam to get business since there are no plainly posted hours and they only want to offer pennies on the dollar items are over priced or misleadingly priced ( i saw a new townie bicycle that had a 24.95 price on the basket that was bolted on and no other price on the bikeand when i asked i was told $350 )obviously miranda practiced this kind of salesmanship at flea markets and thats why he never made any money there either.i went to this store and met miranda who was rude and disrespectful if you like someone to talk down to you then this is the place for you.otherwise i suggest anywhere else walmart also has a warranty a better refund policy and lower prices.I wonder why the writer did not profile goodwill or any of the other thrift stores in town seems like some kind of nepotism...
  4. Awesome shop says:
    Competing thrift store owner much? Yep! If his shop is so bad then why will he be opening a third shop in Fresno soon? How many businesses are this successful within two years of opening? He will put you out of business and you are scared, its perfectly normal to be afraid. Good job and please try and keep up with the rest of us.
  5. kike says:
    Over price
  6. Anonymous says:
    Looks like someone needs a tissue cause all I hear is snob stories. Miranda's thrift shop is completely different from any thrift shop I have ever been to. Mr. Miranda has enjoyed success by his enthusiasm to thrive and succeeds by his amazing staff and employees. I am a happy Miranda's thrift shop customer. And will always look to return back because of 1) their great customer service and 2) always looking to find awesome treasures. I applaud you Mr. Miranda, keep up the great work that you do
  7. Greg says:
    Miranda's Thrift Shop has served myself and my family's needs. It's no surprise that the competition is mad and there only defense is lousy internet assaults. As with any business, we vote with our dollars. Mr. Miranda has done quite well and may be opening his third shop. Instead of spouting jealously, applaud the man for his great effort and his hard determination.
  8. average customer says:
    ha ha ha funny stuff guess ill chime in and leave my observations it seems like awesome shop's real name would be mirandas thrift store and instead of apologizing for being bad at customer service he tells us that he is opening another store in fresno,lol obviously knows more than he admits and probably knows which customers he offends great stuff i gotta say opening a store is nothing special and if it doesnt succeed he can blame it on that fluff story guy rather than his own actions,in my opinion very bad judgement on mirandas part, fortunately for me i read the comments and wont waste my time there.
  9. cant stop laughing says:
    wow that mirandas guy must have multiple personalities leaving so many comments as different people well i guess bad press is just press maybe instead of attacking he should apologize...
  10. miranda give it up says:
    wow funny stuff blame everything on the "competition" that has been in business so much longer
  11. mystery shopper says:
    wow, I did not know that competition means to take your merchandise to other stores other than your own to sale it for pennies on a dollar? wow,why that store owners must be able to take one look at a customer and tell if they are a customer with money that works for a used storeor if your a customer with money that works at a doctors office.so if you work or own a used store than your not welcome ?your money only good if you work certain jobs? so about the misleading price tag on a bike.herd that a price tag of 25 dollars on the bike basket is for basket only yet its attached to bike and don't say basket only ,so yes that sounds misleading,yet no apologize for that ,and the store owner should at least be able to understand how a customer would get confused.oh .no, instead start being rude then to accuse a customer of just being competition .so I'm sure the next comment someone makes will be how wonderful some dude is and not how the price tag on the bike could be misleading ,so everyone should forget all about that price tag and think about the baby he may of saved or pet that he may of rescued or starving family he may of helped .hope to see him at the flea market tuesday so I can say hi.

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