We talked to top Instagram thrift sellers who spilled their secrets of how they built trust with their customers so that they kept coming back.
According to them, the two main components of building up trust with current and potential customers are: 1) having proof that you're a reputable seller and 2) connecting with your customers on a personal level.
Although you know you're a reputable seller with good intentions, your potential customers don't know that, so it's important to have visible proof of successful transactions and happy customers. For Instagram thrift resellers, this likely means featuring "proofs" on your page. Proofs are basically photo evidence of you shipping orders and of your customers receiving their orders and being happy with them. It's important to add proofs to your page so that you can establish credibility and let potential buyers know that they're not going to get scammed if they buy from you.
Katelyn, owner of Instagram shop @abitchforbrandy, said that when she transitioned to selling on Instagram, she "added a bunch of reviews from other apps so that people knew I was reputable just to get those first sales" -- in her case speaking about reviews from previous customers on Depop and Poshmark. Today, Katelyn has a very credible thrift account and a loyal follower base of 8.5K people, many of whom are repeat customers.
If you have customers who have already purchased from your Instagram shop, you can ask them directly for testimonials on their experience shopping from you.
The most common way to turn this into proofs is to screenshot their responses & organize them into a Story Highlight. However, if you set up a shoppable website for your Instagram page using Thryft, there's an even easier way to do this. Customers who purchase through your Thryft website will automatically be asked to leave a review after their item is delivered, which would then show up on your website. And if you want to collect reviews from past customers, you can simply send them your secure 'review link', which you can find at the bottom of your dashboard's Website Settings page.
While this sounds cliche, it's actually the key to building a strong sense of trust with your customers, especially if you're selling on a social platform like Instagram.
Sienna, owner of @ri.reclaimed, loves selling on Instagram because it allows her to build more trust with her customers through connecting with them on a personal level. She says that customers are more trusting when they get to know the "face behind the brand." Sienna connects with her customers by showing her personality, mainly by using Instagram livestreams, stories, and creating Tiktok video content. "This is how I'd advise someone to connect with their customer base," said Sienna.
Bailey, who runs @flybythrifts, has made great friends amongst her loyal customer base which makes them really loyal customers. "There's a quote that says that 'people don't buy from people they don't buy into' so that really spoke to me," said Bailey. She advises new accounts to "let your followers get to know you and the story behind your page." She says that building this trust and loyalty with your customer base is advantageous because in order to have a successful business, "you don't really need that many customers as long as you have people that are coming back."
Cathy, owner of @closet.by.cath, has found success in taking the time to get to know her customers personally and interact with what's going on in their lives. She says that around the holiday season, she'll "DM them and wish them happy holidays or follow some of them back and swipe up on their stories to interact with them that way. It's less of treating them as a customer and more of treating them as a friend." Creating these relationships with her customers has helped her build a more active and engaged following. "The more you talk to them, the more you build that trust and the more active they'll be on your page," she says.
In summary, if you have good intentions and care about your customers, "don't overthink it — just be yourself and people will come to you," said Jamie, owner of @shoppeachyapricots.