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Thursday, 17 September 2015 13:40


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Esteban Miranda is just 24 years-old and has already established a growing business, Miranda’s Thrift Shop, with locations in Merced, Turlock and Atwater.

Esteban is all about his hometown of Merced. He grew up on city’s west side, attended Gracey Elementary, Tenaya Middle School and graduated from Merced High in 2008 before learning the fundamentals of business from his mentors at Fresno State.

He comes from humble beginnings as the son of immigrant parents who taught him the value of hard work and the importance of his relationship with God- values he says that without he would have never been a success.

Esteban says his parents endured everything from outright racism to working countless hours of hard labor under the sun with little to no sleep- all so they could give their children the opportunity to make a better life.

And in the next several months and years, things are about to pay-off…. big time for Esteban and his employees- whom he is quick to give credit to for their hard work and dedication.

Esteban says he is currently eyeing the old Anna’s Linen store, next to Big 5 in the Lowe’s shopping center and he is working with Merced Mayor Stanley Thurston to help move plans along.

Part of the Miranda’s local strategy is to expand their furniture and clothing inventory to feed their key market of UC Merced students and young working people with families like nurses, teachers, etc. Esteban estimated 40% of his customers come from the UC student demographic alone, but all sorts of people come into his stores .

Unfortunately, the Merced location by Raley’s is too small for very much furniture and large amounts of clothing- but the space next to Big 5 would be a perfect fit at about 5,000 sq. ft.

“If things don’t work out finding a bigger place in Merced, we will look at Modesto, but I want to open a new store in Merced. We really like that location and we really want to open our first big store here,” said Esteban.

From there, the sky is the limit for Miranda’s. Ultimately, Esteban’s goal is to open stores throughout California, and if his short business history and strategy is any indicator of future success, it is more than fair to say his goals will come to fruition much sooner than later.

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“Eventually, (with the profits from his business) as we get bigger, we want to be able to give back to this community. We’d like to open a youth center,” Esteban explained.

Miranda’s opened its doors on Main Street in Merced back in 2013, just a week after Esteban graduated from Fresno State. Within a few months he moved to a more desirable 1,000 sq. foot location in the Raley’s shopping center in the more affluent north Merced.

Then in June of 2014 he opened a larger shop in Turlock and within the past several months he opened another store in Atwater, next to K-Mart.

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

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

He calls his business a win-win for everyone involved- but he is the first to admit that some of his inventory sells at a higher price than some other thrift stores.


“Yeah I know you can get things cheaper online or at other thrift stores, but this is a win-win because for the seller its safe and quick. You aren’t meeting with shady people and you are getting your money quick from us.”

For Miranda’s customers, they in turn, get a quality product at a much cheaper price compared to big-box stores such as Wal-Mart or Target, as well as typically more higher-end items than can be found at other thrift shops- both for profit and non-profit based.

“When you come here you are getting gently-used items that are clean and don’t smell weird,” he joked. “We call ourselves a thrift shop but really we don’t have to- we could just call it Miranda’s.”

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.

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.

He and his staff make a concentrated effort to buy items they feel are not stolen.

For more information visit http://mirandasthriftshop.com/

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