Consigning….ohhh the horror! It really is not that bad (as long as you find the right one). I am still searching for a Miami sweet spot but in the mean time a couple of things to remember first before you consign:
1. Make sure you consign with a shop that has a good reputation as in people actually shop there. I check all of my options out first by….actually shopping there….to get a feel for the kind of customer, style of inventory, and to make sure there is foot traffic (you know- people shopping). Consignment shops seem to pop up all the time but it is great to choose one that has a solid customer base and reputation (for sellers and buyers) to increase your chances of selling. I ALWAYS look for great customer service and don’t underestimate the importance of Visual Merchandising! I love to see someone working on the floor, organizing product, setting up displays, helping customers etc. It keeps it all fresh!
2. Make sure you throughly read their consigner agreements. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when I find out they “donated” my things that didn’t sell instead of letting me pick it up (it is usually based on a technicality such as “must pick up unsold items within 3 days of…blah blah blah”) also look for the pay out guidelines and how they will price your items AND how you can collect your payouts. Even though pricing is up to the shop if they price too low and your item is worth more (to you) than what is the point of selling? Create a new outfit! You can also try to negotiate with them on prices. Maybe not so much on clothes but on larger items like jewelry and handbags. I’ve done this before with handbags and it definitely helped to “Show me the $MONEY$!” (like you haven’t heard that one before)
3. Keep a record of what you consign. I suggest taking photos…they don’t lie. It is a REALLY great way to help you (and them) remember what you dropped off. Not all consignment stores have a great system in place. If you are able to pick up items that did not sell…wait for it…..some shops require you to find your own stuff! Ahhh! I have been in some shops where the sea of clothes is just sooo overwhelming, I wouldn’t know where to start without my photos. I’d also go back in the shop from time to time to make sure my things are merchandised (actually on the sales floor) and check on my payout so the shop knows I am a serious consigner. It may be a little more work but it is soooo worth it! It also helps you build a relationship with the store which can be very beneficial in the long run. If you have ever gone back into a consignment shop only to find out the owners have no record of you consigning or any recorded pay outs and you know you consigned two really cute dresses and now have nothing to show for it…grrrrr… you wouldn’t want to let that happen again either (yes I lost a dress that way!…sad face)!
Once you have decided on a shop, make sure you….
- Steam, iron, clean, prep EVERYTHING you want to consign. You want your items to look as purrrty as can be so they are ready for the sales floor.
- Bring your items on hangers or in shoe boxes or with protective bags (if you have them) Some consigners require items on hangers and some don’t. I ALWAYS bring everything in on (cheap) hangers. It makes everything look nicer and increases my chances of them accepting my stuff.
- Follow their rules. Don’t be a sassy consigner!
Most consignment shops do a 60% (for you)/40% (for them) pay out system based on a 90 day time line. Some shops take mark downs monthly or even sooner. I ALWAYS ask them to look at my garments the first time I come in so I can take anything they do not want right then instead of coming back a a second time. It usually takes about 20 mins so I just browse around.
I do end up giving a lot away but attempt consignment usually always gets me something. As a girl on a budget every little bit helps! Just to keep it in perspective a good payout for me is usually $50-$60 in earnings from about 10-12 pieces (I love not having to think about shipping fees or payment fees) All profit! Woooo (unless you count gas but be smart about it – stop by the shops when it is convenient.
Now excuse me while I go check out some consignment boutiques…I hope to report back with some solid finds!
Thanks for reading!