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Posts Tagged ‘starting a consignment shop’

Where do you find the best information about your resale business?

Well, in our Products for the Professional Resaler, of course. But there’s another source for great ideas you can adapt to your consignment, resale or thrift shop, and that’s (more…)

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Armloads of incoming consignments!

Could refining your acceptance & pricing procedures make this a less-scary sight? Click!

A question from a shopkeeper that’s pretty pertinent at this time of year:

Q:  I need to limit the number of drop off we get (just too much inventory). I am leaning towards ‘quiet hours’ and stop taking drop offs an hour before we close, and maybe no drop offs on Monday…

Here’s a pretty no-holds-barred reply. If you are easily bruised, please skip this message.

Kate says:

If consignors cannot drop off after THEIR work hours, you’ll lose those who work (and who tend to change out their wardrobes more often than those who don’t.) In many cases, the ideal “drop-off” time would be after 5pm… depending on local office business hours, distance from work to your shop, and so on.

Limiting the number of drop offs does only one thing: Limit the selection from which YOU can select the items which will sell fastest ( = you have the clientele for them)
… which gives you rapid turnover which leads to more frequent visitors/ buyers coming into the shop. Making it less convenient for consignors is not the answer.

There really is no such thing as “too much inventory”… all there is is “too much inventory that is as yet unsold.” Limiting incoming means you are limiting yourself to consignors who can fulfill YOUR needs… and I think the most experienced consignees on this group will tell you that the “best” (most salable for the most $) stuff usually comes from women who are not able/are unwilling to work their drop offs around a shop’s limited schedule.

(Side note: If there was ever a day NOT to choose as a “no drop off day“, it’s Monday. Doesn’t EVERY woman clean out her closets on Sunday? And who wants that pile of stuff cluttering up the bedroom past Monday morning?)

If your shop fills up, it’s because your turnover is too low. Try pricing so that things fly out the door… not so low as to be unprofitable to you or the consignor, but low enough that most items sell before that 20% off at 3 weeks guideline.

If drop offs are driving you crazy, try altering your handling procedures and staff who are handling the goods. Some shops actually have processing personnel who work after the shop is closed for the evening… so next morning, sales staff come in to a shop ready to be freshly stocked with recorded, tagged, rehung goods.

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Racks getting full? Can’t squeeze another thing on them?

Here’s my favorite solution.

Go vertical.

That’s right: hang (more…)

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Kudos to Lina Beth in Ocala FL for saying a nice goodbye to her customers… and for

reinforcing the name of her shop

at the same time with this lovely sign above the shop door. THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AT LINA BETH

Such a simple way to get your shop name out there while saying goodbye and thanking shoppers. She’s not taking a chance that her fans will have to say to their friends “oh you know, that nice shop down over there, it’s Linda’s or Beth Ann’s or some name like that?

Notice that the shop reinforces its name in the signage seen as customers leave the shop.

See more brilliant ideas from shops that have received a Kate’s Kudos.

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The Ohio State Fair is starting this week. So, if your shop is within the geographical circle that’s likely to be planning to go, the main thought in your customers’ minds might be

What am I gonna wear?

Your consignment customers will be needing the perfect outfit for the fair!

and of course

I need it NOW!

Using the unspoken immediate needs or wants of potential shoppers means (more…)

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The NARTS Conference Bus Tour is one of the most popular activities at Conference, and for good reason: you get to see, first-hand, the looks, layout, and operations of local shops, you get to ask nosey questions, and each shop generally has a few goodies for us!

Our third group of shops are all part of NTY Franchise. First up, Clothes Mentor. Their site says “Clothes Mentor pays CASH On-the-Spot or store credit for clothing in sizes 0 to 26 and maternity as well as shoes, handbags and other accessories.”

Click photos to enlarge.

Professionally designed dressing rooms with color-coordinated displays.

Dressing rooms in a typical Clthes Mentor, by TGtbT.com

Here, a first-time seller fills out her info electronically before showing staff her items. Saves staff time and makes the seller feel invested in the relationship from the start.

Preparing to sell her goods to Clothes Mentor. Photo by TGtbT.com

Clothes Mentor offers a variety of resale shops in their franchising. The next bus stop included Children’s Orchard, Device Pitstop, and NTY Clothing Exchange, as well as New Uses, a furniture, home decor, and everything-else-you-can-imagine shop. Barely one step up from the traditional merchandise mix of donation charity shops, I was fascinated by racks of CDs, Big Box “artwork”, and more. My favorite find?

Where else would you find a lamp like this?

Unique lamp at New Uses, as not bought by Kate Holmes... but I wish I had!

It’s the place to go for that electronic device no longer in production, beer steins, colored flood lamps…

Someone somewhere wants this!A treasure trove of stuff you can't resist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They made good use of space with this sturdy double-decker installation (note the cozies covering up sharp tops!)

Great way to show chairs and occasional tables. Photo by TGtbT.com of New Uses shop.s!

I’ve never seen shrink-wrapped mugs and glasses before… but why not?

Keeping individual mugs and glasses with their mates can be challenging. TGtbT.com saw this shrink-wrap solution on the NARTS Bus Tour

For the record, I regret not buying the Bedazzled Tiki lamp.

Buy it today, It may not be here tomorrow: the resale shopkeeper's best advice to shoppers

That’s the end of the official NARTS Conference Bus Tour, but stay tuned for a private tour of a phenomenal shop that has more square footage than there are souls in her town! Subscribe on our sidebar to get email whenever TGtbT.blog adds a new post.

Read Part I of our Bus Tour. And Part II.

Here’s NTY’s web site.

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One of the most fun parts of NARTS Conference is always the Resale Bus Tour, where we descend en masse at willing NARTS member shops, poking into back rooms, eating cupcakes, asking questions and shopping!

Come sit on my shoulder while

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