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Posts Tagged ‘Thrift’

Kudos to Goodwill from TGtbT.comWhat a great way to get your business out into the community! And to make the public aware that vintage items are gladly accepted.

This idea, of offering vintage fashion shows to groups in your community, is not for every shop, but for some? How great! (Tip: Too elaborate for you? How about adding a vintage outfit or two to your “regular” fashion show?)

Thanks to Goodwill of Washington for this twist on fashion shows and this fun way to get shop image into word-of-mouth.

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Kate's mailbox has lots of interesting questions at TGtbT.blogHow to present a store full of… well, LOTS of STUFF. Great question came into my mailbox! And it came another time too!

 

 

I have an odd question for you. Me and my assistant can’t seem to agree to people prefer a shop that’s neat and tidy or a Thrift Shop that is full and cluttered? Could you shed some light on the subject? –Kenneth Droneburg   Seton Family Store, Manager, http://www.setoncenterinc.org

Hi Kenneth,
I think it depends on your price level. The higher-priced your goods (and your clientele) the neater it has to be…

THAT SAID, there are some exceptions? caveats?

* Neater / tidier does NOT mean organization: “all the ashtrays here, all the salt-and-peppers there.” Neater means clean, dusted, price tags visible.
* “Crowded” is a relative term… yes, enough space so things can be picked up and put down with breakage…. but not so much that the place looks sterile and empty.
* Any price level would benefit if they’d arrange by lifestyle: all the sea shore themed things here (sea shell encrusted frame displayed on the blue painted shabby coffee table, and the lobster-crackers there too) and all the Goth things there (brocade armchair, black enamel reading lamp, blood-red goblets) and so on.
* ALL thrifts, large or small, neat or cluttered, need to have a “Treasure Trove” corner with dead-right bargains. This could be a “man-cave” of repairable electronics and bits-and-pieces, it could be a “The Other Season” section with wrong-season clothes and knick-knacks, it could be simply a clearance corner with stuff that’s priced under a certain set limit (dollar store? Quarter Store? Five-and-dime?)
… you probably have 4 corners in your store, try ’em all!

Kenneth wrote back later:

Kind of a tricky questions for you. What’s your thoughts or suggestion of keeping a second hand shop from looking too junky or messy looking. Also do you feel second hand stores should have its shelves or racks filed to where people go to treasure hunt or to were there neatly displayed and organized??

Here’s my second answer:

Not tricky, but complicated 🙂

Here’s a start: https://tgtbt.blog/2010/10/10/whats-the-difference/ and a little mini-series starting here https://tgtbt.blog/2010/08/23/the-4-steps-to-freshen-up-a-resale-shop/ which is more about your physical plant than the placement of merchandise.

Re merchandise: Of course you’ve read in the manual about colorizing clothes on hangers. It’s AMAZING how this makes the store look better.

As for goods on shelves? I am a proponent of arranging these by “story” before “use”… e.g. all the Mid-Century sitarounds rather than all the ashtrays here and the lamps there. Reason? People are treasure hunting. Seldom come in specifically for an ashtray.

Of course, there ARE things (and sometimes times) when you’d do categories, for example small appliances all in one place, and even the toasters next to other toasters… because this is an item they WOULD specifically be hunting for, and they’ll want to see your “full range” of toasters before they decide.

The times when you’d do category before color or “story”? When you’ve received LOTS, e.g. tablecloth closeouts from a new-merchandise retailer, or someone’s collection of alarm clocks. These batches are fun as end-cap displays or 2- or 4-way presentations. (And great for Facebook photos!)

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Hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk? A creative consignment solution from TGtbT.com

For more HOT ideas to keep your consignment or resale shop cookin’, click the egg!

Too hot to shop.

How to get the register jingling when it’s too hot to shop?

How about holding a sizzling

Virtual Sidewalk Sale?

Here’s how:

Pick about half a dozen great buys from your consignment or resale shop’s stock to feature each day of your promotion. Be sure to select items that will appeal to a variety of virtual shoppers.

Photograph them… together or separately. (Add your shop logo and contact info to the photo!)

Decide how your online fans, friends, followers can call dibs/ purchase these items. Post on every social media site that you can… including the front page of your web site and on your blog.

Post a new batch every day at your audience’s optimal time, being sure to leave time for those eager shoppers to get in to buy/ pick up that day!

Do this every day for as long as it works, or until your actual sidewalk sale, whichever comes first.

Bonus points for turning your swing shop into a “Virtual Sidewalk Sale” showcase… it’s fun and it’ll motivate those who DO come in to start following your social media.

Photo by Pockafwye via Flickr Creative Commons

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What will her gift be? Great resale promo for slow days, says TGtbT.comI recently made the “acquaintance” of a great non-profit shopkeeper, Debbie Morrison, who runs three thrifts in Tennessee. She mentioned in passing a promotion her shop uses:

Mystery gift Thursday: Spend at least $10.00, get a free gift.

Her publicity for this free gift includes this lovely way to say “please no complaints over your free gift”:

“Free gifts are in a brown bag, no changes, if you can’t use it, please find someone who can.”

Since Serenity Thrift is a non-profit thrift operation, what to use for a mystery gift was a no-brainer. They’d received Avon products as a donation. Everyone can use a little Avon, right?

If your consignment or resale shop would like to use this idea, how about some purchased-for-resale accessories? What could YOU see your shop as using for this promotion? Comment below, and remember, you ARE allowed to put in a plug for your business!

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Finding the pieces that match: cooperating with nonprofitsWe’ve talked before about consignment and resale shops working with various non-profit groups to help them with their fund-raising… and incidentally, helping YOUR business with your profile-raising.

The second consignment account I set up in my shop (the first being me, of course… where else would I get to be eternally #1?) was the charity my mother-in-law was so active in. Lee collected, prepped, and stored donations from her chapter until I picked it up and consigned it in the charity’s name.

Another one of my consignment accounts was a not-for-profit group I was active in. This charity never got a check from us… they always used up their credit outfitting women who had a need for interview and career clothing, after completing various courses designed to give them a hand up after difficult situations. Our program of consign/outfit won an international prize from the organization for innovation and results!

Here’s a neat summation of how a Junior League has dealt with the difficulties of one of their past fund-raising events, by partnering with a NFP consignment shop in a very specific, very profitable way.

Read the article in the Woman’s Exchange Consignor News.

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Wire drapery hangers can be purchased at dry=-cleaner supply houses, says TGtbT.com The Premier Site for Professional ResalersOne of the hardest items to display in your home goods/ furniture consignment or resale shop is bedspreads, heavy drapes, blankets. You want to hang them so people can see them… but they are way too heavy to use standard hangers, even if you double or triple a heavy-gauge drapery hanger.

Here’s an idea some volunteer came up with at a local thrift I visit. Yes, it’s bulky… but so are those bedspreads. I’m betting these PVC pipe hangers result in much-faster sell-thru for these home textiles… which is what we all want!

DIY household textile hangers of PVC pipe, photographed for consignment & resale shops by TGtbT.com

Here’s hoping there’s a handy-person in your life to make some of these for your shop!

 

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Where does discarded clothing end up?

 

Some interesting facts. And some more. And more. And a fascinating book that a fellow resale shopkeeper sent me.

Not all discarded clothing is lucky enough to adorn a bridge.

Not all discarded clothing is lucky enough to adorn a bridge.

I’m surprised at the 45% figure. Are you? Comment if you like!

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