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Posts Tagged ‘Thrift’

I 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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A thrift and resale alliance has some good ideas for youOne woman has started a “thrift store alliance”… which looks like it could be attracting consignment and resale shops as well… in a Florida county.

Watch the news reel.

Gather some ideas that you may want to try in your marketplace from their Facebook Page which has over 14,000 followers.

Does your area have an alliance of shops? If so, tell us in the comments what your group does and how it helps your shop and the resale industry!

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A NFP thrift-store shopkeeper writes: Consignment and thrift shop incoming

Needing some advice on processing donations. Our hospital thrift shop has a lovely, good-sized, well-lit store. BUT … the area to process donations is very small and piles up quickly with, on late Saturdays, yard sale castoffs and sometimes very heavy items. We’re all volunteers, nearly all women, and nearly all in our 60s to 90s!!! How do you manage your piles, in other words?????

Let’s go with the piles metaphor: Applying some Preparation H should do the trick!

First off: Have your H ready-to-go. Depending on how you manage your price tags, HANDY could help move salable goods from piles to perfection. Pre-prepared tags, stored next to where your piles accumulate, could cut tagging and decision-making down to seconds. Whether you store pre-printed price tickets in manila envelopes push-pinned to a corkboard, or have shoeboxes full of $5, $7, $10 tags, just having them to choose from means that bundle of jeans can be dealt with immediately… before they get buried beneath another pile of incoming.

Another H to hep move mounds to desirable merchandise: Think HYGIENIC.. as in cleaning things up so they are sales floor-ready. While I am not always a fan of pre-dampened cleaning wipes, these may be called for in a pile situation: Wiping down those florist vases with glass-cleaner wipes, or wooden goods with a polish wipe, could quickly diminish the incoming catastrophe. On Monday, these lick-and-a-promise goods can be more carefully groomed on the ales floor as volunteers chat, straighten, and cashier.

Then there’s the HORROR aspect of Preparation H: Things that should never have been donated to your cause to start with. You know what I’m talking about: the soiled undergarments, broken figurines, singleton dinner plates. Be relentless in trashing these… don’t be tempted to put these items aside  “to deal with later.” As anyone in the resale industry knows, later never comes. Spend your, and your volunteers’, time on what will raise funds, not sap energy. Sure, maybe that dinner plate will sell for a dime, but is it worth the work and floor space?

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Now I bet you came here expecting me to commiserate with you about not enough customers. (There, there, dear, it will get better.)

But really, I want to talk about your

bare shelves.

If you’ve sold down your stock for the holidays, and stopped re-stocking with winter items, maybe your shop looks like this:

A non profit thrift store that needs some fluffing up

It’s a truism that empty shelves, or racks, look forlorn and picked over, and your shoppers will feel like the only thing “left” is stuff nobody else wanted… i.e. trash. So January needs to be spent

“fluffing up”

… using the merchandise you have to make your sales area look not only full of treasures, but intriguing and inspiring too. Like this:

Merchandising end caps in a thrift store

Now, fluffing up empty fixtures may involve removing some excess racks and shelves from the sales floor. If you have folding racks or removable shelves, that’s no problem.

But what if you simply must leave your sales floor layout as-is?

What can you do?

Racks: Remove an arm from 4-ways. That allows you to fluff up on the remaining 3 arms. Or switch the arms from straight rods which need 10-20 items to look full, to waterfall arms which hold 6 or 8 hanging items.

Make a 2-way rack into a scarecrow displayer by putting both straight arms at the same height, forming a T. Coats, long-sleeve dresses, and the like look like they’re intentionally displayed… especially if you snuggle up a small table (or upturned large basket) to hold a trio of accessories.

Make shelves look fuller with the addition of underlays.

Baskets and placemats

These baskets normally reside in a big dump table in the back of this thrift store, but for our fluffing exercise, we pulled them out, used fabric remnants and for-sale place mats to give some weight to the display, and added a little clock and some brass bookends for textural interest. Lots of appeal, even with low merchandise levels. We didn’t have to move the heavy gondola off the sales floor, and it’ll be ready for next month’s influx of new-to-us goods in a snap!

That’s the way to fluff!

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