1. When I consign why are stores so hung up on how old the item is? If it’s clean and in good condition, why do they turn it away simply because it’s older?
Consignment shoppers are very style-conscious and are looking for today’s fashionable clothing at yesterday’s prices but they are not looking for yesterday’s clothing…unless they are in a vintage clothing resale shop, which is a niche of its own.
2. Is there a general rule for pricing or is it just any mans guess?
Pricers at consignment shops price items based on their customer base, market and experience in that shop. Employees work their way up to the pricing job and must have a sense of fashion (for clothing or home decor) and economics. In other words, experienced pricers price items at a level where they know they will sell but still bring a fair return for the shop and the consignor…all while not scaring off potential customers with high prices. We all must remember one thing: It’s used and its owner doesn’t want it anymore but does want something for it. We all price with that in mind.
3. Why do most stores require that items come in on hangers?
Most clothing shops require items to be brought in on hangers because it allows for a “quick survey” of the garments being considered. Most shops look at 100’s of items a day so it’s all about efficiency and speed.
Hangers=efficient processing. *Also, if your items are in a big black trash bag, are you really presenting your items at their best??
4. I don’t smoke but my spouse does, my clothing is clean and ready and they still won’t take my items due to a hint of some smell, why?
MOST people are offended by the smell of cigarette smoke, period.
5. What is up with the no bag rule?
Again, if you come in dragging a big black trash bag, it’s just hard for consignment shop employees to get excited about your stuff, not to mention the time it takes to pull it out and lay it flat for consideration. It’s all about efficiency and presentation. Make the best presentation of your articles for the best results.
6. Why do they take so much of the revenue?
Consignment is a service that comes with overhead, the biggest of which include rent, utilities, payroll, computer hardware, software and technical support, insurance and taxes…and all of that must come out of their percentage!
7. Why do they not go through each returned piece with me to explain why they don’t take them?
Again, it’s about speed and efficiency. Most shops have websites that list the guidelines for what they do and don’t accept. Assume that your items are rejected for one of these reasons. If you must know, please accept the general reason given such as “stains, wear, out-dated” and realize that we must spend our time processing the acceptable items to the sales floor instead of discussing the problem items.
8. Aren’t thrift and consignment the same? If so why are they priced differently?
There is an organization, The National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops (NARTS) with a membership of over 1100 shops nationwide because there are many similarities in the 2 businesses in the resale industry. The main difference is that thrift stores receive their merchandise in the form of donations and the donor gets a tax receipt. They must deal with everything that is donated including the disposal of unsellable items. They sell the goods and the funds are used to sustain the store and the charity or the NFP that the store supports. They keep 100% of the money from the sale of the goods but they do have overhead and a charity to support. On the other hand, consignment shops choose what they accept for their shops and are for-profit. Money from the sale of goods is used to pay the consignor, run the business and hopefully, make a profit for the owner.
9. IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
a. every store is different
b. they all strive to meet your needs to the best of there ability
c. customer service is always there #1 goal
d. they are each individually owned and take to heart complaints and situations, so if you need to express unhappiness please do so in a calm, adult manner as you would with a friend
e. do not be offended if they do not accept your items, it is not personal
f. no matter how close or far, each store has a very unique clientel
g. they all love consignment, love all the different faces and items, which is why they work so hard to make your shopping experience a pleasant and rewarding one