There’s a certain thrill about consignment shopping, not knowing what you might find, but knowing you’ll probably get it at a bargain price. It’s almost like shopping a yard sale or flea market where you never know when that unique treasure can pop up in front of you and you’ve got to act quick if you like it, for if you don’t, you might not see it again! Having shopped all kinds of second-hand sales, we wanted to hear from Consignment Store owners to see what kinds of non-traditional items come into their store and then sell successfully and quickly. We also asked how these professionals go about marketing these amazing consigned items.
Here’s what we found out…
Juli Halifax, Owner of Fresh Threads in Tampa, Florida says she sells mainly designer consignment but has a great vintage jewelry supplier and often receives many requests for multi-charm necklaces and re-purposed jewelry. “I take requests from customers on special interest pieces, says Juli, and I provide ideas to our jewelry designer/supplier.” She markets these items by using Facebook and invitations to special events. She also wears the jewelry when she’s working in the store – a great strategy for easy and successful marketing!
For more on Juli’s shop, check out her website: http://www.ShopFreshThreads.com
Michael Bor, an entrepreneur who raised capital with his two partners recently launched an automotive consignment business in Richmond, Virginia. “Its a very unique concept that has very quickly achieved some pretty phenomenal results.” Michael says people love the concept of consigning a car versus selling it on their own online. Having been in business for just five weeks, they’ve consigned nearly 50 cars and have sold half of them. When asked how they’ve achieved these types of results so quickly, Michael said, “Our inventory is marketed on all the traditional automotive retail sites (autotrader.com, cars.com, craigslist.org) as well as on our own site.” Word of mouth has helped but they also use their growing social media presence by using Twitter and Facebook and the benefit of the physical location of their lot, yielding tens of thousands of passing cars daily.
To learn more about Michael’s automotive consignment venture, check out his website, http://www.CarLotz.com
Tracy Dismukes says, “Most of the non-traditional, but interesting/unique items we have gotten over the last 20 years have sold very quickly. I think people realize they are one-of-a-kind and if they wait, it may not be there for them to purchase it the next time they come in.” “When I still carried furniture in one of my (three) consignment stores, we had a stained glass window set that someone pulled out as they were remodeling that sold incredibly fast, but it was put on layaway. We stored it on the sales floor (tagged ‘on layaway’) and had at least 20 offers on the set. I wish we could have gotten more.” As for marketing, Tracy says she does a lot marketing for all three of her stores, including radio and television commercials, social media, email and postcards. “When we get a unique item in, we’ll put it on Facebook and tweet about it. Usually, the unique items sell within a couple of days, so our regular advertising is what gets them in.”
Find out more about Tracy’s treasures: http://www.shopcollage.com
Don’t forget about the kids! Jennifer Gifford of “Consignamaniac” says “The most sought after items that come into our seasonal consignment sale are the large outdoor play toys by Step 2 and Little Tikes. Climb and Slides and Play Houses are HUGE sellers and the mark up is awesome.” Jennifer says you can buy them at yard sales at a great discount and usually resell them for 2-3 times the amount you paid for them. Need we mention that these fun and colorful toys need little marketing effort when a child’s eyes are set on them?
For more information on Jennifer’s business, check her her website, http://www.consignamaniac.com/