Consignment 101

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm

www.aplayfulplanet.comIt’s another ordinary day, and you’ve stepped on yet another Lego, or bumped into the exersaucer your baby hasn’t used in months.  Tired of trudging through too much stuff, but not sure what to do with it all?  Sell it on consignment!  Not sure exactly what that means or entails?  Well, let me take the mystery out of it for you.

Consignment means to hand over, or entrust ones goods to a store with the understanding that payment for those goods is only made once the goods are sold.  In a nutshell, the store sells your stuff for you!  They do the work, and you get a check.  A huge advantage over Ebay or Craigslist.  No dealing with shipping, or keeping track of posts, or people with tons of questions who never end up buying. Consignment stores are also open year round, so you can consign when you’re ready, and stop in to check on your items anytime.  Can’t get much easier for a busy Mom or Dad!

Most consignment stores work the same.  You will be asked to sign an agreement which should explain in detail that particular store’s policies.  Be sure to read it carefully, and ask any questions you might have before signing.  In general it should state the length of the consignment period (how long your goods will be for sale), how your payment will be made(usually by check),  the percentage of compensation, and an explanation of fees.

Let’s look at compensation and fees a little more closely.  The two go hand in hand, and one will affect the other.  You will receive a percentage of what your goods sell for and that percentage will vary from store to store.  Generally it’s somewhere in the 40%-60% range depending on that store’s fees.  For example, a store that gives you 60% will probably also have many fees to help boost their share of profit.  And a store that only offers 40% may not have any fees at all.  It all balances out in the end.  What exactly are these fees you ask?  Well again they vary from store to store, but in general, there may be fees for things like cleaning, replacing batteries, space taken, etc.  So be sure to understand a store’s fees well, so you can avoid some of the obvious ones like cleaning!  Also, some places offer a store credit option for payment, in which case your percentage will be higher, but it must be spent in the store.

Many stores will also have a limit to the amount of items they will accept per consignment period, and you will most likely need to make an appointment, or call ahead to drop off.

Now, you’re staring at the enormous pile of stuff, and wondering what to take and what to ditch?  A few tips:  Make sure your items are complete, no missing pieces.  Make sure they work properly! And, make sure they’re clean.  You can generally cover all three of those if you ask yourself this question;  “Would I purchase this item if I saw it in the store?”  Be honest!  If the answer is yes, then it probably has a good chance of selling.

A store owner should be happy to explain all of  these things in detail to you.  If they seem annoyed or unwilling, look elsewhere.

Now, while you’re in the store to drop off your items, take a look around.  You will find some spectacular deals!  Many times you can get items in “like new” condition for up to 70% off retail prices!!  Who doesn’t want that?  Consignment stores are a great place to find current or unusual things and the best part about the items being gently used is that they are out of the box and you can test them out.  Check the store for special deal days and promotions.  The change of the seasons is usually a very good time to get some great deals.

Now pat yourself on the back for doing something really good.   First, you’ve cleaned out all of your clutter, and by consigning, you’ve recycled!  Think of all the stuff you just kept out of landfill, and you’re gonna get paid for it…sweet!  Take the opportunity to teach your kids too.  Let them know how to take care of their things so someone else can enjoy them later.  I guarantee if they’re in the store, they won’t care that the items are used if they see something they like.  Things don’t have to be brand new to be great!

I hope this has been helpful, and inspired you to clean out and start earning!


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