I was a manager at a high-end consignment shop for many years and the benefits of consigning are definitely a win-win situation. Consignment usually entails the seller (the owner of the item) gives the consignment store the item or items to sell for them. When the item sells, the owner of the item gets anywhere from 40-60% of the sale price. The store then issues them a check, usually bi-weekly for the total sales they have commissioned.
There are many different types of consignment stores out there. There are clothing consignment stores, furniture consignment stores and children’s goods consignment stores. If you have furniture or decorating items you would like to consign, first research your local consignment stores to see who does the most business, has the best look and gives the best pay cut. Then, it is wise to bring in a current photo of the item or items you would like to consign. The store owner or manager can then access a price range of where they think your item will sell.
A lot of furniture consignment stores will pick up your items for free or for a low cost. Make sure to get a contract with the store stating what your percentage of pay will be, how long they will keep your items as well as an inventory listing everything that you have consigned with them. Make sure that your items are in good condition and are not broken. If your items are a little sub-par, you may want to just have a yard sale. If you want your items back at the end of your consignment period, contact the store to ensure that you can pick up the items. Some stores donate items that have not been sold and are assumed abandoned.
If you are consigning clothing, make sure to wash all of the clothing you want to consign. No one can sell used clothing for half the retail cost if it smells or has stains. Clothing should be relatively in style. It does not have to be brand new, this- season clothing, but it should not be anything from the eighties or nineties, unless that particular consignment store is a vintage shop. If you have some higher-end items such as Gucci, Coach, etc., you may want to find a high-end consignment store so that you can maximize what you can make from the sale.
It is really exciting to sell your items on consignment because you make so much more than you would by trying to sell them at a yard sale or flea market. Consignment shoppers know that they are getting great items for a lot less than retail price, but are still choosy enough that they would not want to buy anything that looks too used or broken. Consignment stores are great outlets if you are moving and have excess items, had a divorce and want to get rid of memories or have inherited Aunt Ida’s furniture that is not really your cup-of-tea. Be reasonable – you will not make a fortune from doing this but you will make a lot more than having this stuff sit around collecting dust or trying to sell it on your own. The main thing to remember is to have fun and collect your checks!