Tips for Consignment Selling Success

If you own unique pieces of furniture and home decor that you no longer want or need, and they’re still in good condition, you might consider using consignment shops to sell them for you. From rare and unique home furnishing, luxury items and jewelry to designer, name-brand clothing and apparel, using consignment is a great way for you to get the most for your valuable belongings.

How Consignment Works

There is often some confusion around how consignment shops work and some consignment shops have different rules about what they will consign and how they issue payment for items that they sell on your behalf. Consignment works by a person bringing or sending their goods to an consignment shop for evaluation. After the consignment shop agrees that your items are something they can sell, both parties enter into a consignment agreement where the agent will sell the goods for the owner. The agent then pays the owner the proceeds of the sale minus an agreed upon fee.

For example, one of our clients recently inherited several pieces of antique furniture that they didn’t have the space for and was not in line with their aesthetic.The client knew that the items were valuable and did not want to just donate them away. After an online search for “consignment shops near me”  they and found Relics and were intrigued by our approach to luxury furniture consignment. This was a perfect choice for the client because they didn’t have the time to try and sell the items on their own, nor were they sure what the exact value was of the items.The end result was that their antique furniture sold for far more than they would have imagined and all they had to do was arrange for delivery and collect a check.

Consignment Payment Options

Typically when you try to sell your items in a consignment store, you have several options. The first thing to know is that with almost all stores, you will be offered an option of cash or store credit, with the store credit being a higher value.

We recommend that you do some research to see what the consignment store carries and has in stock. If you find some things that you love, then the store credit option might be your best choice. Another payment option that you might see at your local consignment shop is the offer for an upfront payment. Typically this is substantially less than you might get if you sell the items on a traditional consignment deal. This is because the consignment store is taking on the risk of your items not selling for a long time. If you don’t want to wait for a long time to get your payout, or worry about having to pick up the items if it doesn’t sell, accepting an upfront cash offer could be your best option.

Consignment Shop Profit Sharing

The more traditional consignment payment option, and what we offer at Relics, is that of profit sharing. Instead of cash or store credit up front for your goods, you are only paid on a percentage of the final sale price once the item has sold. The consignment store will tag your item(s) with an account ID number and track all of the goods you own on consignment. The advantage of this is that you typically can make more money once your items sell. The downside is that you must wait for your goods to sell.

How To Get The Most For Your Goods

Would you buy it?
Before you consider consigning one of your items, first consider if it is something that you would purchase as “pre-owned”. What kind of shape is your item in? Is it very clean, maybe even in “like-new” condition? If it is a piece of furniture, does the finish look overly worn or are there dings around the edges? Consider using a little elbow grease and cleaning up your item to make it look more like it did when it was new. Not only will it help the item sell for more, but could also help it sell faster.

Consider Specialty Consignment Shops
If you are looking to sell a piece of high-end or antique furniture, consider working with a consignment shop that specializes in furniture and home furnishings. These types of stores will tend to pull in customers looking specifically for your item. If you’re looking to consign name-brand clothing, instead consider a boutique clothing consignment shop that specializes in those items. Again, you’ll end up getting more profit for your items and they typically sell in less time because of the type of customers these kinds of shops attract.

Be Patient and Consider The Location
It’s always tempting to get the cash in hand, but in most cases, you’re taking a substantial hit on your potential profits. If you can, try and consider the profit sharing option and give your consignment shop a change to sell your items for you instead of getting paid a much lower amount up front. Also, take note of how the other items in the store are displayed and how much foot traffic the store is getting. Location could be a determining factor if choosing between 2 consignment shops that are offering similar terms.

Always Read The Fine Print
It’s critical that you fully read and understand your consignment agreement. Be aware of how your items will be priced and how/when the prices could be changed and by whom. Another important element to the agreement is how long the item will be displayed in the store if it does not sell. Also, it doesn’t hurt to shop around. Many stores are happy to negotiate, especially for higher-end goods.

Final Notes On Selling With Consignment

As with life, there are never any guarantees. Just remember that if you have the time to wait for your items to sell, it is usually in your best interest to choose the profit sharing option. And if you are in the market for items that your consignment store specializes in, the store credit might be worth considering. Also don’t forget to check the details about the store – Do they have the correct marketing tools in place to promote your products? And, do they specialize in the type of goods you want to sell? If you still have questions about selling your items through consignment, give us a call at (602) 265-7354 or contact us to schedule an appointment.

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