This is the first entry in my upcoming and ongoing course of:
Selling On Consignment
Over the coming weeks I will be adding steps on how to start, whether you are looking to consign, or to start your own shop. Starting here, I will begin to offer you tips and an organised way to get you on the right road. We will go step by step, and each step will offer up a discussion on that topics "lesson".
Angela Hobbs aka CDDIVA wrote:
my initial posts about this business will be geared to giving you tips, and answering questions about the process of resale. Some of this information will be made public, and some wiil not. If you really have an interest in learning, and discussing the business of resale and consignment, you should do yourself a favor and sign up to our free project. If you know something about this business, or have a knowledge of another type of business you would like to share or teach, please do join us.
Also, some of the discussions on such topics, like this initial one, will be left open to the public to read, (if you want to post to the discussions you will have to register your free membership) but some other further discussions on a topic lesson, will be private to members only, so join if you want to participate, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
How I Started
A long time ago in a faraway place where magic is sometimes made, there was a little designer resale shop called
A Capricorn's Unique Boutique. It was born out of many things, such as a love for clothes, and vintage collectible items, a realization that my closets required more rooms than I did, and the fact that I was already connected to an industry where clothing and fashion "should never be worn twice" lol. Yep, that was the old way of thinking. Today we not only treasure many items from yesteryear, but it is almost necessary for most of us to buy used with the current economy and lifestyles.
While I will admit that having some of the connections I did in the movie and music industry did help, it is not necessary to aquire success. You do have family and friends, and much of this business comes from them, as well as word of mouth, and good old fashioned advertising.
So one of your challenges is to decide, do you want to sell outright, consign your items to another shop, or actually open your own consignment business. There are of course pros and cons in each choice, which I will talk a little about as we progress along this journey, but for now we are going to start with your closets, cabinets, etc..
While we are processing step one of this journey, you may become aware of the answer to the previous question while you are sorting, and realising the value of some of the items you have.
What we discover here, and I say discover, because I can almost guarentee, you will find an item or two you have forgotton you bought. If I'm wrong, sue me lol, but 99% of you will "discover" at least one item. What we discover after this sorting is hopefully these things:
how much we had that was "hiding and taking up space"
which items we can use to start our new venture
and most of all, we will have discovered a sense of accomplishment and relief!
This is a very important feeling, hold on to it.... we are striving for this at every step!
As overwhelming as this task may seem, you only need to open your closets with the intention of removing what does no longer fit, work with your current lifestyle, or any other reason you know it won't get used again. This refers to clothing, appliances, dishes, home items, etc, you can find much more.
Your home is the first place to sort through and clean out to start this process.
Clearing clutter will help put cash in hand, and you will be cleaning and clearing your space so positive energy can flow through your surroundings. (It's called Chi, but that is a whole other topic of learning Wink)
As an example let us start with the clothing closets (and drawers) which is where most of us have much we no longer use or wear. (but you can also apply this process to your jewelry drawers and cases, your kitchen, your home decor, etc etc... ) Let us also make this as simple as possible by using the power of TDSR = Throw - Donate - Sell - Resale Laughing
Get 4 good sized bins, (if you need more as you work, add them ) and desiginate one for THROW AWAY, one for DONATE, one for SELL and one for RESALE. We will be sorting these items further later on, but this is to get you started on the road to resale. Let's now break down, with a brief description of what these 4 bins are meant to hold.
This should be self explanitory. If it has stains that are not removable, smells really bad (old vintage rayons can tend to aquire a really funky odor if not properly cared for) and can't be cleaned, dump it!
Unless it is a seam or other minor fix, please do not save ripped or torn items,
(UNLESS THEY ARE OF VALUE AND CAN BE PROPERLY RECYCLED OR FIXED!!!!
I CAN NOT EXPRESS THIS ENOUGH, DO NOT THROW AWAY MONEY!)
If it can be used for a dust or oil rag THROW IT OUT!!
Now on another note, please do not donate the above throw away items. If they are good enough to be dust rags, then no one else wants to wear them either.
You should however, donate clothes that are outdated but still have use (NOT VINTAGE) especially coats and sweaters. The items you place in the donate box, may or may not be plenty, but if you know you won't feel comfortable selling it (for whatever your reason) and it is still good to someone, this is the bin to place it in.
The next two bins are kinda tricky, and this is one reason why this initial sorting is only the initial sorting lol. In order to do a proper sort, and feel that sense of accomplishment, the sorting process will be done again. More on that later.
This is designated for clothes you want to sell outright. It is ok if you do not know right away, if it is to be a sell, or resale item, place any of those items here (or in the resale bin) that you plan to sell, but mostly and all items that you know you want to sell go in one of these last two bins.
What does outright mean in this instance.
This term means items you are planning to sell at either a flea market, yard sale, or directly to a shop. In the case of the shop, some vintage and/or resale shops (and dare I say thrift shops) will sometimes purchase a (lot outright, lot being the term for a large or bulk amount). While many have become savvy at finding their own sources, both local and out of town (more on that in another lesson) many will still purchase a bundle of good clothing or items outright from a random walk in, or other.
These will be items that still have value and use, but are not necessarily valuable. Based on the prices you paid for any items that were new, generally anything under a retail price of 40 dollars, (actually many items with a retail value under 90 dollars, depending on the item) may not be right for your resale store. The reason I said dare I, when referring to thrift shops, is not because they are a bad place to shop or run. For that matter, if running a thrift shop is your passion, you can apply what I will talk about in these sessions to that as well.
The ultimate goal is to open the best quality shop possible no matter what you decide to sell. If a resale or duo purpose shop like the one I owned in Los Angeles selling designer resale and vintage is your passion, then you will end up with a classy little shop selling high priced designer items and well kept or hard to find vintage items for an affordable price to the public, while you are still making what the item is worth without cutting your head off financially. To make a long paragraph short Wink You want to strive for the very best!
"But I don't own any high end garments!"
Maybe you don't and maybe you do... you might be surprised at some point... in any case, your friends might, your family might, or as with much more, we will discuss how to get those high end items to come to you, that is where the business of consignment comes about.
And there it is, resale! That funny little word with so many meanings. It has been used to describe "second hand" items (I hate that term) or damaged items bought off a pallet (think Sears warehouse, or stores like Loehmann's which sell what is often called "seconds"), it can even mean purchasing from one source, and reselling the exact same item to another source (as in graphic sales, r4r cu, etc) but in this business I am talking about here, it really only means one thing. Reselling designer quality, rare and hard to find items, by well known brands and designers, for an incredible savings to your customers, generally at a 3rd or even less of the original high priced cost.
Angela Hobbs aka CDDIVA wrote:
Example: I acquired an incredible Oscar De La Renta cocktail dress from one of my studio clients to my store, I had contacts call me several times a year when the studios had their own version of a yard sale. I was able to pick this beauty up for a fraction of the original cost, $4098.00 (in 1980). I bought it for under 100 dollars. Altho I did have an $800 price tag on it, I actually rented it back to other studio stylists for 100 dollars a day at least 4 times I can remember, (I will go into rental, and other things like layaway later) making me more than 2000 dollars in rental fees over the course of a couple years, all the while hanging like a piece of art on a special hook on my high store walls, untill I finally sold it straight away to one of my better clients for 750 dollars.... that is $2650 profit ( based on $2000 ) on a 100 dollar purchase!! You can see versions of the dress in several movies, but the final client purchased this dress outright, because she wanted to redesign it. It had originally had a very long and wide "moldable" ruffle running from the shoulder and neck area, all the way down and around the hemline of the dress. This hemline ruffle was what was redesigned, by removing most of it, and redesigning the hem to be more classic. You can see the dress being worn by the character Petra ( Julie Hagerty ) in the movie called ( Rude Awakening ) with Cheech Marin and Eric Roberts. I personally liked the original design better, but then you can't be in this business if you are going to become attached to the items you sell No
Of course not everyone has access to a movie studio, but there are so many ways to find sources. We will sit down and make up a list together later on in the series.
Now it will eventually be up to you as to what you wish to sell in the long run. You might choose high end designer labels and fashions like I did, mixed with rare, or one of a kind vintage and antique garments or costumes (I got much of mine from my associations with the movie studios in the area and the clients I worked with, but if the same is your passion, you will find the sources).
Or maybe your passion is something entirely different. maybe you love the 60's for instance, and want a themed store, whatever it is "resale" can be anything from toys to furniture, but the application to the business is never the less, the same....... Whatever it might be we will get to the bottom of it !
That is all for this step, please take this advice and start your engines! Use this thread to ask questions, and by all means, show us your before and after results if you like, or share what "Discovered Treasures" you may have found while sorting.
I will now open this topic up for reading, questions and discussions by all. Non members will be able to participate in this introduction, but please consider registering to our free membership to participate to the fullest, as only members have access to full discussions and courses that are available now or at any time in the future.
Join me when the next step will be :
How to sort what's left, and determine the value.
To participate in this ongoing free course and discussion,