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The Basics of Working With Consignment Stores


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The Stress of Downsizing


Seeing your baby birds leave the nest is always the most difficult part of downsizing, but even after they're gone, downsizing from a larger home is very demanding. It means parting with a mass of personal belongings and furniture, and can be painful, particularly for those who tend to have a high emotional attachment to personal items. While donating is one option, consignment is another fantastic way to part with your belongings. It's a win-win: your once-loved items find new homes, and you make some money back.


How Consignment Stores Work


If you're new to consignment, you might have some questions. Here's a quick guide to help you consign your items efficiently and profitably.

Here’s how consignment generally works:


  1. Make an Appointment: Schedule a time to bring your items to your local consignment shop.

  2. Item Review: The shop reviews your items and decides what they can sell.

  3. Sale Process: Your items are put up for sale, but you retain ownership until they sell.

  4. Profit Split: After an item sells, the shop takes a commission as their fee.

  5. Unsold Items: If an item doesn’t sell right away, it may be marked down. If it still doesn’t sell, it’s either returned to you or donated.


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Earnings

Consignment stores usually price items at a 25% to 40% markdown from the original price and take a commission, typically between 25% and 60%. For instance, if your $100 dress is priced at $35 and the store takes a 50% cut, you’d earn $17. It’s important to remember that many secondhand items, especially furniture, don’t hold their value as well as you may have hoped, so it’s important to maintain realistic expectations.


Pros and Cons


Pros

  • Convenient: Quick and easy alternative to online sales. No need to ship anything to a buyer.

  • Paper Trail: Useful for estate settlements and other required documentation.

  • Support Local: Helps local businesses, and supports sustainability.

  • Store Credit: Sometimes you can get store credit, which might be more valuable than cash.


Cons

  • Item Limits: Most shops limit how many items you can consign at once. So if you have hundreds of individual items to get rid of, seriously consider donating lower value items. 

  • Preparation: Requires sorting and listing details about each item.

  • Time-Consuming: Preparing items for consignment can take time.

  • Transporting: Most consignment stores will not pick up the items for you, so you’ll have to arrange for the transportation of everything. 


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Tips for Successful Consignment


Choose the Best Pieces

  • Brands: High-end brands have better resale value and are generally sold faster than low and mid-range brands.

  • Condition: Items should be in nearly-new condition. Used furniture generally doesn’t do well in consignment stores because its rare for furniture even a few years old to be in near-perfect condition.

  • Trendy: Avoid outdated or non-demand items, it is very unlikely that out of style items will be taken in on consignment.


Prepare Your Items

  • Clean: Whatever it is you’re putting on consignment, don’t expect the store to clean it for you.

  • Tidy Up: Remove fabric pills and loose threads from clothing and make sure any other type of consignment item is clean prior to its arrival at the store.

  • Presentation: Bring clothing on hangers.

  • Paperwork: Fill out required forms beforehand.

  • Understand Terms: Ask about payout policies and other consignment terms like duration that store will keep items on consignment before it is discarded. 


Consignment is a great option if you have high-quality items and are willing to invest some time in the process. It feels good to know your possessions will be cherished again, and the money you earn can help offset moving costs. If you are based in Phoenix and need help cleaning out your garage, office, closet or any space in your home for your own downsizing move, or if you need help packing or unpacking for your move, contact us at Kevin@inspiredorganizingaz.com.










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