Whether you’re moving, redecorating, or simply clearing out the clutter, consigning furniture and home decor can make your budget and your conscience very happy.
Consigning excess possessions is simpler and more lucrative than trying to sell your items on your own. Professional resalers market and display everything from your couch to your curios for you, saving you time, money, and security concerns.
But that doesn’t mean that they can sell just anything for you. Heed these 9 tips to avoid consignment hassles for a smoother and more profitable experience:
1. Do your research. Visit the shops you are considering and see if they carry the type of items you have in mind to bring in, observe the amount of customers they attract and the merchandise those shoppers seem drawn to, and take note of the shop’s general pricing.
2. Get a copy of the shop’s guidelines and ask any procedural questions. Can you bring items in at a time convenient for you? Do you need to make an appointment? Most shops request you provide photos of larger pieces prior to bringing them in.
3. Be sure you are clear on what, how, and when you will get paid. Be aware of any time limits, any markdowns that may be taken, and whether and when any unsold items may be reclaimed. If you would like the shop to donate unsold items to a non-profit group, determine which charity they will use and if you can receive a donation slip for your tax preparation.
4. As you prepare your items to bring in, use your most critical eye. Is the shepherdess’s petticoat dust- and grime-free? Does the grandfather clock work, do the dresser drawers slide smoothly, is the armchair smelling fresh and appealing? If not, clean and repair, or set the item aside for donation to a thrift store.
5. For quick cleaning tips to make your underloved goods worth more, check out our Pinterest Board, Make your consignments worth more. For example, did you know that the basic ingredients of commercial cleaning fluid are 2 parts water to one part rubbing alcohol? Might revitalize that area rug without a huge dry cleaner’s bill.
6. When your items are ready for perusal by the shopkeeper, remember that you and they are in a partnership. You want your items to sell quickly and for a good price; so do they. It’s to everyone’s benefit to have desirable goods, attractively maintained, at prices the market will accept. The shopkeeper’s job is to know what will sell and what won’t, to their specific clientele. Trust their judgment.
7. Be reasonable about pricing. Your used goods aren’t worth what you paid new, and your share of the proceeds will reflect that you are paying the shop to display, market, advertise, and handle the selling and transaction risks for you.
8. Before you leave your items in the shop’s care, obtain a copy of an agreement you signed (I don’t need to tell you to read before signing, do I?) and a receipt for your items. Be clear on what happens next, and your responsibilities as a consignor.
9. Whether or not you currently have items consigned to your favorite shop, be a good advocate for the shop. The potential customer you motivate to shop there, may be the future customer who buys your consigned goods!