Consignment Shops
Posted By: Becky
Date: 2003/4/10 3:23 p.m.

Hi there,
Any one have any tips or advice on getting started with a consignment shop? Just something I'm thinking about for the future.
Thanks, Becky

Re: consignment shops
Becky, my best advice would be to check out any shop you are interested in consigning with. How long have they been in business, what are their fees, any hidden costs (some shop charge booth + %, some tack on advertising fees, check fees, mailing fees, etc) so be sure and get a good, legible contract and read it over carefully. If you have questions, then don't hesitate to ask the owner and get everything out in the open to start with. Is the shop in a high traffic area, any tourist draw? hummm, I'm sure there are many other things. I am on the "shop" side of this now, but have been on the "seller" side as well. Have had good experiences and bad.

Try and get referrals from someone who has dealt with the particular shop or shops that you are interested in. Also, if you are a remote crafter, who stocks your booth, how often are things rotated in your space, is there an additional fee to stock for you...those types of questions need to be answered. Also is the shop strictly handcrafted items or do they allow buy/sell, antiques, flea market type items. What about duplication of crafts, how many crafters are allowed to do similar crafts...I'm sure others will have some ideas on this too .sharon

Re: I'm sure all shops are different.
We do not offer insurance to the crafters. In fact, our agent won't even insure our crafts...says the value is not a "set value" and is "variable" depending on who is doing the evaluation and the cost would be astronomical...only thing we have insured is the building and the equipment, and of course liability. I'm sure it differs from state to state etc too. In 7 years, we've been lucky and so far have had very little problem w/shoplifting but I know that some shops have a hard time keeping an eye on what was going on, either due to size, arrangement of booths, or clerks not being aware of who and what is going on in the store.

I've always split the difference with the 2-3 things we've had taken but I don't know how other shops work. That would be a big consideration, especially if your have high end items. Sure gives you something to consider and think about, doesn't it? Like I said, get a contract, in writing, signed by both parties and leaving nothing to chance Good luck in whatever you decide to do when the time comes .sharon

Re: consignment shops
Becky, sharon has covered most of the important issues, and they are important! I have had a couple bad experiences from shops I got from the internet. Lost over $1,500 out of one shop that all of a sudden out of the blue with not warning to the crafters, started bouncing checks, and then when all was said and done, closed and went bankrupt. this shop was in Oregon, and was in bus. for years, seemed like very nice people, but who knows.

If you find them on the internet, really get information on them. i don't want to sound negative, just want you to be on your toes. another shop we were in when it closed, I went there to get our products, (6 hr trip) well, she had them packed as promised, but the last check that was promised at that time, was not ready, and when we got stuff home, there were things missing from inventory, packed very poorly, and a lot damaged, and took me 2 months of badgering her to get the last check, and then was still things missing from inv. with out pay for them. Shop around, and get all the info on them you can.

Read your contracts carefully. I just inquired into one from the internet, and didn't like the looks of the contract, as a matter of fact I even asked Sharon for advice on it. I studied it and studied it, and decided I didn't want to take a chance. Good luck! My advice, is to join in at Sugar&Spice Craft Mall. You will love the owner, she is so friendly and a great businesswoman. And she treats her vendors like they were her family. rhonda

Re: consignment shops
2003/4/10 3:23 p.m.

The shops I sold in stated I had to carry my own insurance. I finally got insurance this year for the "business". It covers loss from theft, damage, fire in the house etc. (if I remember right.) There was something different about consignments - can't remember right now. but if you do get insurance, mention to your agent where you are selling your items. Also, there is your deductible to remember - your loss has to be greater than that to even consider putting in a claim. good luck in your decision! theresa

Re: Thanks Theresa, our agent said even if
we could get the insurance the minimum deductible would be around $1500 or so..decided not to mess w/it considering the huge cost of premiums (and that was just on our own crafts) so we decided against it...our shop insurance covers us liability wise at shows so we are ok there. Since we have overhead sprinklers in our store, the probability of fire is very small, now water damage would be a different story.sharon

Re: Thanks Theresa, our agent said even if
I just went w/ the company we have our homeowners insurance with. I think the deductible was only $150. It covers our crafts, inventory, and shop equipment (saws etc.) It is a home based business - maybe that makes a difference. theresa

2003/4/10 3:22 p.m.

Helle everyone!
I wanted to put some of my items in a craft store on a consignment basis, but I am not sure about the rates. The only one by my house wants 40.00 for three months and then 30 percent of my sales. That sounds like a lot to me, or am I just not up on prices. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, does anyone know of any craft stores that take on consignments? Thanks again, Donna

re: consignment?
2003/4/10 3:22 p.m.

I sold items at different consignment shops, and they all did things differently! One would take a percentage of what I priced my items, another would take my price and add 30%. I would price my items accordingly, so that I got what I wanted out of the items.

One thing to think of, is how much do you pay to enter a craft show? $40 for 3 months of "show" doesn't sound too bad - as long as you have a shows worth of items in the store. Then, price your items accordingly - if you want $10 for something, price it at $13. For some reason, I think people will pay more for an item at a store. They think they should get a bargin at a craft show. theresa

re: hi donna. 30% is about the right
2003/4/10 3:22 p.m.

consignment amount these days. Some shops charge lease plus a percentage, some straight lease, some straight consignment. A lot of that will depend on the area, the amount of traffic the shop has etc. When you are choosing a shop, be sure and check it out carefully, read their lease so you will know what is expected of both parties...who is responsible for setup, cleaning, shoplifting etc. and when they pay you.

If you have been doing this awhile you probably are already aware of those things but wanted to mention them just in case. I have people in my shop all 3 ways and each seems to be happy with their setup. Big advantage of consignment only is no initial outgo on rent etc...just on your product & shipping if it has to be shipped. Theresa had some good points too...thanks for the input Theresa Good luck and keep us up to date on how you are doing. sharon

re: consignment?
2003/4/10 3:22 p.m.

The other girls made good points to you Donna, and I would just like to ad this, sometimes it is wise to check them out with the better Business Bureau in that area. The only reason I say this is because of bad experiences in the past. I am not by any means trying to discourage you in any way, butjust be wise and careful. We consigned in one store in PA. did extremely well, and only paid a comission. Suddenly she was closing the store, we went there to pick up our things. (6 hours drive), only to save the shipping cost, everything was packed for us to bring home. Our final check was suppose to be ready for us...well it wasn't.

After weeks of hounding finally got the check, which was short, and inventory was real short too. Also was in a store in OK. did really well till all of a sudden sales were down, checks bounced, etc. etc. Really lost our shirt in that one. So if from word of mouth you get positive feedback, you check with the bb, or you really feel trust instinct. Go for it! If it is a store you can drop in on, see how the keep it up, see how the treat customers, pay attentions to details in the contract. And most of all keep a good communication with them. After all you both are in this to make money. Now, off my soapbox for tonight. Think positive, and enjoy! rhonda

re: consignment?
2003/4/10 3:22 p.m.

everyone has made good points, I personally like consignment, I've found I'd rather be painting than selling. Be careful in your pricing if they take 30% off the top cuz it's a different formula than if you give them a price and they add 30%.
It is hard when the place is far away and you have no idea what's going on at the store, I'm in the middle of that now. Have no idea what's going on with her, thot she was pretty honest but cheques are always late, don't hear from her for weeks at a time. kinda scary when you've put so much effort into the product. Every shop is different though, good luck! It is great for the most part though.

Re: YVW and that environment would make a big
2003/4/10 3:22 p.m.

difference. A friend has her stuff in a shop in Granbury, Tx and they had started allowing market items to the point that there was more bought than handmade. The customers started complaining and saying they wouldn't be back...the owner wised up and cracked down on the ones violating their leases and so now nearly all of the market stuff has been pulled....I had walking into a shop that has the name "Craft Shop" and when you get inside it is all bought with maybe a couple handmade booths Good luck and hang in'll find the perfect place and sell out . sharon

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