4 shrewd tactics to attract the best consignors

August 12, 2016

How to woo the best consignors to fill your shop’s shelves

You know the dance. You’ve been here many times before. A potential new consignor walks through your door and wants to consign the items she has brought in. She’s sizing you and your shop up while you’re taking a close look at her too. An abundance of clientele and inventory is wonderful, but what if you are accepting the wrong type of merchandise from the wrong consignors? Find the best consignors with items that will sell quickly in your shop. It’s all about timing and attitude.

#1. Know your market

You won’t know who the best consignors are until you know what is your best-selling merchandise. It doesn’t matter if you have a ton of items or the most expensive items, it’s about having the right items. How do you determine which items are the right items? Take a look at your sales data. Your POS system should have a wealth of information for you. SimpleConsign, for instance, has a Dashboard that allows you to view your top consignors based on the number of items they’ve sold, the average price per item sold or your split by items sold. In addition, you can see your top items sold by category and even down to the brand. Once you know who your best consignors are and the merchandise that flies off the shelf, it’s time to court them.

#2 The “Remarkable 50”

Create a club. Women particularly love to belong to special, exclusive groups. According to Bridget Brennan, author of “Why She Buys,” women are the gender of gratitude. That’s so true. We love to thank and we love to receive thanks. So start a special club for those Top 50, Top 25 or whatever number of consignors. Offer them an exclusive peak at the newest merchandise, perhaps an extra 5 or 10% discount or a better split. Plus, throw in a special shopping party just for them. Some type of “appreciation program” will go a long way in keeping those top consignors coming back.

#3 The all-important survey or questionnaire

In most cases, your consignors are also your customers. Getting feedback from your best consignors shows them you value their input as both. Women in particular notice the details of a shop and if they’re given a chance, they’ll happily tell you about them.  Sending surveys or questionnaires requesting their opinions assures them you care about their experience with your staff or with the consignment process as a whole. A bad experience with either of those will likely result in a good consignor never returning. A questionnaire also gives you the chance to make amends, if necessary. At the end of every survey or questionnaire, ask for referrals. Do they have friends that might be interested in consigning too?

#4 One word…Concierge

When you make it easy for your best consignors to do business with you, it’s a win/win situation. By going to their home, you’re able to view all of their items. You can offer suggestions and even discuss pricing if you’re so inclined. If you find an item they may not be ready to consign, let them know it would sell quickly when they’re ready. No matter what, make sure that you are capable of taking as many items as possible with you on that day. If you’re visiting them regarding furniture, have someone with you to assist in loading your truck or van. If you’re taking expensive clothing, purses or jewelry, have special clothing bags or containers to place them in. The consignor won’t be happy when he/she sees you tossing them into the back of your car.

A fun way to reward your best consignors is with a special challenge. Read Build your inventory with a surprising consignor challenge. By courting your best consignors, you’re assured of having quality merchandise that sells quickly in your shop. Give them a little extra attention and it will pay off.

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.