3 sure fire consignment cross-selling and upselling tips

July 29, 2016

Learning the fine art of consignment cross-selling and upselling

I can’t think of one industry where a consumer has to interact with a salesperson that there isn’t the potential for cross-selling and upselling. “I guess you will want to include the factory-installed sunroof, right?” “How about adding a salad for only $2 more?” “Right now, if you buy 3, we’ll add the 4th one free!” It’s everywhere and consignment shops have an especially unique advantage. Let’s look first at the meanings of the words, and learn tips specifically for consignment cross-selling and upselling.


Cross-selling is considered the act of encouraging the shopper to buy related or complementary products to the merchandise they’ve already chosen. In most cases, cross-selling recommends products that the shopper would have considered anyway. However, the items are brought to their attention at just the right moment.


Upselling encourages the shopper to spend more by purchasing a better version of the product they’re considering. This is comparison selling at its finest. Ultimately, the salesperson is selling the value of the higher priced merchandise.

Using both cross-selling and upselling are excellent ways for any business to add revenue. Teaching your sales staff a few sure fire techniques will give them all the tools they need.

1.) Stress the limited supply

Consignment shops have an incredible advantage when it comes to this rule. Generally, your shop only receives one of any item. Therefore, the “you’ve-got-to-buy-it-when-you-see-it” factor is huge. Cross-selling particularly relies on the sense of urgency. If you steer a customer to other items that go along with their purchase and they show interest, you have to remind them that there is only one. The same is true for upselling. If you have a better model, be sure they understand the limited quantity…one! Because of limited stock, you will know your merchandise better than the shopper. In many cases, they may not even be aware of what else you offer.

2.) The personal touch

Another area where consignment shops can excel is in the personal service you offer. When I spoke at the NARTS conference last month, I encouraged shops to begin offering a personal consultant for their shoppers. Research says almost 60% of Millennials (21-35) would spend more money if a personal shopper assisted them. Plus, 73% would eagerly set up an appointment to meet with a personal assistant. Nowadays, it’s more about the interaction than the transaction. What better way to initiate cross-selling and upselling than meeting with a shopper one on one. If you can’t offer a personal shopper, make sure your selling language helps the shopper feel unique. Ask their name. Use words like you, your and yours. Help them to envision themselves using your products.

3.) Create value

Consignment cross-selling and upselling doesn’t happen at the sales counter. There is an art to it. Find ways to add value to the purchase. For instance, look at the tag of an item you wish to cross-sell. If it’s priced at $9.99 say to the customer, “For only $10 more, you can add this beautiful accessory.” People grasp the idea of a round number easier than an odd number. Offer a special bundle price if possible. When selling a couch, be willing to sell the side tables and lamps you’re displaying as a package deal. Consider providing an incentive for spending more money. Give reward points, a free gift with purchase or a free service like delivery.

Statistics say it’s easier to sell more to existing customers than to gain new ones. All of these techniques not only add revenue, they build loyalty on the part of your shoppers too. Your customers will know you care about their needs and want them to get the best value for their money. By using proper cross-selling and upselling tips, everyone benefits.

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