Unlock the mind of the shrewd consignment shopper

February 16, 2017

What is it that makes the consignment shopper so unique?

Have you taken a really good look at your customers? I mean really studied who they are and what makes them tick. If you have figured out why a consignment shopper chose your store, you’re way ahead of the game!

Is penny pinching a compliment?

There are 2 sides to every coin. In the case of a shrewd consignment shopper, pennies and dollars are their #1 motivation. Whether your shop offers high-end merchandise or everyday items, the main reason customers enter a consignment shop is to save money. Don’t disappoint them. If a woman’s goal is to own the most recent Louis Vuitton hand bag, she’s chosen your shop instead of a Louis Vuitton store in order to get a bargain. Or, she’s looking for the best hand bag possible for what she can afford. Money is the motivator. It could be your customers can’t afford more, don’t want to pay more or just love the thrill of the hunt. Whatever the reason, a consignment shopper is always looking for a deal.

It takes a special mindset to buy “used”

For some, buying someone else’s clothes or furniture is a plus. They don’t give secondhand purchases a second thought. For others, the idea is, well frankly, disgusting. Why is it acceptable for some and not others? Friends say, “I’ve lived with hand-me-downs all my life. It’s my turn to buy new.” Or, “My mother just never bought used things, so I won’t either.” One person said, “I’ll buy used things, as long as they never touch my body.” The best one, “‘Dead people’s stuff’ that’s what goes through my head when I go into a thrift shop.” Can you change the minds of unwilling shoppers? I can’t answer that question. Maintain strict rules on what you will and won’t accept. Have the cleanest shop possible and you’ll draw shoppers through your door. The good news? Younger generations are more open to “used” shopping, so the future is bright.

Now’s the time to know them better

To reach a potential consignment shopper in your neighborhood, you need to better understand the current consignment shoppers you have. I suggest reaching out to them with a survey. Don’t roll your eyes and say, “I don’t have time for that.” It isn’t as difficult as you think. SurveyMonkey offers free survey templates for Customer Satisfaction, Demographics, Marketing and more. You can create your own questions or use the ones they suggest. You can download your email list or get an online link. SurveyMonkey keeps a tally of responses. It’s really very easy. In fact, I put this one together just for you. Please fill it out. Raising the Resale Bar” blog post survey.

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 Coordinator 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.