Build your inventory with a surprising consignor challenge
February 3, 2017
Steal one of these ideas for a consignor challenge
Last week, we talked about reducing inventory. This week, we’re looking at how to build it back up. See if one of these is the right consignor challenge for you.
Back in 2010, when the minimalist movement really started taking off, Courtney Carver began Project 333. It was extremely popular and before long, she had women from all over the country sending photos, sharing their struggles and rejoicing over their triumphs. It got me thinking, “What if women’s clothing consignment shops used a similar idea with their consignors/customers.”
When: Every 3 months. Join anytime.
What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
What not: Does not include your wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing that’s only worn to workout.
How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your wardrobe, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
What else: Consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for 3 months. Remember this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit, or are in poor condition, replace them.
Now, let’s modify it for a consignment shop’s consignors
1.) The 3-day, 3-item consignor challenge
When: A 3-day consignor challenge. Choose one 3-day period for all consignors to participate.
What: Consignors bring in at least 3 items during one visit over a specified 3-day period. You can schedule appointments if necessary. Consignors can only participate if at least 3 of their items are accepted for consignment.
What not: Be very specific about what you are looking for and what you aren’t accepting during the 3-day period.
How: If at least 3 of the consignor’s items are accepted, they receive 33% off the purchase of 1 item in your store or an additional 33 Reward Points during that 3-day period. To keep track, have coupons printed to hand one to the consignor when their items are accepted.
2.) The $33 consignor challenge
When: A 3-day or 3-week consignor challenge. They must participate in the event over the same time period.
What: Participating consignors bring in at least 1 (or 3 depending on what you want to do) item(s) valued at a consignment minimum of $33. That means if your pricing policy is 30% of retail for pre-owned items, the item(s) you accept would have a minimum of a $50 retail value. In order for the consignor to participate, at least 1 (or 3) item(s) of that value must be accepted for consignment during a specified time.
What not: Since this challenge requires higher priced items, be very specific about what brands you are looking for and what you won’t accept during the event.
How: If 1 (or 3 depending on what you choose) of the consignor’s items are accepted, they receive an additional 33 Reward Points per item or again, offer a special 33% discount on the purchase of one item in your store.
3.) The 03/03/3-friend consignor/customer challenge
March is just around the corner. Why not liven it up with a special event?
When: Friday, March 3 is the perfect day.
What: This event could be held for both consignors and/or customers. Rather than bringing in items for consignment, encourage your consignors to add 3 new consignors to your data base. Hold a special after hours party and ask your consignors to each bring 3 friends who have thought about consignment, but have never tried it. Hold a mini seminar showing the type of items you accept, what condition you want them to be in and how you go about determining price. Make potential consignors feel very comfortable. Serve 3 different beverages and snacks. Make sure you have a convenient way for new consignors to give you their contact information. In return, offer them a starting balance of 33 Reward Points.
The same event could be held for your customers too. Hold an Open House on the 3rd and have your customers each bring 3 friends to shop. In exchange for their contact information, offer 33 Reward Points to new customers that evening.
As a side note, SimpleConsign web based consignment software, offers 2 features that are really helpful with the above idea. First, we have a special feature called “Consignor Central” under Consignor Access. It allows you to send a message to all of your consignors at once. You’ll be able to quickly and easily notify them of your 333 Challenge. Of course, SimpleConsign also has a great Rewards Point program too. You can easily track, assign and use those points at the point of sale.
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.
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