15 ways to donate consignment items and declutter
April 24, 2015
This blog post has been updated from April, 2015
Despite your best efforts, you won’t be able to sell everything on your showroom floor. In order to keep inventory moving, as well as preventing the store from becoming cluttered, it’s crucial you have a system in place for handling unsold, obsolete and expired items.
Although it’s difficult to let go of unsold inventory, you have to take a hard look at what is worth selling. As a consignment shop owner, when you donate consignment items to a charity after they’ve expired you keep your store looking fresh and uncluttered. In some states, you may even be able to use the donations as a business tax deduction.
Implement a Donation Policy
To reduce frustration and confusion, have a written donation policy in place. If you choose to give your consignors the option of either having their unsold pieces donated to charity or returned to them, make sure you indicate their choice on their consignor contract. You should also implement a pick-up policy that outlines a specific waiting period. For instance, any items left unclaimed after 30 days past the end of the contract, will not be returned. SimpleConsign offers our convenient Consignor Central that does all the notifying of consignors for you.
Choose a worthy charitable organization, not a competitor to donate consignment items
It’s also important to donate to programs that will not resell the items. This undercuts your profits, while boosting your competitor’s revenue. Instead offer the items to charities that can really use them.
- Consider your local women’s shelter
- Contact Dress For Success to donate professional looking attire
- Donate coats to One Warm Coat
- Men’s clothing is especially appreciated at Career Gear
- Consider your local homeless shelter
- Many veteran’s organizations like the Vietnam Vets of America accept furniture and clothing
- Contact the Furniture Bank Association
- Even local high schools and colleges may accept donated furniture as show props
- Your local Crisis Pregnancy Center may sponsor a free shop
- Newborns In Need is an excellent way to donate excess merchandise too. Search their website because chapters are limited.
- Often hospitals, children’s homes and doctor’s offices will accept children’s toys
- Animal shelters are in need of used towels and bedding
- The American Red Cross accepts kitchenware, linens and appliances as well as furniture
- Donation Town serves a number of different charities
Hold A Charity Sale
Another way to donate consignment items, is to hold an annual charity sale. The sale allows shoppers to name their price or fill an entire bag for a small fee. The proceeds are then donated to the charity of your choice. You can even tie the event to a canned food or diaper drive.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure your shoppers are aware of your support for these organizations. Try, whenever possible, to support charities in your local community. The good will generated will make everyone appreciate your store that much more.
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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