Resale Partners: How Kari’s Treasure Trove was 23+ years in the making

August 10, 2017

Traxia has so many wonderful Resale Partners. Let me introduce you.

Life can take some interesting twists and turns, can’t it? Such is the case for Kari Thompson, co-owner with her daughter Catt of Kari’s Treasure Trove in Newman, CA. When Kari became a mom, she immersed herself in homeschooling and volunteering for 13 straight years. But, when the economy took a downturn, she found herself in need of extra income. During a stint as a bus driver with their local school district, Kari realized she wasn’t living the life she had dreamed of. It was time to start planning for the future. With a few more years of research and a little more dreaming, Kari’s Treasure Trove was born.

Why did you choose to go into the consignment art business?

I empathized with my artist friends and family who struggled to get exposure for their wonderful items. Venues for the Arts are difficult to get into. After researching different business models, the startup cost, risk and liability for a consignment art business was relatively low. With consignment, you control the inventory standards. Artists and secondhand consignors take care of the supply. 

Your shop has been open for less than a year. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

Hold onto your money for as long as possible. We learned that lesson the hard way. A couple of months before we opened, we paid our deposit on our lease, our business insurance, our business license and the California State Attorney General Secondhand Seller’s Certificate fees. Plus, we started our paid subscriptions such as SimpleConsign, ADT, Spotify and newspaper ads. Unbeknownst to us, the building we were leasing would not be issued an occupancy permit, due to recent renovations, for over 2 months! It was a huge drain on our reserves.

Resale Partner's Kari's Treasure Trove

Kari and her daughter Catt in front of Kari’s Treasure Trove

What do you enjoy most about the resale business?

I wanted to tie my business into our community and become an outlet for local artists. Both artists and art lovers thank us for making an artisan gallery locally accessible. Our artists and secondhand consignors like to hear how their treasures found a new home and our shoppers enjoy learning about the origin of their purchase.

What do you like least about the resale business?

It can be difficult for a consignor to hear that the amount of money they paid for an item isn’t even a starting point for current value. Some consignors feel offended. It can be very awkward. By contrast, artists are generally the most understanding if their price points aren’t a good fit for our community and usually adjust their prices.

How do you measure success?

It’s all in the numbers. With the help of SimpleConsign, we track as much data as possible. We only add our traffic count and then calculate our conversion rate. The higher that number, the more successful we are. Personally, when people enjoy themselves and linger, I can’t help but feel successful.

What’s the square footage of your shop and how do you calculate your prices?

Interior of Kari's Treasure TroveWe currently lease approximately 1800 square feet, 1500 of which is sales floor. We don’t rent booth space or charge buyers/sellers fees. All items are on consignment. Here is the formula we use to price our merchandise. It’s also clearly listed on our website:

To Calculate a Wholesale Price

Hourly wage ($) ÷ 60 minutes x minutes to make an item + materials cost = Wholesale Price (i.e. $10 ÷ 60 minutes x 45 minutes + $50 materials cost = $57.65 Wholesale Price)

OR

Hourly wage ($) x hours to make an item + materials cost = Wholesale Price (i.e. $10 x 15 hours + $150 materials cost = $300 Wholesale Price)

To Calculate Retail Price from Wholesale Price

Kari’s Treasure Trove consignment fee is a 55/45 split (55% to Consignor / 45% to Store)

(Base price x 45/55) + Wholesale Price (i.e. $57.65 x .82 + $57.65 = $104.92)

To Calculate the Price for a Specific Sales Commission

$$ wanted ÷ .55 = Retail Price (i.e. Consignor wants $250 for item: $250 ÷ .55 = $454.55 Retail Price)

General resale pricing for used items

Excellent condition: Up to 70% of current price for a new item     Good condition: Up to 50% of current price     Average condition: Up to 30% of current price

Where do you see yourself in 2020?

I see myself here, with my daughter Catt, in our shop. I hope to have generations to come work here.

Be sure to head to the Facebook Page for Kari’s Treasure Trove and give them a “Like.” Leave them a message that you’re glad to be with them on #TeamTraxia!

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.