Generate Sales Through Your Shopify Consignment Store

How important is it to build a Shopify consignment store?

In 2020 14.1% of all retail sales worldwide were online sales. It is predicted that this will reach 22% by 2023. If you’ve been considering it, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon of e-commerce. With SimpleConsign’s Shopify plugin’s easy setup, now is the time to open your Shopify consignment store.

The growth of e-commerce and Shopify

Not surprisingly, the first e-commerce site in the US was Amazon. Beginning as a bookseller in 1994, Amazon now offers thousands of products. It is the world’s #1 online retailer. China is the fastest-growing for e-commerce sales nationally. In the US alone, online sales could reach almost $566 billion by 2023. Shopify’s stats are just as exciting.

  • In October 2019, Shopify estimated over 1 million merchants in over 175 countries
  • Last year, Shopify did $1.5 billion in sales
  • The US has the largest number of Shopify stores
  • As a retailer, Shopify ranks #3 behind Amazon and Ebay for US retail online sales

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Creating your Shopify consignment store

The initial setup for a Shopify site is fairly easy. In fact, they offer a 14-day Free Trial. In addition, Shopify offers a variety of how-to tips and suggestions for what to avoid.

  • Like anything, understand the overall costs and responsibilities before you begin
  • Choose a template that matches your brand.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid having to customize.
  • Be specific about your merchandise, shipping charges, delivery times, etc.
  • Learn some online merchandise photography skills


Build your Shopify consignment store with SimpleConsignIf you haven’t signed up for your Shopify site yet, start one. Integrate your Shopify site with phenomenal resale software such as SimpleConsign. Our web-based system lets you manage your brick and mortar store, as well as your online store from anywhere. Plus, features like SimpleConsign’s Photo App let you easily take photos and instantly upload them to your Shopify site.

Marketing your Shopify consignment store

Signing up for a Shopify site is only the beginning. Marketing your online store comes next. Shopify offers a wide variety of apps that work to boost your consignment store sales. Everything from Sales Pop Up and Countdown Timers to Customer Support apps are available. Many of them are free but choose wisely. Don’t overload your site with too many features in the beginning.

For more benefits of our Shopify plugin, read here.

What Is the Future of Consignment?

The future of consignment is full of promise! This year is all about 20/20 vision. Since it’s the beginning of the year and a new decade, now’s the time to look at the future of consignment. Everything I read suggests it’s extremely sunny. Pay attention to these 5 trends.

#1 A Resale Revolution

“Resale becomes more mainstream,” was the subhead in a Retail TouchPoints article. Everyone is adding some form of resale today. For instance, Macy’s added thredUp. Designer Eileen Fisher created the Renew program. Christmas 2019 was the first major holiday to break the only-new-gifts ceiling. Before, shoppers bought quality used gift items but never admitted it. In 2019, smart and eco-friendly shoppers chose a resale Christmas gift. According to thredUp’s 2020 Resale Report by the year 2024, the secondhand market will hit 64B.  Now, that’s a bright future!

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#2 The “Temporary” Consumer

Temporary consumers want an ever-changing, never-owning lifestyle. This trend particularly applies to Gen Z (anyone born between ’97 and ’12). This sharing economy links people directly with each other. Like Airbnb and Uber, Depop links buyers and sellers of clothing. Both rental companies, Rent The Runway and West Elm, give consumers a chance to have a little luxury without buying. PSFK reports, “the number of people who participate in the sharing economy is projected to increase to 86.5 million by 2021.” That’s nearly double what it was in 2016. Why does this help the future of consignment? It’s one more step to the full acceptance of reusing merchandise.

#3 The Growth of the Marketplace

Not every part of resale’s rosy future is secondhand. Marketplaces are popping up all over the country. Like an antique mall, marketplaces sell a variety of products from one location. Essentially, they’re a brick and mortar Etsy. Marketplace owners rent space and use vendor-managed inventory. Often, these items are handmade. Consider the L & L Factory Marketplace in Nashville. The original factory, built-in 1929, started as a hosiery mill. Decade after decade, different products were made and sold out of its doors. Today, it is a premier shopping spot. More consumers now choose to shop locally. They’re looking for unique, one-of-a-kind products. As a result, they’re avoiding big box stores and shopping small.

#4 A Sustainable Circular Economy

What Is the Future of Consignment?

Sustainability. Not a new word, but an important one for this next decade. Today’s consumers seek products with a small carbon footprint. Whether it’s climate change, ocean trash, or chemical pollution, consumers want manufacturers to take responsibility. Fast fashion’s decline is bankrupting stores like Forever 21. Manufacturers like Colgate-Palmolive are inventing recyclable toothpaste containers. Rothy’s creates shoes from recycled water bottles. I’ve said it many times before. There is nothing more sustainable than the resale industry. Due to the growing concern over the environment, the future of consignment is bright.

#5 The Quality of Today’s Resale Stores

As resale and consignment shops move into the mainstream, the look of their brick and mortar stores has changed. To be competitive, shop owners know they need to up their game. Most secondhand shops are now merchandised with only quality items. Consignors are required to bring their newest and best merchandise. Today’s consignment stores regard branding, marketing, online sales, and a solid POS system as essential. As shops improve, so will the acceptance of secondhand.

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This Year, Make it a Consignment Christmas

A Consignment Christmas is the next big trend

Did you see the article from Bloomberg? The headline reads, “Used Stuff Is the Next Big Trend in Christmas Shopping.” Now, that’s exciting! Tell your shoppers this holiday to make it a consignment Christmas. Here are a few ideas.

Too many people to buy for?

The stress is building. The longer a shopper’s list and the less shopping days available equals panic. With only a few weeks of shopping left, invite shoppers to bring you their list. Use your website and social media to stress the quantity and quality of unique, one-of-a-kind gifts when shoppers make it a consignment Christmas.

Download and use the following free Facebook post.

Tell your shoppers to make it a consignment Christmas

Download this ad to use on your social media

Encourage a consignment Christmas for incredible savings

Getting the right gift during the holidays is foremost in every shopper’s mind. When you add in the possibility of giving a unique, luxury gift for less, the bargain is even better! Consider marking down your seasonal items the week of December 9. As Whizbang Training suggests, “take a smaller markdown now (maybe 25% or 30%) when people are actually buying rather than the massive markdown you’ll need to move it after Christmas (50+%).” Furthermore, add a price point table such as “All Gifts On This Table Under $20.” Have a variety of items for men, women and children. Print attractive signs, but don’t tape them to the table! Purchase sign holders. Make sure you have a variety of last-minute stocking stuffer items too. Remember, stocking stuffers don’t have to be cheap. They just have to be small.

A busy shop is an attractive shop

It goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway… keep your shop and your staff merry and bright. By this point, your holiday planning is finished. Now, it’s time to focus on selling. Motivate your sales team. Remind them of those traits that make a salesperson truly successful. In addition, coach them to cross-sell. Energize your team with a fun contest. Encourage them to wear Santa hats and hand out candy canes. As I stated in our 4th quarter marketing tips, now’s the time to be shopper and consignor focused. Personal service is what sets you apart from the other stores in your area. Friendly, welcoming smiles go a long way right now!

Marketing for a Consignment Christmas

Highlight different merchandise daily on your social media. Stress that only one is available to build a sense of urgency.  Ask every shopper to give you an email or sign up for your rewards program. Download a copy of our holiday hashtags. Use them with every post. I’ve added special ones strictly to promote resale. Advertise your uniqueness, your amazing prices and your friendly service. By all means, enjoy this season. When the store owner is happy, the employees, shoppers and consignors are usually happy too!

Download this image too!

This holiday, make it a consignment Christmas

Download this FB image for your social media

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3 ideas to celebrate National Consignment Day

On the heels of #SecondHandSeptember comes #NationalConsignmentDay. Started by the online resale store The RealReal, National Consignment Day is celebrated the first Monday in October. This is the third year to observe this important day. According to Julie Wainwright, CEO and Founder of The RealReal, National Consignment Day “allows us to raise awareness about the circular economy, especially as it applies to the luxury market.”

Celebrate national consignment day!Observance #1   Run an Instagram contest

An Instagram contest is extremely easy to run. This year, The RealReal gave away 2 Louis Vuitton bags using an Instagram contest. See The RealReal’s contest page here.

In order to run a similar contest, first, decide your giveaway theme. Obviously, include the hashtag #NationalConsignmentDay as part of your theme. Create an exclusive hashtag using your store’s name too. Next, decide how people enter your contest. Have them follow your Instagram page, like the post, tag friends, leave a comment, or even repost the contest. To enter The RealReal’s contest, participants had to follow @therealreal on Instagram, like the post added on May 4th between 7 am and 12 pm, and tag 3 friends in 3 separate comments. Set a deadline for your contest. Choose your prize. When you post, list the legal jargon. It’s as simple as that!

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Observance #2    Throw a Party!

After all, who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate? Since the day honors you, decorate like crazy. Balloons, streamers, banners, cookies, and punch required. Offer drawings for a variety of giveaways. Consider partnering with other consignment stores in your area. Create a consignment crawl. The shopper who visits all stores involved gets their name thrown in a hat to win a grand prize. Or, teach a class, “Designing with Consignment.” Whether you’re a furniture or clothing store, show customers how to use your one-of-a-kind items to create something fabulous. If possible, run a fun price contest. Choose any one of the Price is Right games. For instance, play Bonkers. Purchase 3 or 4 flip-chart-style presentation books. Amazon offers these for $11 each. Print the numbers 0 – 9 on letter-size sheets of paper. Arrange the books in random order and give customers 30 seconds to guess the correct price of the item you’re promoting. They can rearrange the numbers in any combination. You tell them whether they’re too high or too low. At the end of 30 seconds, see how close they come to the actual price. Offer a prize based on their final answer.

Observance #3  Make it a “Circle Day”

Celebrate the Circular Economy with the Circle GameSince you’re promoting the “circular” economy, create a circle day. For instance, see how long someone can hula hoop. Play a “Draw the Circle” game. Print a giant sheet of paper with as many circles as possible. Invite shoppers to draw a picture using the circles. No two drawings can be the same. Or, create a giant spinning wheel to earn prizes or discounts. In addition, decorate a selfie wall. Draw a huge circle and add the words, “I am making a difference by shopping at STORE’S NAME. #NationalConsignmentDay.” Give away bracelets, rings, or anything circular.

If you’d like to re-post the National Consignment Day image, click here and download.

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Ask consignment shoppers these 3 questions instead

Carl Sagan once wrote, “There is no such thing as a dumb question.” He obviously was never a salesperson

During my early years as a salesperson, our sales training involved listening to multiple Zig Ziglar tapes. That guy was the cheeriest man I ever listened to. The number one lesson I learned was to always put myself in the customer’s shoes. That person is always thinking, “What’s in it for me?” According to  The Retail Doctor Blog, I’ve been asking all the wrong questions during my lengthy years of selling. Have you or your employees asked your consignment shoppers these questions?

Question 1. “How are you today?”

Now, when I first read this I thought, “Well, why wouldn’t I ask that question?” The usual response you receive is “fine” which immediately ends the conversation. Plus, The Retail Doctor asked, “Do you really care?” Of course I care. Well, sometimes I care. Okay, so maybe I don’t really care, but what am I supposed to ask instead? The first communication you have with your consignment shoppers sets the tone. Vend suggests having a variety of greetings on hand. Ask, “Are you enjoying your afternoon?” If you recognize the shopper, ask “What brings you in to see us again?” Finally, try and find something you like and genuinely say, “I like your … (shoes, coat, scarf, etc.) Where did you get them/it?” I certainly love it when I’m surprised by a cheery salesperson. Or, when I hear “My pleasure” after I order my chicken sandwich at a Chick-Fil-A. So, it’s time to get more creative as you greet those consignment shoppers coming in the door.

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Question 2. “Can I help you find something in particular?”

A customer often gives the rote response of, “I’m just looking” and then the conversation is completely dead.  As The Retail Doctor points out, not every shopper is looking for something but all shoppers do have a problem. Whether it’s the need to kill 30 minutes of time before a meeting, or they’re looking for the perfect dress for an upcoming event, they have a problem that you need to fix. So what questions should a savvy sales associate ask? For furniture consignment, ask “What room gets a makeover today?” For clothing consignment, ask “What special event are you shopping for today?” A children’s resale shop should ask, “Which color…pink or blue?” Make the shopper give you more than a “yes” or “no” answer to keep the conversation going. If you still get the “I’m just looking” response, try and make another connection. Ask “Would you like a basket?” or “Would you like me to hold your cup of coffee at the counter so you can shop easier?”

Question 3. “Isn’t this … (weather-related noun such as heat, snow, rain) awful?”

Although the intention of connecting with your consignment shoppers is good, you’re starting off with a negative. As Vend writes, “Every interaction should be positive.” Try instead, “Are you managing to stay dry with all this rain?” Or, “Are you enjoying all the sunshine we’ve been having?” Vend also stresses the importance of “reading” your customers. Watch their body language. Are they shy? Then, they will be uncomfortable with too many questions. Pick up on verbal cues. Is their tone angry? Find something to genuinely compliment them about. Always make eye contact.

3 kick a** consignment store marketing ideas

There are 3 types of consignment store shoppers. The “Treasure Hunter,” the “Econo-Shopper” and the “Eco-Shopper.” You need to market to them differently. So, I’m here to help. I’ve come up with 3 separate consignment store marketing ideas to help you reach each special consignment store shopper.

1.) The “Treasure Hunter”

Stores like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Tuesday Morning are killing it in the discount retailer’s market. Why? Their inventory changes constantly. Let’s face it, all three stores have overstuffed clothing racks and shelves with candles and housewares spilling over. Shoppers don’t expect amazing personal service. The thrill of the hunt keeps customers coming back. The “Treasure Hunter” consignment store shopper also needs to have that incredible “seek and find” experience. Your store doesn’t need to look like a bursting-at-the-seams Marshalls in order to have shoppers tingling with excitement. However, your marketing should capitalize on the excitement of discovering that one-of-a-kind hidden gem. For one of my kick a** consignment store marketing ideas, here’s a suggested Facebook ad you can download!

Consignment store marketing ideas for the treasure hunter

Copy and use this post on your Facebook page

2.) The “Econo-Shopper”

This customer has been the lifeblood for the consignment, thrift and resale industries for decades. The “Econo-Shopper” is always looking for a bargain. They want or need to save money. Buying great merchandise at a tremendous discount, gives them the ability to brag about it. The trick is to promote the advantage of consignment store shopping without cheapening your merchandise. Avoid discount sales whenever possible. Add value instead. Read Stop the cycle of discounting. Nowadays, just because someone shops second-hand doesn’t mean they can’t afford to pay full price. Here’s another one of my consignment store marketing ideas that you can download and post on your social media.

consignment store resources to use now for the bargain hunter

Download and use in social media

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3.) The “Eco-Shopper”

They’re known as value-driven shoppers. The health of the planet is the “Eco-Shoppers” motivation. Younger generations especially have a passion for the environment and for righting the social wrongs of big industry. According to Sustain Your Style, fast fashion is the second largest polluter in the world. Consignment, whether furniture or fashion, is the ultimate solution. Your consignment store marketing ideas should teach customers to be ethical consumers. By shopping in your store, they’re making a difference in the environment. Let them feel pride in shopping local too. Read The interesting truth about the resale industry. Reprint this infographic for store fliers or use as a special post.

consignment store marketing ideas include infographics too

Download and use as flyers for your shopping bags

Stop the cycle of consignment discounting

Are you on the roller coaster of consignment discounting?

Conventional wisdom says discounting merchandise brings in more sales. Discounting is never a long-term strategy. If you want to attract shoppers for the short term, offer discounts. These customers will leave you sooner rather than later when they’re off to find the next, best deal. To build a solid base of loyal customers, focus on creating value and setting your shop apart. Here are 3 alternatives to stop the cycle of discounting.

Build loyal customers by looking at what motivates them.

A Harvard Business School study determined that people are motivated by 4 different biological drives. Here are the first 2:

  • The first is the Drive to Acquire (many discounting programs feed this desire). These are customers looking for either status or the ability to just buy stuff. They want to own as much as possible.
  • The second is the Drive to Defend (loyalty programs encourage this). These customers feel the need to earn rewards points to maintain a special status. They want to be part of a club. SimpleConsign has an excellent rewards point system

Most shops normally focus (without realizing it) on the first 2 drives to gain new customers and make sales. What if instead, you focused on the last 2 drives:

  • The Drive to Bond  is a clear motivator particularly for women. Your shop can build relationships and a sense of belonging. Create a special group, celebrate milestones or ask customers for feedback. The goal is to make them feel a part of your business.
  • Finally, the Drive to Create is especially important for the younger Millennial shoppers. Use classes and events as a way to build these loyal customers.
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Add value rather than consignment discounting

Discounting tends to erode the consumer’s view of your brand value. In other words, if you discount often, you are only viewed as the cheapest place to shop. Instead, charge full price and add an item or service as a bonus. Read 3 sure-fire consignment cross-selling and upselling tips. For a short time, offer a free gift with the purchase of an item. Add free delivery on furniture buys or partner with another business such as a hair salon and offer a special discount. In the mind of the shopper they are getting greater value even when paying full price. Make sure you put a time limit on the offer so that it creates a sense of urgency too.

Contact loyal customers with specific messages

Target your customers with the right message to avoid consignment discountingToday’s consumer is bombarded by messages. If your marketing efforts aren’t segmented to target groups of shoppers, your message will be ignored. Get a better understanding of your key customers by using an online survey (such as SurveyMonkey’s free survey), a printed survey that you use as a bag-stuffer or even your Facebook Insights page to gain in-depth information about your shoppers and fans. Target specific shoppers with specific messages about specific merchandise they want and you’ll not only have a greater chance of making a sale, but you will be building relationship at the same time.

Which is best? Buying vs. leasing consignment store property

Don’t let the leasing vs. buying question overwhelm you. Take a look at some of the pros and cons. Then, make a decision on which is best for your consignment store property. No matter what you choose, remember it’s always location, location, location!

Making the right choice

Pros of buying consignment store propertyPros to buying

  • More control. Since the building is yours, you control changes or improvements. The stability of owning vs. leasing means you’re not at the whim of others.
  • Equity.  Use the building as collateral for a line of credit or other financing.
  • Sublet.  Add revenue by leasing unused space in the building.
  • Tax Deductions. Deduct your interest and annual depreciation expense, as well as other non-mortgage related expenses.
  • No Surprises. Never receive a rent increase or eviction notice.
  • Resale Value. If you’ve chosen your location wisely, selling your building should net you a profit. In regions where land values are appreciating, investing in real estate can be good for the future of your business.

Pros to leasing

  • More Liquidity. No high upfront costs are needed. When you invest less in the location, you have more money to devote toward business operations. In addition, with a lower debt to income ratio, you may be able to obtain a small business loan if needed.
  • Tax Deductions. Your monthly rental fee is tax deductible.
  • Greater Flexibility. Freedom to change locations due to growth or down sizing is much easier.
  • Less Responsibility. More time and money to build your business.
  • No Market Value Worries. Regardless of the changes in the commercial real estate market, you are safe.
  • Shorter Terms. Most contracts only last a few years. If you’re unhappy with your location, you’re free to move on.
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There are cons to buying or leasing your store property

Cons to Buying

  • Ties up Capital. In addition to your down payment, your initial cash outlay includes a building appraisal and inspection fees, closing costs and possible repair expenses. Often, those costs are difficult to budget ahead of time.
  • You are the Landlord. You are responsible for ongoing repairs, maintenance, property taxes and all operating expenses.
  • Capital Loss. If you haven’t chosen your location wisely, your property may actually decrease in value.
  • Longer Terms. Mortgage contracts generally range from 15 to 30 years.
  • Legal Risks. Being the owner, you are responsible for the safety and security of your customers as well as anyone who sublets space from you.

Cons to Leasing

  • Expensive. A rental lease comes with a security deposit, payment of the first month’s rent in advance, pre-lease inspection and a utilities security deposit. Depending on your location, there may also be an advance payment for the shopping center’s or strip mall’s operating expenses and property taxes. Rental rates rarely decrease.
  • Possible Surprises. Leasing gives you no control over the building or the landlord. Selling the property, raising rates or forcing you to move are always possibilities.
  • Zero Equity. There’s no additional income potential.

Making the final decision on your consignment store property

There’s a lot to consider when deciding between buying or leasing. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll still have store expenses such as insurance, salaries, utilities, display fixtures, hardware, software, labels, signage, etc. Consider these factors when choosing:

  • How long you’ve been in business. If you are just launching your consignment or resale shop, it’s best to leave some room for growth. Leasing can usually provide that room better than purchasing. Sign up for our Getting Started Success Kit if you’re just starting out. It’s filled with great ideas for opening a consignment business. A well-established consignment shop that has no expansion plans is in a good position to buy their property.
  • Growth Opportunities. When leasing, look for a building that allows for expansion opportunities if your business takes off. If it is within your financial means and expertise, consider buying a building that offers more space than you need. You can rent out the extra space, helping you diversify your income streams.
  • Your vision for your business. Know the direction you want to take your business upfront. If you’re opening your shop while your kids are still at home, but plan to close after they’ve moved out, by all means rent. If this is a career move for a long-term business, consider buying.
  • Stability vs. Flexibility. Which is more important to you? A mortgage with a set monthly fee can be comforting. However, the freedom to change, plus the additional cash flow offers stress-free flexibility too.
  • The real estate market in your area. Some areas are seeing a real boon in real estate pricing. Knowing whether it’s a bubble waiting to burst or a steady upward trend is difficult. As in housing, you never want to own the most expensive building on the block. Determine the market for your store. Research neighborhoods. Choose your consignment store property based on reaching your target demographic.
  • A cash-flow analysis. Bizfilings offers a great tool to analyze cash flow. Although difficult to determine in a consignment business, it’s still a necessary analysis.

Some final advice

Finally, the wisdom that only Dave Ramsey, the financial guru can provide, “…put your business on solid ground, slowly and steadily. Lease your space and use your money to reinvest in your business. Make it grow. Once your business is really rocking, you can consider getting into the real estate business.”

Promoting “Independent Consignment Store Month”

If you read last week’s post (which I’m sure was hard to put down), you know July is Independent Retailer Month. I’ve decided in addition to taking advantage of this month and all of its benefits for consignment, we’re also going to create merchandising ideas. Let your store and windows reflect your independence all month long. Let’s show ’em July is also Independent Consignment Store Month!

Marketing ideas

Every independent store owner needs to focus on leaving a lasting impression on their customers. That’s what makes an indie store fun to shop. Unique merchandise, an eclectic atmosphere or even quirky employees can add to the experience. Remind shoppers there’s treasure to be found. Teach them about being a responsible consumer by shopping at your consignment shop. Promote “Shop Local.” Promote “Independent Consignment Store Month!”

Download and print this poster to place in your consignment store window. Thank shoppers regularly for choosing you. Celebrate July as Independent Consignment Store Month!

July is independent consignment store month

Merchandising ideas

I thought I’d throw in a few ideas for giving your store that independence celebration feel. Since you don’t want to focus on our national Independence Day for the entire month, I came up with other suggestions. Use these ideas just for Independent Consignment Store Month, or have a special place in your store that you leave it permanently.

independent consignment store month needs fun marketing ideas     Download and use this ad in your social media


Download and use this ad in your social media


Download this image and use in your social media



How to create a consignment store disaster recovery plan

Don’t wait to create a consignment store disaster recovery plan

I’ve never experienced a natural disaster, personally. However, my sweet 96-year-old mother, Ruth, still remembers the St. Louis tornado of 1927. Just 5 days after her 5th birthday, she recalls being firmly placed in the middle of the bed by her grandmother. “Now, don’t move,” her grandma instructed. “No matter what, stay here.”  Her grandma promptly left to retrieve Mom’s older sister, Dorothy, at school. Alone, Mom heard the almost 90 mph wind gusts. Glass popping and breaking. She felt the walls shaking in their little 4-family flat. After more than 90 years, the experience is still as fresh as if it were yesterday. Fortunately, in their case, everyone was safe.

Now is the time to create your consignment store disaster recovery plan.

 Plan today for disaster tomorrow

Mariners have a clever way of remembering hurricane season. Follow along.

June is too soon

Did you know that the most common disaster is a power outage? Your local energy company often has the power up and running within a few hours, but there are times when it can be off for days sometimes even weeks. Be prepared with flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries. That’s a simple fix if everyone knows where they are kept. Check power strips. Do you have a surge protector? The beauty of web based software, like SimpleConsign, is you can still access your information on your phone if need be. Plus, we’ve backed up your data so nothing is lost!

July stand by

Does your shop have a designated safe area or room? Is there one nearby in your community? Determine an area where you, your staff and customers should go in the event of a hurricane or tornado. If your shop has a basement area, map out the location that is safest. If no basement exists, decide which part of the interior of your shop could be used as a safe area.

August it must

Should you add business interruption insurance to your disaster recovery plan? This form of insurance will compensate you based on your previous financial records for the loss of income you incur in case of a disaster. The amount is determined by the type of business, the building structure of your shop and any other risk factors such as location, etc. Know what disasters aren’t covered. Furthermore, learn how to file your claim quickly.

September to remember

Would you be able to quickly move your merchandise into another location? A complete disaster recovery plan takes into consideration that your fast-acting sales team will be ready to move any salvageable merchandise. They need to know where to take it though. Do you have an alternative location available? Even if it’s in your basement, your team knowing could make all the difference between re-opening or closing your shop for good. Before moving anything, make sure your insurer doesn’t require an on-site visit first.

October it’s over

Your consignor contract should already state that you’re not responsible for items that are lost, stolen or destroyed due to a disaster. With a web based system such as SimpleConsign, you’ll have consignor names and their inventory at your fingertips. Communicate with your consignors/vendors as soon as possible. Use email, social media and if possible, texts to clearly state the extent of damage and how it will affect them and their items.

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Additional info for your consignment store disaster recovery plan

The Red Cross

A consignment store disaster recover plan should include info from the Red CrossThe Red Cross provides a wealth of disaster-preparedness supplies. Order Emergency Backpacks that can easily be stored in your back office. Also, have at least one member of your team certified in CPR. Check your local Red Cross for class listings. Their site lists a variety of extra supplies they recommend you have such as water, matches, extra clothing, etc.


Be aware of what particular disasters could or have happened in your area. Check out government sites for a ton of information to help create your consignment store disaster recovery plan. Their plan prepares you particularly for natural disasters. They offer a wealth of information from planning ahead to coping with the aftermath. The site also offers suggestions for a basic disaster supplies kit.


A plan is only as good as the paper it’s written on if it isn’t communicated. Create a disaster-preparedness notebook. Keep it in plain sight in your back room and make sure every employee is aware of it. In times of trauma, it’s hard to remember the plan. Brief your staff completely on your disaster recovery plan. They need to know what to do if the disaster occurs while at the shop or if it occurs during off hours. If the disaster affects your entire community make sure you have a way to communicate with your staff members so you’ll know they are safe. Since texting uses less bandwidth than actual phone calls, set up the ability to send a group text. It will be the easiest method of communication. Consider adding the number of their close relative or friend too. List them under ICE (In Case of Emergency). The psychological toll a disaster can take on you and your staff can be overwhelming. Their well being is of course your first concern.

As an example, when Trader Joe’s in New Jersey had their roof collapse under more than 2′ of snow in 2016, they quickly communicated with their 160 employees and loyal customers. They stated they would be rebuilding in a “realistic time frame.” They even attempted to find employment for interested workers at other locations. In less than a year, they re-opened with employee-designed wall art and a stronger commitment to the community. Your consignment store disaster recovery plan needs to take you all the way through the beginning to the end so you meet everyone’s expectations.