It’s time to break out your most comfortable sweater and fall scented candle, autumn is here. Fall is an exciting time, the weather is changing, the leaves are turning red, and Halloween is right around the corner. With the arrival of a new season, everyone is ready to restock their closet with cardigans, sweaters, and boots. The New York Times‘s Penelope Green wrote the article “The Age of Consignment” highlighting the shortening life spans of items and speaking about the biggest names in consignment. We truly are in the age of consignment. With the rise of Facebook Marketplace and similar stores, consignment is now widely accepted. The global pandemic also played a big part in this realization. This only means it is the perfect time to market on consignment. Here are 3 ways to “pumpkin” spice up your consignment store this fall.
We all love sweaters, whether they’re oversized or fit just right they are the ultimate fall piece. This fall, spice things up with sweater deals such as buy one get one half off. This deal gets me every time, I end up buying more because the deal urges me to seize the opportunity. Take a look at what your competition and surrounding shops are doing as well. You must know what you’re competing against to have a fair fight. Feel free to use this graphic we made!
The beauty of consignment is that every item is unique, not only that it is also fairly priced, unlike most popular stores. Your customers can still find trendy pieces for the fall at consignment shops and they won’t match every other girl or guy in town. This also gives the customer the opportunity to buy more with their money. Remind your customers that there is only one of everything, they can’t go home and think about it because it will be gone by the time they come back.
As I was walking downtown during the weekend I caught myself being drawn to all the stores that decorated for fall in their big windows facing the street. This is such an easy way to attract people, like myself, who love the fall spirit. While you have the customer’s attention with your decor, promote your sales out there as well to complete the summoning of customers. You can find cute decorations anywhere you go, Walmart has many affordable options such as these plaid fabric pumpkins and fall maple leaf string lights that are sure to help your store look festive.
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For more consignment shop ideas, click here.
A busy season is coming up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner. This means it’s time to boost your online consignment store sales! Shopify wrote about the importance of planning ahead for such events. Most of us judge businesses that promote a holiday way too soon but we should actually be learning from them. According to Forbes, last year’s Cyber Monday set a record of $9.4 billion in sales, compare that number to Black Friday’s $7.4 billion and Amazon Prime Day’s $4.2 billion. This means you can be one of the many consignment stores using their online resources to sell more and grow your clientele. In order to boost your online consignment store sales, you must have a presence on social media. Here are some easy ways to grow your store online.
Since we are on our phones all day long, the best way to market is to use your social media. Your posts can be pictures of clothes that can be found in your shop, a current sale, or announcing a new shipment. Get creative with it, the more you post you will start to gain traction. Promote your social media platforms by posting the name you can be found with on social media at the register. This is a time when the customers have nothing else to do except notice their surroundings. On your social media be sure to have valuable information, that will give them a reason to follow. For example, posting sales or coupons.
Speaking of free stuff, have contests, and giveaways on your Instagram frequently. First, you must choose a prize that suits the theme of your shop. Second, have criteria such as must follow your page and tag 3 friends in the comments. Make it interesting by adding that for every extra person tagged when entering they get an extra entry in the contest. Third, post this on your social media including the end date for entries. Doing this may seem silly but it’s a way to buy your customer’s love and form a better connection with your community.
We market ourselves every time we post on our personal social media which means your employees most likely have a good following of friends and family on social media. Have your employees pick out an outfit and go outside your store to have a little photoshoot in the natural light. Encourage your employee to post this on one of their platforms informing their friends of the current sales. This can also be used as a post on your store’s social media. I see this as a win-win, you are creating interesting content and also helping your staff feel more confident in themselves and their job.
Consistency is key when it comes to social media, it may take a while to see any results but get creative with it. You are moving the needle by simply posting. I have noticed that social media has become the new Google when it comes to searching for people and places. They want to see what you have to offer. Take matters into your own hands and make sure that your social media makes people want to come to check out your store!
People love to shop online, having an online option puts you in a great position. SimpleConsign’s Shopify plugin allows you to seamlessly transfer your in-store inventory to your online store. During times like this, it’s important to keep as many avenues open. Building an online platform for your consignment store is one of the strongest methods to stay afloat. Once you have the Shopify plugin you may also sell on Facebook Live; this is a fun way to reach those at home.
If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy advice on growing a Pinterest account.
I must give credit where credit’s due, National Consignment Day came about because The RealReal established it as an official holiday in 2017. National Consignment Day 2020 is on October 5th, it takes place annually on the first Monday of every October. This holiday is made to bring awareness of our circular economy which is what consignment is all about. I know that 2020 has been a hard year for us all but we should all do our best to adapt.
We all have to wear them, why not have fun with them? For National Consignment Day, your store can have a stand where people can enter the contest. Have them sign a sheet with their contact info, and be sure to take a picture of each contestant. You can encourage each contestant to follow your Instagram or your choice of platform to see the winner. This gives the customer a reason to follow your store which earns you some quick followers. Of course, you must decide on a prize for the winner, I’d suggest a discount or a gift card to your store!
On National Consignment Day have an area in your store designated for, socially distanced, pictures. Have your customers pose for a picture and post them on your social media using the hashtag #NationalConsignmentDay. The background for this image can be your store with a simple sign that says National Consignment Day 2020. You have your community to thank for your shops’ success, show them your appreciation in your post.
National Consignment Day focuses on our circular economy, as a consignment shop you have already played a huge role in helping the circular economy. As a consignment store, you have a duty to share the beauty of the circular economy. By having a donation event, your store will bring awareness to the matter and motivate more people to donate clothes and items they no longer need. Create an event where members of the community to drop off clothing items on National Consignment Day to donate to your favorite place in town. If you need extra hands for this task you can also invite people to volunteer to help. It may seem small but it’s a wonderful way to promote helping the circular economy and bring good attention to your shop.
If you enjoyed reading this, click here for more.
Modern-day shipping for consignment stores is in high demand. Both consignment buyers and sellers can agree that nothing beats the thrill of finding the perfect vintage piece that really ties the room together. Whether it’s a mid-century modern couch or a Victorian-era marble statue, such items are hard to come by and may never be found again.
But consignment buyers and sellers also know that this excitement can quickly wear off when faced with the logistics of safely getting such a piece from Point A to Point B at an affordable price.
That’s why uShip has teamed up with SimpleConsign, the web-based management solution for consignment shops. To provide its sellers with fast, easy, and affordable delivery options for shipping large, oversized items.
Traditional shipping options have proved inefficient for consignment sellers, leaving them to deal with high fees and high damage rates. Parcel carriers, like USPS, simply aren’t equipped for these large jobs. They often result in exorbitant, unpredictable rates. On the other hand, freight carriers can carry large items via Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping. However, they require sellers to spend extra time and money carefully packing and palletizing items.
ONE-STOP SHOP FOR OVERSIZED SHIPPING
With uShip, SimpleConsign users get way more than just bare-bones shipping options.
uShip’s solution for SimpleConsign sellers includes blanket wrapping, home delivery, and full tracking for both buyers and sellers. Consignment store owners can also rest easy thanks to instant shipping price estimates; affordable, full-coverage insurance; and first-to-final mile service, which can result in significantly lower damage rates.
On top of these features, SimpleConsign sellers get a key edge over competitors by having the ability to choose their own carriers. Every carrier on uShip has its own profile. This includes helpful information, like reviews and ratings from real customers, cancellation rates, and transport equipment. Before booking, SimpleConsign sellers can review each carrier who interacts with their listing and communicate about the shipment in advance. Giving them the power to choose the right shipping partner for their store.
MAKE MORE SALES WITH PREDICTIVE PRICING
Though today’s buyers have never been more confident purchasing large items online, 47 percent of Americans still say that high delivery costs at checkout caused them to look elsewhere for the same or similar item. For sellers of large antiques, offering free shipping might seem impossible, but with uShip’s shipping portal, sellers can utilize uShip’s predictive pricing so they can roll the cost to ship into each item, making free shipping a true reality.
Not sure which is the right shipping price strategy for your business? Take this quiz to find out.
WHAT ARE OTHER SELLERS SAYING?
Brad Stanwick operates an online store specializing in English antique furniture. His store, The Parsons Nose, now either offers free shipping on its items, with shipping rolled into prices, or displays a flat, up-front delivery rate right on the item’s listing.
“Using uShip has been better for my bottom line,” Brad says. “I ran the numbers and figured out that I can ship my furniture almost anywhere in the country for about $250 to $300 through uShip. So, I took a leap.”
A WIN-WIN SHIPPING SOLUTION
Better shipping options for SimpleConsign users don’t just benefit the seller. With this latest partnership, SimpleConsign customers can now get the perfect one-of-a-kind item shipped directly to their room of choice. In addition, both seller and customer can have the peace of mind provided by full tracking, feedback-rated carriers, and first-to-final mile delivery.
SimpleConsign Seller Exclusive: If you’re a SimpleConsign user, check out the uShip + SimpleConsign landing page to see how you can start shipping with modern-day shipping for consignment stores through uShip today.
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.
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.
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.
If 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.
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.
With only 1 Saturday left for shopping, you need to make the most of every opportunity. Double up on social media, customer service, and merchandising. Here’s a quick recap of what you should be doing during this last week of a very short resale shopping season.
What’s the one thing shoppers can’t get at a big box store? Personal service. In my 4th Quarter Marketing Tips, I encourage store owners to concentrate on the customer. Shopping mayhem and employee weariness get in the way of phenomenal customer service. Make sure this is still your focus. Encourage your employees to keep smiles on their faces. Remember, even a small gift like pastries in the morning, pizza in the afternoon, or even just a hand-written thank you note can go a long way to cheer up your staff. If not already, be an active participant on your sales floor. Go the extra mile.
Hashtags are the perfect way to get in front of shoppers during this short resale shopping season. Create your own store hashtag as well, this allows for all your posts to be found in one place and can encourage your customers to use it. You can create multiple hashtags with different purposes, such as a hashtag for your sales. Using trending hashtags is an excellent way to gain more followers, this is because Instagram allows you to follow hashtags. Not only do they do that, but they also let the user know when they have liked multiple pictures with the same hashtag to encourage them to follow the hashtag. Finding popular hashtags is the key to growing an Instagram following, here are some popular holiday hashtags.
Your store needs to be spotless during this season. Assign the task of checking on dressing rooms, clearing your cash wrap, and maintaining the racks and shelving throughout the day. Part of excellent customer service includes the organization and look of your store.
Even though this is your busiest season, it’s still the best time to add contact information for new customers. With SimpleConsign, a cashier can add a new customer directly from the Checkout Tab. Every cashier should be asking if a customer wishes to receive notices about special events and sales to gain contact information.
Billions are lost each year to shoplifting. Stay vigilant. Post signs that say “Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted.” Remind your salespeople what your procedure is when a shoplifter is suspected.
If you enjoyed reading this, here are more holiday ideas.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
For several years now, I’ve put together a 4th quarter consignment marketing plan to keep you on track for this important season. I’ve updated it for 2019. This year I’ve added special hashtags and made suggestions for specific dates. The following is the beginning of your 16-week consignment marketing plan. Be sure to print off copies now and review them with your staff.
Inventory reduction/ National Gratitude Day
By now, your store should be filled with Fall decor. Clear out all summer, back-to-school, and any other merchandise that’s now seasonally outdated. Read 17 brilliant ideas for consignment inventory reduction. Once Labor Day is over, fall has arrived. Sit down with the calendar in hand and your staff. Map out your strategy for the 4th quarter. Plan to participate in any special fall festivals happening in your community. Especially promote local school events as much as possible. Use national as well as local hashtags to build recognition for your store. Consider celebrating #GratitudeDay on Saturday, September 21. Treat your customers and staff to a special day of thanks! Set out a plate of cookies; offer additional reward points, take photos of customers, and post them on Instagram with a “We’re grateful for you!” message.
There are 7 weeks until Halloween. Your windows and shop interior are completely decorated with fall colors and Halloween merchandise. Planning should be underway if you’re hosting a Halloween event. Read 5 consignment store Halloween Ideas to Draw Shoppers in. Your consignment marketing plan should include a special event. Consider a “Trick or Treats for Grownups” evening, a Halloween coloring page contest for the kids, or a photo contest featuring costumes or home decor created with items from your shop. Remember, user-generated content makes the biggest impact. Encourage participants to post or tweet photos using your store’s special #hashtag and #Halloween19. By now, I’m sure you’ve been brainstorming for this year’s Christmas theme. Think outside the box rather than just a simple red and green decor.
First Day of Fall/Shop Small
Autumn officially begins on Monday, September 23. Use #FirstDayOfFall, #Fall or #Autumn in all of your promotions. Take this time to review your internal processes as you plan for the holiday shopping season. How can you improve? Read 13 ways to improve your consignment shop cash wrap because slow lines at check out are a killer. What about your intake process? Make sure you’re able to handle the influx of shoppers and the need for seasonal merchandise. When was the last time you took a serious look at your shop? Clean dressing rooms, bathrooms, floors, and windows make a big impression. Sign up now to participate in Shop Small Saturday on Saturday, November 30. Encourage other shops around you to participate. Download their checklist and determine the type of specials you’ll offer on that day.
National Consignment Day
Preparations for your Fall or Halloween event should be finalized. Print flyers to promote your event and hang signs in your front window. Map out your email campaign and all of your social media. Create incentives to bring shoppers back with coupons, additional reward points, or invitations to future events. An excellent opportunity to promote consignment is National Consignment Day. Started by The RealReal, #NationalConsignmentDay is Monday, October 7th. Promote sustainable living and the many benefits of consignment shopping. In addition, watch your inbox for free prepared ads from Traxia to use in your social media. Plus, now’s the time to order gift cards and print gift certificates shoppers can use as Christmas gifts. Order small, holiday impulse-buy items for your register too. Finalize your Christmas theme and window decor ideas. Keep in mind; there are only 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
Our consignment marketing plan continues. Slip those Halloween event flyers into every shopper’s bag and start emailing customers. Because employees are walking, talking billboards for your store, run a fun employee competition. Let them choose clever costumes they’ll wear during the week of Halloween. Have shoppers vote for their favorite and give a gift card to the winning employee. It’s time to really focus on Christmas and begin advertising and interviewing seasonal help. Read The ultimate guide for hiring the best part-time employees. Bob Negan of WhizBang! offers these tips: “Focus on hiring people who are quick learners … enjoy a fast-paced environment, willing to do any work…and are extremely friendly.” Discuss with other shops the possibility of a shop crawl, sidewalk sale, or treasure hunt during ShopSmall Saturday, November 30. Download your #NationalConsignmentDay ads too!
It’s time to focus on November. The Thanksgiving season is another perfect time for community involvement. Read 5 tips for a Successful Consignment Store Event for some quick planning ideas. Similarly, you generate goodwill by having a canned food drive for your local food bank. On the other hand, a winter coat, hat, and mittens drive are excellent for a homeless shelter. Blankets, towels, and animal toy donations are perfect for your local humane society. In addition, children’s shops could collect toys and clothing for your local pregnancy center’s baby store. Many charities even provide a donation container for you.
Plan for the transition from Halloween to Fall decorating to Christmas decor. How will you change your in-store signage and your front window? Capitalize on any local events such as your town’s football team, homecoming dances, Veteran’s Day parades, or fall festivals. In addition, use this consignment marketing plan to get your shop’s Christmas events on a calendar. List specific events, additional employees, food and beverages, special merchandise, and prizes. Begin formulating your Christmas message. Plan emails and social media posts about upcoming events, special surprises, and extended shopping hours.
This week, take lots of pictures of costumed employees handing out candy and post them on social media. Promote the winner of your in-store costume contest too. Remember, there are only 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Begin gathering and storing your Christmas window decor items. It’s time to finalize your Shop Small Saturday and/or Christmas event. Whether you choose a one-time event or something as simple as offering Christmas cookies and hot cider throughout the month, complete your planning. After that, contact a local high school, Girl Scout Troop, or senior citizen group to see if they’ll offer free holiday gift wrapping in return for a charitable donation. Create and print special holiday signage, flyers, and invitations. Arrange for the food you’ll serve at the event.
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.
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!
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.
Download and use in social media
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.
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.
A Harvard Business School study determined that people are motivated by 4 different biological drives. Here are the first 2:
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:
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.
Today’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.