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!
Hashtags are a thing of the present, if you’re posting on Instagram and not using hashtags you’re doing it wrong. Hashtags have endless benefits such as increasing engagement, joining trending topics, content categorization, and reach new audiences. On Instagram, a lot of hashtags are encouraged, the optimal amount per post is 11. Although the actual max is 30 there is no need to use that many. Now that I have stated the importance of hashtags, here are 15 holiday hashtags for your consignment store:
#thanksgiving (20 million)
#blackfriday (17 million)
#smallbusinessaturday (2 million)
#cybermonday (2 million)
#givingtuesday (1 million)
#holidays (69 million)
#holidayseason (8 million)
#holidayshopping (1 million)
#happyholidays (16 million)
#merrychristmas (50 million)
#happychristmas (2 million)
#christmasgifts (6 million)
#boxingday (2 million)
#happynewyear (47 million)
#nye (10 million)
There are a ton of hashtags you can use, however the ones I rounded up are the biggest hashtags. Use those 15 holiday hashtags for your consignment store this holiday season and add more. Take a look at the hashtags your competitors or other similar stores use to keep track of hashtags that are trending. You can also do your own research, start searching hashtags and see how big they are. Even if they aren’t very popular they can help you reach your audience. There is no harm in trying out new hashtags, explore and play around with them.
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The Academy was birthed out of a desire to help resale businesses succeed. Our customers understand buying and selling. Pricing items and knowing a bargain come easily. However, understanding marketing, merchandising, building a sales team, and many other business ideas is another story. Here are just a few Resale Academy takeaways.
Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender are consumer anthropologists. Nationally-known speakers in the retail industry, we brought them to the Resale Academy. According to Kizer & Bender, customers seek “information, inspiration, and ideas.” Gone are the days of telling them and they will buy. You need to become a customer advocate. In other words, show your customers you’re on their side. View your business from their perspective. Have the information they need. Give amazing service.
Did you know 50% of your shop is never seen by shoppers? Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender encouraged shop owners to take a closer look at their “Impression Points.” For example, review areas like your front door and front window. Change your speed bumps weekly. In addition, your checkout area should pop with color and signage. Your sightlines must be clear.
The one-time consignment store owner, Angie Houloose, also spoke. She taught about creating a winning culture through leadership. Angie has developed the “OBVI Project.” Through your leadership, the store culture you desire is obtainable. Refine your values and vision for your store.
In marketing, the first moment of truth (MOT) is the moment your customer first interacts with your store. It’s their first impression. You have less than 10 seconds. There are several moments of truth. In fact, there’s even a zero moment of truth.
Imagine a circle. In it, you place everything a resale store needs to operate. For instance, you need an inventory, customers, a cash register, etc. Now, place a larger circle around the first. Add the extras that aren’t necessary, but set you apart from other stores. As you build circles of excellence, customers begin to expect it from you. Therefore, constantly change and build that outer circle to add value and excitement.
The Academy was a resounding success. Attendees said, “It rejuvenated me.” “I needed to be inspired & motivated.” “They knew their stuff.” SimpleConsign users … we’ll be back next year!
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I have a love/hate relationship with email. Emails eat up my time. Countless marketing blogs appear by the hour, not day. Retail stats flood my inbox. Tricks of the trade are constant. I never know which ones to read. However, I do know email is the fastest form of communication. It’s the easiest to reach a target market and often the most engaging. This holiday, don’t break up with consignment emails.
You know the drill. Add a new consignor, get an email address. Check out a new customer, ask for an email address. There are countless opportunities to collect email addresses. To make sending consignment emails easier, choose an email marketing service. At Traxia, I’ve used 3 different email providers over the years. We started with iContact. If you have less than 500 contacts, you pay only $14 a month. Less if you pay annually. I can’t remember why we made the switch to Constant Contact. They offer a free trial and monthly payments of $20. Just as I was getting used to it, we switched to Mail Chimp. They offer a completely free version. I wish I could tell you one was better than the other. They all have their quirks, but all do a great job of delivering your message.
I saw this idea on Snap Retail and thought I’d share it with you. If you’re struggling with email ideas, here are 9 different topics to talk about.
I have read about, studied, researched, and stressed over subject lines. According to stats, if you don’t grab the reader’s attention within 5-8 seconds, you can forget about it. Here are some email suggestions from a company called SuperOffice.
Happy emailing this holiday season!
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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.
When my kids were younger, back to school shopping was big. I mean REALLY big. Whether it was supplies and clothes in grade school; technology and clothes in high school or dorm decor and clothes for college, shopping didn’t come cheap. It was expected that shiny new notebooks and brand new sneakers were the order of the day. It’s no different today. However, in spite of the uptick in the economy, families are struggling. Today’s back to school consumers are looking for bargains. To see their money go farther, they need a little back to school consignment shopping. Now’s the time to show them what you offer.
Not every state offers tax-free weekends, but for those that do, be sure to let back-to-school consignment shoppers know you participate. Here’s a list of the states and their tax-free weekends courtesy of The Krazy Coupon Lady. Unfortunately, the Krazy Coupon Lady doesn’t mention that consignment shops are one of the best places to find back-to-school clothes.
States like Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon are always tax-free states.
This is one of the best times of the year to create User Generated Content (UGC). With UGC, your customers are marketing for you. Furthermore, you’re gaining credibility when shoppers see others purchasing back to school items from you. Here are a couple of promotional ideas that I came up with for any age group.
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!
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!
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.
Just slapping some sale stickers on and putting a sign in your shop window isn’t enough to build the excitement your hoping for. A successful consignment store event requires planning. Start with one very important question. What’s the purpose of your event? Clear out inventory? Grow your customer base? Drive sales? Once you answer that question, create a lasting impression in the minds of your shoppers with a truly memorable consignment store event.
Pick a theme and begin sending out teaser announcements 3 to 4 weeks before the event. Use social media, emails, in-store signage and bag stuffers to build expectation. Create a unique event hashtag.
2 weeks before the event, send out special invitations, especially to your very best customers. Use an online email invitation company such as Smilebox or create your own. Include the invitation on all your social media sites too. By all means use compelling graphics and give potential shoppers all the information they’ll need to attend.
Reminders need to be sent multiple times. Start 2 to 3 days prior to the event and even the morning of. Once again, use social media, emails, in-store flyers and signage as special reminders.
Immediately following the event, keep your followers updated with fun photos of your crowded shop. Include a thank you to those who participated and pictures of any prize winners. Ask customers to tag themselves in your photos or encourage them to post photos of their own from your store event. Read Consignment customer content is the best way to promote yourself.
Get as much feedback as you possibly can. Don’t be afraid to ask if shoppers liked the prizes, discounts, food, entertainment, etc. Find out as much as you possibly can so your next store event will be even more of a success.
For other sales tips check here:
After July 4th, but before “Back-to-School” sales, comes the “Dog Days” of summer. It’s that time of year when everyone is tired of the heat, worn out by the lack of routine and basically done with summer. There is very little to capitalize on for marketing inspiration. Stir up a little excitement and boost summer sales with an event that’s both fun and memorable.
Did you know Sunday, August 4th is Friendship Day? It’s the perfect opportunity to boost summer sales. A lot of consignment and resale stores are normally closed on Sunday. For this one day only, create a special “Be-a-friend-and-bring-a-friend” event. Choose your top 20% highest-spending customers and make it a special “invitation only” afternoon. Give customers access to exclusive merchandise that’s been reserved for this day. Offer a discount, prize drawing or interesting giveaways. If Friendship Day doesn’t interest you, go to Holiday Insights. Pick a fun holiday and make a memory!
July is the time to host an in-store workshop. Whether you’ve done live Facebook sales or video chats, an in-store event is completely different. This time, it’s all about your customers. What do they want to learn? If you’re in an area with a large number of snowbirds who head south for the winter, teach a class on wardrobe planning or how to pack your suitcase. When your best shoppers are young, host a do-it-yourself class on turning a dresser into a shabby chic buffet. It’s important to find what appeals to the demographics of your customers.
Often charities see a lag in donations during the summer. This would be a perfect time to highlight a local charity such as a food bank, women’s shelter or humane society. Be sure to tie a discount to the donation of canned goods, clothing or other specified items. The organization you choose may even provide a collection bin. Choose National Underwear Day (Monday, August 5th) created by Freshpair and collect underwear items to give to charity. There are many creative ways to give back to your local community.
Dress your staff in Santa hats; decorate your shop with red and green; play Christmas music and add the scent of evergreen. Consider renting a snow-cone machine to serve red and green “snow balls” or invite Santa to the shop in his Bermuda shorts. Make it a fun summer sales event for all ages.
Put together a special 4-week sale that builds anticipation for the shopper and helps you clear out summer merchandise. During the first week, offer 25% off all summer clearance items. The second week, offer 50% off and the third week offer a 75% discount. End the promotion with a “Buy-the-Bag” sale or “Everything’s a $1” sale.