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Words to the Wise

  • Stay on top of trends: To make it as the owner of a consignment shop, “you have to be aware of what’s going on around you at all times,” Kallenberg advises. That means noticing trends and reacting to them as quickly as possible.
  • Take care of your consigners: Although providing top-notch service to customers is vital to succeeding in this particular industry, says Thompson, it’s just as important to “serve your [consigners] well and make sure their experience is positive.” That includes paying them on time, providing them with an accurate inventory and “ensuring they have all of the information they need to be successful.”
  • Know your clientele: “You really need to get to know who your customers are and what they want, so you’re not stuck with a bunch of inventory that doesn’t move,” says Sam Levine of Fury Extraordinary Women’s Consignment in Seattle.
  • Spend some money on advertising: Kallenberg has become well acquainted with that word since she took the reins at Finders Keepers more than a decade ago. “I have always spent money on advertising—from newspaper ads, to billboards, to television,” she says. Not only that, but “whenever I reduce the advertising budget, I eventually can tell it in sales, [and] whenever we start a new campaign, I notice an uptick immediately.”

 

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