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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
  • 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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