The following information is provided by NARTS* (The Association of Resale Professionals).

Q. Why is resale gaining such popularity?

There are numerous reasons for the increased popularity of resale. One is the increased awareness by the public of recycling. People would rather consign, sell or donate their unwanted or unneeded items than just add to the waste stream. Consignors, donors and sellers make money by selling under loved items at our shops, without the expense, work, and bother of a tag or garage sale. By having a resale expert price and market their goods, sellers realize more income than if they attempted to do this themselves.

Eco-aware consumers would also rather purchase recycled articles in order to minimize their impact on our limited resources. Of course, one of the foremost reasons for increased popularity of resale is very simple . . . People LOVE a BARGAIN! Today’s consumer is more economical and would rather buy clothing, accessories and furniture for a half to a third of the original price, leaving money for other things in life such as vacations, education, investments and hobbies. The public is also keenly aware that resale shopping means more quality for less money.

Since resale has evolved from the image of dark, musty junk stores, consumers today find clean, attractive and well displayed stores that offer value and selection without the new-price markup.

Q. What’s the difference between thrift, resale, and consignment shops?

While all shops which sell gently-used consumer goods are “resale” shops, NARTS* makes the distinctions as follows:

A resale shop is the phrase most often used for stores that buy their merchandise outright from individual owners. A consignment or thrift shop can also be called a resale shop, but ONLY a store that actually consigns their inventory can be called a consignment store, and ONLY a store run by a Not For Profit organization is considered a thrift store.

A thrift shop is run by a Not For Profit organization to raise money to fund their charitable causes. These range from the large Salvation Army / Goodwill chains to individual school, church or hospital thrift shops. Not For Profits can obtain goods through donations or they could operate on a consignment basis – some do both.

A consignment shop accepts merchandise on a consignment basis, paying the owners of the merchandise a percentage when and if the items are sold. The majority of such shops pay the owners from 40 to 60% of the selling price, and have a policy of displaying goods for anywhere from 30 to 90 days, although there is a wide range of policies across the country. Some consignment shops also purchase a variety of items outright from individual owners and/or wholesalers

*NARTS is the The Association of Resale Professionals.

Q. How can a person who wants to consign or sell items choose a shop?

Explore the store beforehand. Do they sell the type of merchandise you want to bring in? Talk with the staff about becoming a supplier. Are you comfortable with their procedures? Most resale shops have information on supplying available as a handout or a phone recording.

Finally, understand the shop’s terms before you consign or sell. Will you receive an accounting of items accepted for sale? What happens if your items do not sell? When and how much will you get paid?

Q. Why should I take my items to a consignment or resale shop instead of selling them on eBay, having a garage sale or taking them to a home swap party (where friends trade their treasures or clothes)?

Resale and consignment shops have an established clientele looking for the kind of items they accept on consignment or purchase outright for sale.

You don’t have to pack and ship each item you sell. One quick trip to your favorite resale/consignment shop is a real time saver. Selling furniture and other large items on eBay can be problematic due to the shipping. Selling them directly means you have to let strangers into your home and worry about scheduling appointments. Working with your local consignment or resale shop is safer and more convenient.

No need to deal with returns or bounced checks. Once your items sell at a resale/consignment shop you are paid.
Listing items on eBay or organizing a garage sale requires a great deal of time and effort. Resale/consignment shops do the work for you – they display your items attractively, advertise for customers and handle the entire sale process.

The percentage of clothing listed on eBay that actually sells is low. It is much easier to sell clothing at a resale/consignment shop where people can “touch and feel” and try things on to make sure they fit and look well.

You can make more money in the long run by consigning than with a garage sale, swap party or eBay. Consignment/resale stores will get the full value because store owners know the real value.

Preparing items for Re-Sale Consignment (in general) – (Furniture Heaven does not accept clothing)

Make your articles sparkle with customer appeal! Clean, fresh merchandise will get you the best return:

  • Clothing items must be spotless and fresh-smelling. A quick pressing will get you the best price.
  • For household items, dust and polish. Wash glassware with a little vinegar to add extra brightness.
  • If you are taking in a set of dishes or a child’s game, make sure all the necessary parts are included.
  • Small repairs go a long way. A few minutes of time can result in a more desirable resale item.

If your resale shop cannot accept some of your items, they will let you know. Please don’t take a “No, Thank you” personally. Shop owners and managers are professional experts. They will not accept items they won’t be able to sell for you. Simply ask if they can refer you to another shop or recommend a charity that may accept your items as a donation.
Keep in touch with your shop. Is it time to bring in the next season’s items? Are there any unsold articles that should be removed?

Ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand.
And finally . . . replace your unwanted items with new-to-you bargains!

General Consigning Information