Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Consigning with Beth

 By Beth Davis

I really wouldn’t call it shopping. The kind of browsing one does in a second hand store is really more of a left over thing from our ancestors who spent their days hunting and gathering. It’s a hunt for something really unique or you may be gathering collectibles you have a hankering for. There is nothing like wandering through the clutter of other peoples junk to find the thing that is just perfect for you.

Unlike a modern box store where multiples line the shelves, the second hand shop is filled with "one of a kind items". There is no trend involved. Treasures from an entire century are crammed into the space and you find what appeals to you, rather than what the latest catalog has picked out.

There are antique establishments and endless thrift stores but nothing comes close to a consignment shop for a great find. Consignors know their cast offs are worth something, something more than just a tax write off. A great consignee has a pretty good idea what will sell. They pass over the junk and the interminable sifting is done for the shopper. Your treasure is there for the taking. Everyone’s a winner.

There is a snag and I warn you now, consignment shopping is not for the indecisive. If you find something you really love and you can afford it. Buy it, because it won’t be there when you come back. Hesitate if you must.  But if you do, walk away and don’t look back. “Easy come, easy go” is an attitude you must acquire for consignment shopping.  If you come across an item and you think; “I can’t live without this” ask yourself where on earth it will go. If you don’t have a spot, don’t bother. If the item is going to replace another piece you simply couldn’t live without before, well, you’re already in pretty deep.

If you want to sell your own cast offs, be picky about which shop you use. Consignment stores seem to be popping up all over.  Some come and many go, but my favorites have been around a while and have established reputations for themselves.  Walk in one and if you like what you see. It’s probably the right one for you.  

A good shop proprietor will have a grasp on their market and have a good idea if an item will sell. I always let them help decide the price. Remember though that your take is a percentage of the total. The shop will have a copy of their policy available and really read through it so you know just what will happen. Shops may have a limited time to display your items (90 days is typical). They are running a business, so it is in their best interest to rotate merchandise.

Make sure your pieces are in the best shape possible, clean and polished, ready for display. Fickle as we may be about our possessions, their next admirer will want to know it was well taken care of.

Who say’s a gift must be new? Put the consignment shops on your route for the upcoming shopping season!

Look for more Consigning with Beth as she will be sharing some of her favorite consignments stores on I Heart Salt Lake.