Whelp, I did it! I listened to all your advice and tried out some consigning rather than going all-in and opening up my own thrift/antiques store! Haha… Or, as I saw on Storage Wars the other night – a M’antiques store ;) Best name ever!
Here’s how the whole process went down:
- I rummaged through my entire basement for goodies to sell
- I scheduled an appt. with the consignment shop to come in and convince ’em they wanted all my awesome stuff ;)
- I brought them all over in boxes, and we went through each item, one by one, saying Yay or Nay depending on what it was. (As long as it was in good condition, they pretty much accepted 80% of what I brought in – I was pretty surprised. And realized that not everything has to be old or even an antique! Some places sell just about anything that’s used.)
- They priced ’em and entered the info into their system (I suggested a few prices myself, but ultimately I just let them run with it since they’re the pros of knowing how to sell stuff faster/better)
- I signed a 1-page contract stating the terms of how everything operates
- And my items were creatively placed in the store that same day!
Pretty easy. I was actually surprised at how simple and efficient the whole process took. So much so that I even went back 3 weeks later and dropped off ANOTHER handful of boxes, haha… I may or may not be addicted now ;)
Here are some of the terms of our contract:
- The consignment shop takes 50%. A HUGE portion of the sales price no doubt about it, but then again they’re doing all the work for you while you sit back and do whatever you want ;) Research tells me shops usually only take about 30-40% of the asking price, but I figured I’d give this place a shot first since it’s my favorite, and see how it goes from there. They have new stuff listed every single day of the week, so they’re definitely pretty good at unloading stuff.
- There’s a 3 month selling limit. I’m not sure how other places do it, but this one gives you 3 months for the items to sell, and at the end whatever’s left over needs to be picked up by you or it’s considered donated. Which most people probably end up doing, I’d guess? I’m not going to though ;) I’ll go and donate it myself and at least get the write off…
- Towards the end of the 3 months they discount the prices. This not only helps to move stuff out of the store quicker (YOUR stuff), but also to more accurately reflect a fairer price than what was previously marked. At least in my opinion. All of which is a part of the agreement though. I do wonder, however, how many people WAIT for the prices to go down and *then* jump on all the deals? Provided they’re still un-bought? I’ve been catching myself play this game with a few of their items I have my eyes on, and I must say it works out well when the stars align ;) So it’s kinda weird being on both sides of the table here.
And that’s pretty much it. It’s all rather simple, and it’s fun as hell to walk through the store and actually SEE your stuff in there too :) In fact, the other day I had seen these AWESOME tumbler glasses I liked, and about 5 seconds after checking them out I realized that they were my OWN I was consigning! Haha… They had looked so good in the store that I didn’t even realize it :) Which goes to show how you can be “in the moment” and convince yourself to buy something you really don’t need!
So what did I consign?
I’m glad you asked :) I consigned about 30 things the first time (4 weeks ago), and another 35 things the second time (last week). Everything from wine glasses to bird feeders, decorations, piggy banks, wooden statues, hand-painted eggs, vintage flower posts, picture frames, and even that crazy skull head coffee mug I picked up for a dollar the other month ;) (Now listed for $2.99, btw) Tons of stuff that I enjoyed at one point, but eventually grew out of use for. And would have been probably donated to The Salvation Army or sold on Craigslist instead – IF and when I had the energy, of course.
Actually, here’s a good system to use if anyone else has stuff they want to get rid of: Try selling on Craigslist or eBay first so you can get the most possible money out of your items. Then if that doesn’t work, try consigning them at a local place in your own area if you can find one, and if that fails go right to the thrift store and donate them there (where you can then get a tax write off). Each method has its own sets of pros and cons here, but ALL of them is better than simply chucking everything into the trash and being done with it.
How much have I made so far?
Here’s everything I’ve sold, along with the price:
|Large Cloisonne Egg||$74.99|
|(2) Carved Wood Men||$45.98|
|(2) Jamaican Carving||$9.98|
|(2) Reverse Glass Painted Egg||$9.98|
|(2) Metal Lanterns||$7.98|
Total revenue: $193.89
MY Portion: $96.95
So almost a hundred bucks for stuff I could care less about! And I guess the more pairs of stuff you have, the better, haha… Not too shabby, overall though eh? It would be even better of course to have $200 for everything there, but that’s the way the game’s played. And now I sit back and watch the rest of my stuff hopefully sell too! Woo!
My new thing now is searching for undervalued stuff at other shops and yard sales I hit, and then trying to flip them for a profit ;) It’s not really hard in the grand scheme of things, but you do have to make sure whatever it is you’re picking is unique enough to have someone want it a lot, and then more importantly CHEAP enough so you can turn it around at a good 3x-4x higher value. ‘Cuz right off the bat you have to at least DOUBLE the price just to break even, and even then it’s not worth your time. Only the original seller and the consignment shop in that case makes out ;)
The entire ecosystem is just incredibly exciting to me right now. I’ve learned sooooooo much already just tinkering around with this stuff a tiny bit, that I can’t even imagine how much MORE opportunity there is to come later. We’re only 4 weeks into it and I’ve already snagged $100 buckaroonies! I HIGHLY encourage anyone remotely interested in this to give it a shot at least once too. It hardly takes any time, and the extra money is awesome. Not to mention the free space you’ll then have in your home/garage/storage units.
So thanks to all of you who encouraged me to try it out! I know I like the idea of jumping into things all the way when I get excited about stuff, but this is a great way to slowly immerse myself into the world of buying and selling used goods. I’m certainly in no rush to go out and open up my own store anytime soon, especially after my recent success here, but I do still see the appeal of it all. Maybe when we’re more settled and I don’t need as much money anymore? For now though I’m totally content just picking up a check without doing any work ;) It’s the ultimate Side Hustle!
Now who wants to try it with me? This week is as good of a time as ever! :) And remember, you don’t necessarily only need antiques – some stores take anything used and in good condition!
(Photo by rickpilot_2000)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!