You’ve made the decision to stay at home with your children. Maybe the bills are tight. Maybe you’re just ready to contribute to the family income (like you did before life with children). Maybe you just need to have interaction with other adults. Maybe you just want to serve your community and help others. Whatever the reason, seasonal consignment sales are popping up all over the United States as more and more stay at home moms delve into owning their own business. But what can they do that works around the family schedule and produces significant income?
The business of choice for many stay at home moms has been consignment sales. These sales are usually held two to three times a year and are “worked” around family time. One week each season is set aside to host these events. Prior to the event, the sale organizer coordinates sellers and volunteers for the sale via communication online. The great thing about hosting a consignment sale as a home business is that the start-up costs are relatively low and there is no inventory to purchase. All of the inventory is provided by the consignors.
During the sale week, consignors will bring their gently used merchandise to the sale. Volunteers will check in the items and help run the sale. Once everything is set up, the buyers are allowed to shop. Because these sales are seasonal in nature, there is a frenzied effect on buyers. Buyers anticipate these events and typically spend most of their seasonal clothing and toy budgets at one time as they buy for the next six months.
So, why are consignment sales growing so rapidly in the struggling economy? It has to do with the fact that everybody who participates in one of these events wins! Seasonal sales have the potential to draw hundreds to thousands of shoppers, which means that consignors sell lots of stuff. Consignors also receive a higher price than at a yard sale. Buyers get great deals on gently used “stuff” for their youngsters. Community outreach programs receive excellent donations of left over “consignment quality” items and of course, the sale organizer gets a 30%-40% cut of each item that sells.
When it comes to the money a sale organizer makes, let me help put this into perspective for you. An average size sale has approximately 150 consignors. The sale organizer receives 30%-40% of each sale -depending on the structure of the sale. To make a comparison, it would be the equivalent of hosting approximately 50+ home parties with a standard multi-level marketing business. And as long as you run a great sale and treat your customers well, they will continue to come back to you every 6 months for an average of 7-10 years.
Hosting a sale involves more than picking out a cute name, throwing up some racks and having a sale. There are things that you need to know before you jump in. Make sure that you receive guidance from an experienced sale organizer before you head into your first sale.