Sunday evening I was waylaid by an earnest young female in a vest covered in patches showing her achievements. I mean, wasn’t it my patriotic or gender-duty to buy some Girl Scout cookies? Of course it was.
When I got home (yes, I did wait until I was safely off the road before ripping into that box of Thin Mints) I noticed something very interesting. Or maybe it was interesting only to my chocolate-befuddled brain.
The same traits that make a good Girl Scout (or at least, that make good GS cookie package copy) make a good resaler. Courage, Confidence, Character.
Courage: to start one’s own business. To leave the health insurance, 401K program, key to the executive washroom (that you never have to clean yourself) behind. To brave the derision of used-to-be-best friends and mothers in law (You’re going to sell used stuff?) To confront the forces of permit-doling governments and ignorant insurance “sales”people.
Confidence: AKA Spine.To face down a whining client or an annoying ad rep. To “gamble” with one’s life savings in order to…well, have a life you’re proud of. To unlock that door every blessed morning knowing that on that day, you will face, and graciously deal with, a variety of people that most other folks never even get to see. Rich, poor, shopaholic and stingy SOB…flashy dresser and timid mouse…all of whom you know you can make feel comfortable and welcome in your place of business.
Character: To do right by your consignors, your sellers, your donors. Having the moral strength to ask a fair price for goods that you are not ashamed to offer. To be a small business person in a society which sometimes only seems to value the megamall and the Big Box. To be a hometown merchant…even if the town’s only been home for a short while.
I think resale shopkeepers would make terrific Girl Scouts.
Even the male shopkeepers. Don’t you agree? Now, if only we could have those “insignia… as a record of her adventures and accomplishments” to sew on our vests…
Oh, and by the way, for my retailer readers: Yes I fell for the “2 for $7″ signage just like a customer in your shop would be…buying 2, when really I’d only planned to buy one box. (Or so I tell myself.)
More of Kate’s retail and resale wisdom at Too Good to be Threw, home of The Complete Operations Manual for Resale & Consignment Shops, as well as consumer-focused thoughts at HowToConsign.com where you can find a professional resale shop