“I have two kids, and I shop consignment,” the woman said. “So I basically figured I know how to shop for it, so I can sell it. Then I ran across this empty store and here I am! It’s so much FUN, running a consignment shop. It’s just like the garage sales I ran for my neighbors.”
Less than 3 years later, her resale shop closed abruptly, leaving unpaid consignors, outstanding debts, and a very stressed-out family.
“I never realized it would take so much of my time. That it was so complicated. I was taking bookwork home with me every night, and my kids never got to do what their friends did, because they were always with me at the store,” she said. “It’s hard to run a business when you have two bored kids whining at you all the time.
“I priced things good but I just couldn’t sell enough. And the cost of advertising? I couldn’t do it. Every day someone would say How long have you been here? even after I’d been open 5, 6, 7 months.
“I don’t see how consignment shops make it. I don’t think they do. They must all be hobby-businesses.
“My husband finally said that the shop was just costing him too much, and we hadn’t been able to take a vacation for 3 years, and he never saw me anymore and when he did I was too tired to be any fun. So I had to close the shop. That, or give up my marriage and I couldn’t afford that…even after almost three years, I wasn’t making a living and we had to put money into the business about 5 out of 12 months, the months when it was slow.”
No one goes into any business planning to fail. But many start-ups DO fail. Why is that? Lack of capital and lack of knowledge.
Alas, all too many newbies think that taking goods on consignment means they don’t need the recommended 6 months’ of living AND business expenses ready to tap if needed. Or, for some reason, they figure the recommendation is for other people, not them. Every business needs the capital behind it to get started. And to survive not only the get-established period, but the slow seasons, the local blips on the retail radar, and the inevitable mistakes any entrepreneur makes.
And that newbie will also realize, in short order, that a love of shopping resale, cruising garage sales, and haunting rummage sales doesn’t turn her into a wise shopkeeper. Not even a background in running neighborhood sales or church bazaars is enough. Without a thorough grounding in what running a consignment or resale shop involves, all the time, money, effort, and pride expended will not be enough to succeed.
And that’s why there’s Too Good to be Threw: The Complete Operations Manual for Resale & Consignment Shops and the dozens of other Products for the Professional Resaler. I hate to see that sparkling joy and eager enthusiasm get wasted.