I am back and ready to go!

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

It's been a fun summer off! Lots of fun stuff going on around here so let's get to it!

First of all, I hope you have noticed my fancy schmancy new website. I've been working on for a while. Actually, I had it done a long time ago, but my web-friend told me that I may lose everything in my old forum when I transferred the domain name... well to say the least, it set me back a few months. But now that's all done so here it is, the unveiling of the new and improved Consignamania website! Check out the new features... A few featured sales, the blog and the forum are now all located on the same site! I am just so excited I could explode!

We had our Back to School sale in July and it rocked! Boot Campers were awesome and it was a banner sale!

We are getting ready for our 4th annual ministry sale with Rejoice Ministries. I have to admit, it's my favorite sale of the year. Registration opened Monday and we are about to reach max capacity!

It's been a busy summer as I have now begun homeschooling my 2 middle school aged children. Oh my... what was I thinking there? Needless to say, I am being very selective about who I am consulting for now as I have more sales needing my help than I can get too. It's a good problem to have, but I hate turning people away. In the long run though, my children need me more and being a mother is my primary calling in life, as much as I love helping new sales get off the ground and turning other sales around.

Gaye, one of my lead volunteers is turning the tables on me. She is starting a sale for homeschool curriculum and I am going to be her lead volunteer! I am very excited to help her start this sale and become a part of this project. http://www.nashvillehomeschoolsale.com

That's about it for now. I'll be posting more regularly now that we are up and running!

Quality Control

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

I've had the privilege of helping a friend this season participate in some additional sales. All of the sale organizers are great, that much is true. They are all working hard to promote their sales. However...

The one thing that has been quite shocking to me is that not one of the sales my friend has participated in after my sale (6 so far this season) have checked items in. So excuse me while I get on my soapbox for a moment.

Sale organizers across the US and Canada are working hard to promote seasonal consignment sales as upscale events. They are supposed to be quality controlled, which is what separates what we do from your average yard sale.

Because my friend has a lot, and I mean a LOT of stuff, the fact that no one checks stuff in was quite the time saver for me, however it brings down the industry as a whole when "consignment sales" just accept any old merchandise that walks in the door and gets hung on the racks.

As a sale organizer, you have got to inspect the merchandise that comes into your sale. Granted, things are always going to slip through, but when you factor in all the stuff you turn away, not only are you upholding the standards of the industry, you are also not having to re-sort all that stuff back at the end. And then there's the whole "I like this sale because there isn't a lot I have to dig through" word of mouth aspect... and we all know how important word of mouth is!

For the love of Pete, please check your merchandise in. Websites like Nashville's ConsigningTime and National listing sites like ConsignmentMommies are working around the clock to promote your event and the industry as a whole as the upscale event and industry it is supposed to be. Consignors understand if merchandise is turned away. They'll still come back to your sale. Please be a contentious sale organizer and check the merchandise before it comes into your sale. I can't begin to tell you how devastating skipping this step can be not just for your sale, but for the industry as a whole.

Customer Feedback

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

When you receive feedback from your customers, whether good or bad, it's always valuable. Sometimes feedback can be valuable to sales, such as where to locate items so they will be easier to find, and hence sell. While other feedback can be not so pleasant, it may help you make policy changes or help you make clarifications as to why you do what you do.

An excellent example of customer feedback came in the comment that she felt the placement of our books would be more effective (and hence sell more) if we moved them to another location in our sale. She explained her reasoning and thoughts behind why we should move our books and she was right. The next sale we moved our books to the location she suggested and we sold more books than ever before.
Another example of feedback that may not be so helpful for us, but it helped her to understand where we came from was the subject of selling Books from Birth. In Tennessee, we have a program called Books from Birth. Your child is sent a book every month from the age of newborn to age 5. Many people get upset that consignors sell these free books. We allow people to sell the free books for 2 reasons. 1. If my son is into chapter books, he isn't into ABC board books. But if I sell his Books from Birth, I can turn around and buy chapter books for him. I'm pretty sure that the goal for Books from Birth is to develop a love for reading, and they would want to continue that love as he got older. 2. Many of the books are discontinued, or are ethnically based, and lots of our local ministries are looking for cheap books to give to their clientele that have characters that fit the ethnicity of the children they serve. Once I explained the to the lady who started out being very angry with me, she saw the many benefits of selling books that were no longer needed by my consignors.
It's always good to have feedback to help either better your sale, or help your customers understanding. Always look at feedback as a positive way to help your sale grow.

End of Year Wrap-Up

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

As the year comes to a close, now is the time to wrap up all the books on your consignment sale. The most important thing for those of you who have online record keeping, is to download all of your current year bank statements and other financial documents. Many banks and other financial institutions only make your records available online for twelve months. Download your January documents before they are deleted... and while you're at it, go ahead and download the rest so that you are prepared when you start your taxes next month.

It's important to remember that just because your sale is over, doesn't mean the behinds the scene work is. Keep up with your records so that tax season is as smooth as possible in 2012.

Copyright Jenifer Gifford 2012. All Rights Reserved.