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.

Know When to Call in the Experts

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

My husband and I have recently been looking for new house. Our little home is tiny (under 900 sq feet) and we are trying to find one that will fit our needs better. After much searching, we found a house that we loved. In fact, it was the kind of house, with the kind of sq footage that under normal circumstances, we would never be able to afford. But it was a foreclosure, and boy were we excited when we had the high bid on it. We were set to close the week of the sale (ugh) but we would be in before Christmas!

One of the things about buying a home from HUD, is that the buyer is expected to pay for and have the home inspected within 10 days of signing the contract. So, after a little research and some recommendations from friends, we settled on a company to do our home inspection. We knew the house needed some repairs, however, according to HUD, the repairs were limited to $2800. We knew there was the standard cosmetic issues... new flooring and paint that we would have to take care of as well.
The home inspectors came in and performed their inspection and slowly but surely, they picked apart what I thought was going to be my new home... and so the report came... our new house needed:
  • a new roof
  • new sub flooring in all 3 bathrooms
  • new toilets and sinks
  • new sub flooring in a 6 foot radius around the front and rear doors
  • mold removal under the downstairs bathroom
  • new sub flooring in the kitchen
  • the gas heat unit needed to be replaced as it was leaking CO2 (in the bedroom my youngest son was about to be sleeping in)
  • the gas hot water heater had been installed on a wooden platform (fire hazard, against codes)
  • the gas hot water heater had signs of flames shooting out the sides and needed to be replaced
  • and again... the hot water heater vent pipe had been installed incorrectly and did not have the proper clearance. It was butted up right next to the eaves instead of having a one inch clearance. The inspector said that was a fire waiting to happen.
  • the insulation had been installed incorrectly in the floor and the roof and had to be totally gutted and reinstalled with the proper ventilation for the roof or insulation, and since the house had vaulted ceilings, that meant all of the drywall had to be gutted on the ceiling as well.
  • all of the electrical wiring in the garage was installed incorrectly and had to be completely re-wired
  • the facia boards need to be replaced from dry rot
  • the dormers were not installed correctly and leaked into the house. They also needed to be completely re-sided
  • the chimney did not have a proper cap and as a result the stove pipe had rusted and would need to be replaced before we could use it
  • one sky light was cracked, but both sky lights were installed incorrectly causing leaking through the roof
  • all of the things attached to the roof had been installed over the shingles instead of under them and caused leaking and water damage inside the house
And if you think that's bad, there were potential foundation issues to boot! But it looked like the perfect house!
Part of me was incredibly angry. HUD had told me that the house only needed $2800 worth of work! But, thanks to the experts who inspected our "house" we found out the real truth. I almost bought a money pit that needed $40,000 in repairs and in 10 years, would the house hold up? Who knows?
My point is, you need to know when to ask for help. When you are starting a sale, you need to know about the pitfalls that you are not aware of. When I look back at the forum and how many times I have posted... "been there done that" and people have been able to learn from my mistakes, things I thought were going to be a good idea, but weren't... well it increases the satisfaction level I get while mentoring these new sale organizers to help them learn what works and what doesn't. I hate wasting money and I am glad that they get to learn from my mistakes.
When I called my husband after the inspectors left, I only got half way through my list when he said "you had me at "needs a new roof". Best money we ever spent." And he's right. When you look at something from the outside without the benefit of seeing from the inside, you are looking at things with rose colored glasses. Moving forward on our house hunting adventures, I know I will gladly hire those inspectors again, even if it means 3 or 4 houses down the road, because a small investment up front means less money out of my pocket in the long run.
So now when my new sale organizers write me to say thank you, I view it in a new light. It's not a big deal to me to put Consignamania out there. But it is like the home inspectors who inspected our house, it wasn't a big deal for them to come out, but it was a HUGE blessing for me. Pitfalls and costly errors avoided... I'll take the experts every time!
I'm so thankful we picked the right inspectors and help avoid a massive money pit!

Sale 25 is in the Books!

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

It's hard to believe that our 25th sale is now in the books. One more under our belts. We had awesome Boot Campers. Sherry and Julie are going to do great with their own sales in the Spring. I miss them already.

This was our largest ministry sale yet! Rejoice Ministries received the largest amount of funds to date yet, with over 15% of their annual budget for 2011 pulled in by the sale! I know... exciting isn't it? I surely think so!
I finally managed to get my boys to purge some of their own things, and more importantly, they only found a couple of things that they just had to buy. I am trying hard to get them to understand that getting rid of stuff is just as much fun as buying new (to them) stuff!
Our half price day was the biggest one yet. I don't know how we moved so much merchandise, but we did. We had awesome stories through out the whole sale... like the lady that brought in 6 garbage bags and filled them up just so she could donate them. She bought 221 items for $411 and said that she was celebrating the fact that her husband had a job when so many others did not. She was donating them to the local hospital for low income families. What an amazing woman.
We had potential Boot Campers that came out from South Carolina. I had a good time meeting them (sadly, it didn't dawn on me that I was still wearing my happy Looney Toons hat... oops, you know that's so professional!)
We hid $25 gift certificates all over the sale or people to redeem at the pre-sale. They were all found and turned in! Glad we got to help families with some extra spending cash!
Our team of volunteers were awesome as usual. We had tons of new people and got to celebrate our last sale with some of the ones who are moving. I will miss them as they move on to start over in other states. We had former Boot Campers return, which made it like a great big old family reunion!
There are always snags and adjustments. The new gym floor stayed in good condition thanks to the tarps. I didn't have a stroke... and the new bull horn was awesome too! I highly recommend one of those as your sales grow : ) Our location is starting a new Saturday Evening Service, so we will need to put some extra thinking into making sure we are prepared and out by noon on Saturday so they can set up. We did add 200 more feet of rack space. That was awesome! And we had to make changes to our pre-sale... children are no longer allowed. It's just too crazy and it really did make things run so much smoother. Glad we did that.
All in all, it was an incredible sale. Really looking forward to getting ready for the Spring sale! I've a nice couple of weeks off... now it's time to ramp it back up!

You Did What?!

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

A couple of days ago, I received a message from a consignamaniac reseller. She wanted me to know that she was paying c-a-s-h for a house!

Now granted, this house was a steal, but still, houses aren't cheap. I was even more intrigued when she told me about the plans for her new house. You see, she is going to use it to run her reselling out of. She gave me a break down of what each room would be used for, how she was going to set up racks to help her get organized and she had even talked to her favorite sale organizer and rented her a room for storage! She is not paying a house note, she's no longer paying for storage and people are paying her for rent... and to top it off... she has more space for more inventory, which means, even bigger consignment sale checks!
Then she went on to tell me about how when she was finished with consigning, she would turn around and make this home a rental home and use the income to supplement their retirement plans.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I realized that I love consignment sales even more than I did before she messaged me. She said that her whole goal with selling at consignment sales is to not only supplement her income, but to also enable her to give m-o-r-e. And now she has purchased a second home which will not only serve her as a reseller, but will also provide retirement income for their family.
Now I won't kid you. This family shops and tags year round and makes this their part time job. But still... being able to pay cash for a house? I think I'm ready to step up my game!

Copyright Jenifer Gifford 2012. All Rights Reserved.