This weekend I participated in my first (and only) 1/2 marathon. I signed up for a couple of reasons. One was because I wanted to celebrate turning 40. The other was because I wanted to put myself in the shoes of my new sale organizers. You see, for me, running a sale is as easy as breathing. It's been a long time since I have done something "big" and completely out of my comfort zone. So I really wanted to do this to help me relate to all the new sale organizers in our forum. I'd like to share with you some of the things I "learned"as I journeyed through the 1/2 marathon this weekend.
I received an email recently from a consignor who asked me to blog about selecting a location with adequate lighting. She said recently attended a sale. The location was nice, but when she got home, she saw that almost everything she bought was stained, but you couldn't tell at the sale because the lighting wasn't ample. To say she was extremely frustrated is an understatement.
One of the most popular questions I get is "Tell me exactly how much money I am going to make as a sale organizer, so I can decide if I want to start a consignment sale."
This question frustrates me more than any other question I get because yes, my sale does quite well, but that's not why I do it. I do it because I love it. It's not "work" for me. If you start a business because you think there's money in it, but you don't like it... will you be successful? Probably not. If you start a business that you love, and you work hard at making it successful... will it be? Probably so. But it's because you love what you do and you want to work at making it successful!
My advice to you is to never start any business that you aren't just absolutely crazy about. What I love about my consignment sale is the ability to make an impact on others in my community. I love helping people and I have become successful at doing that. Others aren't that way. They start a consignment sale, but they don't like helping other people and the only thing they think about is the money. They treat people poorly and their business suffers. And that's true in any business not just consignment sales.
You need to do your research before you start a consignment sale. How much are money are you willing to spend? How much time are you going to devote? Do you have a knack for hunting down bargains, or are you going to purchase all of your equipment new? Are you going to scavenge for the best location at the best price? Are you going to do mass mailings or boot strap word about your sale? How much time are you interested in spending in educating your community? Are you outsourcing your website and design or doing it yourself? What are your demographics? How big is your community? Are you a real go getter? Or are you the type to just sit back and wait for things to happen? How much are you willing to work at your business? Are you going to rely on the fact that you think these sales are great and therefore everyone will just flock to you? Or are you going to go out and bust your backside to expose people to your sale? There are so many factors, that giving someone a definitive "here's how much you can make" answer is not only impossible, but its just plain irresponsible.