Have I Really Learned My Lesson?

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

I had a very interesting chat with my children's minister this afternoon. She asked me if I still get worked up before a sale or if I have finally learned that it all works out in the end. And I told her that I have learned that it is what it is, and I have to trust that after 8 years and 20 some odd sales later, I know what I am doing and I have done everything I can do to make the sale a success.

But... here I sit. It's 2 am and here I am like I am every "night before the sale" running through all the things that need to be done in my mind. Oh sure, I tried to sleep. But I keep getting out of bed to add one more thing to my "to do" list for tomorrow. I don't like forgetting. I wonder if this is just me being anxious and excited about the sale, or if I have really learned my lesson... that the sale will be fine and in the end, it will be what it is.

Tomorrow we will find out how things kick off. I know it's going to be fun, it's going to be great catching up with old volunteers and meeting new volunteers, it is going to be what it is. But I know I put too much pressure on myself too. After all, this is our ministry sale. All of the proceeds go to our ministry partner... without us, they have a difficult time funding a significant portion of their annual budget. I don't know if it's anxiety or pressure or if I still, in the back of my mind have a hard time learning my lesson to trust in God. We'll know in 6 days how it all turns out. But tonight I stay up late, piddling around on my computer trying to make sure I don't forget anything.

You sale organizers... you know exactly what I am talking about.

The Paul Stanley Attitude

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

When I was in high school many, many years ago, I attended a KISS concert. Now to tell on myself as to how old I am... this concert was back in the days that KISS decided to tour not wearing makeup. I knew then, that Gene Simmons was a brilliant marketing strategist because each member of KISS sold their own t-shirt with their own picture and their own quote on the back of the shirt. In other words, people walked out with multiple shirts instead of just one! Brilliant! Well, I was a broke high school student and didn't have any money for a t-shirt, but if I did, I would have bought Paul Stanley's. I don't remember what the other shirts said but his said "Life is like sex, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it." Of course, being a young kid I just giggled, but I have always remembered that shirt.

Now here I am, older, hopefully wiser and I get it. Business is a lot like that too. I have sale organizers who are struggling because they want a successful business, but they don't want to put anything into it to make it successful. They don't have the time or desire to put more into their business, but yet they still expect maximum results with minimum effort. If you want maximum results, you have to put more effort into it.

I must confess that I go through "seasons" with my sale. Some seasons I just don't have the time and energy to put forth a maximum effort, to be truthful, some seasons I don't hardly put forth much effort at all between being a new homeschool mom of 2 students, ailing family members, dealing with the emotions of 2 pre-teen boys, running 2 businesses and still trying to figure out what we are going to do about the size of our tiny house. Some nights I just fall into bed with absolutely no desire to think about my sale. And then there are seasons where I am all over it, every day, working to improve the sale, make the changes that need to be made in order to improve how the sale runs.

I think a lot about Paul Stanley's attitude these days as a reminder that what I put into it is what I will get out of it, and let's face it, if I want maximum results, I have to put in maximum effort. If I want to continue to grow, I have to continue to devote time to my business rather than let it sit on auto pilot doing it's own thing. So, I've got a few things up my sleeve this season... I'm going to put more into it, so I can get more out of it.

Copyright Infringement. No, It's NOT Okay.

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

I always find it interesting when a sale asks me to consult for them and I do a little research on their website and social media pages only to find out they have stolen copyrighted content or photos. How do I know? Well... because they seem to like to use mine!

Earlier this summer I had a lady contact me about her sale. She was in need of consulting and I told her that upon review of her website and social media, that she was using copyrighted material and unless she had the written permission of the owners, she needed to remove it immediately. She sent back a very angry email telling me that she was not in violation of copyright infringement and was very upset I would even suggest that. Well, I always play my cards close to my chest. Of course when I emailed her the first time, I neglected to mention that the pictures of the sale she was using... yes, you guessed it, they were of MY sale, that I took. Needless to say, she promptly removed the pictures after learning that.

So when is it okay to use pictures of another sale? Uh... NEVER! Why?

1. THEY DON'T BELONG TO YOU! You should only use pictures on your website or social media that YOU take that are of YOUR sale. It goes back to that old saying... just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Sure you can download them from the internet, but it's stealing, just like Napster and "sharing" music files. Pictures and content are the intellectual property of someone else should never be used on your sites.

2. What do you think happens when you show off pictures of a 1000 consignor sale on your social media page or website, but in reality you have 30 consignors at your sale? How would you feel as a shopper? Bait and Switch? False Advertising? Yeah... you know how ticked off you get when you hit the Black Friday sales and you are looking for item X and they had 1 in stock? It will take forever for your sale to recuperate. When people think of your sale, the negative connotations will begin. "I went to that sale and they had nothing! They showed pictures of 100 strollers and they had... 1." Think about how angry it makes you when you go expecting one thing and what you actually get is something else.

So there is my rant for the day. Don't steal from another sale. Not only is it wrong AND illegal, but it's also setting yourself up for failure.

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!

Copyright Jenifer Gifford 2012. All Rights Reserved.