Business At A Glance
Consignment Clothing Store
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes
The resale field is hot these days, with over 15,000 shops across thecountry and an industry association growth rate of 15 percent per year.So if you’ve got an eye for fashion, design and quality, and great buysmake your heart soar, then a consignment clothing shop or kids’consignment shop could be the business for you.
If you go thechildren’s route, you can specialize in toys or clothing, or both.You’ll take clean, well-cared-for garments or toys and display andmerchandise them for their owners, splitting the profits when you makea sale. Clothing consignors sell mostly women’s garments–along withaccessories like costume jewelry, belts and handbags–but men’sclothing is becoming increasingly popular as a resale item as well.
Because you’re taking the items on consignment, you don’t pay anythingfor your inventory until it’s sold, which makes this business ideal forthe startup entrepreneur. You price garments and other goodies, thenhave the owner pick them up if they don’t sell within a given period oftime. The advantages to this business are that it’s creative, yourstartup costs are small compared to most retail operations, and you getthe satisfaction of helping your customers get great buys for littlemoney.
The key to a successful consignment shop is an atmosphere that’sclean, fresh and fashionable, so you’ll need a flair for display andmerchandising. You should also have a good eye for current fashions andquality and the ability to properly price your merchandise so thatshoppers get the discount they expect and you and your consignees makea profit. To complement all this, you’ll need excellent people skills.
Your customers will be people interested in the type of merchandiseyou’ve got for sale–basically the same people who shop at regularretail outlets. The trick is to attract their attention and sell themon the benefits of shopping with you.
Besides routine advertisingmethods like local radio and newspaper ads, you can host fashion showsfor local women’s groups and hand out fliers in front of your shop. Ifyou’re located near a business district, you can also deliver yourfliers to offices in the area. And don’t forget ads–perhaps withget-acquainted coupons–in your local Pennysaver-type publication.
You’ll need a shop and the display furnishings to put in it–glasscases for jewelry, clothes racks, hangers and tables or shelves. You’llalso need sales tickets and tags, shopping bags and a cash register. Acomputer with an inkjet printer and retail operation software will be abig help but aren’t necessary for starters if you can’t afford them.