Consigning for cash then buying the bargains

Disclosure #1: Partly because of the sinking national economy, last week was a profitable one for my wife’s business.

Disclosure #2: My wife is Trina Bostwick, and she approves this blog.

My wife and a close friend of hers own a consignment business for gently used children’s clothes. Twice a year, they host a weeklong sale in the Wichita area. During last week’s sale, several hundred soccer moms visited the venue and combed the clothes racks in search of bargains. In the consignment business, the line between shoppers and sellers is often blurred. Many moms who bring in hundreds of items to sell will also buy a closet’s worth of other consignors’ clothes later in the week.

It’s probably no mystery why consignment sale profits are increasing nationwide. Darrell Smith notes in the Sacramento Bee that consignment shopping eases the pain of rising prices, and Rachel Paxton provides a first-person online account of how consignment shopping pays off.

Yes, ebay, craigslist and similar online sites thrive on the concept of a community of online buyers and sellers, but it’s just not the same as visually inspecting and touching the merchandise before you buy. Also, many sellers at my wife’s sale are eager to volunteer as workers because they have a sincere interest in seeing the business succeed. Contrast that with ebay, where sellers are typically interested only in connecting with the highest bidder. How many of us would volunteer to work for ebay to help ebay succeed?

THE VERDICT: UNPLUG from laptop shopping long enough to check out a weekend sale in person once a month or so. You can even think of it as rebellion against Wal-Mart and Wall Street. And if you’re a soccer mom who will happen to be in the Wichita area in mid-March …


~ by dbozmedia on September 24, 2008.

One Response to “Consigning for cash then buying the bargains”

  1. Nice plug Dave. I believe that’s called product placement =)

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