Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Consignment Sale

I am working backwards from my list I posted last week....so the first thing I wanted to post about is the consignment sale. Many have emailed and asked "how did it go?" It went great...pure and simple. Yes, our sales were down just a bit but honestly, I really don't think consignors felt it because it was mainly the new boutique and Gymboree clothing where we noticed the sales being down. I think the fact that it was FREAKING HOT was what affected that the most....everyone tries to blame it on Davidson County going to dress code, but I honestly don't think that affected our sales much at all (if any). Kids still need clothing other than uniforms for weekends and Christmas break.

So what are my goals for the Spring 2008 sale? Well, I have a bunch of them. First and foremost, to find a bigger space. 500 consignors stuff stuffed into 8,000 square feet just isn't working. We need at least 10,000 sq. ft. and even more if we can find it. We need good lighting and plenty of parking. Other than that, I'm not picky. Keep your eyes and ears open for a space that fits that description in the Rivergate/Hendersonville area and I promise you, we will take care of you if you can help us out.

Second priority, to give more back. We already offer the 40 hour worker program which allows people to get paid for their volunteer work, but we piloted a new program with the Long Hollow Baptist MOPS group and another group this sale. We gave back. Both groups had to have at least 10 people consign and in return, we gave each consignors $8 fee back to the group plus a percentage of their sales which was based on how many consigned. I think it worked pretty great except that it was a paperwork nightmare and I am just now getting checks out to these two groups. What will I do differently? Honestly, not much except to sponsor more groups. I will know what to do and what not to do for the Spring 2008 sale so that I can have the checks for these groups at the same time I mail the consignor checks. So if you have a group that needs funds email me....all I require is that they are local and they have something worthwhile to use the funds for. We gave over $1,000 to these two groups so it definitely can help a group out!

Third priority, to get more organized. I think the sale itself is pretty well organized but we are looking at ways to get even more organized behind the scenes. A couple of things will accomplish this including:
1. Computerized Check-In. All the consignor will do is sign the waiver and be given their passes...the rest will be computerized where the person signing the consignor in will update all their information on the computer while they stand there. This will also allow us to send an email to all the consignors reminding them about pick-up and re-stock drop-off.
2. A program that allows consignors to see what they are selling during the sale. Something like My Consignment Manager (for those of you that are familiar with that). It allows you to print your cards out at home (therefore, no transposing numbers), consignors can see what they did not sell so they will know if they have something missing during pick-up, AND you will get your checks at pick-up.
3. Hiring some help. Getting a couple of my 40 hour +++ workers on payroll so that I can have someone to answer the phone calls after the sale, respond to emails and help get checks out (without us being up til 2am to get this done)

Will all this happen for the 2008 sales? I hope so but no promises. It will happen though and hopefully it will make our sale that much better!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Hey...I was reading this and thinking...the not for profit that I work for has a Thrift Shop that has been running soley by volunteers for 35 years. ALL of their income comes to our preschool (which operates on a sliding scale for working poor families). So...what do you do with items that do not sell? Do you ever have 'stuff' at the end that no one wants? Our Thrift shop is pretty picky about what they accept from donors and they RARELY receive clothing donations for children. I don't know. It was just a thought...let me know what you think or if you already do something like this. It is a tax deduction :)
-rin
www.stlukescommunityhouse.org/thisnthat