Confessions of a Shopaholic’s Friend: Selling Consignment for Others Online

Sourcing inventory can be a fun but challenging process. What if there aren’t many cheap thrift stores near you? What if garage sales are low-end and/or sporadic? What if you just don’t have enough money on hand to invest in inventory to resell?

For these people, consignment is a great option that I’ve used with a lot of success.

What is consignment?

Consignment is specifically an agreement to pay a supplier of goods after the goods are sold.

It’s typically done in a store setting, where someone goes into a store and strikes a deal with the shop-keep, however, a person will give you their items to sell online too.

In principle, the owner of the item and the seller of that item will agree on final price. Once the item sells, the seller will pay the (now) former owner, and in turn the seller will get a previously agreed upon percentage of the sale.

How does the item owner get paid?

There are two main ways for item owners to get paid, and there are pros and cons to each method.

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Mercari Beta Ending: Prepare for 10% Fees

Update: Mercari has announced they will be postponing their transition to a 10% fee environment until November 21, 2016. This is their formal statement emailed to all subscribers/users. (Note that all comments below still remain true, just delayed one month.)

mercari-nov-21

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Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens: 5 of My Favorite Things (Found While Thrifting)

best items found flipping thrift stores

The day will come ( if it hasn’t already) when you’ll be minding your own business, scouring through the racks of misfit clothing when suddenly you will stumble upon the HOLY GRAIL.

The HOLY GRAIL is an item that makes your heart completely stop. An item that makes you question if it’s real or too good to be true! It’s an item that makes you question our nation’s priorities — how could something so expensive just be discarded? HOLY GRAILs don’t happen all the time, but when they do, be prepared to break into song.

Here are 5 of my favorite things I’ve found while out on the prowl.

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Flippin’ Ain’t Easy: Half-Off Madness at Savers

As a full-time social worker who lives in Hawaii and wants to do all of the fun things that come with living on an island in the Pacific, it can be hard constantly motivating myself to shop, list, package, and repeat.

For me, it was about deciding what I want and what’s important to me. I had to find my motivation. And trust me, few things will test your will to succeed more than 50% off days at Savers.

I want to share with you my recent trip to half-priced hell.

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How to Take Great Photos for eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, or Etsy

how-to-take-great-product-photographs

I’m always amazed how truly bad some product photographs are. Whether you’re just clearing out your closet, flipping part time, or trying to make some serious cash, why would you shortchange yourself (almost literally) with off-putting product photos? It’s important to learn how to take great photos for eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, or Etsy!

Unfortunately, no one told these people…

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Sweaters in the Summer? Seasonal Selling Is Key to Success

four_seasons_by_nalmes

One of the things I find most surprising about thrift shopping in Hawaii is how much winter wear these people have. The Goodwill I go to is littered with sweaters, hoodies, and jackets that I just can’t possibly imagine people at this latitude wearing. But alas, I buy and sell a ton of cold weather gear.

I started taking flipping seriously during the spring months and began to hone my craft during the summer. While my strategy has always been to get items in and out as quickly as possible, even if they don’t sell for the most money possible, I quickly found myself developing an impressive hoodie collection that a New England native like myself would envy.

I had forgotten about seasonality.

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How I Save $2 on Almost Every Mercari Sale (And It Only Takes 60 Seconds)

Whether you sell on Poshmark, Mercari, or some other app, the shipping is almost universally the same.

A ripoff.

On Poshmark, every item, no matter the size, weight, or type, costs $5.95 to ship. That really eats into your profit margin.

On Mercari, the same is pretty much true. For items weighing 8 oz. or less, you can use Mercari’s minimum $4 shipping. If your item weighs between 8-16 oz., the only option they offer is $6 priority shipping.

That’s why I always ship it myself.

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Never Leave the House Without Your Armor…I Mean Accessories

Would you leave the house without your purse or sunglasses? I know that I wouldn’t! So why would you overlook them at the thrift store? There are plenty of people out there looking for designer goods on the cheap — do you know how to sell designer handbags online?

I see bold accessories as a woman’s armour.
– Rachel Zoe, Fashion Designer

The thrift store has a wealth of high quality items with big resale potential. Here are 12 of the name brands you should look for, both the obvious and the not-so-obvious.

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Men, Women, Mindsets & Shopping Habits

Men are more impulsive than women!

Men are more impulsive than women!

In previous posts I’ve spent a lot of time telling you why it’s so important to help your potential buyers feel a connection to your items through irresistible titles, eye-catching images, and effective descriptions.

The reason is simple: you’ll sell more stuff when you make people feel connected to your items!

Part of that connection is the utility and usefulness they’ll get from buying what you’re selling, but part of it is appealing to the impulsive nature of people — making them want what you’re selling right now.

In my experience, it’s a lot easier to sell to men than women, which shouldn’t be a surprise because men are more impulsive shoppers than women.

In fact, a 2014 survey by Credit Cards.com backed that claim up with some numbers:

Impulse buys: men vs. women

Type of Impulse Buy Yes: Men Yes: Women
 $500 or more  21% 9%
 $25 or more 85% 74%

Of course, we’re (usually) not talking about $500 articles of clothing here, but in that same survey, 85% of male impulse buyers said they had spent at least $25 compared to 74% of women. That means men are 15% more likely to impulsively buy an item for $25 or more. That’s our target audience!

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How I Saved $50,000 in 5 Months

When I started this journey to financial freedom through clothing resale, I wanted to make it stick. I utilized the Dave Ramsey Snowball plan.

According to Dave Ramsey, Financial Expert, when starting to get out of debt, you should pay off the smallest debt first in order to build momentum.

The math seems to lean more toward paying the highest interest debts first, but what we have learned is that personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. – Dave Ramsey

I started with two small loans. Both were under 7% interest but both had remaining balances of under $3,000. By February 2015 the first one was paid off, and that March the second one was destroyed.

It felt pretty freaking amazing. Momentum had been built. I could actually do this! I felt like the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz, after he FINALLY found his courage.

Watching those numbers drop did exactly what Dave Ramsey said that it would do — it made me feel like I was winning.

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