Pro-Tips & Tricks For Selling On Consignment

Make some extra cash by selling brand new or pre-loved items at consignment stores.
A woman looking through a rack of clothingGetty

If you’re looking to cash in on your merch, clothes, or vintage designer bags, look no further! Thanks to consignment stores and online boutiques, you can get your products off the shelves and make money with minimal effort.

All you need to do is sign up for consignment, meaning the store gets a cut of the profits from every purchase. Sounds simple enough, right? But before getting started, we’ll give you some pro-tips on how to handle everything from contracts to finding the perfect spots to sell.

RELATED: Best Australian Online Shopping Sites & Clothing Stores

What Is A Consignment Store?

A consignment store is a physical or online channel that holds onto your consigned items until they’re sold to a customer. They act as a third-party vendor, taking a percentage from each sale. Selling on consignment gives you all the benefits of a store without having to build one from scratch!

Physical vs Online Selling

Shopping online is convenient, but nothing beats the customer experience of a brick and mortar store! While you can post your products on websites, an actual in-store display means customers can walk-in and appreciate the items in person. Your goal should be to work towards both channels, so try to have enough inventory to cover a few purchases online and offline.

A woman trying to sunglasses at a store
(Credit: Getty)

Selling On Consignment

Consignment can be a win-win situation! As a consignor, it helps you get noticed by potential buyers. As a consignee, the shop benefits from having an array of unique finds and one-of-a-kind pieces for their customers. Let’s break down the basics!

What To Sell

You can sell brand new products, pre-loved clothing, jewellery, used furniture, second-hand cars, and rare art. As long as the goods are authentic, high quality, and in great condition, you’ll find many stores willing to take them in! If you’ve got something of value, call up a local store and have an in-house evaluator authenticate your item. You can even propose a short trial period to test the market and start building a good business partnership.

A palm beach consignment shop
(Credit: Getty)

The Contract

Now it’s time to figure out the details. Determine your stock agreement by discussing how many you’re trying to sell per design and at what price. The shop can take anywhere from 30% to 60% of the profits, so make sure you negotiate! Here’s a list of what to cover:

  • Inventory
  • Storage
  • Profit Splits
  • Payment Terms
  • Returns
  • Damages
  • Insurance
  • Handling fees
  • Restocks
  • Timeline
  • Display
  • Marketing

You can find lots of consignment contracts online for reference, but you can also consult a lawyer or check out LegalVision for help. If the store is making the contract, make sure you read everything and go through all the details before signing!

A man holding a pen out offering someone to sign a contract
(Credit: Getty)

Payment Terms

Consignment deals are a low risk trade of services: they sell your stuff for free, and they get a slice of the pie. The shop pays you when the items sell, giving you a scheduled payout once or twice a month. However, consignees are not required by law to pay for stocks if they get stolen or damaged. Keep in mind that if your item is highly valuable, it helps to go with a shop that has insurance!

Exchanges Or Returns

If a customer isn’t happy with their purchase, you may need to stand by the shop’s exchange and return policies. So, make sure everything is clear on your end by inspecting for any damages before the turn-over. Whatever items don’t sell are simply returned to you after a certain time frame, depending on what’s stated in the contract.

A woman looking through a rack of clothing
(Credit: Getty)

Finding The Right Shop

The good news is there are a wide variety of shops to choose from! Aussies love a good thrift, which means consignment shops aren’t hard to come by. The toughest part is narrowing them down, so we’ve done our research and listed down some of the best consignment stores in Australia!

Designer Consignment

Fashion consignment allows you to sell anything from a few pairs of your sneaker collection to luxury brands! If you’ve got a designer bag or two that you’re willing to let go of, these shops will gladly take them off your hands:

Furniture & Antique Consignment

Brand new furniture can be crazy expensive, so some people prefer hand-me-downs for half the cost. Antiques are always popular with collectors, and your junk could be someone else’s treasure! Drop them off at any of these stores:

Auto Consignment

Car dealers all over the world have been using the consignment method to sell used automobiles. You can forget about the hassles of putting up ads online or in the paper! Selling your ride is as easy as driving it to these shops:

Art Consignment

To consign paintings and sculptures, you need to talk to galleries and auction houses. They appraise and authenticate your works of art, then sell them to the highest bidding art dealer or collector. You can inquire with these companies for more info:

A woman and man shaking hands in an art gallery
(Credit: Getty)

Starting Small

Now you’re all set for your venture into consignment! Start small, and slowly work your way up. We’ve all gotta start somewhere, and selling limited-edition stuff can help you get the extra cash you deserve!

RELATED: 8 Essential Clothing That Should Be In Your Closet Right Now

Related stories