Let's go SHOPPING!!
all, we resale shopkeepers love to shop...and we can even (most of the time!) consider
it educational research. (At least, that's what we tell our
spouses...) Suggestions of items that you
can find to help you be a
better, more professional, and more profitable consignment, resale,
or thrift store shopkeeper.
who want to really improve the ambiance and money-making aspects of
their shops, take a look at My
Favorite Things on Auntie
Kate the Blog. Plus
there's great ideas for making your shop look terrific on a resale budget in
Cheap Tricks and Best Buys. in the TGtbT mini-Products for the
Professional Resaler Luncheonette.
out of business sales...
Shopping the Holiday Clearance
Glass risers, stands, props for your jewelry
cases: pressed glass footed compotes, cake stands, and
simple decorative shapes to drape jewelry on and over. Those
compotes make great counter-top holders for a collection of pins
or pearls as well.
Our sisters-in-resale, the charity-run
thrift stores, can be a great source of merchandise for resale, and
more importantly, for props and add-ons for the items in our shops.
Keep an eye out for:
Lengths of fabric or table linens to
swirl in your jewelry cases as backdrops, or to cover foam-core
boards with to make pinnable display boards to mount on your
Candles to use to emphasize for-sale
candlesticks. Buy any you find that are clean and unused: you'll
be amazed at how they help sell holders.
As mentioned in the garage sale section below,
Christmas mugs to fill with baggies of peppermints or
cocoa single-serving envelopes as a little
"Thanks-for-coming-in" gift in December.
"Friendship" or "thank-you" decorated mugs,
usually available for a quarter or fifty cents, work year-round
as little surprise gifts to clients who have shown you some
kindness when filled with candies and decorated with curly
ribbon and your business card.
Picture frames: fill with fabric-covered
foamcore or sheets of cork spray-adhesived to cardboard so you can hang as
pinnable frames for picture-perfect displays! Use the frames as-is, or paint to
match your shop's theme.
Look, too, for window props a la Ralph Lauren:
"Life-style" accessories such as old oars or sleds,
an incomplete but picturesquely-shabby croquet set, even a great old life-ring from a
yacht. A pile of old books to create risers in a
display. Nothing says classy like "country mansion"
Really big, really useless stuff. An old bike,
spray-painted white, with the basket filled with silk geraniums,
makes a window display of play clothes look spectacular. A princess
rattan chair with no seat? A great prop to hang full-skirted
evening gowns on...especially if you spray it gold or silver!
Plus, our thrift-store sisterhood will bless you for buying that
bulky broken whatever!
leaves, designed originally for use to line your cheese platter
at you next "do"...make a terrific backdrop in your
showcase. They are reusable year after year. Splurge on the
tropical version too, for summer and resort seasons.
There's a world of
shopping at our fingertips. Here's some things Kate's found that
seem to be good possibilities to make your shop even more fun than
it already is!
monkeys. Can't you just see calling your next clearance sale
Monkeyshines or using this in your window with a sign: Donít
be a silly monkey, shop MyShop for Back-to-School? (I
dare you to give away a banana with every purchase!)
just love your consignors? Wouldn't these heart
bags be perfect for creating your New
Consignor Welcome Packet?
admit it. I have a soft spot in my heart for Oriental Trading
Company...and an even softer spot for anything that acknowledges the
Hidden Princess in us all. Here's tiaras
for your next After-Hours Queen for an
Evening event. Don't do those? How's about a shop promo
focusing on We treat your child like royalty
for all comers?
Small display or storage pieces for the shop. (Carry with you the
measurements for that little corner that could use a shelf unit)
Who can resist the temptation? Besides buying items to resell in
your shop, here's some things to keep an eye out for:
Wallpaper sample books, wrapping paper: great for filling
"empty" picture frames, rendering them more saleable. The
more subtle patterns work well as backgrounds in showcases or as
"place mats" under home decor items.
Things to use as risers in your
Little goodies for your "wall of prizes" and
holiday items (fluorescent skeleton to enliven your costume window
in October? Christmas mugs to fill with baggies of peppermints or
cocoa single-serving envelopes as a little
"Thanks-for-coming-in" gift in December?
Use your imagination: bridge lamp = dress stand, set of 3 coffee
tables = platforms and risers for a display window.
Baskets. Usually dirt-cheap at garage sales, envision them
spray-painted, to hold POP items at your register.
Silk flowers. Even the most "battered" bouquets work great
if you dismantle them to strew blossoms and leaves as flooring in a
display window. Save the better silk leaves for unique and
attractive earring "cards".
do you find businesses that are going out of sale? By keeping your
ears open, listening to gossip, and paying attention.
out of business sales..
Stores that are going out of business are terrific places to find unexpected goodies for
you're unsure of whether a shop is going out of business and you
don't want to offend them, you might simply go in, admire their
fixtures, and mention that if they ever remodel, you'd be
interested. That may get a "Gimmee an offer" response.
prepared to either cart items away immediately, or wait until
they've held their Going-out-of-Business sale. But if you can't come
back, let them know you'll buy it now...or never. Hopefully, that'll
open their eyes (But I wouldn't count on it...some folks, you can
understand exactly why they're closing up shop.)
you're buying, keep talking. "I could use an extra tagging
gun... do you have those little hook attachers? Any earring cards?
Did you use garment bags?" Chances are, there's lots of things
you could use that they might otherwise overlook. Gather up
everything you want, from shelving units to tissue paper, and ask
for a package price. You'll usually do better than asking piece by
your prices from store supply catalogs so you don't overpay. There's
a list on online companies on our Links page
so you can be prepared.
one time when you really do want to deal with major nation-wide
chains. They just want to clear the space, so they will be motivated
to sell multiples of racks for very little (plus, hey, they got a
quantity price when they bought them!) If you're leery of buying too
much, contact your fellow resale shopkeepers and share the deals.
dive. Businesses that are closing often just junk their equipment,
supplies and fixtures...or the landlords do when the tenant is gone.
the dollar stores... they're full of goodies!
'round, good selection of colorful shopping bags. You're sure
to find the right color and scheme to complement your shop's decor.
Include them with bags from real stores, and use them to fill a
sale-time window, line up on the ledge above your wall racks...or
simply give them out to favorite purchasers!
paper goods: note cards for thank-you notes to your top tier
clientele...paper cups for refreshments at your next event...
frames to hold signage in your dressing rooms: Remember,
you're allowed to have both at our prices! And while you're
thinking of your dressing rooms: WallPops self-adhesive
stickers. Use a different picture for each room, and you can call
them The Daisy Room, The Rose Room, and so on.
there are great giveaways for kids...here's the 10 colorful
rubber tree frogs Kate found for $1! Or imagine a slew of these in
your jewelry showcase... You'll be hopping
with delight in our great accessories!
with an eye to displays: cheerleader pompoms for a Homecoming
window? Colorful plastic pails turned upside down for risers
in a display? Metallic confetti in a "50" shape,
designed for birthday celebrations, but a fun way to glitter up a
50% off jewelry showcase.
Flag banners: black-&-white
checkered flag for a b&w window, "Congratulations" for
a "You've found us!" window. Small statuettes give
height and depth to jewelry cases. Bright foam visors for
your mannequins for a "Made in the Shade" summer window.
Shop for clearance-priced holiday items for next Christmas (and
other times, too!). Bargains to look for:
bags to pouf with tissue, use as store decor. Colorful
gift boxes and wired ribbon to make risers for displays (Buy plain red, gold,
silver rather than Christmas-specific: useful for other celebrations as well!).
to buy by the bagful as giveaways next November and December. Even better if you can find
ornaments that relate to the merchandise you sell or your shop name: they make great
door prizes for a special event, promotional gift-with-purchase,
even gift-certificate tie-ons. Look, too, for non-holiday specific
ornaments on sale that you can build a promotional theme around such
as hearts (We LOVE Resale) or little houses (for a home decor
Stock up on
tiny, non-fad toys.
Use them for good-kid treats, your children's birthday basket, or
simply as gift with purchase.
shop? Votive candles and/or holders make little gifts, as do candle rings or holiday-themed plastic
stationery or blank cards become shop gift certificates next Christmas.
strands at clearance prices to use year-round in windows or to rev up interior displays and showcases.
on garland and pinecones for a skiwear display in February, a
camping display in August.
artificial Christmas trees are for Christmas only? Trim with
hearts for Valentineís Day or use several and construct a tree
fort for a charming childrenís window to use for months.
to trim for year-round use: shells for resort,
eggs for Easter, yellow pencils and apples for back-to-school. (Note:
Before you spend money: If you put up a sign in your shop the day
after Christmas that you'd like these...we'll bet some customers
would love to donate them to you!)
makes a great prom window; white trims a bridal display.