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|Consignment, Resale and Thrift Shops Archived Article brought to you by TGtbT.com, The Premier Site for Resale Professionals|
Which would you rather have: a bad competitor or a good one?
It’s tempting to say, “Well, I’d really rather have a competitor who does everything wrong, because then I’d get all her customers.” After all, you reason, if that other shop is rude, dishonest, dirty and unorganized, “the public will realize that my shop is the place to patronize.”
For years as owner of a consignment shop, I heard horror stories of a competitor in my neighborhood. Complaints ranged from “she wouldn’t let me take back my clothes” to “she said all three of my items were apparently stolen and she refused to give me any money for them.” Almost weekly I heard stories of her overbearing rudeness. Did this help my shop?
Not at all! Yes, of course some consignors and customers who had bad experiences there came to me instead. But imagine for a moment all the people who never came into my shop, because they had a bad experience at her shop. I would guess these people added up to hundreds a year, all of whom were turned off to the consignment way of shopping and recycling. Pretty bad, huh?
You know, the public thinks of all resale shops as the same. A person who received unfair or negligent service at one shop believes all resalers must be unfair and negligent. That’s why I would rather have the best competitors I can have. Yup. I want the very best of consignment/ resale/ thrift shops in my town. I want to be in the same marketplace with the stars of resale. I want the public to think “Ah, resale, a great way to save, a great way to clean out my closets.”
A delighted public (educated courtesy of my peers down the street or across town) will gleefully explore my shop. After all, they know that resale merchandise is one-of-a-kind and that we are as likely to have a treasure for them as any of our competitors. Am I worried that those wonderful shops I dream of as competitors will get all the good stuff coming in leaving me with nothing? Nope. The source of our merchandise, America’s overcrowded closets, is untapped. The more pleased closet-cleaners there are in town, the more will show up at my door, too, thanks to word-of-mouth, media attention, and Internet social media.
So what can you do to help your competitors become better merchants? Well, for starters, you can suggest banding together to create a shopping guide brochure to resale. You can organize a group advertising campaign or special-deals week. You can tell them about TGtbT.com, AuntieKate the Blog, HowToConsign.com, and how much you have learned here. You can recommend that they take a look at our Products for the Professional Resaler. You can pass on resources to them or even share bulk orders of supplies.
Now not every competitor will welcome you with open arms. That’s because they haven’t yet realized what you do: the better the competition, the better the marketplace for resale!
So the next time you hear a bad word about that shop down the street, do what I did: stop in, say hello, and give them the TGtbT.com contact info. Tell them how your shop has benefited from the focused professional knowledge on TGtbT.com, HowToConsign.com, and on AuntieKate the Blog. Then hope they take the hint!
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TGtbT.com is the premier web site for professional resalers. Start a consignment, resale or thrift store with our free articles and the TGtbT.com Products for the Professional Resaler. Interested in business plans, operating your shop, consignment software and selling secondhand clothes, upscale designer fashions, children's gear or used furniture? Consignment shops, resale stores, thrift stores and consignment sales use Too Good to be Threw. As a lifelong member of NARTS and a consignment consultant, our information is designed for the resale industry.
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