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Grow your consignment or resale shop with info from TGtbT.comEliminating the Intake Bottleneck

“I want to read about how many items to accept and methods for getting items on the floor more efficiently.”


Processing incoming merchandise, whether you consign, buy outright, or even receive donations, can be the bottleneck that will kill your business. 

Every shop, no matter how efficient, can get bogged down at the beginning of a season. But the most productive shops have developed systems that ensure their sales floor is full of fresh new items without detracting from their sales ability and without sacrificing their patience, good humor or family life.

The keys to effective acceptance:
1- Use your time wisely. 
Make sure that the times you accept items coincide with the times your suppliers can come in. Whether you require an appointment or not, whether you give complete receipts at that time or not, whether you have space to put items aside for later tagging and hanger-changing, you must first give your suppliers what they want: a quick, easy, convenient way to bring items in.

2- Don't waste time in decision-making.
Watch how much time it takes for you to process a batch of incoming goods. Are you hesitating over whether it will sell and for how much? Train yourself to make up your mind quickly. Mulling over the price of a t-shirt ($8? $9?) for ten minutes can mean the next consignor decides the wait is too long.

3- Arrange your acceptance area for maximum efficiency. 
Having to shift goods here and there, dig out your receipt forms or even your computer, or tripping over a box of hangers will not only slow you down, it will frustrate you. Spending five minutes too long on each batch can mean a full wasted day a week.

4- Don't lose time on mistakes that shouldn't happen. 
Lost a whole batch of clothes? Whose items are those? Where are the tags for these clothes? Where are the clothes for these tags? You know what I mean. Develop a system that works and stick to it.

5- Don't perform tasks less-experienced people could do.  
You might not be able to afford a helper. But I'll bet you can train your eight-year-old to vacuum (after all, my mother did!) or offer your eighteen-year-old relative all the jeans she or he can wear in exchange for all the items she or he can tag in an evening or two.

6- Design a way to handle overflows.
Consider a variety of possibilities, from a “free-for-all” day to a Drop-&-Run system. You may be killing yourself trying to fulfill expectations you think your suppliers have without realizing that they might be delighted with an alternative.
 

Resources

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Copyright 2011 Kate Holmes, TGtbT.com. All rights reserved and enforced. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

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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