How Too Good to be Threw happened:
The introduction to
Too Good to be Threw
The Complete Operations Manual
for Resale & Consignment Shops
In August I got fired.
It was only the second time in my life that I was ever fired. Both
times I cried. But the second time, I did something much more
importantóI got mad. I got so mad, in fact, that I sold the stock I
had in the company and opened my own business.
In September One More Time was open for business. The first
week, I had fifty women bring in "gently-used good clothes"
(a phrase coined by my father, an advertising executive, for my mother's
consignment shops back in the 1950's) for me to sell on consignment. Twenty years later, those fifty women
became over 20,000, my shop had grown from 750 square feet to 3300
square feet, and I sold in a six hour day what I sold in a month my
How did I do it? There was no magic involved. You can do it too.
That's what this book is all about: how to set up, and operate, a
resale or consignment shop. One More Time sold clothing and household
decorative items, but you could sell anything from furniture to
sporting goods to electronic equipment. It all depends on your
interests and abilities.
The sale of that company's stock netted me the grand sum of $900,
which was all the money I had in the world. Out of that $900, I paid
one month's rent and a security deposit on my store location, utility
deposits, and had enough left over to furnish the store with racks,
tags, sales books and receipts. ($900 back then had the buying power
of about $3550 in today's dollars.) I spent some money on fliers and
postcards and bought a small display ad in the two local newspapers. I
used grocery bags for merchandise and scraps of paper pinned on the
clothes for price tags. Our sales counter was a door on 2x4's, my
stool and some shelves were borrowed from my father, and my display
props were a few pieces of furniture taken out of my apartment.
Within six weeks, I was in the black. I bought real price tags and
merchandise bags first. Then I bought more racks, a few display
pieces, and some card files.
A month later, I was able to pay all my personal living expenses,
and not rely on eating dinner at my father's house every evening. The
experts advise you to have at least six months worth of business and
personal expenses set aside to start your own business. I never did. I
had to make money immediately, and keep on making it, and I
did. You can, too.
One More Time wasn't fancy, but it was clean, bright, and cheerful.
It did have all the amenities of a "real" store, and at
prices that are irresistible to my shoppers.
I had enough time to edit and publish a monthly industry
newsletter, speak to groups, and write this book. I also had a
consultation service for consignment shop owners, belong to community
service organizations, and took vacations several times a year,
knowing that my shop was well-cared for in my absence.
You can do all this, too. All it takes is work; not even
necessarily hard work, just smart work. And thatís
what this book is all about... how to work smart, improve your shop
daily, and provide the public with a service that they are willing to
pay you for.
One of the most important points you will learn here is the
necessity for regular routines. Not only are routines necessary
to simplify your business for yourself, but they will prepare your
shop for the day when you have employees. Consignment shops are often
unnecessarily confusing, simply because there are not standard
routines used every day. With a routine, clothes are not mis-tagged,
misplaced, or mis-entered. With a routine, sales are not lost through
negligence. And finally, with a routine your shop will be a joy to
operate every day of its long and fruitful existence.
So take this manual, read it all the way through first, find
yourself a location, and then go back through each chapter slowly and
do what it says. The systems in this manual are not the only options
in resaleóbut they are time-tested, workable, and successful ways to
run your own shop for fun and profit. Donít re-invent the wheel.
Mankind dragged things around on sleds and sledges for millennia
before the wheel was thought of.... but they sure didnít move around
as easily as we do today!
You are starting off right, simply by sitting down with this
manual. Now continue, and let me know how well your shop is doing by
visiting the Too Good to be Threw web site at tgtbt.com.
Iím happy to share my years of experience with you, because I know
that you can do it!
BUY the manual