For any secondhand store, sneakers or not, consignment is one of–if not THE–most important part of running the store.
For some stores, consignment is the entire business model and makes up a majority of the profits, and for some it is only a sector of the offerings. Either way, consignment is important because that is what directly involves the community.
By giving good returns, or at least enough to satisfy a consignee, companies can build a strong reputation with consignees and win the word-of-mouth battle.
The more consignees a company can utilize, the higher the quality that consigned products will be. This is how a company goes from Goodwill-level to a high-budget consignment empire.
In the sneaker world, the same testaments apply. The local, pretty average consignment store is likely not going to be receiving very many “Chunky Dunkys,” but as the store builds a strong reputation, quality improves.
So, to be a successful consignment store, quality needs to be high and consignees need to be loyal. But what is the best way to reach that level?
Be personable. Sometimes for a nice item that would improve your inventory by a lot, your return can’t be as strong for the first pair. Having nice items in your store’s inventory improves image and reputation, and that pays off better than one pair of sneakers.
Don’t be rigid. Let’s say your store is being offered a $50 pair of older sneakers. You operate with a 15% fee. You may think that a $7.50 return is not worth your time. Up the rate because this isn’t an extremely sought after item, and maybe get your return to $15. The consignee is happy, and you are more happy than before. Someone will want the shoes.
Communicate. Consignees don’t just forget about their item when they hand it off. Let them know their sneakers are still on the shelf, or let them know when they sell right away. Inform them on every step, so they know they can trust you.
No matter the extent of your consignment business, it is very important to keep the consignees happy and wanting to come back for more. Make them feel valued for their product. Don’t be a pain to work with. At the end of the day, being agreeable goes a long way in consignment.