Updated November 18, 2019.
Another popular way to destash is to consign your items to a seller. Today we’ll talk about what consigning is, the advantages of it, how it works, and what happens after the sale.
What Is Consignment?
If you allow another person to sell items on your behalf in exchange for you getting a cut if the sale, this is consigning. There are two important differences between consigning and selling.
- The items remain your property until sold. While this isn’t much of an issue for stash, it is a big issue in the art world. An artist consigns her work to a gallery and can, and often does, take it back if it doesn’t sell.
- Money does not change hands until after the items have sold. With a sale, you get money right away, whether the item sells in the shop or not. With consignment, you only get paid when the item sells and at the cut you get of the selling price.
When you consign you are giving the consignor a percentage of the selling price in exchange for their services to sell the item.
Some of these services could include:
- photographing the item
- bundling items for sale
- pricing the item
- listing & marketing the item
- dealing with the buyer
- shipping the items
Often consignors have well-known sites or Seller IDs and so many people follow them. That means that your items will get seen by more folks who might buy your items. For many of us, this wider reach and the lack of hassle of selling and shipping make consignment worth it.
How Consignment Works
When you consign your items you send them to the consignor. Depending on that company’s procedures you may need to create lots yourself or provide the suggested or minimum amount you would like to get.
The consignor then creates an inventory of the items you sent and sends you a contract. The contract will include a copy of the inventory and, most importantly, the terms of consignment. These terms will tell you how the sale is done. For example, if it’s an eBay listing it might tell you it’s a one-week auction with a starting price of $.99.
Another part of the contract will tell you what happens if items do not sell.
The contract will also include the payment terms for your cut. Typically consignors offer one or two kinds of payment, both figured as a percentage of the selling price. They may offer cash, or they may offer merchandise credit. If they offer both, the merchandise credit will be a higher percentage. If they offer both, you will need to choose which one you want.
Sign the contract and send it back.
After the Sale
Once the sale or auction is complete and the item has been paid for, the consignor ships off the item. Depending on how their business is set up, they may pay you at regular intervals or only after all your items have sold.
When they pay you they will also send you a report listing the different items/lots and the selling price. These can be interesting because they will give you an idea of what it popular.
I sell and buy tons of needlepoint on consignment. I just love it! In fact, my DH knows that this is the way I want him to dispose of my leftover stash.