What is Consignment?

Many people hear the word “consignment shop” and think “thrift store” with used clothes, old antiques and forgotten collectibles. Although there are many places that resemble this kind of shopping experience, many consignment shops can be very upscale environments that shoppers can visit to purchase high-end, brand name, current and desirable items at incredible discounts! Most upscale consignment shops only accept “like new” merchandise that is in excellent condition. Consignment shoppers can often find great value in unique furnishings, expensive lighting, lavish area rugs, beautiful home decor and even sunglasses.

Consignment or the process of consigning means that someone who owns these these items, known as the “consignor”, wants to sell their valuables and seeks a venue where they can be displayed properly and be accessible to thousands of shoppers which gives them a greater chance to make the sale quickly with very little effort. That venue is a consignment shop. The owner of the consignment shop is known as the “consignee”. The ownership of everything for sale or “consigned” remains that of the seller or “consignor” until those pieces are sold by the consignee at their consignment shop or the agreement expires.

The consignment shop who contracts with the consignee takes a commission, fee or percentage of the sale price for representing the consignor and allowing them to use their showroom, sales people, and overhead for the process of moving their inventory. Good consignment shops have a loyal following and high turnover because they are well known and carry quality unique merchandise so the consignor is well represented and their consigned items move quickly. Another reason is that pricing is reasonable, providing great value for the shopper and a quick sell for the shop and seller. But, in the case where a consigned item does not sell quickly, most shops have automatic price reductions in place in their contract where, after pre-established periods of time, the price is reduced until the item sells or reaches the end of it’s contract period.

Consignment offers all these advantages to sellers and in addition the shop can arrange different items from various consignors and display them in a way that they appeal more to shoppers than they would if they just sat there by themselves. It also creates an atmosphere where more items will be sold because they all go together well and, as a whole when combined, look as if an interior decorator created an entire room. That is the sign of a good consignment shop… how talented they are at interior decorating, understanding their merchandise and marketing their client’s items to the shopper.