PDA

View Full Version : Just bought a consignment tack shop



ChagrinSaddlery
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:15 AM
My friend and I just bought a consignment tack shop. We take ownership in Feb.

Could you please help us by telling me what products you would like to see in the store, at a show, etc. Comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I do not want this to be interpreted as advertising so I will not be posting what store. I just would like to benefit from the wealth of information that is so freely given on this board.

Thank you in advance for your help.

skyy
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:55 AM
Kid's stuff! We used to have an awesome consignment shop near(ish) to me that always had a lot of nice, used kids clothing (show and barn) and boots. It got bought by a different tack store and the consignment end is now severely lacking. My daughter spent the first 5 years of her riding career with no new anything and it was great on my pocketbook.

hype
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:06 PM
Things that sell really well are used upper end saddles (especially if you advertise on the internet), boots (kids ones-my girls usually outgrown them after a few shows so they are basically brand new) and show clothes.

If you decide to sell boots then have a name of a good boot repair store to hand out as a reference. I've had good luck buying a used pair of good boots and then have them altered to fit my daughter's legs. It was way cheaper than buying even middle of the road boots and we ended up with our own custom boots for much less money. (Der-Daus and Vogels)

If you take in upper end saddles and advertise on the internet you'll probably be able to move them quite quickly. Most of the tack stores take anywhere between 20-30% on used saddles. Quite a nice return for not too much work. Look at fineusedsaddles.com to see how to market them really well. She sells a ton of used saddles.

MIKES MCS
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:28 PM
Having a shop that does consignment and used .. and having done this for about 5 years now .. I would say Show clothes for sure.. boots and also blankets, coolers, bits, and used bridles .. If you can get High end saddles in on consignment do it, but have a very good consignment contract and realease as you do not want to be responsable for damage done while a saddle is on trial , this is a risk the consigner must assume. I sell a ton of kid size consignment 1/2 chaps . Really if it's a consignment and horse related and in decent condition take it in , it costs nothing for you to put it on the shelf BUT it does cost if you have a store front you need to set your commission based on your over head ..IE: if you sell $1000.00 of product per week and your commission is 30% thats $300.00 .. That may not pay the rent, Phone, insurance , electric, internet, heat, advertising, and a little thing called a pay check... Selling on consignment sounds great BUT it has to generate an income. You may want to base your commsion on the selling price of the item.. Under $10.00 50% , 10 to 50 45%, 50-100 40% ect...the higher the item is priced the less percent.. Aslo I do not sell on Ebay because of the costs .. by teh time your done with the fees and pay pals cut you have to ad another 10% and not to mention packaging and shipping.. Also if you take Credit cards you must factor in another 6% of any transaction . You can see how fast your cut gets eaten away by overhead .. Sales tax is another issue so make sure thats on top of what ever price you sell an item for .. If you want to make $10.00 for your self on a hunt coat that sells for $40.00 you basically have to charge $50.00 for it to cover the cost of selling that item.

SidesaddleRider
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:35 PM
There is a very popular consignment store in Middleburg. They have close contact, all-purpose, and dressage saddles (from middle-range to high end), plus lots of show and hunt clothes (for both men, women, and children) including show jackets, hunt coats, breeches, show shirts, belts, and new helmets (can't sell used ones), plus lots of boots, horse blankets, show scrims, wool coolers, bridles, martingales, girths, bits, boots, stirrup leathers, leather halters, whips, etc. They have mostly consignment items, but also purchase store close-outs, etc., so have a good mix of new items as well. They take a 25% commission on saddles, and 40% on everything else. They do have a website, which helps to sell the saddles.

headsupheelsdown
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:38 PM
I second the kid's stuff suggestion!

Lucassb
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:57 PM
I knew a gal who did the same thing years ago when I lived in the south. She left her corporate job and took over a consignment place and I believe she did pretty well.

What you'll want to carry will depend a lot on your area and what is popular there. I wouldn't want to carry a bunch of dressage stuff if you were in an area where the barns were all oriented toward WP and reining, lol.

My advice is to call all the local area professionals and ask them what they need/want. Get a feel for the kind of stuff they encourage their clients to purchase, then supplement that with the basics - stuff people might run out of, and find it convenient to buy from you (fly spray, hoof stuff, etc.) I know I always loved an excuse to go into our local consignment place and they very cleverly made sure that they had the little necessities like that, I am sure at or near cost, and it helped draw traffic in.

If you can, consider keeping "wish lists" for your customers. It's a little extra work but being able to call someone to say, "Are you still looking for a wool cooler in XYZ's barn colors in a 78? We just had one come in and I can put it aside for you, if you like," is the kind of service that will create repeat business, and is a *great* way to also get your stock sold quickly.

Along those same lines, if you can send updates to your consignors, particularly for higher end/more expensive stuff, you will encourage more people to bring you stock. A saddle that's a bit overpriced that sits around taking up room in your shop for six months isn't doing anyone any good. Establish a regular schedule to review those items and contact the owners to discuss how to move those goods -whether that is with a scheduled policy (automatic mark downs after 30/60/90 days) and consider whether you will act as a negotiator on your consignor's behalf. If someone is standing in your shop saying, "Well, I'd love to buy it for ($50 less than the sticker)" you will get more sales if you can immediately accept or counter. Saying, "well, let me get in touch with the owner/consignor and get back to you," will lose you sales (haven't we ALL walked out of a store and re-thought a purchase?) A LOT of tack and riding related purchases are discretionary, so try to be able to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.

Good luck!

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:23 PM
I will chime in that I would like to see HIGH QUALITY adult stuff. Seriously, all of the consignment shops in my area stock very little of anything (as in, there is a very small consignment section that consists of very old boots, out of date breeches and coats, and a few randoms that no one will ever buy like old saddle pads, *old* turnout blankets, pitchforks??, etc.). If there were more options for high quality, gently used stuff, I would have A LOT MORE STUFF.

Examples- Tailored Sportsman breeches in *good* shape. Most of the consignment shops I've visited stock either TS breeches with worn through knee patches, or sizes made for people either *very* skinny or relatively large.

Nice hunt coats. Hunt coats that conform to modern styles. Not hunter green with bright beige pinstripes. Not black polyester with a velvet collar and brass buttons. But nice hunt coats in various price ranges that would be acceptable for today's show ring. This goes for shirts as well. A good extra for shirts might also be removing the monograms from collars. This is often not too hard to do (can be accomplished with a seam ripper), and makes it so easy to get collars re-monogrammed.

High-quality used strap goods. The nicest bridles are extremely cost-prohibitive for most, but last a lifetime. This means buying a used bridle in good repair is a great option for a lot of people. Most people are perfectly fine with used saddles, but used bridles are often in poor condition, or are of a quality that one could simply buy new without spending *that* much more.

Beyond that, I would like to see high-quality horse apparel. Dress sheets, scrims, boots, etc. These things are SO EXPENSIVE new, and are often the type of things that look just as good used. A lot of trainers sell this type of thing used in their barns in order to keep clients wearing the same stuff, so I can imagine these would sell well to people in an "unaffiliated" situation.

There is a woman that runs a great consignment shop that travels to a lot of bigger rated shows. She also has a busy ebay store that sells a lot of stuff as soon as it gets put up. As far as I know, her business is successful because of the items she chooses to stock- only high quality, popular goods that are used regularly by competitive riders. Setting up a good, easily navigated website can also contribute to the success of such a business.

spaceagevalkyrie
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:59 PM
Prices. There is a consignment tack shop near me, and the majority of the used stuff is priced HIGHER than it would be to buy new. Needless to say, they don't get much business.

Mel0309
Jan. 4, 2010, 04:10 PM
As someone who does consignment in a regular tack shop, I think you guys are forgetting one thing. You cannot sell what people don't bring in. In other words, yes, you may want those size 28L Tailored Sportsman in perfect condition but if no one brings them in to sell, they aren't going to be available. Believe me, what you will get most of is out of style/date clothing or dirty/stains/torn etc. If it is perfect the customer wants so much for it you can't make anything.

I have a pretty set price for my consignment breeches and shirts. Tailored Sportsman sell from $50-$85. Old Devon Aire breeches $5-$10.

You will also probably not get in very many high end saddles.
I have more plain flap old collegiate than I care to count (can't hardly give them away - sell for around $125). Also probably 10 or more "made in India/ China" package saddles that originally cost about $100 new (I sell these for $25-$50 used). The nice Beval I have for $800 - I cant get anyone to even look at. They want to pay under $400.

I say good luck to you but I know I could not survive on consignment alone.

S1969
Jan. 4, 2010, 04:21 PM
Good suggestions above. Kids clothes, boots & tack, show clothes, saddles, blankets.

My personal pet peeve is when everything is all mashed together on one rack and you can't find what you are looking for; good labeling and neat racks go a long way for people like me. I am not good at "digging" and finding a bargain.

If you have the ability, advertise your saddles [and possibly other items] online so you might pick up business of non-local folks who are looking for something specific.

Definitely advertise widely that you accept consignment items and what you take/your policies. As someone else stated, you can only sell what you bring in and the more people bring you, the better your business will be. Good luck!

starrysky
Jan. 4, 2010, 04:33 PM
Stirrup leathers, reins, things that break and you don't want to spend a fortune to replace, if you don't have a back-up!

mvp
Jan. 4, 2010, 06:02 PM
Congrats on your new venture!

The only thing I would add is an added (for $$) service offered to consignors: You'll clean and condition their tack before putting it on the floor.

I say this partly because I like the look, feel and smell of clean tack, partly because I like taking care of it, and partly because I know that many people digging through racks of saddles or bridles are turned off by the crusty ones.

Most of the consignment people I talk to try to take just about anything offered that's safe and clean. Some say they are surprised to see what sells. I know I have bought funky bits to add to my library, and eyes must roll. Also, would-be consignors tend to get offended if you reject their crap.

Established places do have a written, up-front policy about how long they will keep an item, when and how much it will be marked down, and what becomes of it after the item isn't sold or picked up.

Definitely be organized with your paperwork. Nothing freaks out a consignor more than not knowing what's going on with her items or money.

The high-end and busy Ebayer present their tack with the same soft sheen to it. You know there is one person putting in the effort. If your consignors want to do that, great! But I'm amazed and the number of people who don't.

Wonders12
Jan. 4, 2010, 06:25 PM
Everyone else had great things to say.

I definitely agree with networking with a good saddle fitter, leader repair, and blanket repair person. While you should make sure your stuff is in working repair, you might be able to sell that extra item if you can say "Let so-and-no know you bought it here and he will give you a 15% discount."

Please keep your place orderly. I understand it's not going to have the pretty look of a regular tack store, but I want to be able to find my way (and sizes) easily.

I recommend putting high end items online IF you will keep it updated. Even if you don't do that, get a website. It can be nice, clean, and simple but it should include what you carry regularly, what disciplines/items you specialize in, directions, hours, and contact info.

Finally, definitely consider purchasing new "small" items. Crops, spurs, spur straps, leather care items, hairnets etc. I will add $10-40 to my order on this extra stuff when I come in.

Finally, consider doing books. They might sit around for a while, but I love purchasing those old books that just aren't made anymore.

hellerkm
Jan. 4, 2010, 06:47 PM
I had a friend who ran a childrens consignment store and she did VERY VERY well, the KEY to her success what this:

She took a small business loan when she got started, this allowed her to pay CASH UP FRONT for the things people brought in. By doing this she did not need to keep track of consignors so that took away over half of her paperwork, and she bought low and sold a bit higher to cover her costs. People were willing to take slightly less than they felt their items were worth because they were walking out with cash in hand. They also had the option of getting a bit MORE for their items if they took store credit. She only took items she knew would sell and were in excellent condition. Her stock turned over on a monthly basis for the most part, and her business has done very very well.
If you can find the working capital to do this its so MUCH easier to keep track of , trying to consign items and then track them and send out checks each month gets CRAZY!!

SuperSTB
Jan. 4, 2010, 07:04 PM
Prices. There is a consignment tack shop near me, and the majority of the used stuff is priced HIGHER than it would be to buy new. Needless to say, they don't get much business.

There is a consignment tack shop by us that does this. I still dig through and find the occasional bargain but there is a good majority of old crap for the same price as new. Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when it comes to prices sometimes.

Basically they operate like this:
Shop: how much do you want to get for this?
Me: $XXX
Shop: okay we will price it as 'your price + our commission'.

If it sells great- but if you want too much $ for it- it'll sit around forever. They also take a loooooong time to inform you/ pay you if an item has sold.

So I guess my suggestion is- know your prices so that you can help advise people on the price to sell items. And the better you are at selling and providing cust service to both consignor and buyer the more they would be apt to go to you.

Also another funny actually- there was once a harness for sale (nylon but very unusual style/color) they had it all selling in seperate pieces. I was ??? WTF. It was this wierd orange and tan nylon leather combo- decently made but not something you could mix in with another harness. Anyway I lay it all out to see if everything was there and of course it was and I add up the price tags. Came to just over $150. Alright a little steep for an ugly used harness but why sell the parts seperately? Left me scratching my head. My last trip there in Nov left me again scratching my head as someone had bought about half of it.

skyy
Jan. 4, 2010, 07:45 PM
If you put saddles on your website, PLEASE keep it updated!!!! There is nothing more frustrating when looking for a new (used) saddle for your kid to see one on a consignment shop website, call to make sure it's still there, be told "If it's on the website it's here", drive 45 minutes to find out that the site is only updated every 4 weeks or so and the saddle hasn't been there for at least 3 weeks. ARGH!!!!

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:08 PM
I understand that you can't control what people bring in- that's the problem with a lot of consignment shops. What I mean is that it's critical to 1) be discriminating about what items you accept. No reason to accept items that aren't going to sell; 2) in addition to consignment items, find your OWN gently used stuff. Go to ebay, check other consignment shops for great finds, etc. A "consignment shop" can easily become a "used clothing store". People don't care who owns the used thing- they just want high quality used items in good repair for good prices. I know this is harder than it sounds, but it is what the market is missing.

Lucassb
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:22 PM
I think mvp had a great point about cleaning up the tack you put in your shop. No need to do anything major, but it's true - a little elbow grease goes a long way and frankly it doesn't take long at all. Offering services such as monogramming, engraving, repair etc (even if farmed out) would be a great addition.

If you can, have some decent fittings for the shop and do a little merchandising. Appealing store windows and somewhere to put together little displays of attractive items will do a lot to help items sell.

I remember a shop that I loved in my old neighborhood. It had a comfortable, clubby feel to it - like sitting in someone's hunt club tack room from days gone by. It was a smaller place but there were always nice displays, including some horsey artwork (that was also for sale)... it wasn't Munnings but it was nice quality and lovely in terms of adding to the atmosphere.

There were a couple of overstuffed armchairs upholstered in hunting-themed tapestry fabric and a nice rug near the try-on rooms - which were decently appointed as well, with good mirrors and a place to sit down to pull on boots, etc. Waiting Moms and Dads could sit in comfort while little Suzy tried on the next hunt coat and the adults loved to come in and help each other put together show outfits or catch up on the horsey gossip while shopping. They carried some non-riding but horsey casual clothes, too - you could maybe pick up a Barbour jacket or a RL sweater on a good day, which increased the store's audience beyond just riders.

None of that was particularly expensive but it made it NICE to shop there, and trainers often sent their clients there because they knew that the newbie parents/riders would get good advice, and show up with good quality, well fitted stuff at a reasonable price.

SOTB
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:45 PM
High quality show clothes and kids clothes.

That's exciting! Good luck!

ChagrinSaddlery
Jan. 5, 2010, 02:50 AM
Thank you so much for your replies.

OK to tell you a bit about it.

The store has been in business for just over a year, operated by a top amateur rider (also an "r" rated judge). She and her husband moved, and decided to sell the shop. I am buying it with a partner. We both have daughters that are pony jocks and show in the division as well as a deep bench of knowledge about all things horsey.:) We are also both former retail execs.

The store will be operated as a high end consignement shop but affordable. The actual store will have an inviting boutique look. We will strive to carry high end items...name brand...all top quality.

We will sell through the internet, shows, and retail. In addition to the tack shop we also have a minature jump bus that I hope will fit in nicely.

What I am most excited about is that we will also be working towards a program to help a few talented kids each year by providing opportunities that may have not been affordable to them. I guess a limited riding scholarship. It is still in the works.

Your suggestions are much apprecitated. I have been posting in this site for many years. I value the opinions offered on it. Thank you!...Dana

hunterhorse22
Jan. 5, 2010, 08:15 AM
I will second the need for higher end Adult show apparel. Most of my local tack shops have a consignment rack tucked away in a corner that is home to a few decent childs items, but rarely anything for adults that is show quality. I have expensive taste on a limited budget, so it would be nice to have a few choices of nicer quality items on a consignment budget.

Having an interactive website would also be nice. A lot of times inventory on websites is very out of date, which makes it frustrating when you are perusing a store website. I don't think it's unreasonable to update your website a few times a week to reflect what you actually have. Middleburg Tack Exchange does this for their saddles, and it's a great resource to have. Obviously, every last thing doesn't need to be reflected online, but it would be nice to have current listings of at least the higher priced items to draw in some business for the "other things."

pony4me
Jan. 5, 2010, 08:32 AM
What everyone else said, except that you also need a good selection of helmets in all sizes. A lot of your customers will be people (especially kids) who are new to riding. The helmet seems to be the first item the parent buys for the kid. So you need to be the best place to get a helmet. Keep all sizes in stock. Have some plain schooling helmets, and a line that looks nice enough to show in. Good luck!

mvp
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:11 AM
Lucassb made a good point, too: Do not turn down apres le cheval-type clothing. Barbours, wellies, whathaveyou.

As your retail experience has probably told you, the longer someone can be compelled to hang out in your store, the more likely you are to sell them *something*.

I think this is especially true of consignment shops. These are known not for their "have exactly what you need, get in, get it, get out" kind of shopping. They are known for the American kind of retail safari: "Arm yourself with time, a keen eye, and a wallet of any size and go into the brush to flush out treasures you didn't know you needed quite as badly as you do."

Cookiewoo
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:44 AM
Take only clean items. Some people will bring in used show clothes fresh from the cleaners with collars pinned on, others will bring in stuff that looks like it was in the bottom of the hamper for six months. Don't take anything missing buttons, zippers, with rips or tears.
Some people will bring in a few items for sale, others will dump all kinds of junk on you when their kid goes off to college and expect you to sell hoofpicks, rotting brushes, etc. Be selective!

MIKES MCS
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:29 AM
What everyone else said, except that you also need a good selection of helmets in all sizes. A lot of your customers will be people (especially kids) who are new to riding. The helmet seems to be the first item the parent buys for the kid. So you need to be the best place to get a helmet. Keep all sizes in stock. Have some plain schooling helmets, and a line that looks nice enough to show in. Good luck!

DO NOT under any circumstances sell used helmets .. this is a liability issue .. you would be better off getting with IRH or TROXEL and becoming a dealer for them .. What individuals pass among themselves in regard to used helmets is one thing , what a business does is entirely different..

Someone else commented on stocking gently used TS ect.. well thats fine but the people that bring them in can usually sell them on ebay for 80.00 and thats what they will want to get for them in your store..since not many are willing to pay 110 for used ones unless they are New with tags and therefore 1/2 price you aren't going to have a great market for them. 80% of teh people who shop consignment are looking for $20.00 breeches and $30.00 coats and $40.00 boots n other words they are looking to dress thier kid for under $100.00 for everything .. I sell the majority of my leather used boots for under $100.00 including Dehners if I have prices over that people go elsewhere or take thier chance on the internet.. Remember you are competing with the internet . I would love to get hi end saddles but again people who shop in consignment shops are not looking to spend $2,500.00 on a used saddle and unless you have a huge selection of used fine saddles you are not going to get that kind of traffic. ( Now if your in the middle of Wellington You may just get a huge selection of consignment saddles) but the reality is unless your BUYING them outright most people are going to get their largest market by putting them on Ebay not a consignment store. If thats a service you want to offer by all means do so .. but you will incur the cost of Ebay fees whether you sell or not and that will cut into your profit margin.

Haalter
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:48 AM
I would love to get hi end saddles but again people who shop in consignment shops are not looking to spend $2,500.00 on a used saddle I'd have to disagree on this. Most of my clients ride in the higher end French saddles and have bought them used online, often paying big shipping fees and taking the chance that the saddle won't fit and will have to be shipped back. They'd be thrilled to be able to find a local selection. I think it depends a lot on location and what else is available in the area - for us, not a lot available locally, so there would definitely be a market for this.

Mel0309
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:19 AM
DO NOT under any circumstances sell used helmets .. this is a liability issue .. you would be better off getting with IRH or TROXEL and becoming a dealer for them .. What individuals pass among themselves in regard to used helmets is one thing , what a business does is entirely different..

Agreed! I do not take used helmets AT ALL! I just sent back a helmet that a kid had fallen hard in and you would not be able to tell by looking at the helmet itself. I am sure it is damaged on the inside.




Someone else commented on stocking gently used TS ect.. well thats fine but the people that bring them in can usually sell them on ebay for 80.00 and thats what they will want to get for them in your store..since not many are willing to pay 110 for used ones unless they are New with tags and therefore 1/2 price you aren't going to have a great market for them.

Agree with this too. It works out in my store because I only give in store credit for items under $100 (I have a full tack store, not just consignment). So they would get $80 in store credit to use.



80% of teh people who shop consignment are looking for $20.00 breeches and $30.00 coats and $40.00 boots n other words they are looking to dress thier kid for under $100.00 for everything .. I sell the majority of my leather used boots for under $100.00 including Dehners if I have prices over that people go elsewhere or take thier chance on the internet.. Remember you are competing with the internet .

Again very much agree. I have Ariats and Tailored Sportsman breeches that have been sitting for a couple of months. The $5 - $15 breeches fly out the door. Parents want cheap for their growing kids. The stained $5 breeches work great as schooling breeches and I sell them more than any other consignment item.



I would love to get hi end saddles but again people who shop in consignment shops are not looking to spend $2,500.00 on a used saddle and unless you have a huge selection of used fine saddles you are not going to get that kind of traffic. ( Now if your in the middle of Wellington You may just get a huge selection of consignment saddles) but the reality is unless your BUYING them outright most people are going to get their largest market by putting them on Ebay not a consignment store. If thats a service you want to offer by all means do so .. but you will incur the cost of Ebay fees whether you sell or not and that will cut into your profit margin.

This is all very true, especially in my area. I have a Beval and Ashland that have been sitting for $800 and $750. But what sells is the used HDR types for $350 - $500. Don't be afraid to take in used western saddles. I can't keep them in stock and I am a mostly H/J store.

Liverpools
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:31 AM
I agree with Haalter, it depends on where you are located, I think. A lot of people won't use Ebay or other online services for the reasons mentioned above, and especially as the OP has stated they will do a boutique type shop, it may be a great fit to offer higher end stuff. It's all about the audience you choose to cater to (and what the demand is for in your area, obviously.) I don't think you can mix high end stuff with junk though; expecting customers to dive through a box of polyester to find the one nice essex coolmax shirt at the bottom is probably a recipe for failure.

This is the ebay consignment shop that I think other posters have referenced - she specializes in high end stuff, and she isn't giving it away, for sure. BUT she has a reputation for selling quality, and generally has a good amount of stock on hand.

http://stores.ebay.com/The-Riders-Closet?_rdc=1

(Note to those who wanted good quality adult stuff at consignment prices... this is a shopping alert/warning!)

RockinHorse
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:39 AM
I would love to get hi end saddles but again people who shop in consignment shops are not looking to spend $2,500.00 on a used saddle and unless you have a huge selection of used fine saddles you are not going to get that kind of traffic.

Part of your issue in attracting high end saddles may be this:


If you can get High end saddles in on consignment do it, but have a very good consignment contract and realease as you do not want to be responsable for damage done while a saddle is on trial , this is a risk the consigner must assume.

The consignment stores I have worked with to sell high end items have been very careful to protect my items. For example, saddles must be paid for before leaving the store although a 100% refund is provided should the saddle be returned in the same condition. If it is damaged it is considered sold.

RockinHorse
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:40 AM
DO NOT under any circumstances sell used helmets ..

Agree 100%!

Mel0309
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:55 AM
The consignment stores I have worked with to sell high end items have been very careful to protect my items. For example, saddles must be paid for before leaving the store although a 100% refund is provided should the saddle be returned in the same condition. If it is damaged it is considered sold.

We will either hold a check or get a credit card number to give the buyer the chance to try out the saddle. We give them up to two days to return it before we cash the check or run the card. Of course we always give a courtesy call before but this has never been a problem for us.

spaceagevalkyrie
Jan. 5, 2010, 12:02 PM
There is a consignment tack shop by us that does this. I still dig through and find the occasional bargain but there is a good majority of old crap for the same price as new. Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when it comes to prices sometimes.

Yes exactly! They'll have like a crummy, dirty no brand bridle priced more than the definitely-older-but better-looking "out of fashion" bridle that was worth 5x more. I don't get it :lol:. Nothing ever sells there, I've gone in in the summer and came back in late fall and the saaame tack is all in the saaaame places.

spaceagevalkyrie
Jan. 5, 2010, 12:03 PM
We will either hold a check or get a credit card number to give the buyer the chance to try out the saddle. We give them up to two days to return it before we cash the check or run the card. Of course we always give a courtesy call before but this has never been a problem for us.
That sounds like a wonderful idea!

BoysNightOut
Jan. 5, 2010, 02:22 PM
As far as new items....Lots of helmet brands, not just CO and GPA's. I went to all 3 of the tack shops in my area, and the helmet choices were slim. Not everybody can afford a CO or GPA. The ones that did have IRH or Troxel had not a whole to to pick from

I ended up getting my IRH XR9 from SmartPak.

And from my POV, more of a selection on brands that aren't so expensive. It's disheartening to need new breeches or boots or a coat, and Tailored Sportsmans and like-priced items is all you have to pick from. Got my On Course breeches from the local Country Max a week before my event.

As far as consignment...not much about what to offer, but more on make it organized! I hate going through consignment items all mixed together, just thrown about, some items don't even have a price, etc.

Good luck to you guys! :)

pony4me
Jan. 5, 2010, 08:25 PM
Absolutely right on the helmet idea. Please carry only new helmets. I'm sorry if my earlier post suggested otherwise. To clarify, do whatever it takes to have all sizes in stock, and a schooling helmet, and one that could be worn at shows. Maybe check with local riding instructors to see what they like their beginners to wear.

hype
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:24 PM
The biggest thing with consignment stores is that you need traffic. The more traffic, the more people will give their items to you to sell versus the internet etc.

If you could carry things that people need often like Vetrolin, Shampoos, fly sprays it helps draw people in.

I know that the consignment store here is next to a feed store and I walk through even if I don't "need" anything because I'm already there. I want to see if there is anything that I can't pass up. If there were breeches in my kids sizes I'd grab a pair most times I was in the store.

When I was trying to find tall boots I was in and out often.

The hard thing about the one by me is that it isn't very organized. If I could see when she got in a certain sized boot (for example) I would make a special trip to visit. If you can try to keep your inventory current and on-line it would be really helpful. I think that there are software systems out there which can help you do that without it being labor intensive once the items are logged in. It also tracks the items that sell and how much you owe the consignor.

SimonandGus
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:30 PM
Bridles! There are so few used good condition bridles that I've found! Instead of stacking them on top of each other, or laying in a gigantic tangled mess, hang them all on the wall neatly, it lets people see the condition and size without having 15 minutes to find a bridle from the bottem of the pile that turns out to not fit. There are tons of other great suggestions on here, this is just mine specifically :)

Sku
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:15 PM
That sounds like a wonderful idea!

I'm hugely into photography, and that's what a number of camera shops do as well. When they rent out camera equipment (cameras, lenses, flashes, etc) they require a cashiers check, cash, or credit card for the full amount of the purchase. If it's a credit card they do an Authorization Hold, which holds funds for 7-10 days. If the item is returned on time and in original condition, then the hold is reversed.

Honestly, I think this is the only way to go about things. It works really well for them, and when you're dealing with items $1000+ you really can't afford to take risks.

As for types of items I agree with what everyone has said. Personally, my biggest concern with consignment items is price. I've found used no-name breeches in my size at the only tack shop near me, only to not purchase them because they were drastically overpriced. I would love to find breeches (mostly schooling quality but showing quality would be amazing), gloves, show shirts, coats, and when I actually have a horse, saddles.

Although you are a consignment shop it might be worth it to sell a few items outright, such as helmets. Helmets, hairnets, leather conditioner/cleaner, flyspray, and any other small items that customers might want to pick up.

MIKES MCS
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:17 AM
We will either hold a check or get a credit card number to give the buyer the chance to try out the saddle. We give them up to two days to return it before we cash the check or run the card. Of course we always give a courtesy call before but this has never been a problem for us.

Yes by all means ( I do this too) BUT you better have a contract , BECAUSE that charge can be disputed and the money ripped out of your account for up to 90 days , if they win the dispute you are out that money because you owe the consignee that money .. a check can be stopped too.. You need a signed contract with that buyer that states they have examined the saddle and it is in good condition.. note any blemishes , other wise they can return a saddle with a broken tree that they ran over with a truck and you don't have a leg to stand on... It's a scarey thing for a small consigner when you send someone elses DelGrange out on trial and you are liable for it . Insurance will cover damage after the first $500.00 deductable for a retail business but you better have a signed contract to back up that the damage was done after the item left the shop .

Wayside
Jan. 6, 2010, 12:03 PM
Although you are a consignment shop it might be worth it to sell a few items outright, such as helmets. Helmets, hairnets, leather conditioner/cleaner, flyspray, and any other small items that customers might want to pick up.

Agree with this, if possible. Generally I try to get things early enough that I have time to shop around, but sometimes I've forgotten things until the last minute or something's broken, and I'm likely to turn up someplace local that I know will have what I need.

Also think the "cleaning service" for consigned goods is a great idea. Dirty used tack is just so unappealing. I'd even go so far as to make it mandatory, but waive it in the event that items were brought in cleaned to your standards.

ChagrinSaddlery
Jan. 6, 2010, 12:56 PM
Thank you for the suggestions.

The shop only carries, clean, well maintained high quality tack, such as TS, Grand Prix, Charles Owen, GPA Tad Coffin, Beval, Antares, and some more afforable but higher quality tack, saddles, and apparel...you get the idea. Believe me, we will turn dirty worn items away without a problem.

We also are carrying many new items from tack shops that have closed, etc.

We will not carry "junky" items such as used brushes, hoof picks etc. We will though seek out these items that are overruns from other manufacturers.

We will also go out of our way to carry Uggs, North Face, etc. I hope we can obtain this kind of inventory.

Kids clothes will be a huge part of our inventory. Our kids actually could supply the shop already! :)

We are hoping to make this tack shop the "Plato's Closet" of tack shops.

We take ownership 2/1/10. Very overwhelmed but can't wait!