Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Time To Consign!

Ugh. This is the thing I dread more than anything else being in business for myself.
The filling out of the consignment tags and inventory sheets.
Do you even know how long it takes for me to complete a relatively small shipment of 100 pieces?
Do you EVEN know!?!
Well, I started at 9:15am. Right after I dropped off Miss. Diva Who Does Not Ride Public Transportation and stopped by the grocery store. Another 5 minutes of my husband convincing me that I like this and I began. 
I finished at 3:07pm.
But I do like this. I would LOVE it if I could hire someone to do it for me but I do really enjoy the steady checks that come in from my lump of hard work. It is also important to keep this option available for small business owners who can't always pay for large wholesale shipments upfront.
Do you do consignment? 
Would you like to but do not know how to get it going?
Here are a few links that help us approach stores that may be good matches for our types of handmade goods. 
This is pretty cut and dry. But I found it useful when drafting my sales pitch letter;
And this forum thread covered a lot of good questions;
I definitely recommend setting up a system to help you keep track of the items that are out and how much you should be getting paid for them. I use Quicken Business for that. 
Ask for references when approached online for a consignment deal. The 3rd store I set up an account with took $300.00 of my product and I never heard from them again.
Contracts are a necessity and they must be signed before your product leaves your hands. Not with the first shipment cause it's convenient to include it (Again, learned this the hard way).
I like to create when things are slow online. I also like to assemble display cards as much as I like to create the actual product. This way I always have product to send in and it looks purdy, too!

 Here, let me tell you a little story. At Christmas time we were in a bad, bad way financially. Mike had been unemployed for over 2 months and we were desperate. Because I had spent time preparing a large shipment to a great little store in Oct. I received a $700 check just in time to do some Christmas shopping for the kiddos. We would have had nothing otherwise. Consignment is not convenient, but it sure has come through for me.

I hope this helps anyone looking to expand their business to include consignment. I have met wonderful supporters of handmade goods and feel content knowing little bits of me are all over the world!


  1. Thanks for posting this info, ther is a store in my town center who has shown interest in selling some of my creations, so this was most timely.

  2. you are seriously one of the hardest working people i know of... and you are so well versed in the business end of it all as well... i am so very impressed by you... that could be a book as well!

  3. Okay, how have I not been here before?? I'm now a huge fan and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog when I should have been doing mine! :) So glad to find you and feel much more inspired now than I did before reading! Thanks!

  4. Oh, this is fantastic info. I'm just now looking at brick and mortar venues for my work. Thanks so much for the words of wisdom!

  5. This is a wealth of information and thank you so much for posting. It is a lot of work however you said how thankful you are to have the sales. There are always trade offs in business as well as life. Good work. Happy creating...

  6. Oh, the dreaded paperwork,yuck! I had tagged all my items for a new shop one day only to realize once I got there they were all wrong!

  7. Sounds like you had a super busy day! Thanks for all of this great info.... something I'd love to do one day when I have time to dedicate to it!

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  9. Great post. I did consignment for a while. It took up loads of time but was kind of exciting at the same time. It's like what lies beyond etsy and sales-wise can be a little more reliable.

    I feel your pain!

  10. VERY good advice. I'm trying not to do much consignment, but great post for those interested. Thanks for listing all of the info. Take care, Riki

  11. I have this thing, like a life goal, to do as much as I can to introduce the handmade alternative to business owners. I am convinced they would stock their store with locally produced and handcrafted goods if they just KNEW about us.

  12. Great information - I hope some day to have the time to devote to producing enough to do consignment. For the time being, I will file this info away in my "I know I'll use this some day" file. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I truly feel your pain! I have been putting off my duties for as long as I dare - tomorrow is the day - ugh! The checks are nice but the prep work and making tags and inventory lists is a pain in the keester!


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