The World of Consignment
Consignment is a bittersweet sort of thing in my book. I recently took a step back from it and thought it would be an
interesting topic to write about.
What is consignment?
A boutique, in which you have placed your product, takes 50% of your sales. That percentage is the going rate in most places. Sometimes you can negotiate with the boutiques on how much their cut is but rarely do they accept less than 50%.
Sweet part of consignment:
Although, I may come off bitter about consignment there are upsides to making it a part of your business plan. If you have an online business, people can’t touch your products. They can feel up their computer screens all they like but that just doesn’t convey the softness of your handmade item. People like to touch things. Have you ever been able to go into a clothing store and not touch the clothes? Exactly! So consignment helps in that department and it also reaches clients that may be discovering your products for the first time. It also allows for people in your area to shop your products and not have to pay shipping or wait for the item to ship.
Bitter part of consignment:
Here we go! Brace yourselves! While consignment can be good, it’s also taking a huge chunk of your profits. Like I mentioned before, they keep 50% of your sales. You also have no control over how they merchandise or display your items in the store. It’s a particular struggle I’ve seen as a bag lady. A floppy bag hanging from a nail on the wall is not attractive to customers. You can always discuss with the boutique owners how to display your items better but it’s up to them whether they will take your suggestions. They may also make the occasional social media post of your item. WOOHOO! Granted, it may be a poorly lit photo but at least someone will see it, right?
Consignment is tricky and it can leave you very frustrated but remember to choose the boutiques you feel work best for your products. If ever it’s not working out, communicate politely with the owners or take your items back. Don’t burn any bridges, unless completely necessary, because you may still want to shop there! I don’t regret my time in consignment. I was able to reach some new customers and make new connections because of it. Networking is important!