Monday, December 10, 2012

Consignment: a safer way to sell?

Okay, so I have seen the vast array of goods on various online marketplaces such as Etsy and Ebay.  I have spent hours perusing through vendor displays at craft fairs.  I have spoken more with my good friend, Alex Daly, who I mentioned previously.  I recently came to find out that along with her other handcrafted accessories; she also knits a wide variety of scarves.

Alex Daly's scarf display at the Sheldon Art Gallery
I was already aware that she occasionally sells her handicrafts at craft events, very recently holding a display at an event near downtown Lincoln, Nebraska at the Sheldon Art Museum.  She also takes a more passive approach to sales by simply wearing what she creates…if someone compliments her or asks where she got those items, she mentions that she makes them herself and gives them more information on how to purchase something for themselves.  This works out very well for her, due to the fact that she waitresses at a bar & deli in downtown Lincoln, and sees many new faces every day.  I asked Alex if she has an online site or store where she sells her goods, and she said that she does not.  However, she mentioned something I had not given much thought to before: consignment shops.

There are many consignment shops around town.  Even more prevalent are small boutiques and shops that sell more mainstream names, alongside unique local items that are sold in the store under consignment terms.  Alex mentioned that although she does not currently sell any items online, she does have some of her handmade items for sale at Tsuru, which is a small boutique in downtown Lincoln (on 14th Street, just north of “O” Street).

Front of the boutique where Alex sells her handmade items
I asked her what sort of deal they have set up in regards to money, and she said that they split any money made from the purchase of her items 50/50.  This seems like a good idea for someone who doesn’t have the time to spend sitting at a craft fair, or isn’t confident that they will make enough profit to outweigh the cost of renting a vendor table at one of these events.  She may not make a large profit from each item sold, but at least if she doesn’t sell an item, she’s not paying for the time and space, so she can’t lose money either!

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