How To Open A Consignment Store

Opening a consignment store can be a rewarding and lucrative venture for those who have a passion for fashion and a keen eye for spotting quality items. Consignment stores allow individuals to sell their gently used clothing, accessories, and home goods, while also providing a unique shopping experience for customers looking for one-of-a-kind finds. If you’re considering opening a consignment store, here are 8 interesting facts to keep in mind, along with a step-by-step guide on how to calculate the equation for success.

1. Understanding the consignment model

Consignment stores operate on a consignment model, where individuals bring in their items to be sold in the store. The store then sells the items on behalf of the consignor and takes a percentage of the sale price as a commission. This model allows consignors to make money from their unwanted items without the hassle of selling them themselves, while the store benefits from a constant flow of new inventory.

2. Location is key

When opening a consignment store, location is key. Look for a space in a high-traffic area with good visibility and easy access for customers. Consider factors such as foot traffic, parking availability, and proximity to other retail stores to ensure that your store is easily accessible to shoppers.

3. Curating your inventory

One of the most important aspects of running a successful consignment store is curating a high-quality inventory. Be selective about the items you accept for consignment, and only choose items that are in good condition, on-trend, and likely to sell well. Building a reputation for carrying quality items will attract customers and keep them coming back for more.

4. Pricing strategy

Developing a pricing strategy is essential for running a profitable consignment store. Take into account factors such as the brand, condition, and demand for each item when setting prices. Consider pricing items at a percentage of their original retail value, or use a tiered pricing system based on how long the item has been in the store.

5. Marketing and promotion

To attract customers to your consignment store, you’ll need to invest in marketing and promotion. Consider using social media, email marketing, and local advertising to spread the word about your store and drive traffic. Host events such as trunk shows, pop-up shops, and fashion shows to generate buzz and attract new customers.

6. Staffing and operations

Running a consignment store requires a dedicated team of staff to handle day-to-day operations such as accepting consignments, pricing items, merchandising, and assisting customers. Hire friendly and knowledgeable staff who are passionate about fashion and customer service to ensure that your store runs smoothly and efficiently.

7. Financial considerations

Before opening a consignment store, it’s important to consider the financial aspects of the business. Calculate your start-up costs, including rent, inventory, marketing, and staffing expenses, and create a budget to guide your spending. Keep track of your sales and expenses to monitor your store’s profitability and make informed business decisions.

8. Building relationships with consignors

Building strong relationships with consignors is key to running a successful consignment store. Treat your consignors with respect and professionalism, and communicate regularly about their items and sales. Offer incentives such as higher commission rates or store credit to encourage consignors to bring in more items and promote your store to their friends and family.

Calculating the equation for success:

To calculate the equation for success when opening a consignment store, you’ll need to consider a few key factors:

1. Start-up costs: Calculate the total amount of money you’ll need to open your store, including rent, inventory, marketing, and staffing expenses.

2. Sales projections: Estimate how much revenue you expect to generate from sales each month, based on factors such as foot traffic, inventory turnover, and average sale price.

3. Expenses: Determine your monthly expenses, including rent, utilities, payroll, and marketing costs, and subtract them from your projected sales to calculate your net profit.

4. Break-even point: Calculate how many items you’ll need to sell each month to cover your expenses and break even. This will help you set realistic sales goals and track your store’s performance over time.


Let’s say your start-up costs for opening a consignment store are $10,000, and your monthly expenses are $5,000. You estimate that you can sell an average of 100 items per month at an average price of $50 each.

Sales = 100 items x $50 = $5,000

Expenses = $5,000

Net profit = $5,000 – $5,000 = $0

In this example, you would need to sell at least 100 items per month to break even and cover your expenses.

16 common questions about opening a consignment store:

1. How do I find inventory for my consignment store?

2. What commission rate should I charge consignors?

3. How do I set prices for consigned items?

4. What marketing strategies are most effective for consignment stores?

5. How do I handle unsold items in my store?

6. What software should I use to manage my inventory and sales?

7. How can I attract new customers to my consignment store?

8. What are the best practices for merchandising my store?

9. How do I handle returns and customer complaints?

10. What legal considerations do I need to be aware of when opening a consignment store?

11. How can I differentiate my store from competitors in the area?

12. How do I handle disputes with consignors over pricing or commission rates?

13. What are the most popular items to consign in a consignment store?

14. How can I build a loyal customer base for my store?

15. What are the best ways to track sales and inventory in a consignment store?

16. How can I stay updated on current fashion trends and market demands?

In conclusion, opening a consignment store can be a rewarding and profitable business venture for those with a passion for fashion and a knack for business. By understanding the consignment model, curating a high-quality inventory, and implementing effective marketing and operational strategies, you can set yourself up for success in the competitive retail industry. Remember to calculate your start-up costs, set realistic sales goals, and prioritize building strong relationships with consignors to ensure the long-term success of your consignment store. With careful planning and dedication, you can create a unique and thriving retail destination that attracts customers and keeps them coming back for more.

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