Archive for the ‘consignment’ Category

Fur Appraisals – What type do I need?

December 31, 2010

I was procrastinating once again about what to put into my blog and an email gave me the inspiration I needed. Our correspondence went like this:

Dear Furrier:

I found you on the web and was wondering if you could appraise my fur?

Thank you Lala

Lala We need to see a fur to appraise it. If you let me know the big towns you are near I can research furriers in your area who could possibly do this for you.

Susie
Hinsdale Furriers

Hi Susie,

I live in Frederick, Maryland. The closest large cities would be Baltimore, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. I am planning to make an appointment with Hanna/Demetrios Furriers but would like to get more than one appraisal. Thanks you for any help you can provide. Lala
Hi Lala
There are 2 different types of appraisals so be sure you are very clear what you ask for Insurance appraisal What would the garment cost if I had to replace it with a new one?
Estate appraisal If I were to sell this garment what would I expect you to pay for it? Estate appraisal are also used for charitable contributions and estate taxes.

In Baltimore: Fisher Furs 410-828-4141
Seleh’s Furs 410-547-6733
Tarliow Furs 410-539-1931

In DC

Andriana Furs 202-381-2500

Nieman Marcus also has a fur Department

I spoke to Fisher Furs to be sure at least 1 of the people I am giving you are still in business- I pulled them out of 2007 fur trade directory.

Susie Duboe Bryant
Hinsdale Furriers

Thanks for all the information. The coat is mine free and clear so am only looking for an appraisal with the possibility of selling it. I can’t imagine ever wearing it as it would make me nervous the entire evening wondering whether someone was going to throw paint on it or steal it. It is such a lovely coat but I was wrong when I said it was full length. Only 3/4’s length. Again, thank you, Lala Lala- You shouldn’t worry about wearing a beautiful fur coat. People do not have the right to damage your property and I truthfully have not heard of that happening in many years and then only near the television cameras. Coats do get stolen, that is the reason they should be listed on your homeowners policy.

If you decide you are definitely going to sell your coat. Consider putting it on consignment. We begin taking furs on consignment in September and stop at the end of December. We pay the consignor 50% of the selling price when the garment sells. The selling price is determined before the garment is accepted for consignment. All of our gently used furs are shown on our website. It is updated real time- if it is sold it disappears from the web site. You may look at the web site to find a similar coat to get ideas of our pricing. We have been taking consignment for about 9 years. I am happy to say we have a great success and both the customers and consignors seem delighted. Our business is by the most part referral friends telling friends.
Lala – if you have any further questions , do not hesitate to call or email

Have a wonderful New Year

Susie

A conversation on the web……it just amazes me! To all who read this blog. I am sending my best wishes for a wonderful 2011!

Susie

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Fur at a Garage Sale?

September 14, 2010

Annual Merchant Garage Sale

This past Saturday was Hinsdale’s Annual Merchants Garage Sale. We have participated every year since it began over 40 years ago. Once a year the village cleans out the municipal garage, where they store all the big trucks and allow the merchants to set up shop for the day. This year, we set up for both our Formal Wear and fur salon and were joined by the bicycle shop, women’s clothing shop, a hardware store, housewares, a jeweler, books and a few more merchants that I can not recall. All the 1st time shoppers are shocked to see a furrier set up in a garage but when they check out the prices they are glad that we are there. Since the beginning we have participated more as a promotional tool and made a few sales of furs from the prior year at our cost. Since we opened our consignment section , This Old Fur, we use the sale as the kick off the season.

A very happy customer

 

I hope you can see from the photos that a furrier in a garage sale is different but fun. I am writing this blog to remind other Entrepreneurs that some times a little change and a lot a fun = sales and happy customers. As soon as we returned to the store we set the date for 2 Fur Fantasy Events! These are dress up parties to benefit charities.  Please let me know about any creative marketing ideas you have tried during this tough economy.

If the sales on Saturday were any indication – fur is the choice for this winter season!

Time is Flying By

August 22, 2010

Consignment Mink from the 70's

This week, we began taking furs on consignment for the season. I was telling a newer employee all the things I think about when pricing the coats  brought in for consignment. Price if  new, style, condition, quality and age being the major points. I showed her how to check for worn areas and explained the most common worn areas are the edges: cuffs, fronts, bottom and pockets then elbows and seat area.
I explained you can usually guess age from the condition of the pelt and the style but confirm this with the customer. I suggested to ask if it was purchased for a special occasion and learn the age from that. Some times timing is everything!!!! Just as I was explaining my reason for this I had a customer bring her mink coat to sell and the style told me 1990’s. I asked how old and she said under 10 years. I then asked if it was a gift for a special occasion and she said yes when my son was born. I asked what grade he was in. We all laughed when she said he was just heading back to college. I had to explain to the customer that  time flying by is a very common problem and I had just finished explaining that to my co-worker.
I do it also, just ask and I will tell you I am 35! LOL

A Customer Writes

July 3, 2010

I am on vacation until August 1st. I couldn’t stay away from my emails and this is what I found today………Hello,

My name is Regina and you sold my mother’s fur coat for me several months ago. I wrote about my experience for the San Francisco Chronicle and the article is STILL getting lots of attention and feedback.

I wasn’t able to mention you directly since my editors wanted to keep the story local, but I’ve sent dozens of people your website when they contact me or the paper for help. Here’s the article:
Thanks for your help!

Regina

Just a quick comment- used furs like new furs sell best when people start planning for fall and winter. For that reason fur consignment time begins the end of August each year with sales peaking when the weather gets cold.

How to choose a consignment shop

June 1, 2010

Are you thinking about bringing clothes you no longer wear to a consignment shop? What should you do first?
First, you should go out shopping at the consignment shops you are considering bringing your items to. Do you like the atmosphere? Do they provide good customer service?
Does it look like a boutique or a rummage sale? Are the items they have for sale things that you would wear? If they are styles and brands that you would purchase, chances are shoppers would purchase your items.

Next, you should ask about the consignment policy and procedures. Do you need an appointment? What is the split? When are you paid? How long is the consignment period? What happens to the items that don’t sell? Are you able to pick them up? Do they get donated and if so, who gets the donation receipt?

Once you find a consignment shop that meets your needs, go home and clean your closets. Be sure that the items you bring in are cleaned and pressed. You wouldn’t want to buy dirty clothes and neither would other shoppers. I strongly suggest that you sort your clothing by season. Most consignment shops are seasonal; they do not take summer items in November nor winter items in June.

When you bring your items in, be sure that the items are going to be accepted for sale. Confirm the date that you would need to pick up any unsold items. Then tell all your friends that you found a great place to shop. Remember: the more people that go into the store, the more sales will be made – so spread the word! When you get the check for your sold items, you will be glad that you told your friends. Perhaps you can even find a new outfit at the same consignment shop.

Spring Cleaning and Finding Money in Your Closet

February 26, 2010

As February comes to an end and our days get longer, subtle signs of spring start to creep in. In our house, my husband knows that change of season is in the air when there is no room for his clothes in the closet. I tend to push his clothes into a corner for about a month, two times a year. This weekend will be the beginning of that time. I will bring all my clothes out of hiding and begin trying on my Spring and Summer items and decide what to keep, what to donate and what to take to a consignment shop to sell.

This has been my semiannual ritual for years and thought that maybe other women do the same thing, so I made the decision to open a consignment shop last fall. Space is limited in the shop so I decided to specialize in evening, formal and bridal wear. I am a very picky shopper and in my humble opinion there is nothing worse than shopping in a cluttered atmosphere. The consignment shops I prefer are more like boutiques. They are always clean, easy to shop at, nice smelling and the clothes are clean and pressed. That is the type of shop I own.

When looking for consignment shops in your area, I suggest you go to the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops website. Many resale shops take things on consignment and split the proceeds with you. All consignment shops set their own terms in regards to percentages and fees, so be careful. Make sure to read the consignment agreement/guidelines for each store. Some shops charge a fee per item on top of their percentage and others charge a check printing fee. Another item to review is the rules for unsold merchandise. Can you pick it up? Does it become property of the store? Do they donate the items, and if so, do you get the tax receipt upon request?

When I have items to donate, I bring them to the WINGS Resale shop. WINGS is a program that provides shelter to abused and/or homeless women and children. They have 3 resale shops and the money they make helps to provide the services and shelter that these women and children need. The women are also given an “allowance” so that they can purchase items in the Resale shop for their children and themselves. It sure makes me feel good to donate to such a worthy cause, and I get a tax receipt as well!

If Consignment Shops Could Speak

January 22, 2010

Consignment Bridal Gown with SleevesI love the stories I hear while working at our new resale shop. It is almost as if the wedding dresses, evening gowns and even the evening bags and shoes have a life of their own. When the consignees bring in the items I hear where they wore the items. We have a dress that went to Obama’s Inaugural Ball and a wedding dress that was never worn because she found out in the nick of time “what the groom was really like”.
I also get to hear the plans for the items being purchased. Since our store specializes in evening and formal wear most of the purchases are made with an event in mind. Today alone, I sold St. John suit off-white with rhinestones that is going to a Bar Mitzvah in New York City, a pair of Ferragamo pumps that are going on a Cruise and Bridal Gown. My favorite was the  birdal gown to a bride who was on a budget – she shared with me that by only spending $300 on her dress she could include a few more friends on her invite list.

This is definitely a rewarding business. I will from time to time share other stories about the adventures of our formal wear!

Bridal Gowns for Budget Weddings – Consider Used Formal Wear at Consignment Shops

December 2, 2009

I was searching the web this weekend in order to get an idea what to price two gently worn wedding gowns that were brought in for consignment at our new consignment formal wear store. During my search I came across the site Top-wedding-dresses and their blog post of November 29th, 2009 titled Ten Ways to Cut Wedding Costs.

The author starts the blog “There are two types of wedding couples: Those who have unlimited finances to throw the party of their choice and those who have to remain within a budget. If you are the latter, there are ways to have the wedding you desire without going way into debt to do so. But it will take a bit of compromise. Here are 10 ways where you can cut costs in certain areas to free up money to put elsewhere into something you really want for your wedding ceremony or reception.”
Consignment Bridal Gown with Sleeves
This blog has some great hints for everything from the invitations, to the food and beverage. I encourage you to read her other hints. Of course what caught my eye was the part about wedding gowns. She suggests renting the bridal gown and those for the bride’s maids and flower girl. This sent me on a quest to find costs for renting bridal dresses. I found the range for renting between $300 and $800. I suggest looking at consignment shops and buying a once loved gown. At our store the gowns that we currently have are priced from $300 to a never worn one at $800.

New Hinsdale IL Resale Shop to Open for Formal Wear, Wedding Attire, Accessories, Shoes, etc.

October 31, 2009

We are getting ready to open Formally Hers on Saturday, November 14th.   There is a planned preview party (if you’d like an invite to the preview party send me an email) scheduled for November 12th. It is tricky running a business and trying to get another opened at the same time. Thank goodness I have wonderful staff at Hinsdale Furriers and a carpenter husband. This weekend we paint and next week the fixtures start getting put together. It is exciting to be starting something new.

Wedding and Fashion Attire on Consignment at Reduced Prices

It is so unbelievable the amount of worn lovingly once evening wear that has come into the store. We already have over 300 garments just from one advertisement and a letter in our Hinsdale Furriers newsletter. It is fun to hear the stories of the outfits: where they were worn, what the occasion was or why they were not worn. It is also fun to see my employees drool over some of the items. The most fun was the day some one brought in Jimmy Choo Shoes and my employees played Cinderella. To their dismay not one of them was Cinderella.