Greetings Roundabouts Consignors!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. It’s hard to believe that 2023 is behind us, and that we are now into a new year! Hopefully you were able to spend some time with friends and family during the holidays. Here at Roundabouts, we are blessed to still have many of our staff members that many of you know, and a few new ones that recently joined our team. With a new year upon us, I feel that it’s a good time to update you on what’s going on at Roundabouts and in the consignment business in general.
I’m feeling a little nostalgic this year since we celebrated our 20th anniversary in March! We reached a new milestone this December when we signed on our 29,000th consignor! We had one employee celebrate her 10th year with us, and another who celebrated her 8th year! Many of our staff have been here over 5 years! When I think back to 2003 when we opened, the consignment industry was just beginning a shift to a more modern, clean look and becoming more mainstream. In Columbia, there were just a few small consignment clothing stores. So, when we opened with 4,800 square feet of space, I remember thinking we’d never fill it!! Two years later we moved into a 7,800 square foot space and I remember thinking the same thing. Now here we are in a 36,000 square feet space and we occasionally are filled to capacity! This is only possible through our wonderful consignors who consistently bring us awesome items to display on our sales floor. For this we are extremely grateful! 😊
That doesn’t mean everything is perfect though! Any business that has been around for 20+ years has had to adapt to changes in order to stay relevant and remain in business, and we are no exception. Changing fashion trends, shifts in home décor styles, colors, etc., and changing furniture preferences all affect what we accept on consignment. Our inventory must reflect what the public wants and desires, at prices they can afford. This is why we often turn away clothing, furniture, and home décor items that you bring to us. It’s not that they are without value, but with the number of consignors that we have and often limited space, we must be extremely selective in what we accept.
Our store size and the volume of merchandise that we process and sell on a daily basis, require many trained employees with various levels of skills and expertise. The labor market has changed drastically since COVID, and has resulted in increases in pay, benefits, and demands of more flexible work schedules. Roundabouts has risen to this challenge and offers competitive compensation and benefits for its staff. Meanwhile, inflation has also caused supplies, utilities, equipment and rent to increase substantially.
We can absorb some of these cost increases, but not all. In order to remain in business, we must find additional ways to increase revenue.
Therefore, beginning January 16th, we will be implementing some changes to our consignment contract, policies, and schedules. This will require all consignors to complete new consignment contracts. Our new contract is on our website so that you can complete it, print, and sign it, and bring it to us when you consign. Having the contract already completed will save an enormous amount of time.
Additionally, we are hearing from many consignors that they don't have an email address. We realize that for some of our more senior consignors this can be challenging. But it is extremely important to have a valid email address on file with us for many reasons. First, it allows you to establish an online account with us so that you can check your inventory and see how much we owe you at any time. Second, it is required to set up the app for our "Resale Rewards" program. Third, it is required for setting up consignment appointments on our website. Fourth, it is the most effective way for us to contact you in the event we must reach you concerning your consignment account. If you have a computer or cell phone, you can have an email address. For those that do not currently have an email address, and are technology challenged, I suggest you ask your child or grandchild to help you set up an account.😉 In some cases we may be able to assist you.
Here are some of the most important changes:
(ALL ITEMS CURRENTLY IN INVENTORY WILL NOT BE AFFECTED)
1. Our commission schedule is changing as shown below:
You receive 40% of the selling price on items that sell for under $25.00.
You receive 50% of the selling price on items that sell for between $25.00 and $899.99.
You receive 60% of the selling price on items that sell for $900.00 or higher.
2. The length of our consignment period is changing from 90 days to 60 days. Items will remain on the sales floor for 60 days, after which you will have a seven-day window to retrieve any items that you would like back that don’t sell within the 60-day period. Items that aren’t picked up will be donated or sent to clearance to help them sell.
3. Our markdown schedule is changing from 20% after 30 days and another 20% after 60 days, to just one 15% markdown after the item has been on the sales floor for 30 days. It will then remain at that price for the final 30 days that it is here.
4. Our consignment account fees will be:
$10.00 to open an account (valid for one year from the date the account is opened)
$10.00 renewal fee (due annually)
If you’ve already paid an annual renewal fee for the upcoming year, you will NOT be charged any additional fees until one year from the last date you paid your fee.
5. Another change to the contract is that any account that remains inactive (meaning no consigning, using store credit, or no cashing out the account for a period of 12 consecutive months) will have any available money owed converted to store credit.
We feel that by shortening the amount of time an item remains on the sales floor along with only one automatic markdown will help items sell faster and for more money. The increase in the commission split for items under $25.00 was needed due to the costs associated with the processing of these items which don’t generate much profit, and to encourage consignors to bring more profitable items.
At this point I’d like to emphasize how important it is for each consignor to follow our policies and procedures so that we can efficiently see as many consignors per day as possible. Some of the things we ask each consignor to do that really help us to do our jobs are:
1. Pay attention to the “consignor notices” page of our website before you consign! This is where we list any changes to our intake schedule, items that we currently are not accepting or are limiting temporarily, or where we list items that are in demand and our inventory is low.
2. When making an appointment on our website it is crucial that you accurately supply ALL REQUIRED INFORMATION INCLUDING YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER! If your submission for an appointment was successful, you will receive an email notification almost immediately. If you don’t receive an email, please try again. This email will show the date and time of your appointment. It is important to keep this email for two reasons: To cancel or change your appointment yourself or to show it to us in case there is a problem with the appointment. These appointments are highly coveted by all our consignors, and they fill up fast. So, it is very important that you show up for these appointments or cancel them at least 24 hours before your appointment so that someone else can take that time slot. For those that are frequent no-shows for their appointments, you may be prohibited from making future appointments for 30 days.
3. Please have your ID and account number available when you check in at customer service. This is for your own protection!! ALSO, DO NOT TAKE A SHOPPING CART OR BRING YOUR ITEMS IN UNTIL INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. USE ONLY THE GREEN CARTS NEAR CUSTOMER SERVICE FOR YOUR ITEMS.
4. Please, please, please inspect all your clothing and shoes for any conditions that would prevent us from accepting your items. Check necklines, armpits, buttons, zippers, crotch, and pant hems for any issues. Check shoes for toe marks, peeling, and scuffs. Also, please, please, please have clothing already on hangers and wrinkle-free when you arrive! It really slows things down when we must wait for consignors to put their items on hangers.
Remember, if during processing, we find any problem with an item that would have been priced at $20.00 or more, we'll send you an email asking if you want to pick it up or donate. If the price would be under $20.00, it will automatically be donated.
5. Be sure your home décor and furniture are in “like new” condition. This means it must be clean and damage-free. In other words, be ready to display immediately upon pricing.
6. Please be respectful to the intake staff and don’t pressure or badger them into accepting an item that they have rejected. We’re happy to explain briefly why we did not accept an item.
7. Just a reminder about our "item fees". We add a fee (based on the price of the item) to every item. This fee is paid by the buyer and DOES NOT affect your commission. This fee is reflected in the tag price of your item. Is is NOT used to calculate your commission split.
If everyone followed these simple requests, we could do our jobs much more efficiently and the appearance of the store would improve as well.
So please be patient as we implement these changes. We don’t take lightly the effects they will have on many of you, but they are necessary if we’re to remain a vibrant, profitable company supporting our consignors, employees, and customers. Thank you for being such an important part of our business and I look forward to many more years of working with you!
Owner, Roundabouts Consignments