Sunday, May 17, 2009

Consider Having Resale Merchandise

When you think of resale merchandise, do you think just about Goodwill, Salvation Army, hospice fundraising, and other nonprofit stores? Well, don't forget the profit-making business models of stores like Children's Orchard and Howie Mack and those with great names like Play it Again, Chic to Chic, and Once Upon a Child.
     Resale retail is thriving now. The National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops reports that 63% of respondents to their membership survey said 1st quarter 2009 sales were better than 1st quarter 2008 sales, with an average increase of almost one-third. Two areas of especially strong growth in resale retail are in clothing for teens and in furniture.
     Resale retail has three things going for it in a down economy:
  • The merchandise is priced lower than brand new equivalents.
  • Shoppers can reduce their output of money by trading in used belongings when making a purchase.
  • The whole notion of resale feels like we're going recycle green, and research says that the stress for economically strapped consumers eases when they feel they're doing something noble.
     Yes, I know that setting up a resale section in your store isn't simple. You need expertise about what to pay out for the used merchandise, knowledge of what used merchandise you can legally sell, polices about returns of used merchandise that might be different from your policies about returns of new merchandise, and more. But when a professional retailer sees a trend that can make them money, the question is not, "Should we find a way to make use of this trend?" The question is, "In what ways can we make use of this trend?"
     And you are a professional retailer, aren’t you?

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