How To Do Returns and Exchanges…
…and Still Come Out On Top
Returns and exchanges present a unique challenge to consignment stores. If you sell an item for $10 with a 50% consignor split, and accept of a return of the item, you may have already paid the consignor and will be out $5. Of course, the item is now yours, but your cash-flow has taken a dent. There are three approaches:
• All Sales Final •
This is what most resale models do. Austin Storm, proprietor of The Storm Cellar in Moscow, ID says, “People frequently ask if we take returns, but we explain to them that due to the unique nature of consignment we cannot do so. I then offer to put things on hold for people if they would like to think about it or come back with something else to try on with it.”
Note: if you choose either ‘All Sales Final’ or ‘Exchanges Only’, you will have to put this on your credit card receipt (within an inch of the signing line). Otherwise your credit-card agreement may obligate you to take returns. Talk to your merchant services representative to make sure. Of course, if people were that insistent, there are ways to try to refund them. Better a lost sale and potential future company than a person who will bad-mouth your store all over town!
• Exchanges Only •
That is, issuing ‘store credit’ for returns. This is a great way to go, as well. You will not be out the money in the same way as with open returns, but you do have the burden of keeping track of store credit. You can use your gift cards, if there isn’t a big expense associated with them.
• Returns •
You can take open returns with a receipt. Items become yours, and then you can try to sell them. All the caveats of buying-outright apply, which is that you must discount it if it doesn’t move. Don’t hold onto it for misplaced sentimentality or a sense you must get your full amount. Any money is better than none!
Who are we?
Well, where do we start? 1) We think resale is amazing, and 2) we streamline the busywork for store owners (because let’s face it, people: resale makes you OCD). So we created ConsignCloud be OCD for you. ConsignCloud is the resale software that consignment store owners love to use. It’s beautiful, it’s reliable, and it’s easy to use. Give it a try–it’s free!
Cut down on your employee-to-profit ratio, folks, and still get to go on vacation!