Consignment Store Business Idea

With the dragging economy still a top concern for many families, consignment stores are growing in popularity.  More and more consumers are looking for resourceful and creative ways to cut back on spending, particularly for clothing and furniture. With determination, hard work and retail sales knowledge, you can open a profitable consignment shop where bargain hunters can find that elusive treasure.

What is a consignment shop? People often confuse consignment businesses with charity, thrift, and pawn shops. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Web site,, explains the differences and provides an excellent description of the business.

Consignment is a resale business involving three parties — the owner of goods or items (consignor), the seller (consignee), and the buyer (customer). Typically, a consignee owns a resale shop that sells items for multiple consignors. When a buyer purchases an item in the shop, both the consignee and the consignor receive a portion of the profit.

Consignment store shopping is having a heyday. According to NARTS, The Association of Resale Professionals, consignment sales and inventory grew 12.7 percent from 2008 to 2009.

In its press release earlier this year, NARTS highlights one of its members to explain why resale is thriving in a slow economy. Ellen Didion, owner of Chic to Chic and her newly opened second location, Chic to Chic Too, in Maryland says, “Reporters who recently visited our stores were quite surprised to hear so many positive things from our customers.  They come in here and completely forget the outside world and their concerns about the economy for a little while.”

New to You owner Christina Novak knows that many women enjoy the thrill of shopping more than their actual purchases. From this knowledge, the concept of her Falls Church, VA-based chic boutique consignment shop was created in 1992. Christina chose to sell high-quality designer items to women of all ages, styles, and cultures – helping them to create a style of their own, while simultaneously curing those with prior “shopping remorse.”

Christina, who is as unique, stylish and eclectic as the boutique she runs, had a dream to open an unconventional consignment shop. Personally owning the business allowed Christina to have her young daughter, Arianne, with her during the work day. It also afforded her the opportunity to create a diverse shopping environment.

Because consignment stores cost less to start than traditional retail venues, they are quite attractive to new entrepreneurs. There are many websites that can give you information on the business of running a consignment store. A good place to start is

In her article, How to Start a Consignment Store Business, Melinda Gains offers a step-by-step process to ensure your consignment store is a success.

If you are an eBay fanatic, consider an eBay consignment business as a potential way to finally work for yourself. In her article, How to Start a Consignment Business on eBay, Amanda Long offers a 5 step plan on how to take advantage of eBay’s special program to help consignment sellers find more business in their area through its Trading Assistant program.


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