Showing posts with label Consignment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Consignment. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Re-Threads, a uniform consignment exchange in Cary, NC

Not too soon after starting Uniform Mom, I ran across a uniform exchange program at a Cary Christian School in Cary, North Carolina.  I haven't yet been able to connect with anyone that runs the program, but I can see from their Facebook updates, they are preparing for another event at the end of May.

They began communicating the date of the annual sale about 3 months in advance.  They then distributed details on how to participate as a seller about a month out giving families plenty of time to sort through the closet and find items still in good condition that the kids have outgrown.

Sellers are provided guidelines how to price their items based on condition. They are also advised what items are acceptable based on the school's updated dress code. They are asked to hang and tag the items with a simple coding system used for the event.  Items that do not sell can be returned to the families or donated.  The seller is promised 75% of the purchase price and payment is sent via check approximately 10 days after the event.  The event organizers will tag the items for you for an additional fee.

Buyers are asked to bring cash in small denominations or a check for payment. Shopping is open for a short two-hour window of time.  The items are organized by type of item and size making it easy to find exactly the items you need in your child's wardrobe.

The event itself looks to involve several stages for the organizers:
  1. Advertising and pre-preparation logistics
  2. Event set up
  3. Drop off hours for the sellers to bring items to the event (3 hrs)
  4. The sale hours when the event is open to buyers (2 hrs)
  5. Hours for sellers to pick up unsold items (2 hrs)
  6. Post event cleanup and unsold item donation
  7. Event accounting close out and disbursement of the funds to sellers
It appears to be a large event that is well orchestrated.  If you are looking to host a similar event for your school, you can reference their event flyer for details. We'd love to hear from you if you've participated with this event, please share your experience in the comments below.  I always like to learn of other exchange programs. If you know of one in your area, please contact me directly.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Uniform Consignment has gone Mobile!

Uniform Consignment Truck
copyright 2014 Uniform Consignment. Used with Permission.

Uniform Consignment has gone mobile. Literally.

Early last Spring, I shared a interview with the owner of a Uniform Consignment business in the Denver area. The previous owner offered highly personalized customer service via in person appointments to local customers and also sold items online.  She grew the business and sold when it grew too large to be run out out of her home.  The new owner took over last summer.  She considered opening a storefront, but realized that this niche business is at its best when you can take the uniforms on the road.  The Uniform Consignment Truck was born.

"The Uniform Truck is officially up and running and ready to come to a location near you! We carry pants, shorts, shirts, sweatshirts, jumpers, skorts, skirts and more..... just ask us. We will set up for a two - three hour block of time, take consignments and buy backs as well as sell items during our stay."                         
 Melanie Kirkpatrick, Owner of Uniform Consignment

The food truck businesses that have become so popular in many cities helped paved the way for a mobile storefront, with local governments setting guidelines on when and where you can park and open the doors to customers. Uniform Consignment sets up a schedule to visit specific schools or local parks during morning hours and promotes it via Facebook.  Visibility of the big box truck also helps let customers know they can stop by. They also hold joint promotions with local traditional consignment store fronts by parking in front of the partnering store at advertised times so families can visit both stores on the same visit.

Those of you in the Denver area can Like Uniform Consignment on Facebook to keep up on when "the Truck" will be in your area.  And for those of you that might be running the uniform locker or exchange program at your local school, I've invited Melanie to share with us on occasion the lessons she's learned along the way about operating a uniform consignment operation.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

10 Tips for Shopping at School Uniform Consignment Events

At the beginning of the school year, many schools have some type of exchange program or uniform locker where you can purchase second hand items.  These can be a great opportunity to save a bundle and cut some expenses from your Back to School Budget.  You can look for items in your child's favorite brands and styles in the next size up to have on hand for the next growth spurt.  If you have a younger child that is still mastering the potty, you can pick up some inexpensive items to leave at school or in your child's backpack for emergencies.

Beyond, gender and size, here's a list of things to keep in mind when shopping at a uniform exchange program or consignment.

  1. Check the tag and look for brands known for quality items.  Better made items have reinforced seams, while seams tend to loosen and may fray on inexpensive items.  
  2. Check for excessive wear which is likely to show first on the hem or cuffs.
  3. Check for stains.  If you find a stain, leave it behind.  Even on a white polo or t-shirt, some stains are so set in they don't come out even with the handy bleach pen.
  4. But don't just look at the outside of the item.  Look for signs of yellowing under the arms. Ick factor!  
  5. Check the color(s) for excessive fading.
  6. Check the zipper and the buttons.  Make sure the zipper is functional.  Check that all buttons are in tact.  Loose buttons can be tightened if you're proficient with a needle and thread. 
  7. Check for signs of wear or dry rot on elastics.  Remember to check the elastics in the waistband on items with an adjustable waist.
  8. Check for signs of alterations.  With pants, check for indications that may have been hemmed.  I found a smart tip from Fruggalissa who recommends that you measure the inseam on your kids current pants beforehand and take a tape measure with you so you can check the length. This tip can also works for girls skirts and scooters.  If your daughter has to pass the fingertip test, measure the length from her waists to her fingertips and note her number for reference as you shop. 
  9. Many retailers sell certain items as unisex.  Basic polos and t-shirts are a great examples. So don't be afraid to check out items from both racks when items are separated by gender.
  10. Even if the sales rep or volunteer tells you that items have been laundered, it's common sense to launder all items when you get them home in your preferred detergent.