Consignment FAQs

Learn all about selling your wedding dress & formal wear through our consignment service. 

Consignment FAQ's

What does consignment mean?


Consignment is the agreement to pay the supplier of goods (consignee) after the goods have been sold. In other words, we enter into a contract to sell your dress or other item(s) on your behalf and then pay you your portion of the sale only once the item has been sold.




Do you pay cash for dresses?


No, we do not pay cash for dresses. Although we would love to provide a buy out option for clients we are unable to offer this service at the moment. Very rarely have we bought dresses outright. If we do it is for a fraction of the amount that could be earned if the item had been put on consignment. Consignment offers a higher return for our sellers because the initial investment and risk for the business is low. If we were to offer a buy out option it would be significantly less than the 50% payout our consignment service offers.




How much does consigning my item(s) cost?


We charge a $10.00 + tax administration fee to consign with us for full 1 year term. There is no limit to the amount of items you can put on consignment. If you pay to use our dry cleaning service or if your payout is less than $200.00 we will waive the administration fee.




Do I need an appointment to bring in my items on consignment?


Yes you do! Because of the high volume of shoppers, our focus remains on providing superior customer service. We are unable to accommodate walk in consignments, no exceptions. Please fill in the form on the SUBMIT YOUR ITEM page and we will pre-screen your item(s) and contact you to request more information or to make an appointment.




I lost my contract, how do I get a new one?


Please email consignment@pearlandbirch.com or call the shoppe during regular business hours. Due to the increase in lost paperwork Pearl & Birch charges $20.00 + taxes administration fee to replace lost contracts.




I don't remember my expiry date?


Try to locate your original contract. Your expiry date is on the second page listed in the terms and conditions. If you have lost your contract you can request new paperwork or email consignment@pearlandbirch.com with your name, email and consignor ID (ten digit phone number). There is an administration fee of $20.00 + taxes to replace paperwork.




I never got my Consignor Access link?


Consignor Access links are sent to your email inbox as soon as we enter you in our system. This may take up to 72 hours. If you have not received the link make sure to check your spam or junk folders. If you still cannot find it please send us an email at consignment@pearlandbirch.com with your full name, email and phone number and we will be happy to send you a new link!




What is my Consignor ID and/or password?


Your consignor ID is your ten digit phone number. You password a computer generated password which you will be prompted to change the first time you log in. If have forgotten your password after changing it, please send us an email at consignment@pearlandbirch.com and we can reset your account.




What do you do to sell my items?


Pearl & Birch maintains a store front that offers all the amenties of a traditional bridal salon and more! This means our clients have access to private and semi-private spaces, reserved time, one-on-one consulting with knowledgable professionals, access to consultations with our two in-house seamstresses as well as the convenience of regular business hours and payment processing. Our extensive use of social media, collaborations within the wedding industry, styled photoshoots, trade shows, monthly newsletter and promotions are what get our Birches in here looking at your dresses! We also invest in stock photography twice a month to highlight store inventory. We will publish professional photos provided by the consignor to feature your dress online and in store.




How and when do I get paid?


All funds are available to consignors as of the 15th of the month following the month of sale. If your item was sold in March, your funds are available to you as of April 15th. If the 15th of the month does not fall on a Pearl & Birch business day (see CONTACT for hours), payouts will begin on the next business day following the 15th. If you indicated on your contract you would like the funds via email money transfer (EMT) this will happen automatically during payouts. EMT may take up to 5 business days. You do not need to contact us to request your payout. A reminder that EMT comes at a charge of $1.50 to the consignor. If you indicated on your contract you would like a cash payout please schedule an appointment with us. We require 2 business days notice to prepare the cash for you. A reminder that we do not notify you when your item is sold so make sure to check your account in the Consignor Access portal and to contact us to schedule an appointment to pick up your cash!




How many items can I consign at once?


We will accept as many items as you bring in, at our discretion and based on their ability to be sold. We charge a flat rate of $10.00 + tax to consign items. If you are bringing in more than 10 items please provide this information during the booking of your appointment. If you don not you may be asked to reschedule your intake or we will only process 10 items at one time.




What if my item doesn't sell?


You may pick up your item(s) or request to enter into a new contract for your account to remain active. Both options require an appointment. Items not retrieved or placed back on an active contract become the property of Pearl & Birch after the contract expires and the 7 day grace period lapses. All of this information is presented in your contract in great detail. Picking up: Item returns need preparation time and include papework. We request 24 hours to gather your items and draft your release forms. New contract: Pearl & Birch will offer a new contract for items that we feel confident we can sell and return any remaining items we don't. We do not email new contracts. We will have a team member available to personally go through the new contract with you during your scheduled visit.




How long is the contract?


As of October 2018 our contracts are for a one year term to the day. If you consign on January 1, 2019 your item(s) expire on January 1, 2020. There is an option to remove an item from the contract after the first 6 months without penalty.




How much will I get for my dress or other item?


How much an item will be priced for is discussed during the consignment intake. We determine a list price by reviewing multiple factors including, but not limited to, the year the item was purchased, condition of the item, the original purchase price, the alterations investment, the current market value for that item or comparable items, current store inventory and current client needs. Our standard rate is 50/50. If a Bride is looking to consign a high end designer dress, please contact Pearl & Birch for more info. Overpricing a gown will increase the amount of time it takes to sell and may result in unnecessary wear and tear as clients will try on that item but ultimately decide to to purchase. Items priced reasonably will sell more quickly and maintain their condition.




How do I consign with Pearl & Birch?


We have established a consistent process that allows us to bring in items that we know will be the most appealing to our market while maintaining a clean, friendly and accessible store. Bridal consultation requires the undivided attention of our team. In order to ensure both shoppers and sellers are receiving the most efficient service we use a pre-screening form to establish contact with a potential consignor, review their items, manage our intake appointments and present the contract. Simply go to the SELL WITH US tab on our website and review the HOW IT WORKS page before heading to the SUBMIT YOUR ITEM page and filling out our submission form. You must submit a form to be considered for consignment.




Why does Pearl & Birch have a property clause in the contract?


We have been in operation for 4 years and during that time sold thousands of items for over 1600 consignors. Managing the volume of clients and inventory we have requires policies and procedures that ensure we are making the best use of our resources. As a consignor, you have hired us to sell your items and we want to focus on doing that. Time spent contacting, following up with and maintaining unclaimed inventory severly affects the businesses ability to maintain successful relationships with our other consignors and our shopping clients. A property clause places the responsibility on the consignor to manage the timeline of their property and allows us to do what we do best- connect your closet! Property clauses are utilized in hundreds of consignment stores across North America. Our contract explains in great detail how contract expiry works and a grace period is provided to allow consignors ample time to establish contact with Pearl & Birch. Maintaining your contract date information is as simple as programming a reminder in your phone!




What types of items do you sell?


Pearl & Birch is the only consignment store on the prairies specializing in bridal and formal. We offer any items that would be suitable for a formal event from wedding gowns to evening wear including cocktail dresses and a range of accessories. For a full list of WHAT WE ACCEPT please review this page for a complete gallery of what we love. We currently have a demand for pluz sized dresses, wedding gowns, graduation dresses and formal dress shoes.




How has Covid-19 affected your ability to sell items?


Pearl & Birch has adapted to the changes in retail by focusing on the health and safety of the environment we provide, ensuring shoppers trust coming to our shoppe. We have established an online booking sytem that offers 24 hour access to scheduling visits, an online shoppe that allows us to create galleries and feature items as well as consistent business hours to meet the needs of our visitors. We have had wonderful results with connecting wedding and graduation gowns this year and their continues to be high demand for both. In light of the limitations on weddings many brides are choosing to ready to wear, affordable gowns to avoid ordering times and high price tags. This creates amazing opportunites for us to connect your closet!




How are you offering intakes during Covid-19?


Once you have been approved via our online submission form, Pearl & Birch will arrange your intake via phone or thorugh our online booking system. You intake will be performed in a private room or in the absence of other staff and guest at the main cash desk. You will be asked to sanitize upon entry and masks are mandatory in our space for both staff and guests. The intakes are offered during slower retail periods to prevent co-mingling with other visitors. For more on our Covid-19 policies and procedures please read the REOPENING GUIDELINES page under the VISIT US tab.




My contract expired during the mandated closure of March 18 - May 5, 2020- what changes were made during this time?


As per the provinical mandate Pearl & Birch closed to the public between March 18 - May 5, 2020. We reopened on May 5, 2020 with a very specific reopening plan that was posted on all our social media channels and our website. Communication with any consignor who emailed us during the closure or left a voicemail was returned the week of May 19-23, 2020. If you emailed us during this time and were not contacted please contact us immediately. Pearl & Birch has been reopened for 6 months with regular business hours, an active voicemail, daily monitoring of our inbox and frequent updates on all of our platforms. As a small business we have done our absolute best to be as available and informative as possible. All accounts the expired between March 18, 2020 and May 23, 2020 had their grace periods extended to match the number of days we were closed. This means that all of the accounts that expired during the closure were extended by 77 days. The final date for pick up on a contract that expired during the closure and was provided the 77 day extension was August 8, 2020. Once the 77 day extension period ended the contract was considered expired and the terms and conditions regarding expiry were applied.




My contract did not expire during the closure, what changes have been made to the terms and conditions of my consignment?


All contracts that did not expire during the closure will maintain their terms and conditions as as agreed upon during the initial signing. That includes grace periods and expiry dates as well as client communication regarding pick ups and and renewals. We understand that clients may want to recoup the time lost on their one year term. Automatically extending all contracts would require a complete update of our entire consignor database and would alter the contracted agreement for every client, disrupting our very detailed record keeping and enforcing longer terms on clients without their consent. If your item(s) did not sell and you wish to reconsign because of the 7 week closure we are happy to waive any fees associated with a new contract and provide you another term free of charge.




My contract has expired during the pandemic and I did not contact Pearl & Birch, what happens now?


As a small business who employs an even smaller staff we have felt the effects of Covid-19 just as our clients have. As mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, grand daughters, aunts and friends. We acknowledge that this year has been extremely hard for everyone. Pearl & Birch has dedicated a significant amount of resources to updating our outgoing voicemail, monitoring our inboxes, crafting up-to-date autoresponders, publishing current information on our various online platforms and maintaining consistent business hours to ensure we were providing every opportunity for consignors to communicate their needs and retain their property. We have done this while utilzing every financial resource we have to remain open. Contracts that expired after May 23, 2020 were subject to the terms and condtions of the contract including clauses regarding property. That being said, we provided an internal consideration period that was in effect until September 4, 2020. Our team determined that 4 months or 120 days was a generous and sufficient time frame for consignors to re-establish contact with our business based on the changes caused by the pandemic. Any client who contacted us up to September 4, 2020 had their contract reviewed by our consignments manager for possible exemptions. At this time we have suspended exemptions. Pearl & Birch goes to great lengths to present contracts in a detailed and transparent fashion. We are expected to honour our obligations as laid out in the paperwork where payments and consultation are concerned and we feel very strongly that our consignors should respect the partnership by honouring their obligations as well. At some point, the business must return to our normal operating procedures. And this includes recouping the cost of caring for and showing items left abandoned in our shoppe. A storage fee may be arranged for items that have become store property if they still remain in the shoppe. Storage fees are determined by the Consignment Manager. If you would ike to discuss your expired contract, status of your item(s) or storage fees please email us at consignment@pearlandbirch.com and request an Account Status Review.