Consignment Series: Part 1
Four years ago I listed my Maggie Sottero wedding gown on Kijiji and immediately got a message from a potential buyer. I was so excited. My wedding dress had been graciously evicted from my mom's basement and I had no where to store something of that size. My wedding decor had already claimed what little space I had. Every time we moved I sighed at the prospect of dragging these items around with me. But the sentimental part of me knew I could never just get rid of them. I proceeded to discuss a potential sale with the prospective buyer. What seemed like an effortless exchange quickly became a lengthy conversation and the red flags started to fly. They were out of town. This was a gift for the daughter. Pay Pal information. Delays in timelines. What had seemed so easy and too good to be true was just that. My first and only offer on my gown was a scam. That interaction was exhausting. And a warning sign that I should expect more of the same should I continue to try to sell the gown myself.
Later that year I found myself in a job that was causing me a lot of stress and after 20 years in the same industry I was ready for a change. In the back of my mind I knew that this idea I had had over the last few years deserved to be introduced to the Winnipeg market but I always thought someone "more qualified" would spearhead this rewear revolution. And so Pearl & Birch was launched in January of 2017. Using industry standard policies I created the first consignment contract and began selling used gowns on behalf of Winnipeg brides.
There are many things I have learned over the last 3 years about selling on behalf of others and as we come to the end of another year of connecting peoples closets I wanted to focus on consignment, why it works, how it works and why sustainable fashion is the future of formal. If you have recently been married, are planning an event, attending an event or simply love dresses, this complete guide to selling with us will illustrate the service we've have created in Manitoba. If you don't already subscribe to our newsletter, swing by our website to receive notifications on the next part in this four part series.
The most common phone call we receive is, "do you guys buy wedding dresses?" We don't buy dresses outright. We specialize in consignment which by definition is an agreement where we pay the seller AFTER the goods are sold. Consignment does not offer an up front payment which reduces the shoppes overhead cost and allows us to use those funds to invest in marketing, guest experience, staffing and inventory maintenance. Resale arrangements where the goods are purchased up front always result in the seller receiving significantly less because the business absorbs all the risks of condition and market value. If we were to use a model like Plato's Closet or Once Upon a Child our offers to purchase would be drastically lower than what you would receive in a consignment arrangement.
Our shoppe is two businesses in one- we source inventory from our consignors and we sell inventory to our shoppers- and that keeps us very busy. In order to remain efficient to both our first suggestion is that you head to our website and click the CONSIGNMENT tab to review the vast amount of information we have compiled for our potential clients. After 3 full years, 6500 hundred items sold and 450 wedding gowns connected we have developed a system that results in happy sellers and shoppers. We have reviewed, revised and streamlined this system several times over the years, keeping the components that work and disposing of the ones that don't. We are confident that we are experts in our field when it comes to reselling formal on the prairies. All of that information is on our website for your reference at any time from Frequently Asked Questions to What We Accept. Consignment is a service that saves you time, earns you money, creates cost-savings for future brides and benefits the environment by reducing textile waste. Try us on for size.