How to Operate a Consignment Business

How to Operate a Consignment Business. Most consumers have forgotten about the consignment business in their community because of Internet auction sites like eBay. Your consignment business remains vital because there are many people who want to build a personal connection with a shop owner while they sell their cherished collections or memorabilia. You need to operate your consignment business on a small scale in order to create a comfort zone for sellers.

Run a Profitable Consignment Shop

Promote your consignment business online to get the best results. Consumers who are interested in selling their valuable products may trust your consignment company rather than eBay stores or online auctions. You can build a strong customer base by advertising on and other consignment related websites (see Resources below).

Negotiate a sales price and the consignment fee with customers in the sales contract. This contract should indicate how long an item will be displayed and verify that the seller owns the goods up for consignment.

Stock new items based on your shop's theme or predominant items for sale. Many consignment stores mix these new items to help care for products on sale. For example, a store that sells leather goods should consider leather care products like saddle soap as a good accessory to carry.

Create a brief story or history of each item in your shop to drive up sales. Many people go to consignment shops to find interesting accent pieces for their home. You should ask the seller to provide any interesting tidbits about the product and write out small displays meant to draw in customers.

Advertise your business at local events to operate a high traffic business. You should bring intriguing and high-ticket items to fairs, bazaars and other events where the general public can see the items you sell.

Avoid excessive overhead costs by keeping a small staff and a low-key storefront. You can operate a successful, long-term business in your community with a few part-time employees working out of an older retail space.


  • Encourage customers to bring in entire collections or sets of items instead of selling them piecemeal. The temptation for many consumers is to get as much as possible for items like rare football cards that may have a high book value on their own. The reality of consignment is that most buyers want a complete a collection because they are collectors or want to turn around and sell it in an auction format.


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