Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2017 by consignitbc

So, my tech girl left, and I’m trying to learn this “blogging” thing.

I’m going to hit publish now, and see what happens..hee hee!

We are not a thrift store… yet.

Posted in Secondhand with tags , , on March 13, 2013 by consignitbc

Sometimes we hear people say that our prices are too high, and we never know what to say. Usually, we say that we try to price for the average person, but who knows what average is any more?

We have a hair salon connected to our store. We know, sorta weird, but that is a whole other story. One of the salon girls told us that one of her clients complained about our pricing as well; that we were too expensive for a secondhand store. You know what the stylist said back? Without even thinking, she replied, “Well, they are not a thrift store!”

Oh my goodness, how perfect. Of course we are not a thrift store! Then it dawned on us that there are definite differences between a second-hand store, a thrift store, and a consignment store!

A second-hand store, owned by a second-hand dealer, has inventory that the dealer has hunted down and paid for.  They buy low and sell high to earn back what they initially paid, plus more. The dealer is free to lower the price as he is the only one that will take a loss.

In the consignment business, the store owner cannot just lower the prices willy nilly because, technically, the stock is not theirs to do with what they want. They have the “owner” of the item to look after as well. So this will keep the price elevated as there are technically 2 people wanting to share in the profit.

The thrift store gets their inventory for FREE! So they can price ANY WAY THEY WANT! and they don’t have to share any of the money, except with their charity if they are non-profit. You may find in non-profit charity thrift shops the prices even lower, as the theory is they are passing on the savings to the people. Then we have the for-profit thrift shops that are not affiliated with any charity. They are just another regular retail store. Their prices may be a little higher, as they are in the business to make money, but since they do not have “inventory bills” (i.e. consigners), they can price lower then a consignment store.

But… the result of getting stock for free is the quality will be lower, so logically, the prices have to be lower. Since the  quality in a consignment store is higher, the prices will be higher. It’s interesting how a consignment store will naturally have higher quality items, as in our experience, people rarely give away things that they perceive have value. There are exceptions to this, but more often than not, when someone has something “good” they need to get rid of, they may look at other avenues first, before giving it away!

All of this analyzing started us thinking…….(no laughing)

We started to wonder, why is there a thrift store on every corner like gas stations? Value Village is a huge corporation based on thrift. Someone owns Value Village, they have opened multiple stores and each store has employees to pay, not volunteers. Even the Sally Anne, which is affiliated with the Salvation Army has enough money to open multiple stores AND give to their charity. So as this revelation settled into my head, we started to think that maybe we’re in the wrong business!

Also, as far as we can find out, there is no set amount or percentage that a non-profit thrift store must give to charity. The owner of a thrift store can pay all their bills and staff, give a small token amount to charity and have money left over for himself.

So we did a bit of googling and found this interesting article:


Here is an excerpt:

“Clay Ferrell, a former Ventura County resident who ran a thrift store for several years in Arizona, admitted to doing “well financially.” Ferrell says, “I made good money when I had that thrift store. My wife and I ran this back in the early ’80s and took home about $55,000 a year — after taxes, and that was pretty good money back then.”

Just to clarify, we’re not putting non-profit thrift stores down, actually, not at all! Without them a lot of things would end up in the landfill and a lot of charities would go unfunded. We’re just pointing this out to shed some light on why there are NOT A LOT OF CONSIGNMENT stores! And….to point out why it would be very,very,very, very, appealing to become a thrift store.

We know a lot of people would be very sad to lose a consignment service. The sad reality is, however, the cost to sell something is starting to outweigh any profit,  unless that “something” is free! Even then, it is a close call because charities (non-profit thrift stores) still have bills to pay!

Thrift stores help people in need when they need stuff, allowing people to purchase cheaper items. Consignment stores help people in need by creating a little extra money in their consignor’s pockets (and often consignment stores donate to charity on top of that)!

So maybe we will be a Part Thrift, Part Consignment store, where the “thrift department” will support the “consignment department”. The best of both worlds!

We are already doing this to a certain extent, by not consigning things under $14.00. Since these small items do not pay for themselves in the store, but they still need to “be gone”, let’s use them to raise funds to help pay for the cost of selling the more valuable items and keeping a consignment service available ! What do you think? Leave your ideas in the comments!

Bottom line, getting “too good to throw out stuff” out of our life is harder than it seems.

If you have the time, space to store (which could be costing you money if you have things in a storage unit, or even in your home), and the energy to find your own buyer, whether through a garage sale or Craigslist..etc…then try it that way first. BTW, Craigslist can be very frustrating with people not showing up etc… and potentially dangerous!

If you have run out of time, then you have to either donate it, or call someone (1-800-Got-Junk?) and PAY to have the items taken out of your life!

If any of you are in this dilemma and have this “good stuff”, consider using a middleman, or a consignment store, like Con$ign-iT!.

And if you don’t care, don’t want hassle, maybe the items do not have a lot of value, then just give them away to some lucky thrift store! Hmmmm…”Lucky Thrift Store!” Has a nice ring to it.

~ Andrea and Michelle

What Is Neoclassicism Anyway?

Posted in What is...? on October 25, 2012 by consignitbc

We always hear this, but does anyone know what it means? We skimmed the Net for a bit and this is what we deduced.

– In the olden days, Greece was considered a dangerous place so no one ever went there. WEIRD!

– People like Greek Art and Mythology, but did not know the exact facts because they were afraid to explore Greece!

– So they IMAGINED it! – So the next time we don’t want to DO something, we’ll just IMAGINE how we would do it if we did it!! LOL

According to the Art Historian, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Neoclassicism in one way is the idealism of Greek Art: “Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s works are essential to understanding the European discovery of Greece, even if in his writings Greece appeared at times in an idealized form. His work is also essential in understanding neoclassicism and its doctrine of imitation. As for the latter, Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s mimetic understanding of art claimed not for simple imitation but for idealization.” http://www.egs.edu/library/johann-joachim-winckelmann/biography/

-We think we have figured it out – you can talk about neoclassicism at any point on the timeline of life, because it just refers to whatever the speaker wants it to refer to, therefore, it keeps reinventing itself. Here is a quote to support our theory!

“Writing this book I learned that both kinds emerged from the same primal soup, from Western Europe’s repeated efforts to reinvent itself by returning to classical antiquity. The last thing I had in mind at the start was to rewrite the history of neoclassicism, but that is precisely what this book proposes – that we think of neoclassicism not as a single movement, but as a wave of interrelated movements that sometimes further and sometimes retard one another.” http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/toc/14269.html

– We’ve noticed this word, “neoclassicism”, is used a lot in the description of art or furniture to appear fashionable. (And now we know why — because it can refer to whatever the describer wants it to!)

– Back in the olden days, the word was used in literature first, then made its way to visual. We just googled when these ‘olden days’ were: 1660 and ended in 1800.

– So once again, the word can be used for every style of furniture, because styles are usually reinvented and/or imitated over and over and over again!

These are our own reflections and may be completely wrong, although we believe it will give us secondhandjunkies a little idea. If anyone out there has a different opinion or correction – let’s discuss! 🙂

Andrea and Michelle

P.S. Mimetic means: Relating to, constituting, or habitually practicing mimesis.
P.P.S. Mimesis means: Respresentation or imitation of the real world in art and literature.
P.P.P.S. Hey, so Neoclassicism means, not necessarily to imitate something, but to make an idealized version of it!
P.P.P.P.S We still don’t really understand what Neoclassicism means? Does anybody know??

A small foray into porcelain

Posted in Collectibles with tags on September 23, 2012 by consignitbc

ImagePorcelain is the powder of ground up rocks and minerals, mixed with clay and heated to over 1,400 degrees (F) – which is hotter than volcanic lava!

The formula for porcelain was discovered in ancient China and kept secret for hundreds of years. It was named by Marco Polo when he found some on his visit to China. He thought the texture looked like a seashell, so named it from a word in Italian that mean “cowry shell”.

Europe was unsuccessful in recreating the formula until the King of Poland locked a German chemist in a lab, refusing to let him out until he figured out the exact formula to make porcelain.

Porcelain was produced only for Royalty and Nobility during the late 1800’s because the cost was very high. This is why it remains a symbol of wealth, power and beauty.

Art is created on porcelain by brushing it’s surface with pigments and minerals, then firing it in a kiln several times. This is how the pattern sinks into the surface and is permanent.  Porcelain painting is also known as mineral painting and is one of the world’s oldest forms of art!

The History of Hummels

Posted in Collectibles with tags , , , , on September 2, 2012 by consignitbc

Happiness (Hummel Figurine)

Hummel figurines are based on the drawings of a German-born nun, Sister Maria Innocentia, who’s given name was Berta Hummel (1909-1946). Her drawings inspired porcelain maker Franz Goebel and in turn, the pair signed an agreement in 1934 that allowed Goebel to transform Hummel’s drawings into figurines. The first figurines were introduced in 1935 and were met with immediate success. The income from the Hummel products became her Convent’s (The Franciscan Convent of Siessen) only means of support during the Second World War.

The Volunteers (Hummel Figurine)

Adolf Hitler held a strong hatred for Sister Hummel’s work. One of Hitler’s Nazi party magazines reviewed one of her pieces, “The Volunteers”, proclaiming “there is no place in the ranks of German artists for the likes of her. No, the ‘beloved Fatherland’ cannot remain calm when Germany’s youth are portrayed as brainless sissies.” (http://www.patrickkillough.com/ethics/hummel.html)

Eventually, the sale of both Hummel’s drawings and porcelain pieces was forbidden in Germany. They were sold only in international markets and the Nazi party claimed a large portion of the income.

Tragically, Sister Hummel died of tuberculosis in 1946 at only 37 years of age, but her artistic legacy has been continued by Goebel. The Convent of Siessen still approves every Hummel collectible before production and to this day, royalties from the sales of the figurines help support the work of the Convent.

Each Hummel is hand painted by a skilled artisan who has completed a minimum three year apprenticeship.  Each figurine can take two to three months to complete and may have as many as 700 hand operations. In addition to the Hummel signature and Goebel trademark stamp, you will always find a hole in your Hummel (usually in the armpit area) where the air was allowed to escape during firing.

The figurines became particularly popular after the Second World War as returning American soldiers brought them home as gifts. In the 1970’s, the prices skyrocketed as collectors starting seeing them as investments. New Hummels now sell between $150-$400, with some reaching as high as $1800. Secondhand price points are between $50-$150 (at Con$ign-iT!) . The Hummel figurines remain one of the world’s most recognizable and popular collectibles.


Are collectibles going the way of the dodo bird?

Posted in Collectibles, Secondhand with tags , , , , on August 30, 2012 by consignitbc

Hi everyone!

We would like to invite you to travel with us along the road of collectibles and secondhand treasures. Collectively, we have about 13 years in the biz! And trust me, we still have tons and tons to learn! Even some of the basics are still a mystery to us!

One thing we have discovered is that most “young” people are simply not interested in collectibles or do not have the time to investigate.

The following questions come up: Why do people collect? Why are some things collectible and others not? Through researching items that people have consigned, we have found some very interesting facts indeed!

We’ve also noticed an aversion towards things ‘secondhand’. Is this because of the convenience of Big Box Stores? Is there a stigma towards ‘used’ items? Does anyone remember when wood was actual wood? We’ll investigate the benefits and importance of going secondhand – there’s plenty of them!

The goal of our blog is to help all of us “young” people learn about the Collectible World and what it means to be a true Secondhand Junkie. Join us with your own information and comments as we start down this road together.

Andrea and Michelle (aka A & M)