If you’re hooked on consignment store shopping like we are, check out these can’t-fail tips from Natalia Hrybowych, owner of The Hunt Consignment Shop in Peapack-Gladstone. It’s one of our all-time fave boutiques and Natalia is one of the most successful consigning experts in the area. We caught up with her to find out more.
Natalia says, “I always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and owning a business. And I’ve always loved fashion, but didn’t always have the money to afford the best quality and latest fashion. Besides, the items in regular retail can get boring.” So she started The Hunt Consignment Shop in October 2011 and never looked back.
“When I opened the shop, I knew there was a market in the Somerset Hills area for a hip consignment shop; however, I’ve been blown away with the amount and quality of the items that have come in. And the friendships that have been created are just awesome,” she says. “Of course, everyone loves the shop’s name, The Hunt, which is a play on words with the annual local Far Hills Steeplechase Event that is also known as The Hunt.”
Natalia says the secret to her success is taking in the right product, at the right price and offering friendly customer service that makes the customer experience “truly enjoyable.”
Here are her 10 Top Tips for Consignment Shopping …
For buyers …
1. Think outside the box. Look for unique items that would be a splurge at regular retail, but are a steal at consignment shops. Consignment shops are the place to let yourself be creative. Time and again I hear customers say how many compliments they have received on that unique item they wore.
2. Don’t hesitate to negotiate. Unlike regular retail, shop owners are open to making a deal if you find a flaw that you can live with, but feel the item is priced too high.
3. Shop all the sizes. Don’t stick to your regular size. Many times an item ends up in consignment because the fit doesn’t match the size on the tag. If you are a size medium, that cute small or not-so large size may fit you perfectly!
4. Shop often. New inventory is flowing in consistently, particularly at the start of a season. So unlike regular retail, there are new finds every week if not every day.
5. Shop the clearance rack. There are plenty of hidden gems that make it to the clearance rack because, for some unknown reason, they didn’t get scooped up immediately. This happens particularly with small sizes. Often these great pieces were just crammed in the rack and didn’t get noticed. Lucky you!
6. Get to know the sales associates. If you create rapport with the staff and come in often, they can immediately direct you to things they know you will like.
7. Be casual and have fun. Good consignment shops have a relaxed attitude that allows you to discuss how something looks and get a real opinion. There is a camaraderie that occurs among consignment shoppers and sales associates that makes for a great customer experience and has you leaving with a smile.
For sellers …
8. Best-of-class consignors. If you want to make the most money as a consignor, be sure that the items you bring in are in great condition, current styles and in-season.
9. Consigning is competitive. Market yourself and your items to compete for rack space in a shop. We get a lot of inventory and can’t possibly accept every item that comes in. Make yourself and your items stand out.
10. Pricing threshold. Pricing items to sell and turn a profit is the hardest part of the job. You’ll need to be realistic. Even if you spent a lot on an item, that value doesn’t hold indefinitely. We research and keep abreast of the going rate for second-hand items and price appropriately. Let us know if you have a bottom-line threshold and we will try to accommodate or let you know if we don’t think your price is possible.