Below is information to help you decide if using our online consignment service is the best way to sell your items and also how it works. Of course, please feel free to Contact us if you have any questions. We’ve tried to make our guidelines clear, but you know how that goes: A 12-year-old may get it, but it doesn’t mean we will.
I think I’ve addressed every ‘what if’ scenario, but if I’ve missed something I certainly welcome your questions and/or input.
Who Does What?
You are responsible for taking your photos, pricing, descriptions, and shipping items when sold. We are responsible for placing the items on our site, helping you to succeed in selling, and handling all the paperwork.
Your items are placed within the category on our site that makes the most sense. In some cases, if your item is something we haven’t previously sold, we may set up a new category or we could set up a page just for your item. Our goals are the same: Sell your items!
We may choose to showcase one or more of your items either on our online thrift and consignment store site home page, in our newsletter, our Blog or on our Facebook pages. Our search engine rank is generally within the top 5 in several search criteria and often times you will find us in the number one position for a search of ‘online thrift store’.
How to Get Your Merchandise on Our Site:
Photograph your items with a white (preferred) background, (even if the item is white-use more lighting and turn off the flash) determine the price, write a brief informative description, (We reserve the right to edit any description.) include measurements, if applicable and email all to: (see above to email us) Include your full name (First, middle initial and last) city and state, and if you have an account with PayPal, the email address you use to receive your payments from us. (Payments will be addressed below)
Orders and Payments are handled through our PayPal or Amazon accounts. An order can include sales of more than one consignor’s merchandise and/or sales for Gone-Tomorrow Online Thrift Store. We will separate each party’s sales and email your paperwork to you. (Receiving your payment is addressed below. Really!)
Shipping charges are the most difficult aspect of this entire process. If we charge too much for shipping, our customer’s won’t buy. Too little, we’re operating at a loss on certain items. Trying to split shipping between several consignors is even harder. We do our level best to make the shipping charge split as fair as possible and mainly by us absorbing the deficits. That said, you may find it necessary to price something a little higher if the weight of the item is guaranteed to be more than what we can charge the customer for actual shipping. We are currently offering a flat rate for shipping on all items. This page may not be updated right away should we change the flat rate to something, so please look around our site for notices on shipping rates meant for our customers.
Our fee is 35% when you keep your merchandise and provide all the information for the listing of your items. Our fee is deducted from the sale of each item. You will receive an accounting of the sale transaction at the time we send your payment.
I told you we’d get there! If you have a PayPal account, your 65% share, plus shipping fees paid, will be transferred to your account immediately following your proof/notification to us that the item was shipped. (See note below in Other Weird Stuff) We strongly urge you to setup a PayPal account so your payment is immediate– it’s really a painless process. If you would rather not setup an account up with PayPal, your payment will be mailed via a bank check on the 1st of every month for the previous month’s sales.
Your Account Number:
Each customer will be assigned a customer number based on his/hers initials, plus the initials of your city and state, followed by a number sequence. (First, Middle and Last or just First and Last depending upon how many duplicate initials, cities and states we may have)
Your Pricing Strategy:
Pricing of your merchandise is at your discretion. Pricing of collectibles, antiques or other desirable merchandise should be researched to determine the price you set. In general, pre-owned merchandise, excluding collectibles and antiques, are priced at roughly 30% of the original retail price. For example; if you purchased a new top for $40, you wore it a couple of times and have now decided you want to sell it, your first instinct would be to price it for around $30 since you hardly wore it. Unfortunately, that top in the resale market is only worth about $12. Designer or desirable clothing labels are worth a little more. We can offer suggestions if you like.
Merchandise should be saleable, in that it is clean, not chipped or damaged and in working order. If there are flaws, spots or anything to detract from the original new condition, you must describe the flaw so the shopper can make an informed decision as to whether to purchase.
We are sent the customer’s order form from the site. We will immediately send you an email alerting you to the sale. Once you let us know you have the item and when you can and will ship, we will send you the shipping information. If we do not hear from you by the end of the 2nd day, we will cancel the order and remove all of your items from our site. Therefore you, would want to notify us if you are going out of town and will not have email access.
Packaging the Order:
You may package the order however you’d like. That said, we hope you keep in mind the possibility of breakage during shipping. In the beginning, we had to learn the hard way by having a couple of shipments arrive with broken items. Now our breakable items are heavily wrapped in bubble wrap or other shipping materials, our clothing is sent wrapped in tissue paper and we use suitable sized shipment containers/boxes/plastic bags for each order to help keep items from moving around during transit. In addition, since shipping costs continue to rise we have had to look at more inexpensive ways to package our items. Unless it’s absolutely necessary due to the possibility of breakage or the size etc., we try to ship everything in plastic bags. They weigh far less than boxes and they’re more flexible as far as packaging. I’ve bought regular size shipping bags and black heavy duty/made of steel plastic bags or more commonly known as ‘trash bags’. The black plastic bags can be cut to size for shipment and closed like you would a gift by taping the sides together and then the ends. You can save more than you think by eliminating boxes whenever possible. Other alternatives are using the post office Flat Rate Shipping packaging. You would be shocked at what I can squeeze into the Priority Flat Rate envelope that ships for just over $6! Weight doesn’t matter to this envelope, so I’ll package my items into a like-size plastic envelope, which will allow me to press, squeeze and push the items into the Flat Rate envelope. It’s a sight to see!!!
Which Shipping Carrier to Use?
Generally, orders can be shipped through the post office. You can go to their web site at www.usps.com to get rates and other information. You can ship first class mail on orders weighing 12 ounces or less for $2 or $3, anywhere across the nation. I don’t think the Post Office website offers First Class Shipping. We use Stamps.com for the postage and they have pretty much over every rate possible with the post office. We also use FedEx and UPS as alternatives.
When Do We Ship?
We try to ship next day, sometimes same day, and only under rare circumstances and with good reason do we allow more than two full working days to pass. Although we have no control of your shipping practices, we hope you will not let more than two working days go by before shipping the customer’s order. And certainly, if it’s any longer they probably won’t be buying from us again. Would you?
We do not limit the time your merchandise can stay on our site. We try to contact you periodically if there have been no sales. If we do not hear back from you, we will remove your items from the site. If you are using other methods for selling your merchandise and the item sells, it is imperative that you let us know right away so we can remove the item from our site so as to not risk having it sell again. You may contact us at any time to implement price adjustments of your items.
If we have reinstated our Layaway service, this information will apply: We offer our buyers a Layaway service and it is not unusual for a buyer to include in their layaway multiple consignor items as well as our items. The buyer has 4 payment plans they can choose from, with the last one being Ala Carte. This means instead of a set amount every month for a maximum of 3 months, they can opt for payments in any amount, payable whenever and they’re given 5 months. (Two extra months) You will not be paid on layaway items until the final payment is made and the items ship.
Name Your Own Price:
Another service we offer our buyers is the option to name their own price. If they see something they really like but feel we’re asking too much, they have the option of asking if we’ll take less. Before we respond we’ll do research to see if lowering the price in warranted. I’ve turned down only a couple of people. If someone wants to offer a lesser amount for one of your items, we’ll let you know and you’ll have the option to accept or deny the request. You’ll be under absolutely no pressure to decide either way.
If you get nothing else out of this information, please get this:
If/when we send you an email, whether it’s to alert you of a sale or if only to check to make sure everything on the site is still available and you do not respond, you are running the risk of having your items removed from the site. We will send a couple of more emails and will give you a few more days to respond, but after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed without contact we will remove your items. Also, if a sale is involved we will refund the buyers money and regardless of the ‘why’, and your items will be removed for non-response.
If you are planning on being away for a few days, it would help us both if you would send us a quick email. We will refund the buyer’s money and remove your items from the site if a sale comes through and you do not respond to our emails because you’re out of town. When we know ahead of time we can send the buyer an email letting them know their shipment will be delayed until you return. They appreciate being kept in the loop and never object to the delay as long as they know.
Other Weird Stuff:
This has only happened once; still I feel compelled to add it to our guidelines: If you plan on using our site as a ‘viewing’ area for people you send to see what you have for sale, but then you handle the sale outside of our site to avoid paying our fee, it will eventually come to light and your items will automatically be removed and if I could do more I would.
Because of a situation we recently had, we no longer will accept a consignor’s word alone that the order was shipped. Proof must be provided in order to be paid.
At this time we do not take furniture on consignment.