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Consignment Furniture Store

Give furniture a second life by selling it again.

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Business At A Glance

Consignment Furniture Store

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

A furniture consignment shop can stock everything from a 100-year-old highboy to a 10-year young sofa. Just as in clothing, the trend these days is toward recycling, finding delightful ways to make everything old seem new (or just beloved) again. Furniture is one of the fastest-growing segments of the resale industry, with more and more nonfurniture consignment stores either adding furniture to their inventories or opening a second, furnishings-only location.
So if you love interior design, you’ve got the nose for sniffing out both antiques and good quality, then a consignment furniture shop could be the business for you. You’ll take clean, well-loved furniture and accessories, and display and merchandise them for their owners, splitting the profits when you make a sale. You can take on more than sofas and tables–like any good home furnishings or antiques shop, you’ll also stock prints, paintings and decorative. You’ll also spend a fair amount of time going out to people’s homes to appraise furniture pieces, then taking them back to your shop. Because you’re taking the items on consignment, you don’t pay anything for your inventory until it’s sold, which makes this business ideal for the startup entrepreneur. Some consignment shops mark items at a set price, then have the owners pick them up if they don’t sell within a given period of time.
Others mark down merchandise 10 percent for every month it remains unsold. The advantages to this business are that it’s creative, your startup costs are small compared to most retail operations, you get the satisfaction of helping your customers get great buys for little money, and you never know what fascinating piece is going to walk through your door at any moment. The key to a successful consignment shop is an atmosphere that’s clean, fresh and stylish, so you’ll need a talent for display and merchandising. You should also have a good eye for quality as well as current fashion, and you’ll want to know something about antiques and collectibles. And you’ll need the savvy to properly price your merchandise so that shoppers get the discount they expect and you and your consignors make a profit. To complement all this, you’ll need people skills, and last but definitely not least, you’ll need the muscle–or the on-call assistance–to load heavy furniture onto your truck from consignees’ homes and then from the truck into your shop, then back out to customers’ vehicles.

The Market

Your customers will be the same sorts of people who shop at antiques stores and other home furnishings outlets. The trick is to attract their attention and sell them on the benefits of shopping with you. Besides routine advertising methods like local radio and newspaper ads, you can host furniture and collectibles shows or talks for local women’s groups, give seminars or workshops on furniture design, antiques and collectibles for colleges and community centers, and hand out fliers in front of your shop. Shopper ads in your local Pennysaver-type publication are also a terrific advertising tool.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a shop and not a whole lot else as far as display furnishings–a few glass cases for small collectibles should do it because you’ll have plenty of tables and dressers on which to display larger items. You’ll also need sales tickets and tags, a supply of shopping bags and tissue paper for wrapping collectibles, and a cash register. A computer with an inkjet printer and retail operation software will be a big help but aren’t necessary for starters if you can’t afford these things. Stock up on antiques and collectibles reference books; you’ll also need a reliable pickup truck for collecting furniture from consignees’ homes and a few furniture dollies and carts. In some states, it’s illegal to sell used mattresses, so be sure to check with local authorities before doing so.

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Home Products & Services

Intercom Installations

The sound of success is crystal clear with an intercom installation business.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Intercom Installations

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Recent technology changes in intercom systems have made them extremely easy to install, as intercoms are now available in wireless form. Due to these recent changes in the product, starting a business that sells and installs wireless intercoms is a fantastic business opportunity for just about anyone, regardless of construction or business experience.
 
Intercom systems have wide range of uses including:
  • Installations in baby nurseries, residential and commercial.
  • Business applications for warehouse to office communications. 
  • Security applications for residential and commercial door entry use. Overall this is a very good choice for a new low-investment business start-up that has the potential to generate a very lucrative income for ht owner-operator of the business.

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Home Products & Services

Weather Vanes

Give homeowners a taste of country charm with weather vanes.

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Business At A Glance

Weather Vanes

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Weather vanes adorn millions of homes worldwide. These functional and attractive features add charm to any home and harken back to the days of old. Manufacturing weather vanes can clearly be accomplished by utilizing a garage or basement workshop, and the vanes can be manufactured from a whole host of materials, such as copper, iron, wood, and plastic.
 
Weather vanes best suit the architectural style of Victorian and heritage homes. Gaining access to owners of theses types of homes can be achieved by advertising the weather vanes in heritage home and antique publications, as well as antique shows. Additionally, the weather vanes can be sold through the traditional channels, such as establishing accounts with retailers and displaying the vanes at home and garden trade shows. A good starting point for this venture will be to acquire a few antique weather vanes to be used as the templates for constructing the new replicas.

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Home Products & Services

Garage Organizers

For some, the garage has become the holding place for all their junk. If you like organizing, there’s a lot of garages that need your help.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Garage Organizers

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Millions of people can no longer fit the car into the garage because of the treasures (junk) that the garage seems to magically collect. This strange, but true force of nature can make you rich. To start your own garage organizer service requires no special skills or equipment other than some basic hand tools.
 
Ideally, you can start close to home by providing the service to family and friends, while building a sound referral base. Home improvement trade shows will also be a valuable source of leads, and a ‘before and after’ display can generate an enormous amount of interest in your products and services. The display can be designed and built for less than $1,000. The lack of competition in this industry should allow you to mark up your products such as shelving and storage cabinets by at least 40 to 50 percent, while maintaining an hourly rate for installations in the range of $25 to $30.

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