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Prices At Once ‘n Again:  To Low, Too High, Or A Great Deal?

2016-05-25


I opened my first resale store in 2001 and in 2016 “price” is still the most popular topic of conversation within and about my stores.  The comments about price are as varied as our selection and usually say more about the person making the comment than it does about us.  Any given day we can hear 3 different opinions about the same pair of Michael Kors shoes that we have priced for $29.99.  Customer # 1 is looking for that brand in that size and says “wow what a great deal, I was going to pay $99 new for those”.  Customer # 2 looks at that same pair of shoes and says “wow, $30 for a pair of used shoes, I could get 2 pairs of new shoes at discount store for that price”.  Customer #3, the consignor, says “I wish they could price and sell my shoes for more than $30, but I’m happy to have a little something back for them since I’m not using them anymore”.  In an ideal world we want all three of these customers to be happy with us.  We want everyone to enjoy and appreciate the service that we offer. 

Customer #1 enjoys our store and understands what we do and why.  She comes in often and is happy with us and our prices.  Customer #2 generally doesn’t care about the differences between Michael Kors and a discount store brand.  Customer #3, our consignor, knows that we set the price to get as much for them as the market allows and appreciates that we offer the service so their stuff doesn’t go into a landfill. 

So…How do we set our prices?  The short answer is market value.  The definition of market value is the amount for which something can be sold on a given market.  We know our market, we know who buys from us, we know what they buy, and how much they spend.   The long answer is more complicated.  We look at brand, age, fashionableness, sales history of like items, time on the sales floor, and condition.  Not to mention the factors of supply, demand, season, weather, or location.  We follow trends, we know the original retail price of any given item, we know how department stores discount their items, we check the sold listings on e-bay, and we pay attention to the things our shoppers are telling us (verbally and nonverbally).  We look at the bottom line, Once ‘n Again is a corporation set up to make a profit.  We pay for our inventory just like any other for-profit corporation.  This makes us different than a non-profit thrift store that does not pay for its inventory.  We price our items to get the most we can, in our market, for our consignors (the customers that bring in all that awesome stuff for us to sell).  One of the reasons that we are successful is because our consignors are happy! 

Right now, we have more consignors and items to sell than we have ever had.  We also have many happy customers buying from us, each year we sell more than the year before.  We hope to always be able to have the “price” conversation, it means that folks still care about us and are consigning and shopping with us.  Day after day….year after year, we serve thousands even tens of thousands of customers and consignors that are thrilled with us and really enjoy our stores.  We are equally thrilled and thankful!


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