How to Start A Furniture Consignment Store

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A furniture consignment store can offer items such as used sofas, beds, tables, chairs, desks and other furniture that is less than a year old or more than 100 years old. The furniture consignment store owner displays furniture and home decorative items from others and splits the profit on sales. Nothing is paid until the consignment is sold. The furniture consignment shop is an ideal venture for a person with knowledge and love of interior design and a knack for identifying antiques and quality furnishings, prints, paintings and other home decorative items.

Things You'll Need

  • Retail space
  • Glass display cases
  • Cash register
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Sales tickets
  • Price tags
  • Pick-up truck
  • Dollies

Obtain start-up inventory by purchasing furnishings and decorative items from various sources. This will include securing items from the owner’s personal home inventory, resale shops, garage sales, estate sales, and from families and friends. Calls and inquiries about potential consignment items will come in once the word gets out about the opening of the new furniture consignment store.

Plan the design for the consignment store. A customer’s ability to easily navigate through the consignment shop will have an impact on how long he will want to stay in the shop. Display furnishings and decorative items in attractive groupings that provide customers decorating ideas and makes navigating through the store a pleasant and stylish experience.

Clean furniture and decorative items properly. Learn the proper cleaning techniques for antiques, furniture and decorative items so that the value is not diminished due to improper cleaning. Attend seminars about caring for antiques and furnishings or self-study through websites, videos, books and industry magazines.

Price all consignments before placing them into inventory. Obtain consignment and antique industry publications as references to ensure that items are not drastically under-priced or over-priced. Typically, owners pick up their consignments if it does not sell within a certain period of time or the item is marked down 10 percent every month it is not sold, to a certain price point.

Catalog consignment items. Obtain consignment store software or use a database such as Microsoft Excel to maintain an accurate catalog of all inventory with updated information for owners. Consignment store software includes ConsignPro and Best Consignment Shop Software.

Market the furniture consignment store in local antique, society, and women magazines. Break out the cookies and punch for the grand opening of the furniture consignment store, which is an opportunity to reach out to the local community that may be a prime source of consignments. Host in-store antique and collectible shows and give workshops on furniture design at community centers and to women organizations.

Tips & Warnings

  • Obtain a business license from the local government agency where the consignment shop will be located.
  • Secure business insurance.
  • The sale of used mattresses is generally illegal, check with local authorities before selling such items.
  • This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for tax or legal advice.

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