Business Basics

Charity Networking Event 3/16/18 6-9pm

After five years of serving the community, we at Curiosity Consignment wanted to have a celebration but we realized that we needed something to celebrate that was above and beyond simply being in business. This is why we have partnered with Nathan’s Ridge to support those on the road to recovery right in our very own neighborhood. Join us at the store (9870 Main St Damascus MD) for a night of networking with this worthy cause to bring us together! Live music by G.M. Trio (featuring cover songs from The Beatles) – Catering by Smokehill BBQ - Door Prizes - and more.

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Time for spring cleaning!

Time for spring cleaning! If you or someone you know is planning a major downsizing or organization project, or maybe you're getting ready to move - allow us to help. We know that when it comes to dealing with your own stuff or perhaps things left behind by a loved one - it's hard to make logical decisions to get things done. Our staff can take orders or even 'boss you around' as needed. We will sort your items, sell things of value, and even pack and box things for moving or donation.

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Packing Particulars

Every month, we ship hundreds of items all over the world, spending hundreds of dollars on packing supplies in the process. All of this is included with our commission and the buyers of your items pay the shipping cost. Not often, but sometimes things are broken in transit but this will never be your problem. In some rare circumstances where special shipping products are needed for large groups of similar inventory, we may assess a fee to said account.

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We love to write consignment checks...

I know of at least a few local auctioneers and consignment stores where paying customers for their sold items seems to be low on their priority list. Just the other day, I spoke with a local auction house we deal with and I learned that I was still owed money from items that were sold last year! Who gets away with doing business like that? The problem is, many of these establishments have cash-flow problems and make it a regular habit of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Don't get me wrong, we face the same issue and on rare occasion will do the same when an unusual situation arises.

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Going the extra mile

Sometimes customers bring us items that are in disrepair and need some 'TLC' prior to sale. As a consignment store, we are committed to earning the maximum value for your items and will often invest the time to clean or even repair things given to us. In some cases, we may assess a fee for doing so but only if we feel our effort will offset this cost in the end sale price. Many consignment stores will not even take your items unless they are ready for sale - so this is just one more way we go the extra mile to earn your business!

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Packing & Shipping

As a consignment store, a good portion of the value we offer in selling things is packing and shipping them to the whole world. You can't imagine how much work this is or how much grief we get from buyers over the cost of shipping. Some big volume sellers offer to ship items for free - but since we are working for only a percentage of the sale, we can not afford to do this. In most cases, we sell expensive items in an auction format starting at a mere $10 opening bid and let it go to the highest bidder.

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Space Specifics

For those who find our business model interesting, I just wanted to share a few words regarding our dilemma on space. As a consignment store and eBay seller here in the Washington Baltimore area, we are always busy, but today I lost a customer because I simply did not have enough space to handle everything from the estate that needed to be liquidated. Family members from out of state contacted me to deliver an entire household of items from a deceased relative who lived here in Maryland.

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Customer service - dealing with the public

I must confess, dealing with the public is not always an enjoyable experience. We have been handling an old surplus of home appliance parts and selling them slowly but surely on eBay. These are not the types of things I generally prefer to handle, but they do have some value, so we have been doing our best. A couple days ago, a guy called asking me details about an oven switch. He said he was local and would like to come pick it up if it was what he thought it was. I told him they were buried away and I was very busy at the moment and I would have to look and call him back.

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The cost of doing business

As a consignment store here in Montgomery County Maryland, we work on a very tight margin in that our 'income' generally amounts to about one third of our total sales. That being said, it would shock you to know what our overhead is, with over four thousand square feet of retail space, staff labor, taxes, utilities, insurance, supplies, and everything else. We need to sell at least $20,000 worth of inventory each month just to break even!

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