This blog continues in the spirit of the “operating by guessing” theme that was addressed in an earlier post, and is specifically prompted by the inconsistent pricing found during a recent survey of independent resale/consignment stores.
How is it that nationally recognized jeans in identical style and fabric are featured at 3 different price points in the same size in the same store? Or how about a beautiful pair of premium brand jeans priced in the bargain basement category? These are examples of inconsistent pricing that represent a lost opportunity and money left on the table. Typically one quick tour of the sales floor reveals if pricing is a function of guess work or an organized approach – a system.
The value of a pricing system benefits the bottom line and builds shopper confidence in you and your prices. It suggests a pay price based on brand, item type, features, condition, and market demand. In the case of the NextGen POS, the system also provides instant price check capabilities for owners to determine retail prices, real-time.
A pricing system is a terrific training tool for new buyers…and when dealing with consignors helps to keep subjective assessment to a minimum. Consistent pricing keeps those hangers turning, and is a boost to the bottom line.
Many retail professionals assert that comfortable shoppers are confident shoppers, and confident shoppers become loyal shoppers. It all starts with smart resale pricing. Are you building customer loyalty?
In children’s resale, stores can and should expand profits by offering a complement of 1) new items obtained from vendors and 2) better quality “play” items (slightly worn) from customers along with 3) regular gently-used and never-used items from customers. But in doing so, it’s important that the customer is able to readily distinguish these three offerings. To this end, NextGen recommends using different price endings to distinguish “play” items from “regular” and “new.”
Specifically, we recommend ending the selling price of play items in 7, e.g. .47 or .97, and regular and like-new items in 9, e.g. .49 or .99. Otherwise two pairs of Levi’s jeans, one in “play” condition (slightly worn at the knee) and the other in “regular” condition will appear to be inconsistently priced to uninformed shoppers. Similarly, NextGen recommends ending the sales price of new merchandise in 8, e.g., .48, or .98. Otherwise, customers will have a difficult time distinguishing new items purchased from vendors–typically more expensive—from items bearing original tags purchased from customers–typically less expensive.
The different price endings clarify what otherwise could appear to be inconsistent pricing to the shopper. Better customers understand a price than question it. A confused and questioning shopper is not a content and confident shopper, and is less inclined to buy. Of course, it is important to communicate what these endings signify to our customers through signage (NextGen provides the copy on request).
A recent article in Forbes magazine on women’s fashion resale contains some interesting statistics about whose shopping for women’s secondhand fashion, where and when.
- The most frequent secondhand shopper demographics:
o women over 65 and between the ages of 18 & 24.
o Women with incomes over $125,000.
- Peak shopping time (ThredUP): 9-10pm
- Average time per visit spent shopping online for retail apparel: nine minutes; resale apparel, 45 minutes.
The significant projected annual growth of the secondhand apparel industry, about 11%, holds promise. However, about 80% of this growth is in online as opposed to offline sales.
Do these statistics suggest that brick & mortar resale boutiques need an online presence to survive?