General

Who sets your Prices?

In retail businesses, it’s safe to say that prices are invariably set by owners be they individuals or corporate, or by managers using pricing conventions provided by the ownership.  This only makes sense as pricing is the revenue side of the bottom line.

When NextGen started working with resale stores, we expected to find the same.  Much to our surprise, pricing in a number of children’s and women’s resale establishments is left largely to employees.

Prices set by employees are rarely optimum when compared to prices obtained by stores in comparable markets; they are most always on the low side.  But as damaging as the profit loss commonly associated with employee under-pricing, is the price inconsistency that comes when employees are left to price largely on their own.  The result is a loss of customer trust.  With inconsistent pricing comes customer uncertainty that the tag price reflects value, and the consequent declination to pay the asking price ( i.e., buy) for items with unfamiliar labels.  Translation > lost sales.

Owners need to own their pricing.  While some employees who’ve been pricing welcome a company pricing system and the reduced anxiety that comes with it, others resist giving up this control.  Indeed, NextGen has had a number of owners decide against the pricing system for fear of losing valued employees vested in the existing pricing—their pricing.  Even with employee support, if customers are accustomed to employee under-prices, prices cannot be bumped abruptly.  Prices must be adjusted incrementally in order not to sour longstanding customers.  Fortunately, the mixed price/value association characteristic of most employee pricing practices, can effectively mask modest price changes.

The time is always right to take control of your pricing, … to take control of your business.

Consignment Software Review

NextGen Resale and Consignment  is a service bureau providing know-how, software and support to owners of resale and consignment shops.  NextGen has grown from supporting stores selling used children’s apparel, toys and equipment  to stores selling used juniors and women’s apparel and accessories.

NextGen clients buy outright and accept items on consignment.  They sell new merchandise and used.  All are brick and mortar operations; a small number sell on-line.  Some have multiple shops, most only one.  All require responsive how-to support as well as technical support.  All utilize NextGen’s pricing system to keep prices current, and save time spent on buying, pricing and related training.  All welcome as many features as they can get.

Initially, NextGen contracted with one of the few POS vendors supporting both consignment and buy-outright operations to customize its offering by building in NextGen’s buying/pricing application.  In the end, the vendor was unable to produce, and NextGen had to forego its investment and renew its search—this time in a more diligent fashion.   After an exhaustive and systematic review, we found Liberty 4, by Resaleworld.  It was, is, and remains the only software that satisfies the essential demands of our varied clients.  Specifically,

  • First and foremost, capable of seamlessly delivering our off-line and on-line women’s, children’s and juniors pricing system
  • Full-featured consignment as well as buy-outright modes—clients are increasingly using both
  • Fully supports the acquisition and sale of new merchandise as well as used
  • Supports on-line as well as off-line sales
  • Available for purchase and installation, or on a monthly subscription basis as an internet service
  • Supports multiple locations via a private network or the cloud.
  • True ‘on-call’ technical support—not  the as-available’ technical support characteristic of the little POS vendors that dot the resale & consignment software landscape.
  • Lots of features—the most of any POS software in the resale industry

NextGen’s configuration of the Liberty 4 POS system by Resaleworld works for NextGen and our clients.

The difficulty of women’s consignment pricing.

As an owner of four women’s consignment shops, I have a lot of experience in this business. Twelve years ago, when I bought my first shop, I remember how concerned I was about how this all works. How do you price used merchandise at the “right” price? You have to walk a fine line when pricing—you want things to sell, but at the same time, keep your consignors happy.

You can spend long hours researching how to price specific brands and items. You have some knowledge of what the retail prices might be, and you can search the internet, but it’s incredibly time consuming. You can’t always find what you’re looking for–and even then, you’re looking at retail prices. You still have to decide how to use that information to price your merchandise. It’s scary because you know pricing is key! You have to price it right.

The Women’s Fashion Pricing System from NextGen is the answer–absolutely! It will tell you how to price every item you take in by brand–from Gap to Ann Taylor to Armani! This system tracks prices using inventory sales data from a select number of successful consignment shops over a period of two years. Suggested prices are updated at least once a year and include over 4000 brands. This system is designed to suggest the best price at which an item will sell to the mutual benefit of consignor and shop.

It will help you price every item you take in as you are entering it into the Liberty 4 POS program. No extra steps or work…it’s all right there! I’ll be saying this often–I wish this had been available when I started!

More to come.

Brenda Stark

Want your staff to be able to price too?

The Women’s Fashion Pricing System is created to make pricing easy—to take away  the anxiety that comes with being unsure of how to go about it.

If you can read the label in a piece of clothing (for example:  Ann Taylor, J. Crew, etc), you can price. All you have to do is enter the category in the space provided (blouse, sweater, etc), and then enter the brand!! I’m not kidding!  The system will prompt you to fill in the information and then show you the appropriate price range, which you can select or adjust.  There are no tricks.  It’s very clear cut.

Our price ranges have been selected from information on pricing that we have collected from several successful consignment stores across the country. The suggested prices are prices that these items have sold at…proven sales.  We give you a price range for each item is so that you have the ability to adjust the price as needed according to other variables, such as condition, age, locale, and demand.  The important thing to remember is that we give you a price range—not just one price.  You have the freedom to choose the price that is appropriate for your shop, but with confidence, that this range of prices is the right one.

Your staff can price with the same confidence.   All they have to do is enter the category and the brand, follow the prompts for the additional details and the price range will come up.  If they are very new to pricing, they can choose the mid point price and it will be a safe option.  Of course, you can always enter any price you choose, but if you stay within our price range, you can be sure that you are pricing appropriately.

This is an amazing product!  Your entire staff can price after a couple of hours with this system!

Talk to you soon,

Brenda Stark