Hello from Selective Seconds!
I am coming to you after the dust has settled “a little” with the whole Coronavirus thing. It’s been a crazy time for all of us as I’m sure you can relate. As a small business owner (who just bought the building and hasn’t even made my first payment), it’s really scary.
We officially closed our doors to the public on Wednesday, March 18. Since then I’ve been feeling lost at times, not knowing whether to stay home or come to work and be inside of the four walls of the business I built 22+ years ago, and know I can’t thrive like I want and need to.
The bad: I feel so alone. I have been doing most everything by myself and it’s been overwhelming. Keeping up with all the emails, messages, loading things to website, processing orders, and all the paperwork needed to get disaster relief through the SBA. That can be a nightmare itself to understand! But as a business owner, I’m not sure if anyone truly understands that you just can’t “turn it off”. It’s a part of me and my mind is constantly racing with things I need and can do to keep the business going. (Depending on the day, this can be a good thing or a bad thing). The bills keep coming but the income has pretty much stopped. What little we make from website sales are like gold nuggets and I have to decide what debtor gets paid. When I talk to similar owners, the fear in their voices is heard. They are choked up just talking because their “well-greased” systems have stopped and they are scared. We all are in survival mode. We need each other to get through this.
The good: I continue to know I love our business and all the people I miss seeing. I am so glad we bought the new building even though we have this big hurdle to get over. We have so much opportunity with this space and the two acres behind us. I have an amazing support team of staff and other business owners across the nation that I network with. I have cried and laughed with them, and I can’t even tell you how much our daily texts “how are you doing” means. I couldn’t get through this without them.
Since I’m adding more things to the website these last few weeks, I’ve realized that we need to put more energy into this when we open back up. It is working and the technical platforms we are using are top-notch. When something sells on the website, the consignor gets paid immediately (yay!). If you know me, I LOVE paying my consignors – because when I pay them, they will bring me more good things. They are our partners, truly.
I am looking at this downtime as an opportunity to make some positive improvements when we open. What changes can I make to the layout of our backroom to make processing easier? How many items should our staff be adding to the website per day/week? What can I do to be a better leader? What will my customers be looking for this summer? These are just some of the things I am working on now.
I’M VERY OPTIMISTIC! One thing I’ve learned throughout these 22+ years is that “resale” can be a recession-proof business, meaning when times are difficult for the economy new shoppers are finding ways to save/make money through resale. (It does help when we can have walk-in customers!). Having said that, I am super optimistic and know when this is over, we will have lots of people wanting to sell/trade/consign their things and others will want to SAVE money by shopping resale.
GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU! I hope you are taking the time to sort through your things and get them ready for us when we open. I suggest designating a certain area in your closet or start a shopping bag to start adding things to bring to us (doesn’t hurt to put your name and phone number inside). When this is over, it will be a great time to make some money and you’ll be first in line. You have 3 choices when you bring your things to us. (1) Consign (we sell for you and take a percentage). Our consignment software is web-based so you can track your items as they sell and pick up money any time. When you consign you make 40-70% of what the item sells for. We also (2) buy and (3) offer instore credit if you prefer either of those options. Side note, you will usually make more if you consign and are able to wait to collect your money. You decide it makes no difference to us!
BEST SELLING ITEMS:
- Better brands & designer labels in excellent condition, sizes XS – 3X
- Tops are our #1 seller
- Miscellaneous items including beauty products, perfumes, small gift items and more.
- Does it pass the three C’s test? Is it CLEAN, CUTE & CURRENT?
- Home décor – similar to Pottery Barn, Home Store, Restoration Hardware, etc. (rustic, farmhouse, chalk, etc).
My to-do list is growing so I am very busy. I am starting to plan our grand re-opening that we never had after we moved in February. Here’s a sneak peek of the graphic I’ll be using (date to be announced).
Stay well, my friends! Miss you!