Help Me Hank: Consignment Shops
What were you thinking when you bought that top? How did you accumulate all those bad bracelets? And what are you going to do with your unused, unwanted, unworn fashion mistakes?
Yard sale? Too much work. Donations! That's always good. And then there's consignment. And that's what Carol chose.
"It was really kind of a spur of the moment thing, I really didn't give it a lot of thought."
So piles of her unwanted mismatched out of style jewelry - got organized and inventoried - and hauled off to the resale store. The deal was made.
"I brought the merchandise, they sold it and we split it 50-50."
The store set prices, they attached special tags - they told Carol: just wait for your check.
"And I said great!"
Now you know what happens in consignment stores - they try to sell your merchandise for two months or so - then they either give it back, or pay you. So Carol waited.
"And it wasnít until three months later that I realized, ĎGee, itís been almost four months now, and I haven't received my jewelry back nor a checkí."
She marched over to the store. She talked to the owner.
"And he really just didnít want to deal with it, and thatís why I called "Help me Hank"."
So we checked with the state's Consumer Affairs Secretary, and she said: seller beware.
Hank Phillippi Ryan
"So this is somewhat of a risk?"
"Yes, it is."
Jennifer Davis Carey, MA Consumer Affairs Secretary
Though consignment stores must follow legal sales practices, there are not any specific consignment regulations.
"So there are no state rules which specify what the deal has to be? The percent, the time, anything like that?"
"No. No, Thatís up to the merchant."
Jennifer Davis Carey
And that's why you need a specific contract.
"Otherwise you could lose your money, you could not be paid, or that merchandise would be lost or damaged or sold without your being paid for it."
Jennifer Davis Carey
In this case, we called the store and told 'em, even though Carol had no written contract - they still had a deal! And that very day, this money order was delivered to Carol's door, as well as the jewelry that didnít sell.
"The money isnít a lot, and the point is I feel vindicated."
So bottom line: don't just hand over your stuff - get everything in writing - and check to make sure the place has the proper local license. If you're fighting a consumer battle, maybe I can help!For more Information: