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Resale Terminology, a Glossary
A compendium of terminology for the resale industry: consignment clarification, like-new lingo, secondhand sense, a glossary of great used stuff, a dictionary of junk jargon.
Added to at irregular intervals by Kate Holmes, Resale Guru, Industry Expert, Best-Selling Author of The Complete Operations Manual for Resale & Consignment Shops and all-around Consignment Queen. Not to mention the brains behind HowToConsign.com and the Auntie Kate sob sister of Auntie Kate's Blog. Want to suggest a listing? E-mail me! We also have a small spattering of Resale Shop Spanish, enough to make some signage.
AIDA: No we're not talking opera. We're talking a simple, foolproof way to write ads, fliers, and other promotional material that succeeds in its intent. AIDA stands for Attention-Interest-Desire-Action. First, you must grab attention and stimulate interest. Next you build their desire for what you are selling, and you end with simple directions on how they can take action to get this object of their desire.
Anchor Store: A large store in a shopping center which attracts consumers to the center. Could be a discounter, a department store or grocery store. Not all shopping centers have anchor stores; not all anchor stores will attract your target market.
BOGO: Stands for Buy One Get One... which can be Buy One Get One free, at 50% off, or even 25% off. BOGO sales have the advantage of encouraging multiple purchases. Since a BOGO Half-Off offer is the equivalent of 25% off (or less*) each item, it sounds a lot more generous than it really is, and helps clear racks when you need to. * The get one half-off with purchase at full price offer is usually predicated on Higher Price Prevails, meaning the cheaper item is the one reduced by 50%. This brings the effective markdown to probably less than 25% off the sum of the two original prices. Interested in planning a BOGO event? We talk about BOGO Deals in Bag Sales, Dollar Racks & BOGO Deals.
BOR: Stands for Buy-OutRight, a resale shop which purchases merchandise from the general public rather than consigning, relying on donations, or purchasing from other sources such as rag recyclers or closeout vendors. Technically, I guess, the abbreviation should be BO. But, well, no.
COG: Cost of Goods (sold), how much (expressed usually in percentages) the items sold cost you. If you're a consignment shop and you operate on a 50-50 split, your COG of consigned goods will be 50%. Your COG overall for the shop, however, can be considerably less, depending on what you have bought for resale, new merchandise and its profit margin, and other factors. The benefit of consigning is, of course, that there is no COG until...and unless...a consigned item is sold, unlike shops which must purchase merchandise before it sells, and who may suffer losses if purchasing is not in line with sales.
Color-tag System: A way of indicating, by use of a scheme of color price tags, when an item was placed on the sales floor. Used by some shops as a short-cut to actually doing markdowns by hand, resulting in a mish-mash of signs in the store of the Pink Tags 25% off* Blue tags 38% off* Peridot tags 75% off variety, sales staff who say that in one long breath right after hello, and confused customers who can't remember which color's which, and anyway can't or don't want to do math while they shop, and who the heck knows what peridot is anyway?
DuH: In Basic Internet Speak, DH is "darling husband", DD "darling daughter" and so on. Your hostess with the mostest (and how old do you have to be to remember THAT phrase?) happens to have a DuH or "darling UN husband"... for more years than she cares to contemplate... that many TGtbTers assume is clueless, as in Duh? This may well be true but we won't tell him.
Email Blast: An email sent to a large group of people at once.
FBC: Abbreviation for Frequent Buyer Cards. Also called loyalty cards, these serve to a: remind your shopper of your shop and b: encourage them to shop you first. Punching, stamping, or initialing a set number of minimum-value purchases earns the card-holder a discount on her next purchase. A Frequent Buyer Card Idea Kit, including the invaluable "Variable Qualifier" card, can be ordered here at TGtbT.com.
NTY: Abbreviation for
"no-thank-you", items offered to a shopkeeper by a member
of the public wishing to consign or sell them, that the shopkeeper
does not have the customer for and thus says "no thank
you" to. Often, regrettably and incorrectly, known as
"Rejects", a word which is pejorative
ODs: Abbreviation for "out-of-dates", those consigned goods which remain unsold after the store's specific length of consignment period is past. The handling of ODs can make or break a shop's profits and operations; for details, refer to Too Good to be Threw, The Complete Operations Manual for Resale & Consignment Shops.
OTB: Abbreviation for "Open-to-Buy Budget." This is the cash you have available to invest in purchasing stock to sell. Many shops buy some things, such as lower-priced accessories or clothing; some shops buy most or all of their merchandise from individual sellers who come into the shop much like consignors do. The more you buy, the more carefully you must monitor and handle your OTB. Interested in Buying Outright? Kate has advice for you in The BIG Book of Buying Outright.
Pakaways: Merchandise belonging to the shop which is packed away for use as introduction tot the next seasonal change. A vital part to your plans to switch seasons smoothly and profitably. Also, pakaways can be used as an income-boost to your seasonal clearance sales. Read more in the double Product, Switching Seasons PLUS Pakaways.
PDQ: The term that TGtbT.com uses for PDFs, ("Portable Document Format") which are a type of file that can be safely transmitted via email. You need the latest edition of Adobe Reader (free, easy-to-use, and here) to view these files. Once you receive them, they can be read online, saved to your business resource computer files, and printed out for reading in your favorite easy chair or bubble bath. Kate recommends you do all of the above. Kate calls her version PDQs because they are sent to you by herself, Pretty Darn Quick, as opposed to some web sites which automate the process so you receive them from a machine.
Peridot: Yellowish-green. FWIW. It came up in conversation.
POP: Retailese for Point-of-Purchase, those little impulse items that are at your elbow when you're paying for your purchases. Some places it's gum, chocolate and magazines; other places it's aspirin and batteries. What are the POPs in your shop? What? You don't have any? Well, see, there, you've learned something already. Find more wonderful things that will make your shop succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
ROI: Abbreviation for Return on Investment. Everything you do involves an investment: of money, of time, of effort. It's important, if you want to be successful (silly phrase, of course we want to be successful!) to balance what you spend with what you aim to profit. For example, will a $500 mannequin get you a 1000% ROI by making your merchandise look better to customers? Will a $500 investment in advertising do the same? Or how about $500 invested in educating yourself and your staff? (That would buy everything in the Products for the Professional Resaler Shop. Just sayin'.)
Soft opening: The period of time between opening your doors to the public and your Grand Opening celebration. Can be a few days or a few weeks, but important because you want to be at ease with your new procedures and policies before being overwhelmed with eager customers and suppliers.
Swing Shop: An area dedicated to selling time-sensitive featured items. It can be as small as a single rack, or as large as the entire center of your shop. This area will generally have a much higher sales-per-square-foot figure. For more, see pages 20-23 of Shop Sizzle.
Turnover, inventory turnover, stock turns: The number of times that your average on-hand inventory is sold in a given period, usually a year. Example, if you do $400,000 gross sales and your average in-stock inventory is $100,000, then your turnover is 4 times. This can also be examined by department, such as your sofa turnover, jeans turnover, etc. and can be useful when examined in conjunction with sales per square foot.
WIIFM: What's In It For Me, the absolutely only question your clients (consignors, sellers, shoppers, donors, employees, landlords!) are interested in. They don't care about you, they care about THEM. Human nature, nothing to be ashamed of. For more on WIIFM, visit this blog entry and this one and this one too.
WOM or W-O-M: Word of mouth. The best publicity you can get. Doing something worthy of Word of mouth gets you talked about and gets your shop noticed with no expense!
Spanish for Resale Shops
Many resalers have asked for Spanish signage to use in their shops. Here are some of the most common requests. Many thanks to Joan Gordon of The Coop, Miami Beach, and other kind resalers.
Please note: I don't speak much Spanish. It would be best if
you could double-check the usage, below, before you go to the effort and
expense of having permanent signage made. If you are a native Spanish
speaker and want to help us refine, reword, or add to these notices,
please email me with your
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