For some clients, it might make sense for you to just buy all of their items outright and then make your profit when you resell them for more than you paid. In other words, you’d pay them a flat amount upfront for everything and then you’d sell the items yourself, keeping all the income. Flipping items like this, to borrow a phrase from the real estate market where you buy something specifically to resell it for a profit, can be risky but also profitable if done correctly.
This way is certainly simpler than any other option, as the client gets a check when you pick up the items and they aren’t involved with the selling or shipping elements at all. There’s no need to charge a fee or commission because you’ll make your profits on the resale. If your client is in a rush (for instance they sold their house and need everything gone before the closing or is in some financial trouble and need money to pay off some debts) and is more concerned with having the items gone quickly or getting money fast, this is an excellent solution.
There can be a few disadvantages to this. The first and most obvious is that this isn’t really what either you or the client signed up for, as it’s not a consignment arrangement. You wouldn’t be helping them sell their items, so it’s not actually Selling Assistance at all. It puts the owner of the items into the role of a wholesaler or dealer rather than a SA client. It would also involve a completely different contract from your SA services.
Secondly, you would need to make sure you buy the items from the client at a low enough price that you’ll be able to make enough of a profit on the resale to make it worth your time, which can be a challenge. What value would be high enough to satisfy the client but still leave meat enough on the bone for you? For that matter, what value could you offer that would be fair to the client so they won’t feel cheated? That’s going to be a hard number to find unless you’re incredibly familiar with the type of items you’re being offered. More traditional ways of monetizing your SA service, such as fees and commissions, are surer things when it comes to making a profit.
Why am I starting this section with an option that isn’t really Selling Assistance at all? As soon as you start to advertise that you’re willing to get people cash for their stuff, all sorts will start contacting you with items. In addition to the ones who understand and want your SA consignment services as designed, you’re going to get clients who just want to sell you their items upfront without bothering with the SA element. In addition to the examples I gave above of the client that’s in a rush or in need of fast cash, you’ll also have clients that don’t really understand what your service is.
They may find the whole concept of Selling Assistance too confusing and would prefer to just sell the items to you directly. While you’ll usually want to steer these clients towards your prepackaged SA services, where you’re more likely to make the best profit, sometimes the resale route might be the better choice for either you or the client.
In short, don’t ever discount the possibility entirely. There will be times you think you’re going into a typical Selling Assistance relationship when it suddenly becomes items for sale that you could resell, and you should have a plan in place for that eventuality. Staying flexible is one of the secrets to running a successful business, and this service is no exception.