1. Start reading Sell Their Stuff by Hillary DePiano for free right now
  2. What is a Selling Or Trading Assistant? The Ultimate Overview of Consignment Selling
  3. What does consignment mean? What is consignment selling?
  4. What exactly does a Selling Assistant do? What’s a typical day like?
  5. How does a Selling Assistant make money? Who can become one?
  6. Can eBay Trading Assistants still sell on consignment for others now that the program is gone?
  7. Where can a Selling Assistant sell their client’s consignment items?
  8. What kind of items can a Selling Assistant sell on consignment for their clients?
  9. Sellers, here’s why you should add Selling Assistant services to your existing e-commerce business
  10. From SAHMs to retirees, students to teachers: here’s who should start a Selling Assistance service
  11. Designing your Selling Assistance service from terms and conditions to services and features
  12. Money Matters: How does a Selling Assistant profit from selling items for others?
  13. Resale and the Selling Assistant: Sometimes it’s simpler to just buy the items outright
  14. Selling Assistant fees: What are they and how do they work?
  15. The Pros and Cons of charging a fee for your Selling Assistant services
  16. Does charging a commission on your Selling Assistant services maximize your profits?
  17. Charge a combination of fees and commission to maximize your Selling Assistant profits
  18. Here’s how I profit from my Selling Assistant business
  19. Should a Selling Assistant give their client a deposit or advance on future earnings?
  20. Should the Selling Assistant require a deposit of new clients?
  21. Who pays for what when selling for others on consignment?
  22. Should the consignment seller cover all selling fees or pass them onto the client?
  23. How discounted & free shipping offers affect consignment selling
  24. Shipping costs & selling fees are the least of your worries…
  25. Paying your clients their share of your Selling Assistant sales
  26. Calculating client payments on a Selling Assistant contract
  27. Method of Payment: How should I pay my Selling Assistant client?
  28. Reporting and reconciliation of a Selling Assistant client contract
  29. Build yourself a timeline for paying Selling Assistant clients without getting burned
  30. Money Matters Managed
  31. Your Selling Situation: Where and how should I sell my Selling Assistant items?
  32. Multi-Channel Consignment Selling: List your items on multiple marketplaces for greater exposure
  33. Practice your Selling Assistance service before you start taking on clients
  34. Do you need a storefront or standalone webstore to be a Selling Assistant?
  35. Is eBay still the best place for a Trading Assistant turned consignment seller?
  36. Does the Selling Assistant consignment sell from their own account or the clients?
  37. Should I have a designated selling account for my Selling Assistance consignment service?
  38. The 8 questions you must ask yourself before you start selling on consignment
  39. Good customer service is a selling point that can distinguish your services
  40. The benefits of having a PO Box or other Locked Mailbox for your business
  41. Designate a business phone line for more professional client contact
  42. Consider VOIP & internet-based phones like Google Voice or Skype over traditional options
  43. Offering pick-up services is an easy way to attract local Selling Assistant clients
  44. Should you allow Selling Assistant clients to drop their items off?
  45. Expand the reach of your Selling Assistant service by letting clients ship their items to you

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.

cash photoThis 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.