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add this to things I don't do- Consignments!

1424 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Tractor-Holic
I need to get better with math or just be a better businessman.

Scenario-
A good repeat customer calls and proposes I sell his mower (or his spare mower) because he is downsizing. Like a jack*****, I agree over the phone. The mower is brought in and of course it needs some repairs.

After the repairs, I list it on CL to sell.

What's wrong with this picture? Answer- I take all the effort and the risk to sell it. Also, what kind of commission can I expect to get from 1 lawn mower sale? The mower might sell for $100 or $150 at most. What ? 10% 20% commission? not worth it!

So in the end, either the customer ends up with the residual (after all the expenses, fees) of $30 out of a $100 mower (and he is ****** because all he got was $30!) OR
I feel bad for him and give him the whole $100 basically giving away my time, parts, effort and hassle of dealing with the crackheads that lurk on CL.

Lesson learned-- no more consignments!

I am an idiot. I will be the first to admit it.
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I need to get better with math or just be a better businessman.

Scenario-
A good repeat customer calls and proposes I sell his mower (or his spare mower) because he is downsizing. Like a jack*****, I agree over the phone. The mower is brought in and of course it needs some repairs.

After the repairs, I list it on CL to sell.

What's wrong with this picture? Answer- I take all the effort and the risk to sell it. Also, what kind of commission can I expect to get from 1 lawn mower sale? The mower might sell for $100 or $150 at most. What ? 10% 20% commission? not worth it!

So in the end, either the customer ends up with the residual (after all the expenses, fees) of $30 out of a $100 mower (and he is ****** because all he got was $30!) OR
I feel bad for him and give him the whole $100 basically giving away my time, parts, effort and hassle of dealing with the crackheads that lurk on CL.

Lesson learned-- no more consignments!

I am an idiot. I will be the first to admit it.
Often there are two sides to every story.

Although any customer should be fully willing to pay for any and all repairs that may be needed to the equipment. The act of spending your time and effort otherwise for a "Good Repeat Customer" is just good business.

If you had explained upfront that the repairs were on him, then in my opinion, donating your time and effort to take care of a customer that otherwise spends good money with you is part of being a “Great Business”. I don't think anyone would expect you to go out of your way for every tom dick and harry that walked in the door. But I feel that at least some of the negativity here is on you. Especially if you didn't explain that the repairs were on the customer up front.

Even though you are in “Business” to make a living, that does not mean that every single action you take must necessarily be driven by profit margins. Your efforts in this regard is just good PR, and has the potential to bring profits down the road, not only from the customer in question, but from the people that may do business with you because of the reputation you are building.

Nobody expects you give the farm away. But complaining about helping out a customer because you may not have been clear about the repair costs and who was covering them, and the fact that there is no immediate profit on your end is sort of,,,, well it’s not bound to draw loads of new business in. It may not hurt you per say. But it’s not doing you any real favors either.

Just my 2.
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Yea, I feel for you! :hide:

The same with people trying to sell food out of their garden on CL, not much money to be made.

I saw an ad where a guy was trying to get 10 cents a pound for potatoes. :dunno:

I can not give away tomatoes.

Cosigners gotta realize they are giving up a lot if they want you to do the selling.

Heck, I got stuff people want, I am too lazy to put it on CL because of the low return.

People deduct the cost of driving, then want the item for practically nothing!

We all are in the same boat. :fing32:
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Yea, I feel for you! :hide:

The same with people trying to sell food out of their garden on CL, not much money to be made.

I saw an ad where a guy was trying to get 10 cents a pound for potatoes. :dunno:

I can not give away tomatoes.

Cosigners gotta realize they are giving up a lot if they want you to do the selling.

Heck, I got stuff people want, I am too lazy to put it on CL because of the low return.

People deduct the cost of driving, then want the item for practically nothing!

We all are in the same boat. :fing32:
Like most situations, the boats condition is what you make of it. Many negative situations could benefit from a bit of alternative perspective.
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whenever we take on a consignment it is always for X% or a minimum fee(whichever is greater) which is disclosed up front. usually that is enough to talk them out of it, as most times the minimum fee is usually more than the item is worth.
I did alot of consignments for a guy last year, I loved it...

He dropped off

Sears 8hp Chipper...needed gas tank crack sealed, and oil changed, new plug.

Toro GTS 6.5 pusher, needed servicing, and blade sharpened.

13.5hp/38" MTD rider, needed servicing...tune up.

Scotts 6hp Rear tine Tiller, needed carb rebuilt on the tecumseh, and the oil changed.

20" Murray 3.75hp pusher. Needed a carb kit, and service.

We agreed on, 50/50 split after parts are paid for...

So I did all the work on day, got it all cleaned up like new, did all the servicing, Id say I ended up putting about 4 hours into all of it, and about 75 in parts...

I sold the rider for 350, the tiller for 250, the chipper for 300, the Toro for 225, and the murray for 75...So 1200 total, minus 75 in parts....1125, divided by 2...we each got $562.50 and he had an empty garage, and didnt have to get his hands dirty. I sold some parts, gained some customers, and didnt have any initial investment in the equipment....

The kicker...I did all the servicing on a Friday, listed it all saturday, and everything was sold by sunday at noon...
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Edit, it was a Troy bilt, not a Toro...here are some of thep ics I listed with..









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5
I need to get better with math or just be a better businessman.

Scenario-
A good repeat customer calls and proposes I sell his mower (or his spare mower) because he is downsizing. Like a jack*****, I agree over the phone. The mower is brought in and of course it needs some repairs.

After the repairs, I list it on CL to sell.

What's wrong with this picture? Answer- I take all the effort and the risk to sell it. Also, what kind of commission can I expect to get from 1 lawn mower sale? The mower might sell for $100 or $150 at most. What ? 10% 20% commission? not worth it!

So in the end, either the customer ends up with the residual (after all the expenses, fees) of $30 out of a $100 mower (and he is ****** because all he got was $30!) OR
I feel bad for him and give him the whole $100 basically giving away my time, parts, effort and hassle of dealing with the crackheads that lurk on CL.

Lesson learned-- no more consignments!

I am an idiot. I will be the first to admit it.

I don't think doing a consignment is your problem,,,but more like ,,what you doing a consignment on ,in this case.

A push mower is not a great money maker IMO. I avoid them unless servicing them for someone.
Even if you own the thing ,,it's difficult to make any money with it.

Consider now,,if you did a consignment on something that sells for between $500-$1000. And possibly something you could take in ,,and fix enough to get the higher end of that.
Now you just made some cash for little effort off someone else's product with hardly and money invested.

Having said all that. I with you on not liking the whole idea of consignment. Except on rare occasions,,like the best case scenario I just mentioned.

It's much easier and convenient to just buy the product yourself and make all the money,,,and ,,,how you want to do it.

I have sold some small items for friends,,more to help them. Could be called consignment technically. I made a little cash,,not much and wasn't expecting to retire after the sale!!:sidelaugh

A bigger worry would be ,,the item don't sell and the owner takes it back. You have work,time into it and now have a mess. I don't care for it!!

So I think I am agreeing with you in my rant!!
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I had the identical twin to that Craftsman chipper-shredder,I decided to dissasemble it rather than use it,the housing was rusted thru on the bottom ,despite looking as new as that one,water sat on the bottom and rotted the housing thru--and it didn't chip very well either..
The like new 8 HP Briggs on it has the dreaded tapered crankshaft,I was bummed it did because I had hoped to re-power a tractor with it without having to spend money on an adpter or machine work,etc..

I dont try selling things for anyone else,I have a hard enough time selling my own stuff at any profit,I usually end up selling things at a loss just to be rid of them...

I have bought some items guys were wanting me to sell and split the profit a few times though,and sold them myself for a bit more than I paid,but I had to work to get it..most of the time its not worth it here though..
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