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FAQ for Spring 2014

Answers to most of your questions can be found on our website, but here is a short list of some of the most frequently asked questions (with answers) that we've been getting about our upcoming sale.

  • How many items can I sell?

The only items that have limits are clothing.  Only 75 items of clothing will be allowed per consignor.  There is one exception, if all of your clothing is marked to donate then you may bring 100 items to sell.  Maternity items are limited to 15 pieces, and shoes are limited to 10 per consignor.  Bring your best!

  • What clothing items are acceptable at this sale?

Our sales are seasonal so some items will not be accepted for sale at this spring event.  We will accept all shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, bathing suits/cover ups, short sleeve dresses, and Easter clothing.  Jeans are acceptable, as are pants as long as they are not fleece or corduroy.  Long-sleeved shirts are also acceptable as long as they are not too heavy.

We will not accept any costumes or winter clothing at this sale.  This includes jackets, winter hats, scarves, gloves or boots.  No fleece or heavy sweaters/sweatshirts.  Save these items for fall!

  • If I group onesies or similar like items together does that count as 1 item?

Yes, if you package 3 or 4 like items (onesises, tights, sleepers) together that will count as 1 item.  However, be very sure that each item is clean and acceptable or the whole group of items will be removed and unsold.

  • What hangers can I use and will I get them back?

Almost any hanger is acceptable as long as your items are well attached and fit the hanger appropriately.  Do not use adult hangers for tiny baby clothes, or the opposite.  The plastic retail hangers that you get when you buy clothes at various stores are fine.  Wire hangers are our least favorite but do work well for pinning pants.  Start looking now for hangers to buy as they will start disappearing from shelves as we get closer to sale time!

You will not get your own hangers back at the end of the sale.  However, any clothing items you purchase will come with hangers that you can keep.  Start stock- piling hangers now in preparation for fall!

 

  • I’m a consignor, when can I shop? Can I bring a guest?

All consignors can start shopping on Wednesday at 5:00 pm.  You will receive a wristband when you check in which will get you in to the Preview Sale on Wednesday night.  You may buy one additional band for $10 to bring a guest.  Everyone who enters the preview sale must have a wristband.

If you volunteer you will be invited to shop earlier based on how many hours you volunteer.  See the Preview Sale Schedule for more information.

There are many aspects of our sale that are rewarding and make the management of The One Week Boutique so worthwhile.  We like giving families a way to find great bargains on items they want and need for their little ones.  We like providing a way to recycle clothing and toys that our little people use so briefly.  We love providing a way for families to make some money!  But, even with all these things, truly the most gratifying part of the sale is when we donate items to local charities.

The charities we work with are always so appreciative of the donations they receive.  They send volunteers to the sale site on the last night of the sale to pack up all the items marked for donation.  They then sort and organize these items and find specific families in need who will benefit from our donations.  An important requirement for an organization to receive donations from us is that they must give the items to families directly.  They do not re-sell our donations.  

After every sale we receive notes of gratitude from these organizations letting us know how many people have been helped by the donations from The One Week Boutique.  As another sale is approaching we’d really like all of our consignors to consider donating as many unsold items as possible.   We understand that there are always a few things that consignors want back if they don’t sell.  But, please, please consider all the small clothing items that you mark for just a couple of dollars, and think how much a few items of clothing could help someone who has virtually nothing.

The PHI (Pregnancy Help and Information) Center has been our longest charity partner.  Since our first sale in August of 2006, we have worked with PHI to provide donations.  The PHI Center offers support and classes for women who are pregnant, as well as for their partners. They have a unique system where clients earn credits to pick out items from their donation room, known as the Stork Room.  “The donations we receive from you really sustain us,” said Karen Luger, director of client services at PHI.  “Your items fill such a huge need for us, and provide for so many families.  We are always extremely grateful for everything we get from The One Week Boutique.”  Karen has mentioned that tiny baby clothes, and infant and toddler boy clothes, are always high on their list of needs.

Another organization that has been a recipient of our donations almost since the beginning of The One Week Boutique is Brehon Family Services.  This non-profit organization provides assistance to pregnant women and families with young children who are experiencing challenging life situations.  There is also a house known as Brehon House where homeless pregnant women can live and receive case management services, career counseling, assistance finding housing, and parenting training.  Our donations go to serve Brehon clients in both the Brehon House as well as out in our community.  Again, these items are given directly to clients. 

Over the years we have also donated items to a variety of other well-deserving organizations including the Refuge House, Christmas Connection, the Pediatric ICU and the Zeta Phi Beta community baby shower, to name a few.  After each sale we take books to the Early Learning Coalition and donate clothing to local schools to keep in their “rainy day” closets.  The items that consignors choose to donate truly reach all corners of our community. 

So, as you all work to tag and price your clothing, please also think about marking “donate” on your tags.  That way, if any of your items go unsold, you will know that they will find a good home in our own community!

Did that get your attention?  We are ready to help our consignors make the most money they can!  There are just a few basic things that you need to remember when you start getting your items together to sell.

  1. Iron your clothes!   You would be amazed how much better clothing looks when they are not full of wrinkles.  Not only will they sell better, but they will bring more money.  Ironing (in bright light) is also a great way to really inspect your clothing for stains.  Stains were our #1 complaint among shoppers at our last sale.  We do our absolute best to check for stains during check-in, as well as do another full clothing rack inspection prior to opening, but we still tend to miss some items.  We pull hundreds of pieces during the sale for stains.  You are our first level of defense against bad quality, so check your items carefully!!
  2. Price your items right!   First-time consignors are notorious for pricing their items too high and are usually disappointed in their sales.  There is an easy rule of thumb I tell consignors - start at 50% of what you paid and adjust up or down, based on quality.  If you paid $7 for a t-shirt at Target and it's still in like-new condition, $3 is what it should be priced.  If you paid $30 for a dress at the Gap and your child only wore it once, then $17 is a great price.  We also strongly encourage you to mark your items to be discounted on Sunday, especially clothes!  We sell tons of clothes on Sunday.
  3. Package your items so shoppers can easily inspect them!   This is mainly goes for blankets, bedding, accessories and cloth diapers.  Hang as much as you can, but if your item is too small, then use safety pins to attach your tag or keep multiple things together.  If a shopper can't easily inspect it, one of two things will happen...they will pull everything out of your bag (which results in missing pieces) or they won't even consider it.
  4. Secure your small items!   This is our biggest challenge at each sale and no matter how hard we try, we end up with boxes of little pieces at the end of the week.  Use clear bags and lots of tape!  Kids want to try out the toys and you should package with that in mind.  We also find it helpful if you note on your tag what is included with your item.  For example "3-Piece Train Set with 10 Small Pieces".  You can hand write this longer description on the back or your tag, if it won't fit on the front. 
  5. Give us a good description!   In the hustle and bustle, tags do fall off.  If you have a good description, we can easily reunite your missing tag with your item, which means it goes back on the floor and has a better chance of selling!  Brand names, brief description (colors/design) and correct sizing is imperative. 

I hope these tips will help you as you start getting ready for The One Week Boutique!

Jennifer

As you have (hopefully) heard, we are moving to a new location after many years in the former Goody's store. The previous location has been leased by City Church and we wish them the best as they renovate their new home. 

Our new location!

Going forward, we will be operating in the former Dillard's store at the Tallahassee Mall. This is south of our previous location  (towards downtown) at the corner of John Knox and N. Monroe. We will have large banners hung to help you find it.

Our new layout will provide approximately 30% more space to making shopping easier and we will have signage to indicate where everything is within the store. Shoppers at previous sales will be happy to hear that we have working air conditioning in the new location :)

We will be using a portion of the first floor in the southwest corner. Access to upstairs and other unused areas of the store will be blocked. For your safety, please do not try to enter these areas. 

Entrances

Two entrances will be in use for this event - the one facing N. Monroe (west) and the middle entrance on the John Knox (south) side. There is no entrance to the mall from this location and other exterior entrances will be closed. If you need to access the mall you will need to go outside to a regular mall entrance. Our primary  entrance/exit  will be the one facing John Knox Rd. 

Check-in

Please use our primary entrance (facing John Knox Rd.) and the adjacent parking during your scheduled drop off time. The entrances are limited to 30" wide so if you have large items plan to drop them off separately on the loading dock around the back of the store. Contact us when you arrive for instructions and assistance with large items.

A limited number of shopping carts, rolling racks and flatbed carts will be available for you to use during checkin. 

Preview Sales

Previously, volunteers and consignors lined up for preview sales inside the mall. Preview sale lines will now form outside in the covered sidewalk area. Each preview sale group should line up in the designated areas on the map. Exterior signage will provide additional guidance. 

Aerial view of Dillards

Check out

The checkout area will be set up just inside the Main Entrance/Exit facing John Knox. 

Parking

Our location has plenty of free parking as shaded in blue on the aerial photo above. 

Restrooms

The plumbing in our new location is not in working order so we will be providing restrooms in a portable trailer just outside the store's northernmost exterior door. This will not be an exit and only access to the restrooms will be provided through this door. Of course, the mall restrooms will be available as well. 

Access to the mall

If you would like to visit the mall before or after our event, there are entrances outside our location on both sides. 

Pick up

Please come to the main entrance for pickup between 5:30 and 7:30pm on Sunday. Other entrances will be closed during this time. 

For each of the last few sales we have had to turn away consignors because of space limitations. Creating a comfortable shopping experience means that we limit the number of items we can accept for each event but after the first day or two of selling we have plenty of room. 

Starting this Fall, we will be bringing in more inventory on Friday to make more items available to shoppers for great prices and to give even more consignors an opportunity to cash in while cleaning out. 

How restocking works

Consignors who register after the normal registration is full will choose a Friday morning check-in time and we will put their items out on the floor before Noon on Friday. 

More space will be available on our shelves, racks and floor by then to accommodate these additional items without crowding. 

If you are a consignor...

We have added restocking details and registration in the Consignor section of our site. Please review the changes applicable to restocking consignors such as item category limitations, reduced consignor fees, and preview sale access. 

For shoppers...

Plan to come back for another look on Friday and/or Saturday as you can expect new items to be available in most product categories. If you weren't planning to shop on Thursday because it is so busy you will have a wider selection after the initial rush than you might have had at previous events. 

It's a new program

Restocking is new for us and the logistics are subject to change as we get this new enhancement up and running. We would appreciate your feedback  on the program and ways we might improve it at any time. 

As our sale quickly approaches we thought it would be helpful to give our new consignors a little "behind the scenes" look at how the drop-off (check-in) process works at The One Week Boutique.  At our spring sale, we checked in over 63,000 items in 3 days.  That means we inspected 2,500 items, per hour!  Crazy to think of it that way!

The most important advice we can give you is to read through the consignor section of our website BEFORE you begin entering or tagging your items.  We know it can be a lot of information, but it's worth it not to have done something wrong only to realize it at drop-off. Especially make sure your tags are printed correctly so they will scan.

Every consignor must have an appointment and we ask that you arrive within the 30 minutes of your appointment time. So, if your appointment is at 4:00, then you are welcome to come anytime between 4:00-4:30.  My best advice is to arrive about 10-15 minutes after your appointment time.  If you come early we will fit you in as soon as we can but there may be a wait.

Once you arrive you will be asked to fill out a consignor agreement form, pick up your wristbands for entry into the preview sales and have all your items inspected by one of our volunteers.  After inspection we ask each consignor to assist in putting your items on the sales floor.  Please do not send your husband or friend or family member without letting them know this is part of the process.  We promise to do our best to have you in and out in 30 minutes or less...depending on how much inventory you bring. If you plan to bring more than 200 items (remember our item limits for individual categories) please let us know so we can have resources available.

During the inspection we are looking for a number of things...stained/overly worn items - tags are done correctly - working batteries are included.  In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to return anything back to our consignors, but that rarely happens.  Please don't be offended if an item is returned back to you.  Even if you have an item priced low, we won't except anything below our quality standards! 

Remember that we also have item limits - 100 children's clothing items, 15 maternity items and 10 pairs of shoes!

Finally, we ask that all of our consignors help us advertise.  We can provide you with full color flyers and yard signs to help us spread the word about the sale.  YOU ARE OUR BEST FORM OF ADVERTISEMENT!  So please, email your friends and family and tell them to go shop.  Post about us on Facebook.  Put flyers at your school, church or workplace.  Encourage everyone you know to come and buy your stuff!

As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at questions@theoneweekboutique.com .

Every sale we welcome lots of new consignors and I thought I would do a post about to expect in the weeks ahead...

Decide what to sell

The most important part of this whole process is deciding what items you plan on selling.  It can be overwhelming so we suggest you start early.  Go through all your items to make sure they meet our strict guidelines - checking your clothing for stains, making sure all your relevant items have working batteries and items are clean.  Each sale we continue to strive towards only selling QUALITY items and we count on our consignors to read through our Acceptable Items  page and only bring what we can sell. 

Pricing

Pricing is a common question for new consignors.  Our guidelines  (for everything we sell) is start at 50% of what you paid for it, then adjust up or down based on the quality.  Name brand clothing (Gap, Gymboree, Ralph Lauren) will obviously bring in more money vs. discount brands (Circo, Old Navy, Garanaimals).  We strongly encourage everyone to include their items in the 1/2 price sale and check the discount box on the tagging software.  If your item is in great condition and didn't sell at full price, it will usually always go at 1/2 price. 

Tag Printing

Before printing your tags, please read this post regarding bad tags and what we won't accept at drop off.  If your tag doesn't scan, there is a much greater chance that an error will be made if we have to hand type each one of your tags during check-out and you won't receive credit for your item.  If your tag looks like it might not scan, we will do a test scan at drop off.  Using card stock and safety pins is a strict requirement .  If you bring in paper tags, you will be asked to reprint them on card stock.  We do accept pricing guns, but make sure your tag is secured in seam so not to make a large hole in the garment.  You may use plastic or wire hangers, but please use children size for any size under 8.  These fit better on our racks and won't stretch out the clothes. 

Drop off appointments

About a month before the sale we will open our drop off appointments.  Please make sure you schedule an appointment early to get a day and time that is most convenient for you.  We ask that you arrive on time and be prepared to spend 20-30 minutes to complete the check in process.  Your items will be thoroughly inspected and then you will assist your volunteer in placing your items on the sales floor.  Read here for more details .

Preview Sales

To me, the biggest "perk" of consigning (besides the profit check) is being able to shop early at the Consignor Preview Sales .  Not only do you get to shop before we open to the public, but new to this sale, we are letting our consignors shop early at our 1/2 price sale on Saturday evening.  At drop off you will receive a wristband that will allow only you into the sale.  If you wish to bring a spouse, parent or helper - you must purchase a $10 guest pass.  We also strongly encourage you not to bring your children as preview sales are very busy!  If you do bring your child, we ask that you keep them with you at all times. 

Volunteering

Our volunteers are vital to the success of The One Week Boutique.  To thank them for their effort, we offer even earlier shopping times to our volunteers as well as ways to earn Boutique Bucks.  Our shifts are mostly 3 hours long and are scattered throughout the sale week.  Read here for more details on how to become a volunteer .

Unsold item pickup

The last event of our sale is Consignor Pick Up where all of the consignors who did not donate their items come and pick up what didn't sell, along with their profit check.  When you arrive all of your items will be together, with your consignor number.  You will retrieve your items and make your way to the check out area.  Here we will inspect your items to make sure they all belong to you and deliver your check. 

Depending on how many people are there, this process can take a while and your patience is appreciated.  If you have chosen to donate your items to one of our amazing charities and don't come on Sunday, your profit check will be mailed within a few days.

As always, we welcome your questions.  Either post them on our Facebook page or contact us through our website .

Happy Tagging!

Our friends at ConsignmentMommies.com  have published a list of tips for how to improve your experience with MyCM Tagging - here is a preview:

"Easy", "simple", and "flexible" are all terms used by sellers to describe the MyConsignment Manager  tagging system used by seasonal consignment events all across the United States and Canada.  Their system has proved to be life-changing for sellers who previously tagged items for sales using hand written information or even sticking barcoded stickers on index cards.
 
Here are 10 tips to make your experience using MyConsignment Manager  even better:

  1. Sort items by size and type  before entering them.  Once you've selected  the category and size, those options stay selected until you change them.  All you'll have to type in is the description and the price. 
  2. Enter items in groups of 8 .  Not only will you save cardstock, your tags print in the same groupings as your items.

For the rest of the top 10 tips, head over to the post on ConsignmentMommies.com  

Thanks to our friend Jen at Kentucky Kids Consignment Sales for sharing her tips!

Registration for our fall sale is in full swing and we're excited to have so many consignors already registered!  I'm amazed by how many consignors have already started entering inventory.  We love early birds!  I always have the best intentions of starting early, but it never works out for me.  I hope this sale will be different.

I thought I'd start this season's blog postings with some of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) in the hopes it will help everyone as they start getting ready for this season's sale. 

  • I've registered, but why can't I select my volunteer shifts?    Volunteer shifts will be open around the end of August.  All registered consignors will be notified via email, in the order you registered, when those shifts are open.  Please make sure you only sign up for shifts you know will work with your schedule.  Volunteers who do not show up for their shifts will not be allowed to volunteer at future sales.
  • How should I decide on a price for my items?    A good rule is to start at 50% of what you paid for that item, then adjust up or down based on quality.  For example...you paid $20 and your item is in "like new" condition, then $12 might be a good price.  We also always recommend marking your item for discount in the 1/2 price sale.
  • How many items can I consign at The One Week Boutique?     We only have clothing limits.  100 children's clothing items, 10 pairs of your BEST shoes and 15 maternity items.  There are no limits on anything else we accept.  We do ask that if you have 300+ items that you send us an email so we can schedule you enough time during drop off.
  • Can I use paper for my tags?    We strongly urge you NOT to use paper for your tags as they are easily torn and fall off.  We do our best to reunite items with their lost tags during the entire sale, but not if you use paper.  We understand you don't need use an entire package of card stock, so you might consider purchasing a small amount from your local copy shop instead. 
  • Is there a minimum to be a consignor?    Yes, you must have at least $50 worth of items to be a consignor at The One Week Boutique.
  • What should I expect at Check In/Drop Off?     We strive to make drop off extremely easy for our consignors, but we do ask you that you assist our volunteers in placing your items on the sales floor.  The entire process should only take 20-30 minutes.  Appointments are required!
  • Why should I volunteer?     The main reasons for volunteering are so you can shop early.  The more you volunteer, the earlier you get to shop.  You also are eligible to earn Boutique Bucks.  After completing three shifts, you will begin to earn $10 for every shift you complete after that.  Volunteers are crucial to the success of The One Week Boutique!
  • I'm really pregnant, but want to volunteer, what are my options?    We have a number of different tasks that are low impact.  Shifts during Consignor Drop Off and Sorting offer the most options.  You can also sign up friends or family on your behalf.  We have lots of Husband Hours available during the entire sale.  If you have any concerns, send us an email and we'll do our best to accommodate you.
  • Why should I become a partner at The One Week Boutique?     Our typical sale attracts over 3,500 shoppers.  There are not many other venues with that kind of traffic.  We offer all types of partnerships, starting at only $25.  Most of our options include featuring your logo and website link on our home page.  We get over 25,000 visits, so this is just another way of getting exposure for your business. 
  • When can I shop?     Volunteers and Consignors get to shop first at our preview sales on Wednesday, September 26th.  We open to the public on Thursday, September 27th through Sunday.  Click here for a full event schedule.
  • Can I bring someone with me to the preview sales?    No guests are allowed at the Volunteer Preview Sales.  This includes husbands, children, parents, etc.  Only shoppers with wristbands will be allowed entry.  We do allow SMALL children, but require them to stay with you the entire time.  Guest passes are available for the Consignor Preview Sale.  One guest pass, per consignor can be purchased for $10. 
  • When do we get our profit check?    Checks will be ready for pick up on Sunday, September 30th from 5:30p-7:30p.  If you do not pick up your check, it will be mailed to you within a few days. 

In addition to these questions, everything you would ever want to know about our sale is located on our site.  We encourage you to spend a few minutes reading over our policies and procedures.  If you have a question that can't be answered on our site, please feel free to email us at questions@theoneweekboutique.com and we'll get back to you.

If you are attending one of our preview sales on Wednesday, please review the following reminders to help create a smooth shopping experience:

Wear your wristband

Check the schedule- come at the right time for the preview sale you are eligible for. 

  • 2p - Super+ Volunteers (Green)
  • 3p - Super Volunteers (Blue)
  • 4p - Volunteers (Yellow)
  • 5p - Consignors + Guests (Pink, White)
  • 6p - New Moms (Red)

No guests or kids (without a wristband)

In order to improve the shopping experience at our preview sales, please do not bring spouses, older children, parents, or other guests. No guests are allowed at the Volunteer preview sales. Guests with wristbands will be allowed at the Consignor Preview sale. Children in strollers or slings are allowed, but we suggest not bringing them if possible as the sale can be a bit hectic. If you choose to bring your small children, keep them by your side at all times (kids cannot be roaming around unsupervised). 

Guest passes

For the consignor preview sale (starting at 5p), guest passes will be available for $10 at the door. Guests must have a preview sale wristband (they will have the white bands) in order to enter. 

New purchase process for large items, security tags (big items do not go to holding area)

Example Security Tag

New this sale, you will see items with a large tag that replaces our "sold sticker" process from previous sales. If you see a large item you want, follow the instructions printed on the tag:

  1. Write your name and phone number on the top half of the tag (in pen)
  2. Tear off the bottom half of the tag
  3. Check out, get a receipt
  4. Grab your item from the floor and have your receipt checked at the door on your  way out

Items that have the bottom half of the tag torn will be considered sold, but should be left in place on the floor rather than being moved up front. 

Items that will have the new security tags:

  • Strollers
  • High chairs
  • Pack and Plays
  • Outdoor toys
  • Bikes
  • Exersaucers
  • Furniture
  • Bouncers
  • Swings
  • Car seats

Line up inside the mall

For the volunteer and consignor preview sales, we will be lining up inside the mall at the inside entrance to our store (by Sports Authority). Lines will form early, so please look for the people that have the same color wristband as you to make sure you are in the right line. 

Carts, shopping bags, etc.

We have a limited number of shopping carts, so please don't count on being able to get one at the preview sales. We will provide large shopping bags for your use while at the sale (from Ikea), but you might want to bring a basket or something else to carry your items in while shopping. 

Checkout changes

We will not be tearing tags at check out this time so the process will be more like what you would experience at other retail stores. To keep things moving, keep like items together for fast scanning and bagging. 

Express line

Though we don't expect anyone to find only 10 items or less, if you have a small number of items please look for our express line to move through checkout more quickly. 

Be patient

We have a lot of consignors and a lot of items at this sale, and we will be doing everything we can to keep things moving but it might take you a few minutes to get through check out. Thank you in advance for your patience. 

Get great deals!

We have packed in more than 80,000 items at this sale! Inventory is up over 30% from the Spring event so you are sure to find everything you need to stock up for the next few months. 

April 3-6, 2014