Want your staff to be able to price too?

The Women’s Fashion Pricing System is created to make pricing easy—to take away  the anxiety that comes with being unsure of how to go about it.

If you can read the label in a piece of clothing (for example:  Ann Taylor, J. Crew, etc), you can price. All you have to do is enter the category in the space provided (blouse, sweater, etc), and then enter the brand!! I’m not kidding!  The system will prompt you to fill in the information and then show you the appropriate price range, which you can select or adjust.  There are no tricks.  It’s very clear cut.

Our price ranges have been selected from information on pricing that we have collected from several successful consignment stores across the country. The suggested prices are prices that these items have sold at…proven sales.  We give you a price range for each item is so that you have the ability to adjust the price as needed according to other variables, such as condition, age, locale, and demand.  The important thing to remember is that we give you a price range—not just one price.  You have the freedom to choose the price that is appropriate for your shop, but with confidence, that this range of prices is the right one.

Your staff can price with the same confidence.   All they have to do is enter the category and the brand, follow the prompts for the additional details and the price range will come up.  If they are very new to pricing, they can choose the mid point price and it will be a safe option.  Of course, you can always enter any price you choose, but if you stay within our price range, you can be sure that you are pricing appropriately.

This is an amazing product!  Your entire staff can price after a couple of hours with this system!

Talk to you soon,

Brenda Stark

 

Who sets your Prices?

In retail businesses, it’s safe to say that prices are invariably set by owners be they individuals or corporate, or by managers using pricing conventions provided by the ownership.  This only makes sense as pricing is the revenue side of the bottom line.

When NextGen started working with resale stores, we expected to find the same.  Much to our surprise, pricing in a number of children’s and women’s resale establishments is left largely to employees.

Prices set by employees are rarely optimum when compared to prices obtained by stores in comparable markets; they are most always on the low side.  But as damaging as the profit loss commonly associated with employee under-pricing, is the price inconsistency that comes when employees are left to price largely on their own.  The result is a loss of customer trust.  With inconsistent pricing comes customer uncertainty that the tag price reflects value, and the consequent declination to pay the asking price ( i.e., buy) for items with unfamiliar labels.  Translation > lost sales.

Owners need to own their pricing.  While some employees who’ve been pricing welcome a company pricing system and the reduced anxiety that comes with it, others resist giving up this control.  Indeed, NextGen has had a number of owners decide against the pricing system for fear of losing valued employees vested in the existing pricing—their pricing.  Even with employee support, if customers are accustomed to employee under-prices, prices cannot be bumped abruptly.  Prices must be adjusted incrementally in order not to sour longstanding customers.  Fortunately, the mixed price/value association characteristic of most employee pricing practices, can effectively mask modest price changes.

The time is always right to take control of your pricing, … to take control of your business.

Auto-Pricing: a Resale Point of Sale (POS) System MUST

“A Resale POS system without auto-pricing waddles like a duck on land,
with auto-pricing it streams like a duck in water”
NextGen Knowledge Base

POS Auto-Pricing is a must-have tool for resale businesses today.  It instantly suggests the right resale price of an item based on brand, condition, currency, features, composition, … . It dramatically cuts the time required to price.  It assures that prices are correct and consistent.  It adds considerably to a store’s bottom line.  It frees owners and significant others to tend to sales, customer service and other areas important to the success of the business.

The challenges facing the buyer of resale merchandise, whether buying outright or on consignment, are far greater than those facing buyers of new.  To arrive at an item’s selling price, the resale buyer must assess the currency, quality and condition of hundreds of types of merchandise (apparel, footwear, accessories, toys, equipment, each carrying one of thousands of possible brands / labels– numbers of a magnitude dwarfing those faced by even the largest retail buyers. What’s more the resale buyer must examine these items and determine the selling price one by one, each in a matter of seconds.

Little surprise that owners quickly find themselves and others in their employ spending an inordinate amount of time buying.  It’s the black hole of many if not most resale operations.

It is no surprise that the POS system of virtually every resale franchise or chain has auto-pricing built-in.  What is a surprise is that ResaleWorld’s Liberty 4 is the only POS system today with built-in auto-pricing available to independent Resale owners of women’s, juniors and Children’s Resale shops.

In the Retail industry, the gain in productivity realized with the move from cash registers to POS systems has been significant.  In the Resale industry, the gain in productivity realized with the move to POS systems w/auto-pricing is proving no less significant.

It’s never too late to start pricing right, but far better to price right from the start

The NextGen Pricing System suggests the best price for an item, specifically, the price at which an item can be expected to sell within 75 days.  Initially, NextGen obtained these data from a limited number of stores around the country.  But in the 2 yrs since, the data base has grown to include stores in most  states and provinces in North America, most of which had been in operation for years before procuring a Nextgen Pricing System.  The addition of these stores has allowed Nextgen to examine prices, controlling for area income levels and competition.

What have we learned?   Far more stores under-price than over-price

In the vast majority of stores, prices fall short, often far short, of the prices at which the same items are selling in markets with like incomes and competitive situations.

Why do stores tend to under-price?  The fear that higher prices will turn away buyers

Underlying this fear is the assumption that buyer decisions are based on price more than value.  This is to say that buyer decisions are driven more by item-specific price ceilings, i.e., “I would never pay more than ten dollars for a pair of sneakers” than on Value, i.e., I would never pay more than $10 for a pair of Converse” sneakers.”

Is the fear justified?  No

While the ‘price ceiling” mentality may be common among thrift shop customers, our analysis clearly demonstrates that it is the ”Value” mindset that reigns in better consignment and resale shops.  Simply put: Customers pay more for better brands than lesser brands.

Give our customers credit.  They are value conscious and knowledgeable.  Even those who may not have been in times past, are now, thanks to Google and other internet shopping and price-comparison sites—accessible at the press of their smart phone buttons.

What’s to be gained by raising under-prices?  Customers, Sales and Profits.

Right pricing is not what the market will bear, but what the market will embrace, as manifest in timely sales.  Dollar sales will increase.  Margins—bottom-line profits—will likewise increase.  Item sales may not, but should not decline.

Raising the price of under-priced items allows a corresponding increase in the amounts paid for these items.  To get better brands , we must pay for them.  The more we pay, the more we get.   Right pricing is Fair pricing meaning fair to seller/consignor as well as buyer.  In the end, it’s a win-win-win.  The sellers earns more, we owners earn more, and buyers have access to valued items they would not otherwise see.

The Good news?   While under-prices cannot be abruptly changed for fear of alienating longstanding customers, prices can be nudged up (optimized) gradually and imperceptibly over a number of years.   Clients use the NextGen Pricing system to manage these changes.

Consignment Software Review

NextGen Resale and Consignment  is a service bureau providing know-how, software and support to owners of resale and consignment shops.  NextGen has grown from supporting stores selling used children’s apparel, toys and equipment  to stores selling used juniors and women’s apparel and accessories.

NextGen clients buy outright and accept items on consignment.  They sell new merchandise and used.  All are brick and mortar operations; a small number sell on-line.  Some have multiple shops, most only one.  All require responsive how-to support as well as technical support.  All utilize NextGen’s pricing system to keep prices current, and save time spent on buying, pricing and related training.  All welcome as many features as they can get.

Initially, NextGen contracted with one of the few POS vendors supporting both consignment and buy-outright operations to customize its offering by building in NextGen’s buying/pricing application.  In the end, the vendor was unable to produce, and NextGen had to forego its investment and renew its search—this time in a more diligent fashion.   After an exhaustive and systematic review, we found Liberty 4, by Resaleworld.  It was, is, and remains the only software that satisfies the essential demands of our varied clients.  Specifically,

  • First and foremost, capable of seamlessly delivering our off-line and on-line women’s, children’s and juniors pricing system
  • Full-featured consignment as well as buy-outright modes—clients are increasingly using both
  • Fully supports the acquisition and sale of new merchandise as well as used
  • Supports on-line as well as off-line sales
  • Available for purchase and installation, or on a monthly subscription basis as an internet service
  • Supports multiple locations via a private network or the cloud.
  • True ‘on-call’ technical support—not  the as-available’ technical support characteristic of the little POS vendors that dot the resale & consignment software landscape.
  • Lots of features—the most of any POS software in the resale industry

NextGen’s configuration of the Liberty 4 POS system by Resaleworld works for NextGen and our clients.

They know what they don’t know…and what they do

NextgenResale consults with hundreds and hundreds of aspiring business owners each year.

The words we’ve long used to characterize the mentality of the vast majority of these aspirants is “they don’t know what they don’t know.”

Their level of knowledge is limited, level of naivete, high.   This is understandable.  The knowledge and tools required to be successful in any business today are considerable, and resale is no exception.  It’s what the franchises, increasingly chains, and yours truly, NextGen Resale, advertise—know-how.

We enjoy exploring the resale world with folks, sensing their excitement, exploring the possibilities, and introducing a measure of the real world of resale.   We’ve been in this business long enough–20 plus years each –to predict with a fair degree accuracy who is likely to succeed and who is not.

A telltale sign.  Those likely to succeed “know what they don’t know.”

They have their ideas, like everyone, on what they would like to do with the business, but they’re not locked in.  They look for, and listen carefully to concerns, limitations & problems relating to their ideas, and facts that don’t square with their vision.   We have a lot of respect for owners who’ve been in business for decades.   It means they’ve continued to learn and keep pace in an industry that has changed significantly over the years.  They’ve learned to take advantage of the technology to manage their sales and inventory, to keep themselves visible in their communities and to compete with the growing number of competitors, on-line and off.

It’s the reason—here comes the NextGenPricing System plug—we’ve been so pleased and excited that the Pricing System is proving so popular among savvy, longtime Owners.   They recognize the value of this tool even though they’ve been operating without it for many years.

The difficulty of women’s consignment pricing.

As an owner of four women’s consignment shops, I have a lot of experience in this business. Twelve years ago, when I bought my first shop, I remember how concerned I was about how this all works. How do you price used merchandise at the “right” price? You have to walk a fine line when pricing—you want things to sell, but at the same time, keep your consignors happy.

You can spend long hours researching how to price specific brands and items. You have some knowledge of what the retail prices might be, and you can search the internet, but it’s incredibly time consuming. You can’t always find what you’re looking for–and even then, you’re looking at retail prices. You still have to decide how to use that information to price your merchandise. It’s scary because you know pricing is key! You have to price it right.

The Women’s Fashion Pricing System from NextGen is the answer–absolutely! It will tell you how to price every item you take in by brand–from Gap to Ann Taylor to Armani! This system tracks prices using inventory sales data from a select number of successful consignment shops over a period of two years. Suggested prices are updated at least once a year and include over 4000 brands. This system is designed to suggest the best price at which an item will sell to the mutual benefit of consignor and shop.

It will help you price every item you take in as you are entering it into the Liberty 4 POS program. No extra steps or work…it’s all right there! I’ll be saying this often–I wish this had been available when I started!

More to come.

Brenda Stark

Price changes in children’s resale occurring at a record rate—Why?

 

 

NextGen currently tracks the pricing on over 4,000 children’s brands in order to keep its suggested resale prices in tune with the children’s retail prices.  This involves the timely identification and valuation of brands—new, old, rising, fading, fallen; and distinguishing the many labels continually introduced to appeal to different markets.  It’s a demanding task in normal times, and especially now as the rate of brand/price change is as high as we’ve seen.

Why?

The significant change we’re seeing in children’s pricing, specifically the growth in the boutique brands at the top, and discount brands at the bottom, reflects the broader shift in income distribution.  To quote Schwartz in his recent New York Times article (2/2/14) entitled The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World.

“As politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is in fact deepening, in corporate America there     really is no debate at all. The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.

The top 5 percent of earners accounted for almost 40 percent of personal consumption expenditures in 2012, up from 27 percent in 1992. Largely driven by this increase, consumption among the top 20 percent grew to more than 60 percent over the same period.”

John Graubard’s graphic observation in the same article sums it up “In a few years the consumer choice will be Neiman Marcus or WalMart.”  

 

Who sets your Prices?

In retail businesses, it’s safe to say that prices are invariably set by owners be they individuals or corporate, or by managers using pricing conventions provided by the ownership.  This only makes sense as pricing is the revenue side of the bottom line.

When NextGen started working with resale stores, we expected to find the same.  Much to our surprise, pricing in a number of children’s and women’s resale establishments is left largely to employees.

Prices set by employees are rarely optimum when compared to prices obtained by stores in comparable markets; they are most always on the low side.  But as damaging as the profit loss commonly associated with employee under-pricing, is the price inconsistency that comes when employees are left to price largely on their own.  The result is a loss of customer trust.  With inconsistent pricing comes customer uncertainty that the tag price reflects value, and the consequent declination to pay the asking price ( i.e., buy) for items with unfamiliar labels.  Translation > lost sales.

Owners need to own their pricing.  While some employees who’ve been pricing welcome a company pricing system and the reduced anxiety that comes with it, others resist giving up this control.  Indeed, NextGen has had a number of owners decide against the pricing system for fear of losing valued employees vested in the existing pricing—their pricing.  Even with employee support, if customers are accustomed to employee under-prices, prices cannot be bumped abruptly.  Prices must be adjusted incrementally in order not to sour longstanding customers.  Fortunately, the mixed price/value association characteristic of most employee pricing practices, can effectively mask modest price changes.

The time is always right to take control of your pricing, … to take control of your business.

Auto-Pricing: a Resale Point of Sale (POS) System MUST

“A Resale POS system without auto-pricing waddles like a duck on land, with auto-pricing it streams like a duck in water” NextGen Knowledge Base

POS Auto-Pricing is a must-have tool for resale businesses today.  It instantly suggests the resale price based on brand, condition, currency, features, composition, … . It dramatically cuts the time required to price.  It assures that prices are correct and consistent.  It adds considerably to a store’s bottom line.  It frees owners and significant others to tend to sales, customer service and other areas important to the success of the business.

The challenges facing the buyer of resale merchandise, whether buying outright or on consignment, are far greater than those facing buyers of new.  To arrive at an item’s selling price, the resale buyer must assess the currency, quality and condition of hundreds of types of merchandise (apparel, footwear, accessories, toys, equipment, each carrying one of thousands of possible brands / labels– numbers of a magnitude dwarfing those faced by even the largest retail buyers. What’s more the resale buyer must examine these items and determine the selling price one by one, each in a matter of seconds.

Little surprise that owners quickly find themselves and others in their employ spending an inordinate amount of time buying.  It’s the black hole of many if not most resale operations.

It is no surprise that the POS system of virtually every resale franchise or chain has auto-pricing built-in.  What is a surprise is that ResaleWorld’s Liberty 4 is the only POS system today with built-in auto-pricing available to independent Resale owners.

In the Retail industry, the gain in productivity realized with the move from cash registers to POS systems has been significant.  In the Resale industry, the gain in productivity realized with the move to POS systems w/auto-pricing is proving no less significant.