Drum Consignment Store

DanRH

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Just thinking...Since my middle name is C&R (Catch and Release), I've often thought it might be cool after I retire to open a small Drum Consignment store.

Sure, I know the cons. Some of which would be is there a market? Rent costs. Would I be able to keep the doors open, yada, yada, yada.

Still, the nagging thought doesn't want to leave me head.

So, if y'all had a "consignment" store in your neighborhood. would you go? There might even be a market for head hunting for gear. Of course I couldn't compete with the new drum outlets... I don't know. I've been thinking about it to get my mind off of the "other" stuff... :neutral:

What do you think?
 

Purdie Shuffle

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Dan,

This is a business best run from home over the Internet, so it has a national and international client base. You don't need all the overhead; rent, phones, insurance, electricity, yadda-yadda-yadda. Everything can be done online. Let people know you're there, that you exist. Once drums and kits start to come in for sale, you use all the outlets at your disposal to sell them. Including ebay and CL. Once sold, you ship right from the garage or basement, send your client his money and deposit your commissions. Home office and room in the garage is all you need. The rest is Internet presence and daily advertising/getting the word out.

Great idea. You're just making it more complex and expensive than it needs to be. Do it... do it from home. "Start from right where you are standing!"

Regards, condolences...

your friend,

John
 

TommyWells

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I think you would survive or not, based on internet business. We are a relatively small group of drummers. And there are just a small number of places that deal in used and vintage stuff as their main thing, so there might be enough demand for such a place. Cherie Willoughby, Steve Maxwell and Vintage Drum Center come to mind, but they are not big on consignment. I think it is an interesting idea. :icon_smile:

John: You type faster than I do.
 

mlvbs

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I've sold quite a bit of drums and cymbals on consignment over the past 4 or 5 years. I've recently stopped, because I've found that the negatives outweigh the positives.

Selling something on consignment is much more involved than you would initially think. Let's compare it to flipping a drumset on your own - you buy the set, for say $900, and sell it for $1200 plus shipping. Minus fees, labor, etc, you might profit around $250. Assuming your buyer is happy, it's a done deal, money in the bank.

With consignment, you have to deal with SO much more. You have to come up with a percentage that's not only attractive to potential consignment customers, but it has to make you some money as well. Most owners will flinch at 15%, but I've found you have to ask at least 20% to really make it worth your time and energy. The majority of owners don't want to let go of 1/5 of the money on top of fees.

Next, the owner has to get you the drums. I recently had a great customer Fedex me a beautiful Gretsch 18-12-14 kit to sell on consignment and one box was lost in shipment. What then? Tons of paperwork to deal with the claim, a lost sale, and an unhappy owner, all for nothing.

Often times sets are not what they were represented as, and owners will think they are worth a lot more than they really are. When you find extra holes, etc, the owner usually doesn't want to hear about it. You need to represent the drums in a flattering way that will make both the owner and potential customers happy.

Next is actually selling (or not selling) the kit. Most owners are great - they rarely ask if there has been any interest - they just trust that you are doing your job. But others will ask every day, or multiple times per day, "Any offers" "Have they sold yet?" and on and on... Figure on many, many phone calls and emails per set, from both the owner and prospective buyers. And most buyers will want to negotiate, so you have the constant running conversation back and forth with the owner regarding bottom dollar, etc. If the set doesn't sell and the owner wants it back after a period of time, it's a lost sale with hours of free labor. They're not going to want to pay you for not selling their drums, especially after losing the shipping costs.

Let's say the set finally sells...you have to collect the money and pack and ship the set. MAJOR problems if there is any damage or lost packages, since there are 3 parties involved. Once you get the money you have to decide when to pay the owner...I usually do once the customer has received the set and is happy with everything, but there is still a risk of returned merchandise, Paypal claims, nitpicking, chargebacks, etc. If you agree to a $25 refund because of an incorrect tension rod washer, it's likely coming out of your pocket since you represented the drums.

If you sell a set for $1200, and Paypal is used to buy them, you'll end up with $1164.90. If you are taking 15%, that leaves you with about $175 profit, 20% would leave you about $233. Keep in mind this is after several hours of work on the phone, email, negotiating with the owner, receiving the set, photographing and describing the set, negotiating with buyers, keeping the owner at bay, collecting money from a buyer, packing, shipping, paying the owner, etc. And the owner ends up with about $930. An average gig that pays $150 - $250 is far less work, and loads more fun, than selling a set on consignment for the same amount of profit.

I realize how negative this post is coming across...consignments can be an ok way to make some money, but it's much better if you have the cash to lay out and flip drums on your own. Even if you're only going to be making $200 - $300 on a set, it's better than going through the hassle of a consignment sale. If you can convince someone to give you 30% of a sale price, or a minimum of $400, or sell only high end sets, it's a better pay off. But to me it just felt wrong to ever ask more than 20%.

Thanks,
Bill
 

chetatkinsdiet

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About 8-9 years ago, I thought hard on a used music store/drum shop that would be heavy on consignment. Do the math....as Bill and others have done above. So, $200-300 is probably what you'd make flipping kits? How many kits would you need to sell a month to pay for the $1500 in rent alone? Five to six is about right. What about other expenses....utilities, insurance, wages to other workers...or were you thinking of leaving your decent day job for this? Just coming up with rent and paying one person a nice salary....whatever you want to plug in....$50K, $75k....$100K. Whatever it is you need to make to pay your bills. Do the math on that and you'll see that it just doesn't add up. Sticks, heads, etc....none of that stuff matters when you look at you probably only make about a dollar per item with their low margins. You can't compete with guitar centers on anything else. All you have is the used stuff.

Now, the one advantage you have is that you have a storefront and deals will walk in the front door. I've put ads in Thrify Nickels, Greensheets, on Craigslist and anywhere else I can think of. You might get a few leads, but nothing like what a storefront will bring you.

But, if you're consigning, the deals will mean nothing as you're giving them 4/5th of their money back. Now, if you had enough money and were able to buy stuff outright, you might be in better shape. But, if you're like me, you'd have a hard time selling the really good stuff or the really good deals. "Wow...I just got this Black Beauty for $200...." You really want to sell that one?

Good luck...it sure is fun to talk about though, huh?

m
 

mlvbs

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Hey DanRH, I've been on vacation and just read about your dad. I'm embarrassed and feel like an idiot for laying so much negativity on your thread during a time of such great loss for you. My apologies. If a consignment store sounds like fun, I think you should do it. I bet an actual store would be easier and more tolerable than all-internet, which is where I was coming from, especially if you could find a cheap space. Please feel free to PM if you have any questions about starting up, consignments, etc.

Kind regards, and my deepest condolences,
Bill
 

DanRH

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Hey DanRH, I've been on vacation and just read about your dad. I'm embarrassed and feel like an idiot for laying so much negativity on your thread during a time of such great loss for you. My apologies. If a consignment store sounds like fun, I think you should do it. I bet an actual store would be easier and more tolerable than all-internet, which is where I was coming from, especially if you could find a cheap space. Please feel free to PM if you have any questions about starting up, consignments, etc.

Kind regards, and my deepest condolences,
Bill
No Problem Bill. And thanks for your words about dad. Nah, if I didn't want to hear the cons, I wouldn't have posted it. Thanks for your insightful view. :occasion5:
 

Chunkaway

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Just thinking...Since my middle name is C&R (Catch and Release), I've often thought it might be cool after I retire to open a small Drum Consignment store.

Sure, I know the cons. Some of which would be is there a market? Rent costs. Would I be able to keep the doors open, yada, yada, yada.

Still, the nagging thought doesn't want to leave me head.

So, if y'all had a "consignment" store in your neighborhood. would you go? There might even be a market for head hunting for gear. Of course I couldn't compete with the new drum outlets... I don't know. I've been thinking about it to get my mind off of the "other" stuff... :neutral:

What do you think?

Dan,

There is a place in Portland, Revival Drum Shop, that started as a consignment store. It has since grown into focusing on selling vintage gear, but they also are now a dealer for Istanbul cymbals, C&C drums, etc... They also do some repair work and modification work. Might want to check them out.

The owners are pro drummers- The Breeders, Beck, She and Him, M.Ward, Neil Finn, Bright Eyes, etc...
 

stevesmithfan

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I wouldn't put anything on consignment, with the fear of the music store going out of business after I put a down payment. Of course I don't buy drum gear anymore, it has been 3 years now.
 

lossforgain

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I've thought many times that if I was going to open my own business it would be a used music gear shop. Maybe a location of Music Go Round, or just do my own thing. Not just drums though - too narrow.
 

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