Consignment is the fine art of selling your camera equipment for you and finding good, new homes for your gear. The process is fairly simple: you bring your cameras, lenses, tripods, etc. in to us, we evaluate its condition - both cosmetic and functional - we work with you to set retail prices and then we set about selling it. The equipment remains your property until it sells and when it does we mail you a check. Easy!
The “why” of consignment is a bit more nuanced. If you have cameras that are no longer being used or you inherit a relative’s collection of photo gear that you have no intention of using, then selling it off to a good home is much better than letting it sit untouched in a closet or garage. There are several ways of parting with such equipment. You can, of course, sell it yourself via Craigslist or eBay. This may or may not ultimately be more profitable for you but it will require more time, effort and potential risk. Alternatively, you can bring your equipment in to us and allow our staff to do all the hard work for you. Additionally, we are trained and experienced at testing and evaluating gear. Because of this we have earned a reputation for selling equipment that is tested, warranted and comes with the education and assistance of our staff.
In short, no. If we did we would be at odds with you to negotiate the lowest price we could for that gear and that would mean you would earn far less for cameras and lenses. With consignment we are on the same team: to make as much as reasonably possible in finding new homes for your cameras. The more we make, the more you make. We find this a much better partnership.
First, give us a call or send us an e-mail. Not all camera equipment is going to be suitable for consignment. We would hate for you to drive across town or ship us a box of cameras to have us sadly tell you that your equipment is not appropriate for consignment. We can help sift through potential consignment equipment easily enough via the phone or e-mail and help make sure your trip over is worthwhile.
After that, it is a simple matter of bringing your gear in. At that point we are going to test everything. We will fill out a consignment inventory that will list all the equipment, its serial numbers, its retail value and what your payout will be. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on how much equipment you have. It is a good idea to plan this on a day when you have some time to spare.
Our consignment rates are determined by a sliding scale based on the value of your equipment. This commission is based on individual items and not the cumulative value of the entire consignment. We need to see and test the equipment before we can give you an exact value on it and determine the consignment percentage you will receive.
We never know for sure how long an item on consignment will take to sell. Some items move quickly and are gone in a matter of days or weeks, while other items will be slower and can take months or even years. As long as you are willing to continue to leave your equipment on consignment with us, we will continue to try and sell it for you. We try to avoid bringing in items that will not sell as that does neither of us any good. Likewise we also try to price equipment at rates that will give it a fair chance to move in a reasonable time frame. Sometimes the market shifts and we will need to adjust the prices of items you have on consignment with us in order for them to remain viable, but in those cases we will call you and discuss the changes with you.
At the other end of the time frame we do have certain minimum requirements that items must meet before we can remove them from consignment in the event you decide you want them back. As secondhand dealers in the city of Portland we submit all item information to the Portland Police Bureau. This requires that we hold all equipment for 15 days before it goes out for sale. During this time we cannot give any submitted items back to you in the event you change your mind about consignment. Additionally we strongly encourage that you leave gear with us for at least three months before removing any unsold items from consignment. We put a lot of time and effort into evaluating and preparing cameras for sale and it can cost us a lot of time when consignors leave gear, then pick it back up a month later, then bring it back, then pick it back up. We’re a very busy small business and time is an important resource to us, so you can do us a big favor by not bringing us items that you are not completely certain you want to sell and will be picking back up in a few weeks. We thank you in advance for being mindful of this.
Yup, it really is that easy. We issue consignment checks on a monthly schedule. At the start of each month we look at any sales of your consignment in the previous calendar month and issue the appropriate check. For example, at the beginning of June we look at any items we sold for you in the month of May, tally up the commissions for those items and then drop a check in the mail to you. Easy. The check will also come with an updated copy of your consignment inventory form that will list the items you are being paid for and show you which items are left in our inventory which are yet to sell. Should you move, it is therefore important to update our records with a current mailing address. Should you prefer receiving payments in an alternative way (such as PayPal) we can have a conversation about that at the time you deliver your consignment to us.
Such equipment is going to fall into one of two categories: it will either be worth repairing or it won’t. In the case of the latter, we’ll let you know what the issue is and give the equipment back to you. In the event that the value of a camera or lens is sufficient to cover the cost of any necessary repair work, then we cover the repair costs initially and then deduct those bills from the first available commission checks that your consignment generates. So, if you have a camera that needs new pads and seals to be sellable, and that service is going to cost $52, we take care of that bill up front so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket to make a camera consignable with us. But as soon as your consignment generates sales of any items we deduct outstanding repair invoices from your earned commission. This also means that if you consign a camera with us that requires repair work and then you later decide to remove that camera from consignment - if that repair bill has not been covered by the sale of other gear, the cost of that work will be due at the time you pick the equipment up.
Right now! As we said above, give us a call or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We now have a super stellar website that features our entire inventory online, so equipment you consign with us has more exposure than ever! Additionally, if you bring us something really interesting or nice for consignment we may even feature it on our Instagram feed.
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