When you clicked to open this page perhaps you thought you might see another webpage listing all the possible fees that store owners have come up with to hack away at your consignor share of the sale proceeds. In our efforts to bring more honesty and integrity to the consignment 'industry', there's a greater purpose to be served by this web page on the subject of 'consignment fees'.
It might seem cut and dried to simply expect that store owners will list any and all possible fees on the Consignment Agreement and all you have to do is get their signature verifying that full disclosure of fees has been made, but it may not be all so simple.
In this get-ahead world, you'll find the same mix of scruples in consignment as you would in any walk of life, and yes, there are those who think that consignors can't add 2 and 2 and know when they've been fleeced. If your share of the proceeds is 50% and an item sold for $10, your cut is $5, right? So you get a settlement for $4.50. What's up?
A 'buyer fee' is an amount deducted (one way or another) from sale proceeds prior to applying the consignor split. It's sole purpose is to give more money to the store and less to you. If that's ok with you, then the 'buyer fee' should be disclosed and known up front, but some store owners are encouraged by one software provider, 'Con-pro', to essentially steal from their customers and like any thief, lie about it.
Here's what the software genius has to say on his page entitled "It Pays":
"When you turn on buyers fees in my software, the software automatically adds either a flat dollar amount (ex. 50 cents) or an amount based on the price of the item (ex. 5%) to the ticketed price. This fee is paid by the "buyer" but not passed on to the consignor. None of our consignor reports reflect this "surcharge" so the appearance (to the consignor) is that they are receiving the correct split percentage. My cusomter have used this feature to literally make thousands of extra dollars a year." Brian Wilson, 3/10/08,
For clarification, let's restate "It Pays" more accurately:
You can use our software to cheat your customers. Our software makes it possible for you to sell an item at a price higher than you are disclosing to the consignor and it hides the fact that you are stealing from your customer and lying about, and we'll help you do it! You can make thousands of dollars with just a little larceny, but who cares if you're out of business by this time next year because you earn a reputation around town for being a scamster. I'll have your money for my software ($1,000 plus) and I could care less about your reputation.
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