A Business Closes, Opening Questions for Consignors

One customer had trouble getting back purses she had consigned

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Target 5's Lisa Parker investigates what happens when a consignment shop closes unexpectedly and the consingors are left holding nothing but a receipt. (Published Thursday, Jul 12, 2012)

    When the economy is bad, business booms for consignment shops across the country. Another term for “re-sale shop,” a consignment store sells used goods for owners, typically at a lower cost than new. 

    This spring, the doors of a high-end consignment shop in Naperville were closed with no apparent warning to customers whose merchandise was for sale inside. The owner of Ritzy Rack says his business closed due to a conflict with his landlord, but customer Diana Serbick questions that. 

    Starting in April, Serbick says, the store was closed with little information given to consignors—and since then, it has been a struggle to get back the expensive purses she left on consignment.   

    After NBC inquired about the merchandise still inside the now-shuttered business, Serbick did get back most of her items. Ryan Wrobel, the owner of Ritzy Rack says he is a victim, too- of a landlord who unfairly locked him out of the store. Wrobel says he is suing the landlord, who would not comment for this report. 

    The consignment industry is a booming one—since the recession hit, growing at an estimated 7% every year. So what are the protections for consumers who consign? The Association of Resale Professionals says business failures in their industry are rare, but offers this advice for consigners

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