Admiralty law History Ordinamenta et consuetudo maris
Features Freight rate · General average
Marine insurance · Marine salvage
Maritime lien · Ship mortgage
Ship registration · Ship transport
Contracts of affreightment Bill of lading · Charter-party Types of charter-party Bareboat charter · Demise charter
Time charter · Voyage charter
Parties Carrier · Charterer · Consignee
Consignor · Shipbroker · Ship-manager
Ship-owner · Shipper · Stevedore
Judiciary Admiralty court
Vice admiralty court
International conventions Hague-Visby Rules
Maritime Labour Convention
International organisations International Maritime Organization
London Maritime Arbitrators Association
Consignment the act of consigning, which is placing any material in the hand of another, but retaining ownership until the goods are sold or person is transferred. This may be done for shipping, transfer of prisoners, to auction, or for sale in a store (i.e. a consignment shop).
Features of consignment are:
- The relation between the two parties is that of consignor and consignee and not that of buyer and seller
- The consignor is entitled to receive all the expenses in connection with consignment
- The consignee is not responsible for damage of goods during transport or any other procedure.
- Goods are sold at the risk of consignor. The profit or loss belongs to consignor only.
The word consignment comes from Fr. consigner "to hand over or transmit", originally from Lat. consignare "to affix a seal," as was done with official documents just before being sent.
"Consignment shop" is an American English term for second-hand stores that offer used goods, typically at a lower cost than new. In the context of sale, it is usually understood that the consignee (the seller) pays the consignor (the person who owns the item) a portion of the proceeds from the sale. Payment is not made until and unless the item sells. The consignor retains title to the item and can end the arrangement at any time by requesting its return. A specified time is commonly arranged after which, if the item does not sell, the owner can reclaim it (or, if not reclaimed within a period, the seller can dispose of the item at his or her discretion).
Merchandise often sold through consignment shops includes antiques, athletic equipment, automobiles, books, clothing (especially children's, maternity, and wedding clothing which are often not worn out), furniture, firearms, music, musical instruments, tools, and toys. eBay drop-off stores often use the consignment model of selling. Art galleries, as well, often operate as consignees of the artist.
The consignment process can be further facilitated by the use of VMI (vendor managed inventory) and CMI (customer managed inventory) applications. VMI is a business model that allows the vendor in a vendor/customer relationship to plan and control inventory for the customer, while CMI allows the customer in the relationship to have control of inventory.
Consignment shops differ from charity or thrift shops, in which the original owners surrender physical possession and legal title to the item as a charitable donation, and the seller retains all proceeds from the sale. They also differ from pawn shops, in which the original owner can surrender physical possession and legal title for an immediate payment, or surrender physical possession of the item in exchange for a loan, and can only reclaim the item upon repayment of the loan with interest or else surrender legal title to the item. In the UK, the term "consignment" is not used, and consignment shops selling women's clothing are called "dress agencies". Although the other types of consignment shop exist, there is no general term for them.
A consignor brings their second-hand items in to be reviewed. After being reviewed, a "yes" pile will be made. These are the items that are acceptable for selling in the store. These items are generally in perfect condition and lightly used without any stains/damages/defects. The items will be priced at a fraction of their retail price (usually 1/3 to 1/4 of their original cost). When a consignor's item(s) sell, they make a percentage of the sold price so that the store and the consignor make a profit. Policies differ amongst stores, but the concept remains the same.
There are laws against consigning fake designer pieces.
Consignment differs from "selling outright", where a seller brings items in and receives immediate payment on review.
- Nissanoff, Daniel (2006). FutureShop: How the New Auction Culture Will Revolutionize the Way We Buy, Sell and Get the Things We Really Want. The Penguin Press. ISBN 1-59420-077-7. (Hardcover, 246 pages)
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