Just Between Friends’ Franchise Stands Out with Commitment to Safety
JBF is the only consignment sale event franchise to employ a full-time safety and recall specialist
Peace of mind is priceless, especially when it comes to children’s safety, but it’s one of the incredible benefits Just Between Friends (JBF) offers our franchisees, consignors and shoppers. JBF is the only consignment sale event franchise that employs a full-time corporate staff member who is solely focused on product safety and recalls. This differentiating feature is often the deciding factor that compels a new franchisee to sign with us.
“We offer something other children’s consignment sale franchise systems don’t, and it’s what our customers value most — child safety,” says Shannon Wilburn, CEO, and founder of JBF. “Every year, hundreds of children’s items are recalled due to being unsafe. Just Between Friends is the only brand that employs a Director of Product Communications and Safety & Recall Specialist, Kami Snowbarger, who is renowned worldwide as an expert in the secondhand safety realm.”
Kami is a featured speaker on the international stage, as she is the only product safety specialist for the secondhand market in the world. She began her career with JBF like so many of JBF’s franchise owners: consigning, volunteering and shopping at a local sale. Her background working in daycares and similar child-centered settings helped her become familiar with recalled children’s products. In 2004, while working at the JBF sale in Tulsa, she noticed a recalled toddler bed for sale, which she brought to Shannon’s (who was the co-owner of that sale at the time) attention right away. Kami offered to look into what other recalled products might have been sitting on the sales floor.
“So, Shannon told me, ‘That’s great, why don’t you take care of that for all of us?’ So that’s how I got started out. Eventually, I became a team member and then a contractor with the corporate office. Finally, Shannon said, ‘You just need to be part of our corporate staff.’ So, I have her to thank for my career in product safety,” Kami says.
JBF is the child safety leader for the consignment market
New franchisees train with Kami about product safety standards and recall checks and receive a safety manual and checklists to have at their sales. She also encourages each franchise owner to have a designated team member or volunteer to serve as a recall and product safety specialist at each event. We are careful about checking all items to make sure they conform to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission’s (CPSC) safety standards.
“For example, you could have a crib that was manufactured before 2011 and it may not have ever been recalled, but the CPSC changed the safety standard for cribs in 2011,” says Kami. “So if it was manufactured before that date, it doesn’t meet their safety standards. We also check to make sure items have no missing parts, high chairs have straps and strollers have working brakes. We check things like that.”
Each franchise owner and recall specialist is also a member of a closed Facebook group where Kami shares safety information and recall announcements. Kami is always available by phone call, text message or FaceTime. She encourages franchisees and recall specialists to reach out with questions anytime. “I’m here for our franchise owners whenever they need me. They know that they can contact me, and I’ll help them,” she says.
JBF’s safety specialist helps keep our franchise owners legal and safe
In 2008, President Bush passed the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act, which made it illegal to sell recalled products. Even so, many consignment sale events and similar secondhand stores put the burden on the consignor, buyer and/or the franchise owner. Kami says, “The CPSC sends inspectors to inspect thrift stores and places like that, and they have come to our events, as well. If you’re caught selling recalled products, there are huge fines.”
“Our customers are moms, dads, grandparents, and guardians; we want them to be able to shop at our events with the confidence that what they’re purchasing is safe for their little ones,” she says. “That’s how you get repeat customers — if you have their trust. So we want our consignors and shoppers to trust us and know that we have their family’s safety in mind.”
This focus on safety sets JBF apart from the competition. “We’re the only consignment sales event that has a safety recall person on staff the whole time,” explains Kami. “Most of our competitors say, ‘Consignors, you’ve got to check your items before you come to our sale.’ And then that’s it. They don’t check anything at their event. They don’t check safety standards; they don’t check for recalls. They just say it’s the consignor’s responsibility, and it’s the shopper’s responsibility. Well, how many shoppers keep up with all of that stuff? There are thousands of recalls, and that’s a lot for someone to keep up with.”
Now is the ideal time to join Just Between Friends
There’s never been a better time to join JBF as a franchisee. We have launched an exciting growth and expansion plan this year, with a goal of adding 15 new franchises and growing to $31 million in overall gross sales.