What Is a Just Between Friends Consignment Franchise?
Consignment sales event franchise offers low investment and a potentially high return
Just Between Friends Consignment is the leading pop-up consignment sales event franchise in North America. We got started in a Tulsa living room in 1997, and our brand has grown to more than 150 franchises who host hundreds of Just Between Friends events every year — in 30 states in the U.S. and in one city in Canada. By helping parents buy and sell their children’s outgrown clothing and items, we have become a nationally recognized brand that is continuing to grow like wildfire across the country. Our franchise model is unique in that while there is a low investment to join, our franchisees can choose between making a significant and supplemental, part-time income or owning a Just Between Friends franchise as a full-time career.
If you’ve never heard of pop-up consignment sales, you may be surprised to learn that these temporary, two- or three-day events have become extremely popular and fashionable mainstream businesses. In this age of thrift, discount and bargain shopping are no longer stigmatized, but embraced. As a result of the Great Recession and online shopping, consumers are more savvy than ever, and they expect their dollar to go further. Just Between Friends has mastered the ultimate treasure hunt for bargain-hunting parents — a sales event that allows them a chance to buy an entire wardrobe for their children at a fraction of the price they would pay for new items.
Low investment, high potential return
It is relatively easy to become a Just Between Friends consignment franchise owner. The initial investment is affordable, and our franchise business model requires a minimum of two sales per year. While some of our franchisees are stay-at-home parents who want to make additional money for their families, others own multiple territories and are running the business as a full-time career. The beauty of our model is it suits the lifestyles of our owners, and they have a choice about how big they want their businesses to grow. According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, the resale industry rakes in approximately $17 billion a year, thanks to today’s culture where thriftiness is no longer stigmatized but lauded. In this cultural climate, children’s consignment sales have almost unlimited potential, where children’s wear is now a$31.6 billion industry in the United States (“Childrenswear in the US” report by euromonitor.com). Value-conscious families are looking for great quality and awesome deals for toys, equipment and clothing for their children.
The ongoing costs are also low. The events are run by our franchisees and staffed primarily by team members, many of whom are consignors who are earning more money on their item sales by working events. This means that the main investment the franchisees have to make is renting a venue large enough to serve their sale population.
“I wanted to find a way where God could use me,” says Bridget Jones, owner of Just Between Friends franchises in Georgetown and Round Rock, Texas. “My husband and I always looked for something, and JBF was a perfect fit for us. Yes, it’s a business, and we are trying to make money for our family—but it’s not about us; it’s about the community, it’s about the people and the kids that come in and the consignors’ checks. I get to put those checks in the mail and bless so many families, and that’s what it is about for us.”
Just Between Friends consignment franchise caters to an untapped market
Americans spend 3.8% of their household income on clothing, according to a study conducted by North Dakota University. This study determines that the number varies drastically across income levels, and those who earn more, spend more. However, Money, an online resource dedicated to analyzing American spending trends, found Americans with an average annual income of $50,000 spend about $2,000 on clothing per year. A study conducted by Parenting and Women and Co. pointed out that 90% of parents spend more on their children’s clothing than their own, especially leading into the school year, which is when many JBF sales events take place.
Like the clothes and toys and equipment we resell, the Just Between Friends’ target demographic is constantly being renewed. According to Babycenter, a publication that studies American parenting trends, there are 4 million babies born each year in the United States. All those new parents will have to find resourceful and affordable ways to clothe their children as they grow rapidly. Enter Just Between Friends: We serve families with children ages 0-12. At one of our events, a parent can get an entire wardrobe for his/her children at a fraction of the price those clothes would cost new. In addition to clothing, we also help families save money on maternity and baby gear, children’s games and toys, and much, much more.
Since Just Between Friends is appealing to a younger demographic, it makes sense that we are meeting young parents where they are—online! We provide all our franchisees an opportunity for a second revenue stream with Just Between Friends On Demand, an online sales event allowing shoppers and consignors to buy and sell their items right away.
“We do not take for granted the good that comes from each sales event or the trust our families place in our commitment to hold safe, family-supportive events, season after season,” Shannon Wilburn says. “We believe in being good stewards of our resources—taking care of each other and reaching out a hand to those who need it, as we all do at one time or another.”
We are the only brand in our industry with a product safety and recall specialist
In a need-based market with a built-in demographic of millions, there is bound to be significant competition. However, we offer something other children’s consignment sales franchise systems don’t, and it’s what our customers value most—child safety.
Every year hundreds of children’s items are recalled due to being unsafe. While our competition passes the full responsibility of keeping their customers’ children safe on to their franchise owners, Just Between Friends is the only brand that employs a full-time product safety and recall specialist.
Kami Snowbarger, Director of Product Communications and Safety & Recall Specialist with Just Between Friends, is well known in the safety industry and has a great working relationship with the National Consumer Product Safety Commission and other national safety organizations. She is regarded as an expert in the secondhand safety realm and is featured locally and nationally for that expertise.
“A good example as to why product safety is important would be if a woman is expecting a baby, she is going to try and get everything she needs,” Kami says. “If this woman needs a car seat, she may go to a consignment sale, or she may check on Craigslist to save money. She will not know that the items are safe. We appeal to our customers because they know when they attend a Just Between Friends sales event, everything on sale is safe for them to buy for their children.”
Kami is especially active in training franchisees and their team members about children’s recalls and safety practices and is available to franchisees during their events to answer questions. She is a valuable asset to our franchise system, not only because no other brand can offer our expertise, but because without a product and recall specialist on staff to monitor what items are being sold, no other brand in the secondhand pop-up consignment marketplace can claim that the items being sold are safe to purchase. Our franchise owners and our growing base of customers around the nation know that when they enter in one of our sales events, they are buying and selling items that are safe for them to take home.