Of course, the number one way to support local resale shops and locally owned businesses in general, is to patronize them. Think local first, and prioritize spending money at locally-owned businesses. When you shop at local consignment and resale shops, as well as restaurants, boutiques, bookshops or any type of small business, your dollars help pay employees’ wages, local landlords, and in the case of consignment shops, put money back into the pockets of our consignors! Our consignors then turn around and spend that money at other local businesses, which boosts our local economy. And money spent at local businesses like Here We Go Again is far more likely to stay in our community to be respent.
So, thank you to all of you who shop with us, and bring fabulous women’s consignment clothing for us to sell. We couldn’t do this without you! But the truth is, in order to stay vibrant and fresh, we constantly need to attract new shoppers and consignors. That sounds easy but it’s not! Advertising is expensive and can be pretty ineffective in our information age. We’re all bombarded with messages 24/7 and it can be exhausting. And even if our small local consignment shop had a monster budget to spend on advertising (we don’t) there’s a matter of figuring out where our message will reach the right resale shopping devotées. There are a million places to put boosted posts, banner ads, print ads, billboards, flyers, etc. What’s a small business owner to do? We’ve made a lot of mistakes over the decades that we’ve been in business, and wasted a lot of money trying to find the right megaphone. So, we're trying to get smarter and be more selective about how we market ourselves.
After 30 years, you’d think that most Portland resale shoppers would know about us, right? At this point, I believe that Here We Go Again is the longest-running, single owner Portland consignment shop. Thirty years is a long time. We keep thinking that everyone should know about us, but every day someone new wanders in and makes us wonder where they’ve been all these years. How are they just now learning about us? What we’ve learned- and it’s no secret- is that word of mouth is always the best way for potential new shoppers and consignors to find us. It absolutely thrills us when a new shopper or consignor (or both!) tells us a friend referred her.
See? There’s one very simple and easy way to help small businesses out, just tell a friend (or five). Even better, recruit them as a shopping partner! Consignment and resale shopping is always more fun with a friend. Helpful hint: maybe make sure they wear a different size than you!
Another super helpful way to help your favorite local consignment shop (HWGA!) is to post an online review on Google or Facebook. While there are other online sites to enter your reviews, Google is the most helpful to us in boosting our online visibility. We want to attract the people who love designer resale or have those amazing designer handbags in their closets and coming up higher in search functions is paramount to fulfilling that goal. Google is the gorilla in the online universe, and they love their own content, so it tends to be weighted heavier than reviews or ratings on other sites. Since you have a choice, help your favorite local businesses out by posting your review where it helps them the most. To make it easy for you, we’ve made this QR code clickable! It will take you directly to where you need to be to leave a review for Here We Go Again.
There’s no need to write a novel (although feel free!) just two or three sentences about why you like us. Of course we can take criticism, but we’d rather try to resolve any issues before you take it public. If you have comments about a problem you experienced, or a way that you’d like to see us improve our services, you can email Chris directly. I answer all emails promptly and truly value both positive and negative input. After all, who doesn’t want to see their business improve?
There, see? There’s another way to improve your favorite local resale shopping destination. Give us your feedback. We’ve gotten both barrels before, and while it’s maybe not our favorite thing, if there's something we can improve on, we’re all ears! Perhaps you know a product that you’d like to see us carry in the shop, or a different way we can merchandise the racks to make it easier for you to shop. Bring on the suggestions! We promise to listen and consider your requests.
Which leads me to the last suggestion we have for helping our women’s designer consignment shop continue to survive and thrive - right now nominations are underway for the Best Of Portland. We’d be in your debt if you could take a minute and nominate us.
I’ll be honest, in the past I didn’t really understand how the process works, but I learned more this year and want to make a play for it. During the nomination process, the more people that nominate a business within a certain category, the better our chances of making it to the final round when voting actually occurs. Being from the Midwest, we don’t like to brag or toot our own horns much, so I’ve never nominated us directly. That seems so immodest! So I waited, thinking someone would nominate us, and maybe they did. However, I didn’t realize that we needed BUNCHES of people to nominate us! So, this year, our 30th year, we’re going for the brass ring. I am going to be shameless, SHAMELESS- in asking people to nominate us. Time is short, nominations close on April 20th.
After that, the process is opaque, I don’t honestly know who decides who makes the cut for the final ballot, or how they decide. All I know is that I want Here We Go Again to be on that ballot. And be forewarned, if we’re successful in our efforts to get enough nominations to win that golden ticket, I will be even MORE SHAMELESS in asking for you to vote for us to win.
My Midwestern upbringing is going to have to be suppressed, because I do believe we are the best women’s clothing resale shop for so many reasons. First and foremost, is our amazing, friendly and truly caring staff. We take care of them, and try to express gratitude often because they are an incredible group. They work hard to keep the shop looking immaculate, fashionable, colorful and fun. Amanda-Jean takes the most beautiful product photos for our website, and makes everyone laugh with her jokes and nerdiness. Sierra keeps us on track and organized and is a primo display diva; and Anna is our intake wiz kid. Everyone who works at Here We Go Again cares about presenting us in the best possible light and making sure all our resale shoppers feel welcomed, warm and supported; and our racks full of a beautifully curated collection of both everyday and designer clothing. We know our regulars and express our appreciation. And then there are our astonishing consignors, who day in and day out bring us beautiful women’s consignment clothing, designer handbags, luxury brand shoes and boots, and fantastic consignment jewelry! For 30 years, we’ve cultivated quite a following of consignors. Some of them have consigned with us since the very beginning!
In addition to having a fantastic selection of women’s resale clothing, Here We Go Again also strongly believes in supporting our community through donations of clothing, benefit fundraisers, our annual Sock-Tober sock drive, food drives, and our famouscharity benefit-the $3 Sale. Over the years, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for small local not-for-profit organizations. We love selecting small organizations on the ground in Portland. By selecting small programs, our contributions create an outsize impact on their smaller budgets. We’ve also held recycling drives for hard to recycle items like batteries, Styrofoam and textiles. This Earth Day, we’ll be donating 10% of our daily sales to Depave, a local not-for-profit that restores overpaved space to permeable surfaces, thereby decreasing runoff and improving the health of our waterways.
The pandemic put the chill on our $3 Sale, but the current plan is to bring it back this summer, public health permitting. Stay tuned and sign for our weekly emails if you haven’t already!
So here’s my shameless plug – if you’re reading this before April 20th, please nominate us! The graphic above is a direct link, but here’s another just in case: bop.wweek.com.
We already are the best resale shop in Portland, but we want more people to know about us, and getting on the ballot will raise our profile, and winning would put me over the moon. Help the rest of Portland learn about us, and improve our visibility.
From the bottom of our hearts--THANK YOU!