Shop Talk at Trading Places

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Michelle Renda, 41

Owner, Trading Places

4018 Powell Rd., Powell


Q: Would you tell us what your store is all about?

A: In general, we're consignment furniture and home decor. We really help make a match with a buyer and seller with gently used-actually, almost new-furniture and home decor.

Q: Your pieces in here are very nice-some with the tags still attached. Can you give folks an idea of the brands you carry?

A: Ethan Allen, Hooker, Arhaus, Thomasville, Broyhill, Drexel Heritage. Then we also get a lot of Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Pier 1. We kind of get all price ranges.

Q: What are your prices, generally?

A: We have things as low as $5.99 all the way up to $5,000. Our average home decor price is probably $29.99. Average furniture price is probably in the $199 range.

Q: You opened last fall and have been very successful. Why do you think the store has done so well?

A: I think people are very receptive to the idea of buying previously owned (goods) because you can get fabulous quality for a fraction of the cost you'd pay retail. On the selling side, people are very busy. When they're trying to move or downsize, we can help them showcase something and get them a higher amount of money than in a garage sale or (selling online).

Q: What pieces have done best?

A: A lot of transitional pieces, like bedroom sets for kids. Desks. Desks are a very, very highly demanded item. One thing I think this has been good for is people opening businesses. In small business start-up, every penny counts.

Q: How can people consign items they're interested in selling?

A: We have an online process where folks can go to our Web site, click a tab, describe what item they'd like to consign, and attach a photo. And home decor they can bring here and we look at here.

Q: Do sellers receive half of what the item sells for?

A: They do. Fifty percent.

Q: Have you taken anything home you've gotten in and just loved too much to sell?

A: I've been so busy, by the time I actually get to think about it, it's gone! (Laughing.) I did buy my kids a Pottery Barn farmhouse table with chairs for their new playroom. My husband reminds me we're in business to make money. But it wouldn't be fun if it all went to my house. It's more fun watching it go to other people's houses. I always ask for pictures, whenever there's something I really love. I want to see how they use it.