Proceed cautiously with any consignment store - CBS 5 - KPHO

CBS 5 Advocate

Proceed cautiously with any consignment store

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UPDATE AS OF 12/31/13:
CBS 5 News has received several similar complaints about Camelback Consign & Design and Mike Burns throughout the remainder of 2013.  Consumers have complained about delayed or incomplete payments for items sold by Camelback Consign & Design and receiving checks from Burns with insufficient funds.

A Scottsdale woman says she trusted a Phoenix consignment shop with her deceased husband's collectibles and is struggling to get paid after the items are sold.

Consigning items is a good way to sell your old stuff without a lot of hassle. But you should never consign too much up front. It's best to only do a little at a time and see if the business consistently delivers on its promises.

"How could he do this to the widow of his friend?" asked Ellen Conviser.

Conviser's husband was a big time collector. She says in 2010, the couple began selling his stuff through Camelback Consign & Design. The contract called for a 50/50 split on items sold. The relationship worked well for a while, but when Conviser's husband passed away in 2012, and she consigned several more items, she says the store started notifying her that items had sold but she wasn't getting any checks.

"So, I called them back 'Oh, the check is in the mail', and all I got was excuses, excuses, excuses, and I didn't get the check," Conviser said.

Conviser says her husband and the owner of Camelback Consign & Design had become friends over the years. She says when she brought the delay to the owner's attention, he blamed one of his employees.

"He had heard this before, about the girl, that she had not mailed the checks out, and he wanted me to call him directly from now on," Conviser said.

She did as instructed but Conviser says the owner just stopped returning her phone calls. She now realizes she made a big mistake. She shouldn't have consigned so much at one time.

"Just a few items and see how that goes, and then, if I'm successful with that I would maybe bring them some more," Conviser said.

Conviser says she's owed hundreds of dollars and the owner of Camelback Consign & Design keeps avoiding her.

"I need the money to help me pay my bills, I didn't give him these items as a gift, for him to sell and keep all the money," Conviser said.

The owner of Camelback Consign & Design, Mike Burns, told CBS 5 News that he had run into some financial difficulties, but after CBS 5 News contacted him, he drove personally to Conviser's home, apologized for the delay, and gave her a check for every penny she was owed. CBS 5 News thanks Camelback Consign & Design for fulfilling its obligations to Conviser and helping resolve this issue in a professional manner.

With any consignment deal, do just a couple items at a time, even if you've had prior success with the business. Circumstances for businesses can change, so you don't want too much of your stuff at risk at one time.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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