Everyone, at one time, has bought clothing, handbags, or shoes that were “must-haves.” Then, as trends changed, we went with another brand, another style, or another color. The older one gets shoved to the back of the closet just taking up space. Well, consignment stores to the rescue.
Most consignment stores will assess items when they are brought in and assign a selling price in their store of about one-third the original retail value. Then, when it sells, you receive anywhere from 35 percent to 50 percent of that sales price. The amount will either be in cash or in store credit depending on store policy.
It sometimes takes patience and persistence, but advance research is well worth the effort. Every store has its own focus and personality. By knowing the rules ahead of time, more profit is made with less work. Consider the following suggestions.
Before leaving home for the consignment store, carefully check the items. It is a fact that certain items are snapped up faster than others. Larger sizes generally move quickly, as well as trendy or stylish items.
To get the best prices, however, be sure to check the condition of the clothing. Consignment stores generally do not accept items that are torn, dirty, or heavily worn. Minor improvements can have a big impact on the amount assigned value. Wash or dry clean the item, iron or steam out wrinkles, and replace any missing buttons. Check the hems and other seams for damage.
Heavy coats will not sell in late spring when people are looking for summer clothes. Swimsuits will not sell as well in late fall. Quick turnarounds equal higher returns for both the store and the clothing owner.
Consignment stores have policies for how long they will keep an item before donating it to charity. If it goes to charity, you receive nothing. A little research ahead of time will prevent a zero-dollar return.
Check to see if appointments are required or simply drop off anytime. Do you receive cash or store credit? Do they want clothes on hangers or just folded? Know ahead of time what their expectations are to avoid surprises at the store.
Either browse the store ahead of time or ask questions as the store employee sorts through your items to be sure that the appropriate articles are brought in for consignment. Not all stores accept all types of clothing. It is a waste of your time if you have children’s clothing and the store does not accept them.
Avoid Designer Knockoffs
Don’t waste your time and theirs by bringing designer knockoffs. Employees are trained, experienced, and know what to look for. It is illegal and the stores will not accept them.
Shopping at the Store
When visiting a consignment store to buy something, be sure to try it on before leaving. The item may be marked one size but has been altered to another size. Buying quality clothes at a consignment store becomes easier with practice. Careful inspection ensures that you are buying something you will actually wear.
New merchandise is being added to the floor every day. Shop often and learn to spot bargains. The only way to do that is to practice. When you find something that really catches your eye, buy it that day. If you delay for a while, it will probably be gone. There are no duplicates of items like in department stores.