I’m going to let you in on all my consignment store shopping tips.
Consignment stores are probably where I find most of my secondhand clothing. They are basically an upscale version of a thrift store and often carry current fashion trends.
The merchandise selection has been curated for you in consignment shops. You are less likely to find shabby pieces with holes or damage as the store owner checks for these problems before accepting the items to resell in the store.
Be aware that you pay for convenience, they are more expensive than thrift stores on average but take less time to browse and generally have a better, more organized selection.
What are consignment stores?
Consignment stores sell other people’s items and then provide a percentage of the profit back to the seller. This is usually 30-50% depending on the store and the item.
Where do I find consignment stores?
Online or by word of mouth. I will often ask when I’m in a consignment store if they know of any other ones in the area.
How much should I expect to pay at consignment stores?
In general expect to pay half of retail, less if they are having a sale.
Are all consignment stores created equal?
No. The store owner decides what they will accept to sell and some are more discerning than others. Also the mark-up can vary dramatically between stores. Some stores only sell very high end designer merchandise whereas other stores will sell mid to lower price ranges. You need to visit the stores to see which one best suits your budget and taste.
Can I make money selling my clothing in a consignment store?
Yes. Just remember the percentage you will get from the sale will be dramatically less than if you’d sold the item yourself. Also some stores offer a better percentage if you turn around and spend whatever money you earn in their store on other merchandise.
What should I look for when trying to find a good consignment store?
Most store owners take pride in their stores but I’ve been in some that don’t. Those generally are stores that accept questionable merchandise for resale, are dirty and disorganized. They can also smell. I visit these stores once and never return.
Look for well merchandised stores with a quick inventory rotation. Each time you go into the store it should almost feel like a new store. Quick inventory rotation means they have good merchandise priced appropriately.
Friendly staff. This is true anywhere but especially true in consignment stores. If you are looking for something special they can keep an eye open and then put it aside until you are able to make it in.
Good staff are also skilled at knowing their current inventory and can save you time by pulling things in the store that are suitable for you.
Over enthusiastic sales staff using pressure sales tactics drive me out of a store. I appreciate the staff when they are available when I need them and honest and when I ask their opinion. They won’t hesitate to tell me I could do better.
Things to be aware of at consignment stores.
There is a strict no return policy in effect.
Some stores don’t accept credit cards. Be sure to ask prior to browsing the store.
Some stores don’t know the value of their merchandise. This is rare to find, but can sometimes hold true, in which case you get the best deals on high end products for very little money.
Be sure to check over your merchandise carefully before you purchase. If you find any flaws you can often ask for an additional discount.
Most consignment stores demand that the merchandise is cleaned or dry cleaned prior to selling. Some however don’t pay attention to this rule. Smell the clothes before you buy them. You may end up having to dry clean the item after purchasing. Make sure you mention this at the time of purchase. You may be able to get a discount.
Here are some of the quality pieces I’ve purchased the last 18 months from consignment stores.
Danier leather jacket
Boho style dress.
Anyi Lu shoes.
ABS Collection Allen Schwartz dress
Boots and Nordstrom blouse.
100% silk wrap skirt.
Leather belt made in Italy.
Maeve Anthropologie dress
If you follow my consignment store shopping tips you are sure to find some treasures at a local store near you.
Do you consignment store shop? If so, do you have any tips you’d like to pass along?
Next up in this series…how to shop vintage.
Linking up with: My Girlish Whims