When my teen mucked out her closet recently, she sorted out her designer duds to sell (or swap) at a local consignment shop. Consignment shops are second hand stores that try to sell your gently worn clothes for a percentage of the final price.
In the past, my teen hadn't had much luck in finding stores that would take her used clothes. Most turned her down flat. A few would buy one or two pieces. I wasn't holding out much hope that she would be able to consign any of this latest batch of clothes she was planning on bringing to her favorite store. Was I wrong!
Being a regular consignment customer is the big secret to increasing the odds of having your gently used clothes accepted by a consignment shop. If the store owner recognizes you as a regular paying customer, she'll be much more inclined to take your clothes for consignment than if you were a stranger walking in off the street. Here are several more tips that can help increase the odds of selling clothes on consignment.
Similar to existing merchandise. A store that caters to career fashions won't buy your trendy teen clothes, nor will a store that sells kids clothes be interested in formal wear. The consignment store that my daughter shops at regularly carries trendy clothes for teens and 20-somethings, which is exactly the type of clothes my teen had to sell.
Designer labels. You can also forget trying to sell discount store fashions or the clothes you found at Target a few years back. What consignment stores want are quality name brand and designer labels from well-known department stores or vintage fashions from the 60 and 70s. My daughter sorted through her pile of clothes to pull out the labels she knew were in demand and only brought those to be viewed.
Clean, neat, intact, and in season. Missing buttons, broken zippers, and soiled clothes won't be accepted by any store. Neither will stores consign clothes that are totally out of season. From observing the store clerks at our favorite consignment shop, we've noticed that customers who include some dirty, damaged, or outdated clothes in the pile usually end up consigning nothing at all.
Call ahead. Most consignment stores only buy clothes on specific days or certain times in the month. Calling ahead saves you time and the hassle of showing up with an armload of clothes only to be turned away.
The reality of consigning clothes is that unless you purchased expensive designer duds to start with, you really aren't going to make a lot of money selling these items in a consignment shop. Most clothes sell for about 1/8 of their original price with the store keeping 50 percent of the take. For example, an Anthropologie sweater that cost $160 originally will probably net you around $12.
Is consigning clothes worth it? It all depends on how valuable your time is. While my daughter certainly won't get rich selling this latest batch of clothes, it did clear out space in her closet, while putting a little bit of spending money in her pocket. And that's OK with her.
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