Okay, I get the fake Christmas trees… but not the fake presents.

Is it a FUN fake, like this vintage aluminum Christmas tree... or is it felonious?Fake scan be fun, like those 1960′s aluminum Christmas trees… or they can be felonious.

It’s great fun to buy Christmas presents for those you love and it’s exciting to find bargains on luxury items friends and family might covet.

In your holiday shopping, you might be tempted to buy from sources that you aren’t 100% comfortable with, honesty-wise. Be careful out there… you could be buying a fake. Here’s how to tell… and why you shouldn’t.

The alternative to buying a counterfeit designer item? Buying a gently-used REAL designer item. At a reputable consignment, resale or thrift shop, of course!

Photo credit: By Michelleration (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

Is your shopping ZIP being ZAPPED?

Did you used to love shopping? You couldn’t wait to get out there? But now, you’re feeling like your shopping ZIP has been ZAPPED by

A cshopping center just like every other shopping center. But YOU aren't like all the others.Pricing that is absurd: suspect they’re overpricing just so they can fool you into thinking you’re getting a bargain when they “mark it down”?

Boring selection: offended by the chains’ assumption that you actually want to look just like everyone else?

Not even being able to find someone to take your money? I mean, here you are, cash in hand, and there’s no salesperson to ring you up… or if there is, it’s like you’re interrupting them with your silly need for service.

No JOY in shopping the chain stores? The department stores, the discounters, the outlet stores which aren’t really even outlets?

If shopping “regular” stores has you stressed and bored, it’s time to regain the SHOPPING ZIP you deserve.

Break up with those mall, chain, discount impersonal stores and get cozy with your shop-local, personable resale shops!

You can once again experience the JOY of shopping, of finding just the thing: something that looks like you, fits your budget, and makes you feel like a million.

Click to discover the Professional Resalers who welcome you with astonishing variety, real-life prices, personal service and best of all: real, local, personal service.



Such a lot to know!

Professional Resalers can spot true qualityAs a shopper, you know where to find the bargains. You know what looks good on you and what colors you like. But do you know how to tell a quality item from one where

the manufacturer has cut corners?


As shopkeepers, we need to be able to tell quality without the “clues” a consumer has: what store are you in? How much is that item? Is it full-price or has it been marked down several times? There’s a lot for us to know as we select and curate merchandise to offer you.

Because of our experience, education and knowledge,

you are MORE assured of quality, value and wear-ability when you shop resale.


Why? In addition to our choosing only the best for you, you can see and feel how the garment or accessory performs after it’s left the “real” store. That’s right: factory-installed fabric polishes and stiffeners are now removed, any shrinkage has already taken place, and you can see that the zipper stays flat and there’s no puckering or fraying. So buying at a consignment, resale, or thrift shop, where you aren’t being fooled by the “sparkly new” tricks of the trade, is

the smarter choice.


For example, it’s a shameful little tactic that

Some retailers lower their own standards to get your money

Watch the news clip. And read the transcript on that page for even more info.

Got the Hanger Heebie-Jeebies? The Cupboard Creeps?

messy closet text apple pathways on flickr

Cleaning out, organizing, owning only what you love. They say it’s easy. They lie. Cleaning out your stuff, figuring out what to save and what to pass on, it’s hard. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even cuss a bit under your breath. If you are in need of closet clarity, read on.

The easiest possessions to get rid of are those you don’t use. You know what these are: the ottoman you constantly trip over, the dress that was perfect for last year’s cruise but when do you ever go dancing at home, the toys Uncle Bob thought would be perfect but which your kids disdain.

Okay, those things are piled up to get rid of. Next, tackle the things you ought to use, but don’t. The heavy-duty pastry mixer (who has time to bake?) and the barbells. And the things that were once useful but now are gathering dust. The stroller (Jaime is so not into sitting still) and the best-selling books and DVDs you’ll never look at again. Get rid of them before they become outdated.

The absolutely, no-holds-barred hardest stuff to get rid of? Your favorite… mistakes. Doesn’t matter how costly they were, those Jimmy Choo’s (that pinch your toes) or that cashmere baby blanket (does Aunt Maude have no sense whatsoever?): if it is not an asset to your life as you live it now, pass it on!

Not everything you’ve just decided to part with is worth consigning or selling to a buy-outright shop. Some aren’t “even” worth donating to a charitable thrift shop.

  • The best quality, condition, and style clothing should be freshly-washed and pressed and hung neatly. If you’re sorting out decor items, check them for all parts, and make sure they are free of chips, scratches, and tarnish. These are the items you’ll be taking to your friendly local consignment or resale shop. See Would you Wrap this in a Festive Bow? for more info.

  • The next level down, perfectly good and clean items that are no longer in style but useful, will go in your “Donate” pile for the charitable shop of your choice.

  • The final level, terribly worn, non-working, or soiled-for-good items should be thrown away or put in a “free” box at your next garage sale. Do not burden a charitable shop with the job of throwing away things you know are no longer useable…all you will be doing is adding to their costs of operating the thrift shop.

    Selecting a shop or two to take your underloved items to is not a task to be undertaken lightly. We discuss what you should look for in a consignment or resale shop here.

Messy closet photo courtesy of apple_pathways on flickr.com.


A Consignment Shop in your Pocket

Fifi's Amelia Island has an app!One of my personal favorite consignment shops on the Resale Shop Directory is Fifi’s Amelia Island, on that beautiful northeast Florida island near Jacksonville and St. Mary’s, Georgia.

There’s nothing like shopping in the old Florida wooden cottage that’s home to Fifi’s and meeting the cheerful owner Jessica. It’s a perfect addition to a day in Fernandina Beach, the quaint village on the island, or a visit to Amelia Island Plantation, the four-star resort just south of Fifi’s. Alas, not all of us are lucky enough to visit the beautiful island they call home…

but now you can carry Fifi’s around in your pocket with their newest addition…

Fifi’s has an app for Google and Apple phones where you can see what’s new, find the shop, check out their social media, learn about special events and even

shop wherever and whenever you like!

Get the Fifi’s app for your phone.

Does your favorite consignment, resale or thrift store have an app? Tell us about it in the comments!


Oh, that’s why they’re called ginger jars.

I always wondered why they’re called ginger jars. After all, who uses THAT much ginger?


A ginger jar is a Chinese porcelain jar with a wide mouth, a domed lid and a bulging, spherical body. Although the Chinese traditionally used the jars to store a variety of goods, the jars acquired the name “ginger jars” because they often contained ginger when they were exported to the West.

Historically, ginger jars held provisions, including not just ginger but salt, oils and other spices. In the West, ginger jars are mostly decorative rather than functional.  Read more

Ginger jars look great almost anywhere. HowToConsign tells you why they are called that....The different colors and motifs on ginger jars have traditional meanings. For example, white jars were wedding gifts and and yellow jars were intended as the most valued gifts, often to the Emperor. Here’s a good synopsis.

Now I know, and now I have a resale mission: using a collection of ginger jars as a canister set on my kitchen counter. Or maybe I’ll look for one to turn into a lamp.

If you love ginger jars too, go find some you love at your favorite consignment, resale or thrift shop!


Get inspired by the shapes and materials you can find in ginger jars.