Clean, current, and cute
That’s the simple answer, when consignment or resale shopkeepers are asked
“What can you sell for me?”
Here’s what they’d say to you:
Clean: Rule number one. We might even say Commandment number one. And clean means freshly-cleaned, not six months ago when you put it away last season. Why? Dust, dander, household fragrances… all of these make your almost-new (or even new-with-tags!) items less than saleable. You wouldn’t try to give a friend a dusty cardigan or an unwashed soup tureen, so freshen up your underloved possessions before taking them to your favorite resaler. Shopkeepers in the know add this suggestion: Avoid overly-scented detergents and fabric softeners, which can be off-putting to potential new owners.
Current: Good fashion is timeless? Well, not quite true. The blazer you adored four years ago looks it… because fashion dictates the width of lapels, whether pockets are patch or besom, how closely nipped-in the waist is. The lamp you saved up for as a newly-wed might be a classic, but it might be a 1995 version of a classic. Chances are good that the must-have item in your closet is no longer so must-have. Shopkeepers in the know add this suggestion: Don’t think of our decisions as personal. If it would sell, we’d be delighted to work with you. But we know what our clientele is looking for, and we can’t afford to put on our sales floor things which are not currently in demand.
Cute: Each community, and each shop, will have its own definition of this. What’s cute, after all, isn’t the same in Beverly Hills as in Boston. Each shop, as well, has its own carefully cultivated clientele, and each shopkeeper has a good grasp on what she can sell. That’s why it’s so important to not only visit theshop’s web site for guidance, but to actually go to the shop beforehand and see if your previously-enjoyed items would be a good fit for the shop’s vibe. Shopkeepers in the know add this suggestion: Now, some shops would choose “quality” instead of cute… as in clean, current, and quality… because their clientele is particularly conscious of workmanship.
The photos used in our post are orphans. If you know whose shops they depict, let me know so I can give them credit!