When it’s time to sort through your closet, consigning or selling those fashions that just didn’t cut it in your life can make your budget and your conscience very happy.
Maybe it didn’t really fit well, or the color wasn’t one that made you happy. Maybe it was a “bargain” that you never wore. Perfectly-wonderful (just not on YOU) clothing and accessories can find a new home, and your wallet can find replenishment, when a consignment or resale store finds them a new home.
But that doesn’t mean that these shops can sell just anything for you. Heed these 9 tips to avoid consignment hassles for a smoother and more profitable experience:
1. Is it the right type of shop for your underloved items? Visit beforehand (find a Professional Resaler on our Resale Directory & Zoomable Map) and see if they carry the type of items you have to bring in and take note of the shop’s general pricing.
2. Get a copy of the shop’s “how-to” brochure to help you sort out what to bring in. Can you bring items in at a time convenient for you? Do you need to make an appointment? Are there brands or styles or categories they don’t have the customer for?
3. Be sure you are clear on what, how, and when you will get paid. Be aware of any time limits, markdowns that may be taken, and whether and when any unsold items may be reclaimed.
4. As you prepare your items to bring in, use your most critical eye. Are those side seams twisted? Hem coming undone? Check the wear points: underarms, cuffs, crotch. You can be sure the shopkeeper will, and better you find unexpected flaws in private.
5. For quick cleaning tips check out our Pinterest Board, Make your consignments worth more. It goes without saying, doesn’t it, that passing on freshly-washed clothing is the only way, right?
6. Remember that you and the shopkeeper are in a partnership. You both want desirable goods, attractively maintained, at prices the market will accept. The shopkeeper’s job is to know what will sell. Trust their judgment.
7. Pricing can be tricky on fashion goods because of rapid and steep markdowns in the mall. If you are selling to a buy-outright shop, the offer will be less than any potential consignment share because you are not sharing risk. Some people like it one way; others prefer the other. If you are uncomfortable with the projected return in either type of resale shop, decide that now and graciously decline. It’s not that they don’t like you; if shops cannot deal profitably they go out of business.
8. Before you leave, obtain a copy of the agreement you signed (I don’t need to tell you to read before signing, do I?) and a receipt for your items. Be clear on what happens next, and your responsibilities as a consignor. If, for some reason, you will want to take back home items which did not sell in the agreed consignment period, take responsibility for retrieving these goods promptly at that point.
9. Whether or not you currently have items consigned to your favorite shop, be a good advocate for the shop. The potential customer you motivate to shop there, may be the future customer who buys your consigned goods!
Consigning furniture and home decor? See our tips.