Need a little extra cash? Here’s an idea to FLIP over!

Flip Tips from HowToConsign.org by Kate HolmesThe other day, a man sidled up to me to share that he’d found a jacket at a thrift shop and taken it to a resale shop to sell. I assume he was whispering the tale so as not to alert the other folks to the killing he’d made:

bought for $5 sold for $125.

But maybe he just found thrift-flipping sexy and he was making a pass at me, known consignment/resale/thrift maven. Who knows? (Then again, we could have been soul-mates. I like finding the right market for undervalued stuff, too.)

Have you thought about flipping some great items from one market to another? It can be a great way to set aside some cash for a rainy day… or for a sunny beach vacay!

Here’s some Flip Tips:

Shop thrift stores that receive from high-end neighborhoods. If the thrift cannot sell a great item for what it’s truly worth, that’s where you come in, to transport it from a low-end customer base to one that appreciates it.

Know your prices. That;s where a little Internet browsing can really pay off. That basic black Eileen Fisher cardigan for $14? Look it up: Same sweater, on Nordstrom? $248.

Know your knock-offs. Not only are fakes not worth what the real goods are… they are also illegal and immoral to sell, even secondhand. Skip ’em.

Watch that YOUR taste doesn’t interfere with your wallet. For example, I love faded, washed-out black t-shirts. Most people don’t. So unless it’s my size, I let it pass.

Make it look better before you try to pass it on. You and I, as experienced pickers, can overlook its wrinkled or dusty appearance… but won’t it look much better with a little love and soap?

Consider minor modifications. Take that ghastly amateur oil painting out of the expensive frame, and sell the frame by itself. Most folks who aren’t shoppers like you and me would get distracted by the ugly painting and not think of the frame on its own. Or try painting that cute little shelf gloss white instead of the orange-y wood color it is.

Ask your destination shops. Do they have items they can always sell sell sell? Whether it’s sports gear, small dressers or weather vanes, knowing what your market needs is a good starting place for your searches. Ask, too, what they really kinda don’t want. More black handbags. Size 2 dresses. Coffee tables. That way, you won’t mis-invest.

Any tales of great flips? Suggestions for others? Comment below!

 

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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.

FIRST: WHAT REALLY ENHANCES YOUR LIFE?
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!

SECOND: SORT ‘EM OUT
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.

NOW, CHOOSE THE SHOP YOU WILL USE. ACTUALLY, CHOOSE SEVERAL.
    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.

 

Warm weather, here you come!

If you’re lucky enough to be due a spell of sun and fun on a cruise or at a tropical resort, you’re doubly lucky!

You can shop consignment, resale and thrift for some nifty things to take along, and save enough for that special excursion. Parasailing anyone?

Here’s how to pack so your luggage doesn’t encumber your adventures:

Here’s how to have the most spectacular, romantic cocktail dress out of two scarves:

And here’s how to turn an oversize souvenir shop T-shirt into an outfit you’ll love (one of HowToConsign’s most popular pins!)