Shopping for clothes or gifts at a consignment store is a great way to save money, but have you thought about selling unused or unwanted items through consignment? It can be an easy and effective way to make some extra money so here are some tips for selling through consignment:
Don’t Be Afraid to be a Critic
When choosing things to sell at a consignment store, look at them with a very critical eye. A consignment store owner or manager is going to do the same thing, so you’ll save yourself time if you do it first. Gather together all the things you don’t need or want, and look them over very carefully. Check clothing for tears, stains or missing buttons. Check hemlines as well and if possible, include instruction manuals with household items like blenders or juicers, and make sure the items work properly. If you’re not sure about something, don’t take it, especially if this is your first time venturing into the world of consignment. Only take items that are in excellent condition, as it will make a great first impression on the consignment store staff.
Select Consignment Stores by doing your Due Diligence First
Now that you have your items sorted, you need to decide where to sell them. Make this choice wisely. Visit several stores before settling on one or two. Pick a store that sells items similar to yours. You might be tempted to offer your professional, tailored suits to a vintage store because yours will be the only items of their kind. However, people who want to buy tailored suits don’t often visit a vintage store, so your suits are less likely to be purchased. In addition, the store may not even take them. In addition to choosing stores that have a style similar to your own or what you would like to sell, select stores that seem to have a steady flow of customers. You don’t necessarily need to choose the ones that are super busy all the time, but don’t pick the ones that only have one or two people coming in the doors. After all, the more people who see your stuff, the more likely it will sell.
Understand the Shop’s Policies
Once you’ve narrowed down your consignment store options, find out what their policies are for sellers.
- How much of a percentage do they keep of each sale?
- How long can each item be displayed for sale before it’s pulled?
- How often do they pay out for items sold? If possible, get something in writing, like a receipt.
After investigating, you’ll have a good idea of where to take your items. Before you take them in, do one last check to make sure they’re in great condition. When you take them to the consignment store, the staff will likely want to look through them as well, so stay there and do it with them. Most consignment stores are reputable and trustworthy, but some are not (or they have one or two staff members who are not), so it’s best – especially in the beginning – not to leave the checking solely to the staff.
When your items are accepted for resale, get the terms in writing, and make sure the store is specific with regard to fees and other costs. Find out exactly how much they’re going to charge for your items. If the staff can’t tell you, set a time to call and talk to the owner. Also, be sure to get in writing the store’s terms regarding the return of unsold items.
Selling through consignment is a good, strategic way to save money for specific purchases or occasions.
To find Consignment Shops, check out our Consignment Directory