Buying new clothes usually means spending money, no matter where you shop.
One thing I learned not long ago was how to consign clothes for sale in order to better afford new ones. This is also a great way to make sure that your closet, drawers and other places you store clothes are more clutter-free.
Before heading over to my first consignment store, I did some research and had lengthy conversations with multiple store owners throughout Baltimore. Each store is different in terms of what it’s looking for, but here are a few tips for successful consigning:
Call first. Many consignment stores will only take designer names and most will take clothes by appointment only. Some fill up so quickly that they won’t meet with you until they’re ready for more stock.
Think about the time of year. Most consignment shops take clothes that are in-season only. It’s best to plan as early as possible because, just like other stores, consignment stores put clothes out on the racks seasonally. They may already have spring/summer clothing out even though it’s still winter coat weather.
Make sure your clothes are washed and without wrinkles. Most places will not take your used garments if they have the slightest stain. If you have even just a couple of wrinkles, they will also most likely ask that you get your piece dry cleaned before bringing it back.
Start with some of your best pieces. That way, the next time you call, the store owner may be more inclined to meet with you sooner rather than later.
Don’t have any expectations. Don’t put a price on a piece of clothing unless you are thinking about keeping it. The store owners know their own inventory and customers best, so leave the pricing up to them. Also, don’t expect them to like a piece of clothing as much as you might. It’s best to come to store owners with an open mind.
Find out how and when you will receive payment. Each store works differently. Some may cut you a check for every item sold or some may decide to cut you a check for items sold within a given period of time. They may even be able to set it up to pay you electronically. Also, not all stores will offer cash for your clothes – some may offer only store credit. Decide which one is more important.
Don’t bring anything to consign that you wouldn’t buy yourself. You are truly your best critic. If you bought something on a whim that has unusual patterns or was part of a trend that has been out of style for quite some time, consigning the item may not work. Most consignment store owners are very selective.
Every time I have consigned my clothing, it’s been a huge success. I continue to donate pieces I can’t consign to local charities. It’s definitely a process working with a new consignment store to sell clothing, but it’s worthwhile. Who doesn’t love having extra spending money in exchange for something that could be just collecting dust?