Have you ever consigned stuff before? Me neither. I always thought it was one of those long and arduous processes that required you to sell your first born. Why should I consign? I don’t have time for that, I just want rid of my extra clothes right now so I can clear out the closet. I’ll just donate it all.
Wow, was I under the wrong impression. Don’t get me wrong, it still takes a little time but a lot less than you think. Who wouldn’t want to make a little extra cash?
This past Friday, I finally decided to get off my rump and take the two tote containers of clothes for consignment. I had done a bit of research and chose a well-known women’s clothing consignment nearby. Other than that, I was clueless.
What can you consign?
Almost everything. Shoes, purses, accessories, pants, blazers, dresses, athletic wear and so on. Most stores will take virtually any piece of clothing in your closet but there are a few things to remember. I was so clueless that I took everything I had cleaned out of my closet not realizing a few things.
Before making the trip:
- It has to be in season. Do not be dumb like me and take summer stuff when its fall. If you do, the store will advise you if they will actually take them and tell you to bring them back.
Fall: August, September, October Winter: November, December, January Spring: February, March, April Summer: May, June, July
- Clothing cannot be older than 1 – 2 years.
- The clothes must be freshly cleaned and require no repairs. Don’t take those pants with the button falling off inside.
- Purses are a very difficult item. They cannot have any considerable signs of wear. It has to look virtually new.
- Watch the labels, designer labels I mean. Depending on the store, they may only accept certain clothing brands and designers. Most have it posted on their website.
- Decide what you would like to do with the items if they don’t sell. Do you want to pick them back up or would you like the store to donate them.
At the store:
- You will have to setup an account with the consignment store.
- You will have to sign a contract. Not to worry, no drama. It’s just something to protect you and them and outlines the policies.
- You do not get to set the prices. The store decides the selling price for your items, so make sure you’re comfortable with this.
- The store keeps 60% of the proceeds from the sale and you get 40%.
The whole process took about 15 minutes; I was pleasantly surprised at how quick it was.
All right, so you’ve left stuff for consignment, now what? Well, it’s a waiting game. On average, most stores will display your items for 30-60 days. After that, if your items did not sell, you can donate or pick them up. If they did sell, you can call the store and they’ll tell you how much you have earned. It’s entirely up to you if you’d like cash, a store credit or a bit of both. The sales woman explained it nicely for me: consider it a bank account.
Cool, eh? Your very own consignment bank account.
It’s nice because it gives you the option to save for an item you may want to purchase at the store, while you are consigning other items.
Would I buy from a consignment store?
This is a thought that has crossed my mind regularly. If you’re a bit of a diva like me, and usually buy new, when someone mentions consignment, you’re a bit repulsed by the idea. I immediately think of Value Village and/or stinky, stained, disgusting merchandise. This could not be farther from the truth. Most items are in like new condition and they don’t smell.
There are even designer consignment shops! I’m not sure where exactly I was on earth when this happened, but I must have been on a small brain vacation. Recently, a co-worker told me about a fab designer consignment shop in the GTA that you can pick up designer handbags (think Coach, Michael Kors, Gucci etc.) for a fraction of the cost of new.
How deluded have I been? I’ve been paying full price for my Michael Kors all this time. Now I have a frugal way to shop designer.