Making Money With Consignment Stores

Fashion Store - August Macke 1914.  Sometimes, you can find nice outfits in consignment stores.
Fashion Store - August Macke 1914. Sometimes, you can find nice outfits in consignment stores. | Source

Neat Vintage Display

This black and white image takes me back to another era!
This black and white image takes me back to another era! | Source

My Experience and Advice Making Money With Consignment Stores

Using consignment stores in your local area can be a great way to make some extra income while getting of unwanted and unused items in your home. I consider myself still fairly new to making money with consignment stores, but I have learned a lot in the last couple of years. It is actually pretty exciting to make money off of the things I don't need or want anymore.

It used to be that I would make a little bit of money after putting in a lot of time getting ready for a yard sale. That is still something I do on occasion but it is only twice a year in my subdivision which I am happy about actually. The thing is, I find that doing a little bit here and there with a consignment store spreads out the work and brings in more money overall. As far as the "work" goes, there is a lot less of it, or so it seems.

I love this August Macke Prints.  This piece shows women doing some window shopping.
I love this August Macke Prints. This piece shows women doing some window shopping. | Source

How I Began Using Consignment Stores

I began after reading a hub article actually, a few years back about another woman's experience and advice in getting rid of clothes and how she often used consignment stores. I tried to go and find that hub since and have not had any luck. If I do, I will post the link here because I was rather inspired by it. She gave great tips which I use to this day.

The next step was to look up what if any local consignment stores were to be found in my area. Up until that time, I was just more familiar with second hand stores where you just donate clothing and other items. We have a couple of local Goodwill stores and a couple of others as well. One I like in my area is United Volunteers Thrift Store, but there are others. I use them to donate items that others might find handy and feel like that is giving back to the community as well.

I was very happily surprised to find there were several, like at least half a dozen clothing consignment stores. They often take more than clothing, but all took clothing at least.

Figuring Out Which Consignment Store to Start With

It turned out to be a good idea to stop at each store first, and ask a few questions. Each one will have their own rules and methods that take you from the point of them taking your clothes to later giving you a check for the profits made. It almost became confusing to be honest, and some sounded great at first, but then would have a down side that I maybe wasn't as comfortable with. Or not so much uncomfortable with, but that I just felt more comfortable starting out with one in particular. Then I could see where it went from there.

It just so happens that I have not been back to any of the other stores, and I have stuck with one so far. I have made over a hundred dollars so far. It is exciting, as I said before, to make money on something I wasn't going to be using anyway.

Neat Vintage Image.  Neat Black and White Image of a Lady in Fancy clothing, with hat, furs, etc.
Neat Vintage Image. Neat Black and White Image of a Lady in Fancy clothing, with hat, furs, etc. | Source

The Kind of Consignment Store I Chose and Use Now

I am sticking with one for now called Grace's Merry-Go-Round. I understand their policies and have made money and they are very very nice. I know others in my area are good as well. For instance there is one that is geared toward the younger generation, teens, etc. That would be perfect for young men and women to use as they grew out of old clothes that are still nice, etc.

Grace's shares the profits of whatever sells 50-50. The neat thing about this is they can sell something for a few dollars, and even if I get half of that, I often get more than I would for an item that I could sell at a yard sale. Its on the rack also, as long as the season is right, until it sells. So it is available to potential buyers more often. They have dressing rooms also, so people can buy in confidence.

When you join a consignment store like this, you get a sellers number. They keep track of all the money you make with this number. When someone checks out with one of your items, they keep track of your sales and when it accumulates to 25.00 or more you can have them write a check. The other option you have is to use the money that is accumulating as credit in the store to buy something with that money. I have shopped before in the store, and used money to pay instead of credit because I didn't want it to take longer to get to the next pay out.

Some Basic Consignment Store Tips For Success

Ask the store when you are dropping off items, if there is anything in particular they need, like seasonal items, or household items. The store I use takes everything from books, to art, to jewelry and everything in between.

Try to keep bringing things in because selling even one item a month can cover the fifty cent a month fee they charge. Selling one little item will be all it takes to cover this.

Bring in clean, wrinkle free items. Look around the store, for ideas on what you may have to bring in. I have seen candles, craft supplies, and even new health and beauty aids for sale. They even have homemade greeting cards for sale.

For clothing, they look for clothes that have been in style in the last two years. They have always taken things with the tags on, in my experience. They will not take anything with stains.

Know that if something hasn't sold and the season ends, or a few months have elapsed, then the items can still go to the "dollar store" next store. You often sell things at a garage sale for fifty cents, and they do the work for you! I find it all to be a win win.

You can always go in and see if your items are selling or not, and take them out if you really want to.

Going on Thursdays for Grace's, allows for them to look through your items and give you back what they can't use. If you take them in any other day, you are dropping them off and they will just use what they think can sell, and donate the rest of the items to charity.

The above tips are for the store I usually go to, but others are similar to it. You want your items to be in good repair, not worn, with holes, or looking faded or too worn.

I can call at any time and ask them what my balance is. They simply look it up and I can see how much more money I earned since the last time I spoke with them.

Finally, I am very pleased with my experience with consignment stores. I am actually thrilled with the easy to use system I have come to know better over time. It makes it so easy to get rid of things, and have the opportunity to make some money back off of my clothing investments. I also have sold some nice cook books and jewelry that I no longer use I highly recommend trying it at least once, and be patient for the sales to come in. I would love to hear your experiences if you care to share them below in the comment section.

Differences Between Consignment, Thrift, and Vintage Stores

Consignment Store Poll

Have you ever sold anything in a consignment store?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don't recall, it seems I did something like that in the past.
See results without voting

© 2013 Paula

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Comments 5 comments

Becky Puetz profile image

Becky Puetz 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Great Hub that will help many think of and learn more about consignment stores. I had a store myself but have now retired. I utilize many consignment now and have several antique booths at various stores. This works out better for me these days and is actually more enjoyable than being tied down in my own store. Plus there's no up front cost or overhead. It's a win-win for all concerned.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 3 years ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hello Becky, that is so neat that you had your own store. I am sure you have thoughts all your own on the idea of consignment stores. What a brilliant idea that seems to work for communities of people in good times and bad both. I like antique booths as well, those can be so fun. I appreciate your comment. I agree, a win win for all people involved.


rambansal profile image

rambansal 3 years ago from India

A bright idea, indeed..


ElleBee 2 years ago

I have an appointment to bring some items in to a local consignment shop this week, so these tips are helpful for me.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA Author

Hello Rambansal, thank you!

ElleBee, I am so glad you found the tips helpful. I hope it went well with your appointment. My apologies on the late responses, I don't always see when people respond right away. I appreciate your comment.

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