Recycle Clothing and Earn Money: Learn to Consignment Shop.

Gorgeous fashion items can be found at your local consignment shop.
Gorgeous fashion items can be found at your local consignment shop. | Source
Nice blue jeans that are a little too short - but if you know how to wear them then you will be rockin' your jeans too.
Nice blue jeans that are a little too short - but if you know how to wear them then you will be rockin' your jeans too. | Source

Rockin’ My FLOOD-PANTS

My rockin’ blue jeans are designer and I paid less than $15 for them. I will never pay more than 30 bucks for a pair of jeans. Why should I? Jeans are for wearing and wearing out – to be worn on days off and for being comfy in. Might I add that they are NOT to be purchased all marked and slashed up with massive holes in the knees either. My Abercrombie jeans retailed at around $40 are a little short, by an inch or too, as they are size 5Short – but that is no biggie – come summertime my flip-flops will be worn with these jeans and they no longer will appear like I’m wearing last season’s flood-pants.

What? You want a pair of snazzy jeans too? Well I’ll let you in on a little secret. Jeans like mine, designer and for a frugal price, can be obtained in little stores known as consignment shops. The town I attended college in had an adorable such shop. So adorably small that I didn’t know it existed for the first 3 years I was there! My fourth year, as you can imagine, was heaven for me, for right at my fingertips I had everything I could possibly need, and no, not just Flood-Pants.

You'll find that lovely pair of heels you've been looking everywhere for, at a consignment shop.
You'll find that lovely pair of heels you've been looking everywhere for, at a consignment shop. | Source

But, WHAT WILL I FIND TODAY

What WON’T you find! Treasures on top of treasures are what you will find. Consignment shops are awesome when you need that perfect shirt or accessory for a very specific purpose, such as an interview. They are a great place to find attractive, presentable clothing items for a very frugal price. Shirts are generally priced at about $8 to $14 dollars. Of course there are shirts for only a couple bucks, mostly plain, solid colored tees or tanks, which are great and serve their own purpose, but actual shirts will be a bit more. Then again the label plays a role as well. Brand names that are a bit on the lower end such as Old Navy are very inexpensive. This makes sense because this store is not too pricy in itself, and personally I wouldn’t buy this type of item at a consignment shop because you honestly can get the same thing from Old Navy- NEW!

STAY ON THE LOOKOUT

Items that are originally quite expensive are great bargains to take home with you. As I mentioned before, nice shirts are great items to find at consignment shops as well as other garments paired nicely for an interview, such as blazers or professional overcoats. Once you’ve gotten your top pretty much covered, it is time to find you some bottoms that will certainly spruce up that closet of yours.

 

YOUR APPLEBOTTOM IS COVERED TOO!

You will most likely find some super snazzy jeans as well as classy khakis and dress pants, all for generally under $20. Designer brand names will be mixed in, and so a keen, inquisitive eye is necessary to bring with you! Take your time browsing and although some consignment shops are small and appear that they do not have much, be sure not to overlook anything because oftentimes the treasures are deeply hidden.

Many times beautiful jewlery can be found at consignment shops.
Many times beautiful jewelry can be found at consignment shops. | Source

Time to ACCESSORIZE

Consignment shops are great for accessories such as purses, clutches, belts, shoes, earrings, etc. You’ll find fake brand name items too, like my genuinely-fake Dolce & Gabbana purse or my little, fake, Coach Wristlet.

If you are one of those women who flaunt their expensive, designer bags wherever you go, well that is great, I’m happy for you. But for me, my fake purses do just fine and I’m pretty content. Particularly since I like to get multiple new purses per year… we gotta keep up with the times, right ladies?

And gents, I haven’t forgotten about you. Consignment shops have begun to include both sexes now, as their clientele is no longer geared towards solely women. In fact, many shops have small men sections that are vastly growing, as the word is reaching more and more men who no longer want their women counterparts having all the fun ;)

Great finds are to be had at consignment shops everywhere.
Great finds are to be had at consignment shops everywhere. | Source

Thoughts on Consignment Shopping

Do you like consignment shops?

  • Love consignment shops - saving money rocks.
  • I'll pass -I don't wear "dirty" clothing.
  • Interesting - going to look into consigning.
See results without voting

Trade-In and SWAP

Consignment shops are awesome for finding the perfect item whether it is a cute shirt, perfect fitted jeans or a must-have wristlet, but there is more.

These shops allow you to bring in your previously loved clothing in good condition and buy yourself some new fashionable items. The consigner (yeah, that is you) gets a cut of the profits which is determined by how much the items are worth at retail-cost, minus any possible issues with the clothing such as them being shrunk one too many times, a missing button, zipper broken, etc.

The percentages vary from consignment store to consignment store in terms of how much money you will get back in cash versus store credit. For example, my consignment store I have grown to love, divvies it up as 30% of the established retail price directly as a check, or issues 50% of the retail price to those preferring store credit.

Personally, I always go with store credit. 50% back is great and I always find a few great buys that are coming home with me. On the off chance that I don’t find anything today, my store credit will carry over and certainly next time I’ll find something!

Prom dresses are available at many consignment shops for purchase and you can also consign your own dress during the correct season. This is an excellent option to get a dress at a reasonable price for your prom but also is a good choice when considering what to do with your prom dress that has been sitting, neglected, in the back of your closet (going on, what, five years now?) Just something to think about.

Prom dresses are often available at consignment shops too.
Prom dresses are often available at consignment shops too. | Source

Simple ADVICE

~ Be picky about where to consign and which consignment shops to shop at. There are different types of consignment shops and they all play by different rules. If you don’t like the rules, or the clothing, that is fine – keep looking and you’ll find the perfect consignment shop for you.

~ When getting clothing ready to bring into a consignment shop, make sure they are nicely prepped and presentable. Nice cleaned, ironed items are much more likely to get consigned.

~ Different items must be consigned for different seasons. Instructions on when to consign winter, fall, spring, or summer items are available from each specific consignment shop. Items not appropriate for the season cannot be consigned during that time. Hang onto them and when it’s time head on back.

~READ the specific consignment shops information on their website or call them on specifics about how to go about consigning. Oftentimes they indicate your items must be either hung on a hanger or not hung and folded nicely in a bag. Although these seem like simple things, just keep them in mind so you can be successful at consigning items and keeping up with the current trends! YAY Fashionistas!

~ Also, it is good to know that many consignment stores DO Not accept clothing with any of the aforementioned issues. This is a bummer when you are trying to unload them, but on the bright side it is a very great thing when it comes to purchasing. There may be nothing worse than finding a wonderful garment that looks delightful on you – and then finding the gaping hole in it that makes you say, “now I know why it so cheap.”

~A consignment shop may not take your merchandise for several reasons, another reason being that the items are outdated and out of style. Although this reason may burst your bubble as it did mine, just deal. You might wonder “how the heck did they know how old these were?” as I did, but hey, the Salvation Army is a great place to get rid of clothing that nobody else wants.

~ Particularly in small consignment shops, they may turn you down simply because they have way too many items and have no room to put them all. I’ve been turned down before because of this reason. Just deal with the card you’ve been dealt and come back at a later date.

~ Have Fun. Consignment shops are amazing. They obviously have become a growing new trend, so embrace it. Clean out your closet and you’ll find some cool items that maybe you forgot about! Try them on, and if the look has passed and it is totally not you anymore, perhaps a trip to the nearest consignment shop is in order! Best of luck!


© emilybee, 2011-2012. All Rights Reserved.

Comments 19 comments

emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago Author

Hi daisydayz! What an awesome bargain story :) I, too, haven't been thrifting much lately, it's very time consuming and I haven't scored a great deal in a while but when I do it is very refreshing and exciting to know of the great deal I'm getting! Some stores even carry used/great condition furniture and household items. Happy thrifting and thank you for stopping by! :)


daisydayz profile image

daisydayz 4 years ago from Cardiff

Wish we had consignment stores in the UK, you can trade in clothes at dress agencies - but they arent great. You can buy second hand or from thrift/charity shops. I agree with all your great tips though. I haven't been thrifting for ages (as I'm saldy on a tight budget at the moment) but hubby told me to go find myself a few jumpers for the winter so i trawled all the local ones yesterday - and last but 1 from my flat I scored gold! I adore the brand Joules but it's super pricy so never buy anything there. I found last seasons flying duck designed jumper (exactly the same as this season but different colour combo) in perfect condition, my size, £6 original (and current) retail is £69.95! Bargain alert. The guy in the shop was laughing at how excited I was, until I explained how much I loved the collection - even blogged it last year- so he understood I wasn't just , mad!


emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago Author

Hi fpherj48! That is so awesome that you love these stores and have a flea-market type one, too! In my former college town there was a wonderful consignment shop that I enjoyed going to and snagging some awesome deals. I think I need to make the hour trip up there and find some new goods. The deals are great and I love consignment shops because they are picky and only accept good quality stuff, whereas you go to Goodwill and I find cute things with broken zippers, stains on them, etc, it is sooo disappointing! I love getting a great deal, especially on pants which can be pricy, and purses, too! Thanks for stopping by!!!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Oh HELL, YES!!! Emily dear, this is a favorite topic of mine....."saving money" that is, in every way possible. It's more like a "mission" and challenge to me. I find it relaxing and entertaining to continually come up with ways and means to be the world's best penny-pincher.......I come from a long line of them!

Not only do I make use of consignment stores....I operate a huge "flea-market" type store from Spring to the end of Autumn ....All winter long I replenish.

This hub rocks! UP++


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago Author

Thanks vocalcoach! Tough times call for extra time spent consigning clothes! :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Love consignment shops! And love this hub. I have saved a ton of money by purchasing designer clothing this way. And I sell some of mine too. And do you know - I never miss anything I sell? Most of the time I completely forget what items I have sold. Thanks for confirming that I shop the frugle and green way. Rating up. :) vocalcoach


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago Author

Yes dutchman it is. It's kind of a way to make everyone happy. Trade in unwanted clothes for someone else to bring home and you get some new things. Thanks so much for commenting.


thedutchman profile image

thedutchman 5 years ago

This Is good for Business.This a Good idea.


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago Author

Thank you gypsumgirl for the lovely comment and for adding my link to your hub. I also just added your link to your hub, to this hub. What a great topic to hub about - great minds think alike!


gypsumgirl profile image

gypsumgirl 5 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

emilybee: Thanks for this hub. I love the detail you get into surrounding what to expect in a consignment store.

It is a very good compliment to a hub I wrote a little while back about the differences between thrift stores, pawn shops, and consignment store...I placed your a link to your hub in mine. Also voted up. Thanks!!


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago Author

Well that's something to think about, very interesting Nell! Thanks for the comment.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, this is a great idea, I used to work in a charity shop and I learned one little secret! the people who I thought were really rich because they always look so nice actually came and bought in the shop! so there you go! lol


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago Author

Yeah it works out as if you are just trading in clothes and don't have to shell out any money, most of the time. Sometimes I find too many things I like tho- but with the prices so low that is okay. Thank you for the reading and commenting Danette!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

I have on occasion shopped at consignment shops but haven't taken any clothing there. I always take it to the Goodwill but with the economy the way it is, maybe I should try doing that. Thanks for the hub. Voted up and useful


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago Author

Thanks Eiddwen! I'm glad you liked my hub!

Thank you Cogerson for passing on my hub to your family! Consignment shopping is a very cool concept that is getting a lot more popular everyday.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Nice hub...I e-mailed this link to my wife and daughter.....voted up....thanks for posting


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great hub and many will bnefit from reading this. My daughters sell loads on e bay and on a local swap shop site.

I used to take lods of clothing to our charity shops but kids grow out of their clothes so quick it makes much more sense to sell or swap.

Useful/up here.

Thank you for sharing this one.

take care

Eiddwen.


emilybee profile image

emilybee 5 years ago Author

Thank you for commenting dwoodward. I think I would get a long with your girlfriend, consignment shopping is great. And I'm sure you could find something for yourself at a consignment shop, too!


dwoodward profile image

dwoodward 5 years ago

This is a very interesting article, my girlfriend loves shopping at consignment.

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