Consignment Shops, Where We All Benefit

Furnish well for much less
Furnish well for much less

A Few Basic Facts about the Business of Selling Previously-Owned Items

All stores set up to sell recycled items (a.k.a. used and second-hand), are not created equal. We can find this type of store, in fact, several of them in any town, city and even in rural areas. They've been around forever and become more and more popular during especially tough financial times. They prove to serve useful for any number of reasons, even in a plentiful economy.

It is the wise entrepreneur who sees a great business opportunity in owning and operating a consignment facility. Throughout the years, as a result of frequenting this type of business, I have learned much by speaking at-length and directly with owners.

I am especially interested in their opinions and ideas since I myself, have a small-scale "open-air" flea market that I operate from April to October, on my own property.

I would suggest three high-priority reasons a business like this is a smart endeavor. Needless to say, the income is always a plus, I enjoy the interaction with the wide variety of people who stop by to shop and I know I'm offering them the opportunity to purchase something they want or need at a very reasonable price.

As an added bonus, recycling in general is simply good for the environment.

Tons of stuff for KIDS!!

Clean, pressed, like-new Fashions
Clean, pressed, like-new Fashions
Another dime toward College
Another dime toward College
Baby Rocker....used for approx. 6 months
Baby Rocker....used for approx. 6 months
From Crib to Toddler bed by 3 yrs. old
From Crib to Toddler bed by 3 yrs. old
Furnish rooms attractively & cheaply!
Furnish rooms attractively & cheaply!

The Clothing Consignment Shop

You may be one of those people who feel that buying and wearing previously-worn clothes is not something you want to do. That's fine. There are more than enough consumers who think otherwise, to keep these stores continually productive and successful.

One reason the concept of buying used might turn you off is erroneously thinking these clothes will be worn, faded, stained or flawed in some way. This is simply not the case. Please, read on.

If you take the time to visit a few consignment stores and browse a bit, I'm confident you'll be pleasantly surprised.

The people who invest in a consignment business want to be successful and establish a solid reputation in the community to secure a strong customer base. They have strict rules and policies in terms of the condition of all items they accept for resale.

While you may not be interested in being a purchaser, you will find this business a great way to recycle your own wardrobe while yielding 50% of the revenue made. This is a simple way to retrieve some of your hard-earned and readily-spent dollars.

For years, I have dealt with two specific local Clothing Consignment Shops. The usual schedule is Spring-Summer and Fall-Winter. This is, in my particular area of the country where we enjoy four distinct seasons.

The result is that twice a year, I manage to collect two to three hundred dollars. It's always such a good feeling that I have this extra ( what I call FREE cash) to be able to either spend on something special or just put aside for a rainy day.

Anyone who has raised children knows all too well how quickly little ones grow out of their clothes, outgrow their car seat, crib and highchair and want different toys.

Children's Stores filled with used clothes and other items are so popular that their inventory is being replenished constantly. Have you priced baby clothes and furniture lately? In a word....shocking! I remember when I became a Grandmother for the first time.

Despite the fact that I was walking on air, I was sensible enough to know that Grandma had to get out and buy the equipment that a good Gram has all set up and ready for her Prince or Princess to come and spend the night!

I had no intention of draining my 401K but I went online simply to get an idea on the average price of a crib or a stroller available at a typical department store. HA!! Off to the Village Kid's Trading Post, Gram went a-shopping.

For a beautiful, safety-checked crib, a shiny-blue stroller, and a sturdy "Elmo" highchair, I paid less than one-third the price of new. Great ! Now I could pick up some cute outfits for baby, without breaking the bank.

Making a move from a relatively small home into one much larger, may be a nice upgrade but after settling in, you find yourself left with a couple of empty rooms. After just handing over the bulk of your money to buy that dream house, don't panic.

This is why Used Furniture stores exist. "A Gently Used Furniture Store," owned by a perky little lady named, "Angie," is one of my favorite places to visit and snoop around. I have purchased everything from couch and love seat, lamps and tables, to beautiful canvas-art décor for the walls.

For everything that can be purchased new, at high retail pricing, there exists second hand stores near you that offer a wide selection of the very same items at huge savings. It is well worth your time and effort to check these places out when you're searching the marketplace.

Being a frugal kind of person and a penny-pincher to my core, shopping in this way has always been an adventure for me. I see it as a challenge to just how well I can handle the household budget, provide the things I want and ultimately be proud of my efforts, with cash in my pocket.

Give it a try. You'll surprise yourself while you learn to spend wisely. Re-sell, recycle, pass it on, and keep the wheel of savings moving forward.



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Comments 38 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 13 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Great time to recycle this hub! For the very first time, I recently visited a huge warehouse filled with contractors items! Ever been to one? This is where you'll find anything from A to Z in supplies, fixtures, tools, pipes, windows, etc....all the things you may need when remodeling or perhaps building a shed or garage!

Believe it or not, I found a window, complete with frame, the exact size I needed for the shed in my yard. It cost me 20 bucks! The brand new one I had priced at a builders supply store was over $200.00!

You must admit these stores are well worth visiting!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 13 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

That sounds like a great way to buy & sell! When I happen to be nearby a thrift shop, I like to go in and roam about to see what's interesting. I have quite a car load of things to drop off at the consignment shop soon. So much to clear out of my house!

Have a beautiful day, GF


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 13 months ago from Orlando, FL

I haven't been to a consignment store in quite a while mostly because on Facebook my community has a buy, sell, trade group and neighbors shop amongst themselves. It's a great idea! We meet new neighbors and save money! But I still do visit Goodwill on occasion! :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

d.william......Good for you! I'd say that's using very wise financial common sense. A "gift," as I always say is a sign of caring and sharing.....of the loving thoughts behind the gift. This is how we should all feel about giving and receiving as well.

When my grandchildren present me with something they made with their two little hands....it means more to me than all the money in the world....I can tear-up just thinking about their proud faces and smiles when I make such a fuss over their gift.

There isn't a consignment shop within a hundred mile radius that this Gram hasn't visited!!......Thanks for the visit!


d.william profile image

d.william 2 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Great article. I love consignment shops. I have my list of people who i buy Christmas presents, and birthday gifts, for and shop for them all year long. Every time i go to a consignment shop, or second hand store, i find something that reminds me of one of those people i buy gifts for. So i pick it up, clean it us, and wrap it up for the next years Christmas, or birthday.

I have not had anyone disappointed at any of the gifts yet (at least they have not said so - and they ARE quite outspoken) L.O.L.

And i never divulge where i get the gifts. This way, i get something that has a personal connection and i don't have a big shopping bill at the end of the year.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Au fait...You are a HERO! I am always impressed by people who are financially wise and motivated toward a goal! You're a lady after my own heart.

BTW...congratulations to both you and your husband! Sounds like you're quite the TEAM!

LOL....BRAVO to you for performing "magic" with a box of books! These types of challenges are such fun. We get to be creative, productive and 10 steps (or 50 bucks) ahead of those who pay the big bucks, ..and buy new.

You are right...often the "older" items are of much better quality and have character. I know. I have a household full!! Thanks for your interesting input!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Thrift stores are smart places to save money and with gas prices so high, it is now less expensive than yard saling. Must confess that even though I don't do that very much anymore, I used to go every weekend. I prefer to pay an even lower price than thrift stores charge! And can't you just look at my picture and tell that I'm a haggler? Oh yes. And I taught my daughter at the age of 4 how to be a haggler too!

So often at yard sales you can find bran new items for less than a song -- which is lucky, since my singing voice is not my best feature. I have even had sale operators offer to give me stuff and I found tons and tons of bran new fabric, apholstery fabric, pieces a yard to 4 yards long, 60" wide for 10¢ each piece. I kid you not.

I ran serial yard sales for the year before my husband and I had to move our family to Boston so he could go to law school. The school gave him grants to pay everything, but nothing for transportation to get us moved up there. I took in about $8,000 that year in yard sales and all the merchandise was donated to us. (Check out my hub, "This High School Dropout Went to Harvard!" I should probably write about that sometime so someone else could do what we did.

Anyway, I think sturdy well made second hand furniture refinished or repurposed gives a home a lot of character, and the fun of shopping yard sales is that you just never know what treasure you will find. I bought a box of books for $5 and sold just one of those books on eBay for $35. I sold 3 more books out of that box for a total of another $30. A good investment.

Enjoyed this hub! Voting it up, useful, interesting,etc.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

You might want to think about a yard sale or some type of auction site where you can rent a table... In 4 seasons.....from approx May to Sept or Oct......I netted $7000.00.....on J U N K. Not too bad for a hobby, huh? This year was poor...due to weather and other intrusions. I may just close up shop, haven't decided. I have months to think about it. Thanks for stopping by!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I love consignment shops and do a lot of furniture buying there. Have not used them for selling stuff yet, but wouldn't hesitate to do so. Voting this Up and Useful.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Good for you, talfonso. You are smart to use your creativity to freshen up the clothes you find at Consignment shops or thrift stores. The truth is, most of these stores take in only used clothing of quality and excellent condition........should something be less than this, they will donate items to charity.

Thanks for the visit. Happy bargain hunting to you and your family!!


talfonso profile image

talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

My family members and I are HUGE consignment store shoppers. I agree that the common misconception are how dowdy and poor-quality the clothes are. Well, most of the time they are actually in good condition.

As for the dowdy ones, I'd decorate them with iron-on transfers, dyes, textile paints, and (my favorite decorating item of them all) hotfix rhinestones! Doing so gives them the mall-quality without the hefty price tag!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

YES.......funny you should say this!! I just replied to comments from 4 other hubbers with that PRECISE statement!!


Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 4 years ago from Asheville NC

Hi Paula,

A second comment on your comment about the comments here? (Hahaha)

How refreshing it is to know that even the inanimate can have a second chance. Makes one wonder how we apply that to each other, eh?


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

HUB-Buddies: TToombs.....Natashalh.....Docmo.....& Tillie

Thank you all for your interest in my hub on Consignment stores and Thrift shopping. You are all financially wise. All things should be recycled......given a 2nd chance......and appreciated by someone new.......INCLUDING WE HUMANS!!


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

Very useful and I love the idea of spending wisely. Voted up and useful. :-)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

A great place to shop and of course, a great hub!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Great hub, Paula, I could not have survived my early years and Med School debts without the marvel of thrift stores. They've kept me warm, gave me desks to study on and plenty of books to read. Points well made, my dear.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

I love consignment shops! A new one just opened near me and I can't wait to check it out. I have some great clothing and furniture from consignment stores.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Great stuff, Effer! I shop our one tiny little second hand store here which is run by the hospital auxiliary. Not too much in the way of furniture, but kitchen stuff out the wah-zoo! :) Great read and a lot of information! Voted up and sharing. :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

bankscottage.....Hey Thanks!! I shall return the favor by linking your hub to mine!! Mutual assistance!


bankscottage profile image

bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Great Hub. Info not only for the buyer, but useful if you are the seller. I'll link it to my Hub on Thrift Stores where I focus almost exclusively on the buyer and why to buy.

Voted up, interesting, and useful.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Sandy.....Hi there and thanks fo stopping by!! My little outdoor shop is close to opening and I've been busy. People begin stopping by before I'm even ready for business!! There's no question 2nd-hand shopping is very popular!!


Sandy Frost profile image

Sandy Frost 4 years ago from India

Very sure, consignment stores are indeed the best-buy locations for recycled items available on cost-effective prices as well as such stores are the best spots for vintage and "out of stock" items too. One who is not getting some old cellphone version in market or not getting some old novel series of horror-fiction, he or she must stop by there in stores and do a search. It is quite possible that his or her searches'll definitely end there.

An awesome hub, thank you. :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

It is fun, Sharyn......but just like anything else, to do it well, it can be time consuming. I've enlisted the help of 2 of my older grandchildren, who will "keep watch" over my market when I have to be gone for a while. In order to motivate them to negotiate and sell, they earn a percentage" of the day's sales. I've discovered they're both a couple of little WHEELER-DEALERS!!! LOL!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Excellent hub, excellent topic Paula. I love getting a good deal. I have always been frugal but even more so since things have changed with my work status. My favorite thing is to find a great bargain on something that I can resell for much more. I love that idea of having your own "open air" market. Sounds like tons of fun!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

emilybee....Well, I'll just have to hop over to your site and read your hub on consignment shops. Oh yeah, give me a day to go "thrift" shopping and I'm a happy lady! Getting nice stuff for a fraction of the cost of "new" is a challenge and a kind of game, don't you think? I always feel like I've out-smarted the world!!


emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

Great hub! I too wrote a consignment shop hub, I love consignment shops!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Ruchira...I know the rush well. "Look what I picked up for two bucks!!" Many people like to say they would NEVER purchase second hand.....but guess what? I have often caught these snobs sneaking in and out of thrift stores...hoping no one will see them!! LOL!!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

I always get a rush when I get a good deal in stores...gosh..my face becomes red and I brag about it to my friends...it's endless...lol

We have a goodwill store here...I paid a visit a few times and saw how well organized they keep stuff. Did not find anything of my interest but, oh well..needless to say..we all benefit some or the other way...i.e donating stuff and being useful for some!

voted up as useful/interesting.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Right, but, the way I see this RE-sell game, you have to look at the big picture with each and every deal. We had no use for the suits. Coming across someone WHO WORE THE SAME SIZE & who wanted them ALL, was a bonus. Although the suits were beautifully maintained, they were, after all, purchased more than a few years ago. So, while this guy came upon a treasure find.....it was a good deal for us too. That's what I love about this. It keeps you thinking!


Kim Cantrell profile image

Kim Cantrell 4 years ago from Deep In The Pages of a Book

$500 for 30 Christian Dior suits???!!! Holy cow, Batman! That young man got the deal of a lifetime!!!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

I love thrift stores! I got 4 pairs of big named brands of jeans and pants for $20 at good will in mint condition! Great hub...voted up!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Kim...Amen, girlfriend! The more we save, the prouder we are in our efforts to make magic with dollar bills!! I actually play it all like a game...and it really can be fun.

What do I love most?? Being able to tell someone I paid $35 for the very item they bought for $199.00!!! Hardy Har Har!!

Oh Dear me, Cyndi....Let me share a secret with you. My experiences have been that 95% of store owners WILL negotiate. I have haggled many a price and come out fairly happy with my deal. If one merchant won't bend....go to another. I believe you'll find most to be very willing to be flexible. Thanks for stopping by!

Born2care2001...funny you should mention men's suits! When my husband retired, I advertised no less than 30 "Christian Dior" business suits & 50 silk ties. Luck was absolutely with me. One young man, starting out in a new Professional practise, the exact size, bought them ALL! I was ecstatic. no muss, no fuss...and $500.00 in my pocket.

Can you imagine how happy the buyer was? In 2012, ONE Christian Dior suit is no less than $800.00!!! He must have thought he hit the lottery.

I can't think of a single reason why anyone would want to pay the big bucks when deals are everywhere.

Hey...good to hear from you. Stop by again!


Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 4 years ago from Asheville NC

Hi GramDawg!

Wonderful hub on a misunderstood topic! Why pay retail? My wife and I purchase many items through consignment and other types of "Gently Used" merchandise. I once bought a brand new Brooks Bros suit for $20. You have to hunt (and most guys couldn't be bothered) but sometimes it's a hoot!

Thanks for the fun and congratulations on a neat little niche!

Voted Up, useful and interesting!!!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

I've never purchased clothes from consignment shops but I purchase furniture and household items regularly from consignment shops. At times I'm a little disappointed by the prices they will slap on some items, sometimes more expensive than in the store, but overall it's a great way to buy and have fun the exploration. Good article.


Kim Cantrell profile image

Kim Cantrell 4 years ago from Deep In The Pages of a Book

I am a NUT for consignment sales, thrift stores, and yard sales! I can't tell you the last time I bought "new" stuff for myself or the house. Why pay full price? I say let someone else take the hit and I'll snatch it after it's been barely used and shuttled off to the Goodwill. :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

SS...I hear you. and I do believe this practice is passed on through the generations. My Dad had hundreds of tools but did not spend hundreds of dollars. Most tools are items that last and last. They serve the same purpose no matter where you buy them or what they cost!! Thanks for commenting, GF.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I am a thrift store and yard sale addict. There have been times when I hit the jackpot and what a rush that is!!!

There are also times when I walked away empty handed, but still had fun hunting for goodies!!

My daughters, their husbands and Faith are also hunters. Three generations, how cool is that!?!

We have a couple of high end consignment stores in our area. I checked them out, but prefer Target or Kohls.

Excellent hub! I'm looking forward to our huge community yard sale this weekend. 160+ homes are participating, wish you could be here! :)

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