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Making the Most Money At Consignment Stores

Updated on July 10, 2007

I have sold and shopped at many consignment stores over the years. After some time you start figuring out what works and what doesn't. Over time I have learned a few tricks to making the most money selling clothing and other items at consignment stores. It really isn't hard if you are willing to pay attention to a few details.

Consignment stores will not take clothing that is torn, stained, worn through or badly piled. Making sure to take very good care of the clothing you have is the best thing you can do to ensure you get top dollar for your clothing at consignment stores. I do not use my dryer to dry my clothing very often and hanging my laundry to dry reduces fading and worn out looking clothes.

If clothing gets stains on it - treat it promptly with a good stain remover. No one wants to wear clothing that has stains on it and you will not be able to resell it this way, so be careful and treat stains as soon as possible in hopes of getting the stains out. I have learned the hard way how important it is to wear an apron when cooking. Paying attention to details like this is important in making sure your clothes last as long as possible and that you will be able to resell them.

If you have children, have a few outfits that are strictly play clothes. Allowing your children to play outside in their nicer school outfits will likely allow them to get stained or torn. Having nicer outfits separate from play outfits will keep their nicer clothing in top condition - which means a higher resale value.

I have sold items at two types of consignment stores. The first type took the clothing they thought would sell and as the items sold I accumulated money in my account. At the end of the month I could go and get the cash for the things that sold. The clothing would stay on consignment through the season and then was donated to Goodwill at the end of the clearance time. I received a percentage of the selling price and store kept the rest.

The second type of consignment store pays me for the clothing I bring in right there on the spot. I do not think that you get as much money selling things this way. The store can't be sure how much the items will sell for and has to be cautious about what they pay for things. Getting paid for items after they are sold has allowed me to make more money selling on consignment. If you have the option, you should ask to get paid a percentage of the selling price after the items sell. Not all stores offer the option, so always ask.

Another way I have made money selling at consignment stores is to keep my eye out at garage sales for things that would sell well at consignment stores. The sale that has all clothing selling for a quarter a piece is a great way to make money. Carefully look over the items and take whatever you can that is in very good condition. You could probably get a dollar or two for each item at a consignment store. If it is name brand clothing you will get even more. I do not specifically go to garage sales to look for things to sell on consignment. While I am there shopping for things I need, I look for things to resell. It takes very little extra time and can earn quite a lot of money for me if I end up with a lot of nice things.

Once you have the items that you want to sell, make sure they are freshly washed and ironed. A good presentation will increase the value of the items you are selling. Another big seller at consignment stores is toys. Wipe down all toys well before taking them for resale. You want your items to look as good as they can. The consignment stores do not have to accept what you bring in. So in affect you have to sell you items to the consignment store before it can be resold to the public. If a toy requires batteries, make sure the toy works well before taking it in. You don't want people thinking that it is broken just because it needs new batteries.

You can make good money selling things at consignment stores. I generally make enough to purchase the clothing I need for my kids from the consignment store that I am selling at. To make the most money follow these tips and you will ensure success. Good luck!


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thanks for sharing this information. Its a very "green" way to deal with clothes as well, as opposed to just throwing them away.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      This is useful information. I have been paring down my possessions, and selling clothes I don't wear at a consignment store is on my list of things to do. I have been reluctant, as I wasn't completely sure how it works. Your article has helped me get more of the info I need. Thanks. Voted up and sharing.

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Awesome idea! I hadn't thought about this but it's very smart. I will have to try my hand at this as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Miranda 6 years ago

      tell me more!!!

    • profile image

      Do Over Children's Consignment 7 years ago

      AS the owner of a consignment store I agree with the advice in the article. My store gives the consignor online access to your account so you can log on and see what has sold and you can pick up a check whenever you want.

      Great advice!

    • profile image

      Miranda 8 years ago

      I think that consigning is a wonderful idea, especially if you don't have to buy the items in the first place! If a family member gives you a bag of hand-me-downs ask if you can consign what you won't use. You don't want them to be offended or feel as though you aren't grateful. Also, we manage an apartment building and people tend to leave MUCH of their stuff behind. I have been able to consign one jacket that I didn't pay a penny for and made almost $15 on it! All I had to do was drive to the store, which I was doin't anyways! There are many people who are too proud or don't have the time to consign items. All you have to do is ask and even offer to do it for them if they split half with you. If you're already consigning anyways, there is little incovenience to you. Happy consigning!

    • Midasfx profile image

      Midasfx 8 years ago

      I love the ideas, and I never thought of them to be profitable. I typically only buy clothes from consignment stores. Generally I buy things like t-shirts and shorts for painting or labor jobs that i know i will stain, rip, or destroy. for this type of stuff these clothes are a great buy! Very good hub!

    • Mirraje profile image

      Mirraje 9 years ago from Port Orange, FL

      Excellent advise for potential consignors. It's amazing that there aren't even more people out there making money on consignment sales considering our economy!