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Cleaning out the closets and consignment shops

Posted by bnicebkind (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 9, 09 at 13:05

What is your experience with taking clothes to consignment shops to be re-sold?


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RE: Cleaning out the closets and consignment shops

The one near my home ("good" Detroit suburb - oxymoron?)
is businesslike, accurate, has a fast, large turnover, and is easy to use. It does smell a little in there, though. Not everything is oderless.

There is a big counter for jewelry and assessories which does a brisk business. You can bring things in at any time. You consign for 60 days, and if you don't pick up unsold items during a 2-day window at the end of 60 days they can donate the items to charity. Tbe shop reduces items on a regular basis at it's own discretion. They say they are seasonal; for example, they are no longer accepting winter clothing. But that is kind of a judgement call nowadays. I've never tried to argue it; I don't consign very often. The consignor gets 40%, the consignee determines the price and sometimes refuses items. I believe there was a fee of $5 or $15 to get an ID number. There is a particular day or two on which you are supposed to pick up your check - that is not something you can do any time at all.

As far as what they take - I brought in some wool pants with the tags still on them and they refused them because they had pleats, for instance. I have seen people bring in big bags, and I got the impression the clothes came from, somewhere like the big rag warehouse where the clothes I donate to Purple Heart end up. The store goes through each item and makes a decision about it.

The designer outfits are kept on a separate rack. Designer has to be St. John or DKNY level- my J. Crew and Liz clothes don't qualify. A St. John suit might be about $50 or $60. The formal wear, whether designer or not, seems to be a little higher.

If I have something uniform and recognizable and costly - like a brand new Coach bag that was a gift that I'll never use - I sell it on Ebay. I don't think the store is the best venue for things like that. But the store was just the ticket for some NWT Liz tuxedo pants I wanted to be free of. I didn't want to deal with the vagaries of sizing women's pants on Ebay.

As for pricing? They put $15 on the tuxedo pants, size 6. The had a whole long rack of black pants. Someone will probably pay $9 or $10 for them.

I have never used another consignment store, nor seen one that I would use. I prefer to shop the sales racks of department stores. I do shop there when I'm dropping off, though, and on my last trip I picked up a lightweight gray blazer that I like which is probably from last summer.

There are always lots of customers present when I go there. I don't think there are any "secretly rich" shoppers. I think there are some smart shoppers, some who are looking to pick off the best for resale, some for the rare formal occasion (like a cruise night), and some who want the latest trends in costume jewelry.

You'd be surprised how well shoes sell.


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RE: Cleaning out the closets and consignment shops

I think that's what I was thinking about...what they take. I brought in some Sigrid Olsen clothing (with tickets, but bought late in 2007). and they did not accept it. Another skirt (boutique shop purchase) linen with wood bead work (new, but bought 2 years ago) and they said it was NOT something they thought would sell. Ann Taylor wrap style tops, etc. Silk capri pants. Nope. The shop is a decent consignment shop, but is NOT a high end consignment shop like you might find in LA, NYC, or Palm Beach. As I looked at the items in their shop, there was plenty of very ordinary clothes, and a rack of designer (a few somewhat dated St. John's, etc). There were a few good pieces (if you searched hard), but mostly decent ordinary clothes, and certainly several that I can't imagine they accepted.

One friend won't take things to them anymore because she was so offended when they reject the clothes she brought in. She remembers what she paid for them, and can't imagine they are being "rejected".

I guess I would understand if they had beautiful high end designer clothes filling their racks, but what fills this consignment shop are very ordinary clothes.

So to have them "reject" clothes with tickets or like new you really begin to second guess not only what's in your closet, but what is on the racks in the mall as well. I went to the mall later to return something, and as I looked around and shopped, I went through this weird experience where I could envision everything in the mall, on a rack at a consignment shop somewhere. Strange.


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RE: Cleaning out the closets and consignment shops

Yeah. And sometimes in that consignment store I see the same stuff you could find in the Salvation Army.

Some of it depends on the one doing the intake. There's plenty of junk in there that got past the censors. I'm sure they have their "best" customers from whom they accept anything, no matter what, but you see that kind of politics everywhere. I don't feel personally rejected when they reject what I bring in. I see consigning as a convenient way to cover part of the cost of my wardrobe mistakes, so I come out ahead on anything they do take.


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RE: Cleaning out the closets and consignment shops

Jamies...I totally agree with everything you said. I too see it as a way to at least recover something that was a wardrobe mistake. They did take some of the clothes I brought in, and they said that what doesn't sell in 60 days I could either pick up or they donate it to charity. I just gave them everything, and asked if they would pass it on to people who needed it.

I think you are right in that it depends on who is at the counter at the time you bring it in. Like you, much of what I saw on the racks is the same stuff you would see in a Salvation Army. And I imagine you are right, that they must have friends or regulars or something that they accept anything from. How else would they have so much of that kind of stuff?

I am still a bit surprised that they would turn away new and like new clothing, (considering what is on the racks) but I am not going to worry about it, as I really needed to weed out stuff I haven't worn, and it feels good to clear stuff out!

I just wondered if anyone else experienced this, and appreciate that you took the time to comment. I think I just wanted to chat with someone who got it. Thanks for being that person!


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RE: Cleaning out the closets and consignment shops

I have taken stuff to consignment shops, had it rejected, taken it back on a different day and had it accepted. Depends who's behind the counter. Anything of my husband's was taken...think they're desperate for men's stuff. Everything needs to be dry cleaned, so if you invest in dry cleaning, have it rejected, you're more money behind. I've found that most things have such a cut taken out of an already low sales price that it's not worth it. I, too, am amazed at some of the junk on the racks. Sometimes, it's better just to donate it to charity. We have a Dress for Success shop here, for women who need good quality things to interview and work in and can't afford them. That's a good donation place for suits and dress shoes.


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