How to shop consignment

How to shop consignment

Consignment shops have benefited in recent months from the shift in consumer thinking.  Many of us are getting smarter and more mindful about how we spend our money.  Whether you need to “penny pinch” or you just want to find a great deal, shopping at a consignment store is an excellent way to stick to your budget while maintaining your fashionable wardrobe.

Consignment shopping is a lot like a treasure hunt.  You can find so many wonderful, one of kind items but you will also find top brands that are about 60-80% below current retail prices.  Because consigning has become so popular, the consignment stores only offer items that are currently in season, in demand, and in 100% perfect condition.  Some items still have the tags on them!  You don’t have to worry about looking “dated” if you were to buy from a consignment store.  Store owners know that if you shop their store and the items are not current, you won’t come back.  

You may be thinking, “I don’t have the patience” or “I’m not good at hunting through the racks”.  If so, here are a few tips on how to find a great item at a consignment store.

  • Take inventory of your closet & make a list of items you “need” or “want” such as a new cashmere sweater or dress pants for work.
  • Note what brands fit you well and what size you wear in similar items in your closet now.
  • Make a list of items that you’re also interested in finding such as accessories, shoes, a coat or jacket.
  • When you enter the consignment store, tell the associate what you are looking for and ask him or her to direct you to the appropriate area.  Consignment stores typically categorized their store by type of item then size and occasionally by color.  New items come in every day and if you are specific, the associate my have just gotten in exactly what you came to buy.
  • If you have the time, browse the other departments for the other items of interest.  You never know what you could stumble upon!

If you don’t find what you were looking for, don’t be discouraged.  Since the merchandise rotates quickly, you can pop back into the store in a few days or a week.  Some stores even have a “wish list” in which you can write down items you’re on the hunt for and the associates will call you when they get them in the store.

You can also MAKE money at a consignment store because consignment stores get their merchandise from you, the public.  You can bring in items crowding your closet and the consignment store will pay you anywhere between 40%-60% of the selling price when your items sell.  Or, you can use the money in your account to purchase something in the store!  Anything that doesn’t sell, within a designated time, can be donated to an establishment of your choice.

Buying and selling at a consignment store is a great way to save a little money, make a little money, go green by way of recycling, support a local business and find unique fashionable items for 1/3 of the retail price.  To get you started, here’s a list of resell stores in Indianapolis and surrounding areas.

Happy Treasure Hunting!

- S.O.