Thursday, January 14, 2010

Consignment: A user’s manual

Consignment is a great way to pass along what’s no longer working for you and make money at the same time. However, there are a few simple guidelines that you must follow to make it worth your while!  If you’re not interested in doing these things, then drop your items off at your favorite charity.  Quickly getting rid of items that don’t light you up is the main thing!  Get that stuff out of your energetic field as quickly as possible and into the hands of someone that can use it! If you’re the type that likes details and making money from your clothes, here is what you will need to do.
You will need bright DAYLIGHT to see your clothes. Go over them visually front and back in bright daylight, inside and out.  Notice if there is fading, stitching issues, missing buttons, broken zippers, stains or hems that are ripped or falling out. No one wants to buy clothing that they have to work on. Take it to alterations if it makes the cut and get it sold. Look at the item as if YOU YOURSELF WERE GOING TO PURCHASE IT!   How much would you pay for it? If the item still has tags, you’re going to have better luck.  Shoes and belts: How new do they look? Wipe them down inside and out with a wet wipe and shine them.

1)      CLEAN.  A no brainer, you say? Unfortunately not. People have many items that they THINK are clean but are dirty, stained, torn, worn, and damaged, have pet hair and/or deodorant stains (or worse!) Think: Would I want to try on something with deodorant or dog hair? What value would that item have for you? $5? Or ick!!! Hardly worth your time. Clean means clean.  Freshly washed or dry-cleaned. Smell them. If they have any kind of smell, whether it’s perfume or incense or smoke, that means dirty.  Your clothes need to smell fresh when they arrive at the consigners.  Make sure there is no smoke or animal hair in the car you take them in, or package them all in plastic for the drive.  Do not put them into the car until the day you have your appointment.  Stuff that stays in your car will get “dirty” quickly and you will have to start all over again!
2)      WRINKLE FREE AND ON HANGERS. Make sure the hangers fit so the clothes don’t fall off and don’t get stretched out with shoulder nipples.  Iron your clothes only if you are talented at it because many people damage their clothing by using an iron that is dirty or scorches their clothes. So, unless you are a precise old German or my Aunt Millie, have the cleaners do it and then take them to the consignment shop directly!
3)      SEASONAL and CURRENT. Clear out your clothes at the first sign of the new season and call to make your consignment appointment. Consignment stores are usually small, so they are picky about taking things in season.  Vintage would be the exception to “current styles” within the last 2 years. Time is of the essence. The longer you keep clothes you don’t want, the more they lose value.
4)      DESIGNER or BRAND NEW CONDITION. Generally speaking, most consignment stores are looking for gently used or new items of 2 years or less.  Other stores are looking for vintage or unusual items from the 1960’s back.  Other stores may consider buying your new items outright.  The better care you have taken of your clothes will pay you higher dividends, depending on the store.

Consignment stores vary in quality and price. Check them out and see what the split is. The average is 40% -50%, which is great considering they are paying the overhead! After 30 -90 days, your clothes will be drastically marked down, so keep up with your dates.  If it doesn’t sell, consider picking it up or have the store donate it to charity. For valuable items over $150, I would say try first on EBay, which has a global customer base or KSL or Craig’s list. Remember to take a great photo that makes your item look it’s best.  The selling price most stores will start with is 1/3 of current retail value.

Many people over-value their old clothes.  My theory is that it dates back to our DNA from the Great Depression.  If it has some use in it, it has value.  (Well, maybe if you live on a farm).  For the rest of us, if our clothes don’t look nice, we don’t look nice.  This is why I’m such a stickler for quality, best colors and best styles for your body type. Clothing is a serious investment of time, money and energy and should not be taken lightly, just like the investment of a home.  Consigning clothes will help you realize this and give you greater caution when purchasing.  Using a great image stylist or wardrobe consultant could easily save you thousands over the years if they can advise you on the best styles, colors and cuts that work for you so that you will actually love your clothes and take good care of them!

Sadly, many great stores have gone out of business this last year. Here is an updated local list to check into.

3300 South/Highland
Cassandra’s Closet: 801) 484-2522   Ann Taylor to St. John, great jewelry!
Consignment Circuit: 801) 486-6960  Lorie likes unusual items, retro or vintage. (80’s or earlier) One of my favorites!
Name Droppers: 801) 474-1644   Designer & nearly new. J Crew & above. They have an outlet store on Parley’s where their designer items are 50 -75% off.
Decades and Retro Rose no longer consign, but they do buy vintage outright.
Park City
The Xchange Consignment : 435-649-3360   Men’s & Women’s 350 1/2 Main Street
 Park City, UT
Yours, Mine & Ours: 801) 299-1515    Men’s consignment as well as women’s & kids. Designer bags & other household items.  177 W 300 S, Bountiful, UT

Auretha Callison is an Image Styling & Branding Coach in Salt Lake & Park City,

1 comment:

  1. Uptown Cheapskate and Plato's Closet are great consignment stores too! I frequent Uptown Cheapskate. It's by the Gateway in Salt Lake.

    clothed much, a modest fashion blog


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