The Who, What and Wear of Consignment Stores
Once you’ve chosen what to consign now the task comes into how much work do you want to put into it. It’s time to apply the “3 D’s”: Decide, Deliver & Deposit, a little process that when followed through will leave you with cash in-hand.
You can start by “Deciding” Whom to consign with – choose by price-point, clothing category (e.g. work wear or evening wear, kids/toddler clothes) and location. Are you looking to get the most money back? If so, choosing an online consignor who has a larger online presence and reach might be the best if you are not looking for an immediate pay-day (they usually pay monthly or even quarterly). I choose to consign with ThredUp and online consignor that accepts and sells everything from casual and work wear to maternity and kids. The additional plus, is that some online consignors offer higher commissions (percentage paid out to you) for higher-priced items.
Next, how do you want to “Deliver” your worn collections to the consignor – this should be based on time, accessibility and location. Some of the high-end, luxe consignors will come to you to assess your items and will package, ship and upload everything for you. All you have to do is arrange for them to stop by. This is a great service offered by The Real Real. Another good high-end online option is Tradesy. Alternatively, some online re-sellers will have a drop station for you or will provide pre-paid postage packaging/envelopes so you can just drop your haul off at any post office or shipper.
There is also the brick-and-mortar route. Just roll on up to your nearest consignor and you will usually get expedient service. It’s best to call them ahead and find out what hours/days they accept consignments as for smaller operations, it might be just one or two days a week. These stores are good for a quick turnaround of cash, as some will give you a payout for your items right on the spot. The downside, is they might not have the reach that you’re looking for in terms of getting the most people to view your items (though some have a national network and may also sell online). These sellers also might not need as much inventory thus, don’t accept as many items and they can sometimes pay less for an item than a larger operation can.
The last route to take is a DIY approach. Skip the middle-man and go directly to your nearest resell app or online platform. Think Ebay, Amazon Marketplace, Craigslist or even Etsy. Now, you can sell things via Facebook and Instagram (any social platform, really). Plus, there are some great apps out there for usually more lower-priced but local items, OfferUp, Close5. The problem with these apps and sites are that they offer such a wide variety of goods for sale, you really have to customize your listing to make it stand out against the crowd.
Finally, “Deposit” that check whether it came electronically or you already spent the cash. No matter which way you choose you’re sure to make some money back and hopefully you’ll be able to put towards new-to-you garment or two that you’ll love just as much.