Consignment Shopping: The Best Budget Marketplace

consignment-store-clothingWant to make money and save money at the same time? Welcome to the world of consignment shopping. Given the rate at which children grow and the expense of brand new clothing, keeping up with clothing needs can be a costly endeavour.

Consignment shopping need not be limited to children’s clothing either. Mom can score some sweet deals often at the same time.

Here are a few suggestions on how to maximize your own savings and potential earnings.

Take Care of Your own Clothes

As a consignment shopper and seller, your clothing has value beyond the immediate role of keeping you dressed.

In order to get top dollar for your duds, take care of them. Following washing instructions and store them properly. Make small repairs, like replacing buttons and zippers.

The older kids get, the harder they are on their clothes as well, so keep that in mind.

Get a Feel for Quality

Wouldn’t know a good cotton-poly blend if you saw it? It behoves the successful consignment shopper to take time to get to know the more durable materials and brands of clothing.

Feel the fabric. Is it scratchy, worn, torn or pilled? Are the seams solid?  While buying second hand clothing represents savings, those savings evaporate if you can only get a handful of wearing opportunities out of an item of clothing.

Fashion vs. Function

Consignment shopping is decidedly utilitarian, but you can often score a sweet fashion nugget that appeals to your inner fashionista.

Many of these finds are not obvious to the naked eye though, and may take some re-invention.  Try to imagine what some clothing items might look like with a little alteration or accessorizing. Learn to see clothing potential.

Get to Know Store Employees

This is one of those situations in which who you know matters. Get to know store employees. Not only will they alert you to specific items once they get to know your style and needs, they will let you in on inside information, like when sales and specials are going to take place.

Ask if there is stock not on shelves or about what items are in most demand (you may have these lying around at home!)

Make it a Habit

As inventory rotates fairly quickly in consignment stores (good stock gets snapped up right away), it pays dividends to go often. Does your local store have a set day of the week that they update their inventory? Some do- while others line the shelves with items as they get them.

As you get to know a store’s layout too, your visits will be more streamlined and efficient.

Search out Venues

Beyond the traditional bricks-and-mortar consignment store, community-run consignment sales are becoming more popular.

These tend to happen seasonally, and often take place in schools or community centres. Get to know where and when these take place. As a seller, you often get a fairly decent commission from your items and often have “pre-sale” access (they usually open the doors to consignors before the general public to get first crack at the best deals).