Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Consignment Shops

I started writing this post and then forgot all about it! So here it is:

The summer after graduation, I started consigning a bunch of my clothes (and other stuff like jewelry, books, etc.) to make a little extra money (at the time I was a waitress/bartender/beer-cart girl at a local golf course, and though I made good tips, I wanted to save up a bit more). I was living with my parents at the time, so I used a local consignment store, Babies in Bloom. I first started with clothes that I didn't really like anymore, or that I liked but never actually wore. Then I helped my mother purge her closet, making her get rid of items that were too reminiscent of the 1980's or 1990's (sweaters with some sort of picture on the front, shirts with little cartoon animals on them, etc.). By the end of the summer, I had made over $200, and at the same time cleared out room for new clothes. And whatever wasn't sold by the end of the season was donated, which I thought was a really nice touch.

Since moving to the DC area, I have looked at consignment stores here, but have found them to be wanting. Current Boutique in Bethesda was the first one I've used, and I was very disappointed. For one, you only get 1/4 of what you paid for something. Let's say you want to consign a dress that was $100. You tell the store that's what you paid, they sell it for $50, and you get $25. Lame: you might as well take the time to sell it on Ebay. Plus, they are very choosy about what items they'll take. I had a Ralph Lauren shirt and a brand new pair of leather boots, and they wouldn't take them! But on the racks were these horribly ugly dresses that I know have been there for months since the store first opened. At least their new items (i.e. not consigned) are gorgeous, but good luck finding something that's less than $68 in that section.

I have also consigned with Mustard Seed. Their prices are also a little high for me (especially their new merchandise), but I was able to sell some pants that I had ordered online that didn't fit, so at least I could make up some of the money I had spent on them. And while I have not consigned with Reddz Trading, I have bought things there. I got a super-sexy red dress (imagine something you would have worn to your high school homecoming dance) for $20. Now that's a deal! I've also seen fur coats there being sold for less than $100. I always see cute things when I go in there, and all in all I think the prices are reasonable (again, that's my view as a customer, not as a consigner).

I highly recommend consignment in general for young women who are living on a budget. Not only can you make a little money for yourself by selling your old stuff, but you can also get a new wardrobe without breaking the bank! Honestly, besides shoes, I can't remember that last time I spent more than $30 on a single item, new or consigned. And I'm still a fashionista!

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