I used to assume that all consignment stores automatically made clothing more expensive. Think about the logic of it, the store has to make money, the person selling the clothes has to make money, and you still want to get a good deal. Doesn’t seem like you would be able to with everyone trying to get their cut! Here are some tips to try and get the most for your dollar at consignment stores.
1. Shop around for the best stores. Ask your friends and ask their friends which consignment stores they enjoy shopping at. While one store might have higher prices or higher end clothing, another might have good prices all the time plus sales!
2. Pay attention to sales. Many consignment stores mark down clothing after it has been with them a certain period of time or at the end of a season. (For example I know of a store in my town that marks down anything that is still there after 3 months based on the color of the tag.) At these sales you can find good deals to buy clothing for another season.
3. Sell your clothes! When you are done with them, sell your clothing back to consignment stores! Some stores will give you only credit while others will give you cash so make sure you “shop around” for the best store to sell your items at. You might not make as much as selling your clothing outright but you won’t have to do any of the work.
4. Make double sure you are picking the best store to sell your clothes at. This is a very important point so it’s worth repeating. One store in my town often throws away things they decide not to sell instead of giving them back to you…you don’t want that to happen!
5. Just because it’s a brand name, don’t pay more. This goes for shopping anywhere. You want to get a quality item but you don’t need to pay for the tag! Pay attention to what fabrics the clothing is made out of and how durable it feels. Don’t buy used clothing that feels thin or already has holes in it because it won’t last much longer.
Do you sell your clothing at consignment stores or do you shop at them? What tips do you have or what experiences can you share with other readers?
This post on Frugal Clothing was originally posted on Little House Living in September 2012. It has been updated as of September 2019.