November 19, 2011

Tips for Consignment

I recently introduced (yet another) friend to my favorite store, Second Time Around.  A fellow fashionista, she of course loved it!  She summed up the amazing-ness of the store by describing how it allows her to solve two problems in one:

First, “I love to shop!”  Don’t I know it.  And STA makes it possible to shop many designers at once, all at discounted prices. 

Second, “I have too many clothes!”  STA is great because it allows to keep your wardrobe space in check.  When you bring in the new, don’t forget to consign the old!

So, if you haven’t already started shopping at Second Time Around... what’s wrong with you?  Go this weekend!  While you’re at it, I recommend signing up for the STA e-newsletter (in stores or online).  They don’t bog you down with tons of messages.  I usually receive only a handful per month that either let me know about sales or special shopping parties with extra hours, snacks and drinks!

Every holiday weekend (Labor Day, Columbus Day, etc.), Second Time Around will have a sale with all merchandise at least 30% off, with some items up to 50% and 70% off.  Now is an especially great time to sign up because the holidays are almost upon us!  STA has a great Black Friday sale that I wouldn't dream of missing!

Consigning, most do not realize, is actually part science, part art-form.  The first thing you need to know is that walk-in appointments are not accepted.  You have to call in advance and reserve your own 30 minute time slot. The super-difficult thing is that appointments are only offered during the week days, with the latest available time slot at 6 pm.   So, plan ahead, get your consignment items ready using my tips and guidelines below, and make the most of it!

Basic Guidelines
- Only bring items that are in season.  Some things like jeans and tops are consignable year-round.
- Ensure your items are washed, ironed and otherwise in good condition.  Presentation is important.
- Bring a variety of items and brands.  You never know what will go!  Note that you're allowed up to 30 items per appointment.
- Don't forget accessories and jewelry.  STA loves jewelry, even and especially costume jewelry.  I've also consigned belts, clutches, scarves and shoes!

Further tips
- If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!  Sometimes, for whatever reason, an item that I think is perfectly consignment-ready is not accepted.  In these cases, I either try consigning it at a different location, or putting it away for a few months to try again when the seasons change.  What is accepted depends on so many factors that I am most often successful at getting these items consigned (and sold!)  It could that the store already has too many of what you're trying to consign, that the item isn't a perfect match for the clientele at that location, or even that your item just needs a little love and recognition from a different associate. 
- Get to know the sales associates!  I've been incredibly impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff at each of the locations I've been to.  There are always perks to being on good terms with the sales staff...
- If you can't sell something via consignment, all is not lost.  I donate monthly to charity and get a valuable tax credit for everything I give.  My donations go to Housing Works which is fantastic, because they also accept books, house goods, etc.  Salvation Army works the same way.  Don't forget to grab a receipt!