clos-ette solutions: to consign or not to consign?
Now that you’ve got piles of cast-offs, it’s time to face the dreaded question: What do I do with all this stuff? When it comes to good-condition, high-quality items (especially those of the tags-still-on or designer variety), consigning can be the best route. We often advise our Clos-ette clients to look at it this way: you wore it, you loved it, and now you’re ready to move it along to the next person –and make a little money in the process. Herewith, our top tips for consigning your unwanted wares smoothly and successfully:
- Do your research. Consignment shops vary widely in terms of the clothing they accept. Some prefer to handle only high-end or designer clothing, while others will accept any clothing as long as it is in excellent condition. Call around to see what sort of merchandise they’re looking for, if they’re on a seasonal schedule, and how much clothing they’ll accept from one consignee. Doing your homework ahead of time can minimize the stress of schlepping your clothes around town, and also maximize your monetary rewards.
- Read the fine print. Be sure that you understand the shop’s individual rules before you sign their contract or personal agreement. For instance, discuss what percentage of the sale price they keep (many consignment shops work on a 50-50 split, but don’t be afraid to negotiate), and find out what they do with unsold clothing. Do they donate it to a reputable charity, throw it away, or make you pick it up and haul it home? It’s important to ask.
- Prepare your wares. Garments should be in excellent, clean condition (and dry-cleaned if possible). Don’t forget to check pockets for valuables such as sunglasses, keys, or wads of cash!
- Take your own inventory. Before you part with your goods, make a list of the items you’re going to consign with shop, including the visual description, designer, and overall condition of each garment, along with a reasonable amount you would like each item to sell for (a general rule of thumb: ask approximately half of what you originally paid for the garment). This is your personal documentation of what they have and what condition you delivered it to them. Make sure you have the person receiving your clothes sign a copy for your records!