Consignment shops, for those who may not know, are stores filled with used clothing and household items. People bring in all sorts of things to consign; from bed sheets to cookie sheets. The store’s personnel decide what to take and if the item sells both the shop and the person who brought the item in make money.
If enter a consignment shop knowing what you want, while being aware of the brand names and being prepared to try on items in bulk, you are sure to find a bargain while shopping.
Know What You Want. Consignment shops have literally, everything including the kitchen sink. There usually is an influx of items, often on display under poor lighting. If you enter a consignment shop “just to look”, you will likely come out with something you don’t need “because it was a bargain”. Worse yet, after the high of bargain shopping wears off, you will likely find that you’ve purchased some piece of junk that has a hole in it or that doesn’t work and really wasn’t a bargain at all.
I always enter a consignment shop with a plan. If I’m looking for children’s toys and I see a really cute jacket, I will look it over, try it on and then put it back on the rack. After I go home and think about it, deciding it really is a bargain and something I want, I’ll go back to the consignment shop. If it’s there, it’s meant to be. If it’s not there, it’s not.
I set a dollar figure that I’m willing to spend in total and on any specific item to guarantee that I’m getting the shopping bargain I’m hoping for.
If I find something while consignment shopping that is a low price because it needs some sort of repair, I take into account what I will, and what I will not be willing to do to make the item usable to me. If a button needs to be sewn on, I’ll take it. If a zipper needs to be moved in order to make the garment fit correctly, it’s no bargain, I won’t.
Know Your Brands. When bring home used items from a consignment shop, you never know what sort of life they had before coming to live at your house. Knowing brand names will limit you’re searching time while consignment shopping, signal you to quality items and peak your interest in an item that you may not have considered otherwise.
Searching through mounds of consignment clothing can be daunting as well. It’s hard to know what to pull out and what to leave. This is where brand awareness is key. If all you can see in a heaping pile of sweaters is the collar and the color, look for the tag. If it says LL Bean or Lands End, it’s likely a good quality and a certain beachy, mature style. If that’s something you’re looking for, you can pull it out and look it over further to see if it is going to be a bargain for you.
If you have no idea what LL Bean clothing looks like, you’d have to patiently stand next to the pile of sweaters, unfolding and folding each one to see if it’s something you would like. Spending hours consignment shopping is no bargain if you don’t know your brands.
Beyond brand names being important as time savers and quality clues while consignment bargain shopping, they are a great “pause” button. It’s hard to know what to pull out of a giant bin of items, but seeing a brand name that you like can make all the difference between pulling out that rare, vintage Chanel bargain and passing it by.
Try Items on in Bulk. More consignment stores should have shopping carts, in my opinion. Used clothing simply doesn’t fit like its new counterparts. It’s been washed and shrunk, stretched out and tapered in. I wear everything from a size 4 to a size 14 in consignment clothing. When consignment shopping, I will pull out anything that looks remotely like it will fit me from the racks and sort it out in the dressing room. I’ll try on every pair of pants, then every shirt, then every dress or skirt in a speed session. If the item is at all tight or loose, I don’t even look at it, I’ll immediately rip it off and try on the next item. No clothing is a bargain if it doesn’t fit. My normal routine while consignment shopping is to go into the dressing room with 20 items and come out ready to purchase three of them.
For me, consignment shopping has resulted in some amazing bargains when I remember to keep in mind what I want, shop the brand names and try clothing on in bulk.