What to do with ‘stuff’ — those things you had to have, thought you needed, or just plain wanted for no apparent reason. But then that stuff ended up taking up space, was only worn once, or used a few times and then set aside to gather dust. We all have plenty of stuff – some of us more than others.
So, what are your options? After all, you spent hard-earned money to buy those items. Donating them might be a good idea — or perhaps you should take the consignment route and recoup a little of the cost. Hmm, that’s a pretty good idea, right?
If you’re a first-time consigner, here are a few tips to get you started:
- If you’re new to consignment shops, take some time to visit several shops to see what they carry. Some may only have women’s clothing; some may also have children’s and men’s clothing plus household goods and furniture. Depending on what you hope to consign, you’ll need to select a shop that carries similar merchandise.
- As with home buying, location is important. Is the consignment shop in a well-known shopping area? Would you buy items from that shop? Is the atmosphere inviting with clean aisles, well-presented selections, and helpful staff?
- Consignment shops do sell new items that still have tags on. So, if that gift you received is the wrong size or just isn’t ‘you,’ leave the tags on and add it to your consignment stack.
- Consignment shops generally follow the seasons, so be sure whatever clothing you take is right for the current season. You may have to hold off on taking in those sweaters and coats until cooler weather if you are taking a load in spring.
- Be sure all clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. If a garment came with extra buttons, include those as well. If minor repairs are needed, take care of those before you visit the shop. Also, if a garment has been altered, let the shop know so they can put it with the appropriately sized section.
- Trust the consignment manager if you’re told that they don’t have a market for an item. Tastes change, and what used to be a hot trend may be old news — like those entertainment centers or stereo systems with all the bells and whistles from years gone by.
- Be sure you understand the payment policy and scale for the shop. Some use a time-based percentage reduction process. If something doesn’t sell, some shops have a pick-up option or will donate an item for you. Be sure you understand the process and when you’ll be paid for things that sell.
- Build a relationship with the shop management. You may find you enjoy consigning and shopping consignment stores for your own bargains!