How to Successfully Consign Your Clothes

Selling your clothes doesn't have to be so tricky...
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Sabrina - Howard University
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Selling your clothes doesn't have to be so tricky...

Sometimes I can be guilty of going a little overboard when it comes to shopping. I might buy another black turtleneck when I know I already have two more at home. So I try to justify my purchases by frequently purging my closet.

While I'm more than willing to swap clothes with my girlfriends, consignment shops are my go-to option when it comes to closet cleaning. Consignment stores are great for both shoppers and sellers alike. Often, shops are curated by uber stylish buyers who are specially trained to pick only the trendy pieces. This allows customers to score fabulous pieces at a fraction of retail price.

But the best part of consignment stores is actually consigning. It's pretty simple; you bring in a bag of gently used clothing, a buyer sorts through your items, and then they offer you cash or store credit for the items they take. (It's often a percentage-based setup: You get 40% of the sale price, the buyer gets 60%, or some other split.) Even though the process is super easy, it can be a hassle trying to get the most money for your clothes.

As a frequent consigner, I'm here to help you guys get the best deal possible by sharing some of the tips I've learned below! Here are my best tips for how to consign your clothes:

Appeal to the Store's Market

Different consignment stores, like all retail spaces, have a specific market. Plato's Closet has a radically different market than Buffalo Exchange, and this determines what kind of clothing they are looking for. While all consignment shops are looking for universally fashionable clothes, certain stores may lean towards a more hipster or preppy style. Look for stores that fit your personal style for a greater chance of success.

Keep in Mind Season and Current Trends

Consignment stores try to stay at the forefront of fashion trends, which means that if you're trying to consign, you should too. There's no use trying to sell clothes that are obviously out of style because consignment shops don't want them. This also goes for clothes that are obviously out of season. If you wouldn't buy short shorts in the middle of November, most likely other people wouldn't either.

Be Critical of the Condition of Your Clothes

The most common reason consignment stores pass on clothing is "excessive wear and tear". This can mean anything from from a loose thread or fraying hem to a broken zipper or pit stains. If you know that your clothes are in less-than-stellar condition, consider mending them beforehand or re-purposing them instead.

What Do You Think?

Have you ever visited a consignment shop? What are some of your favorite? Let us know in the comments!