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How to Sell to Consignment Shops

If your old clothes are of high quality and in good shape, selling them on consignment is an easy way to make cash quickly.


  • Step 1: Find shops Look in the yellow pages or search online under "consignment," "resale," or "secondhand" to see what's in your area.
  • Step 2: Know the difference Know the difference between a consignment shop and a resale store. The former pays you an agreed-upon percentage of whatever they can get for your merchandise, usually in the 25 to 50 percent range. The latter appraises the items and pays you cash on the spot. "Secondhand" can refer to either.
  • TIP: A "thrift" shop is generally run by a nonprofit charity that depends on donations.
  • Step 3: Narrow your search Check out the shops, either in person or by visiting their web sites. Different stores cater to different clients. Find one that matches your style so your stuff has a better chance of selling, and call them before you bring your clothes.
  • TIP: There are consignment shops for furniture, too.
  • Step 4: Get them into mint condition Review the clothes you want to sell and make any necessary repairs, like securing a loose button. Polish shoes. Have everything cleaned and pressed.
  • TIP: Clothes that are in season sell better, and some shops don't even accept clothes that are out of season; check first before you lug your winter clothes to a shop in June.
  • Step 5: Check the fine print Make sure you understand the contract terms, like how long the shop is entitled to peddle your wares, and how quickly they'll cut you a check for items sold. Some stores charge a fee whether your goods sell or not, meaning you could actually lose money if they can't unload the stuff.
  • Step 6: Ask about insurance If you're handing over something valuable, make sure the store has insurance for theft and fire.
  • Step 7: Get receipts Get a receipt for each item you are selling, and ask the shop owner to examine the clothes with you and note their condition in writing.
  • FACT: Research shows we only wear 20 percent of what's in our closet 80 percent of the time.

You Will Need

  • Nice clothes
  • A look in your closet
  • Access to consignment stores
  • Patience

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