Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recycle your Fashion and Consign for Cash



I am super excited because I've booked an appointment for tomorrow at HUSH ( http://www.hushclothes.com/) - Ottawa's coolest (and most profitable, as far as I can see) consignment shop.

WHAT IS A CONSIGNMENT SHOP?!?!!? In short, it's an upscale second hand clothing boutique where you can find great items and sell some too. The store will accept items from consignors (that'd be you) and put them on the sales floor. When the items sell, the shop will give the consignor a certain percentage of the resale value (usually 40%-50% - it's outlined in the contract that you sign at the beginning), and promptly cut a check.

Back in the day, I used to do pageants (helped put me through college, they sure did - more on that to come in the Business section!!!), and I went to consignment shops to buy my gowns - I knew they'd have gorgeous, unique, and very reasonably priced gowns....but then I realized that they also have a selection of beautiful ready to wear clothing too......From Banana Republic to Anne Taylor to BCBG to St. John's to Chanel - you name it, they had it!

Fast forward a few years, jobs, and serious wardrobe additions later, I realized that I had a ton of clothes that I no longer found as treasurable as I once had...so I gave consigning a try. I found a shop, booked an appointment, left a few items at the store, and collected my check a few months later. It's SUCH a great way to make some unexpected money, get rid of unessential pieces, and pass along joy to the next potential buyer!

If you've got some items to be fashionably and lucratively recycled, here are a few ideas that I found helpful:
  • Shop around for the best consignment store in your city. Find one in an area with high foot traffic and one that sees a lot of shoppers on a daily basis.
  • Look at the price ranges, quality, and labels of clothing currently for sale. Be sure that you'd be happy and comfortable with your items being sold alongside what's already in the store.
  • Ask if they require dry cleaning. Most consignment shops require that the garments be clean and stain free. If dry cleaning is required, I'd pass and move on to another shop - it'll get way too expensive.
  • Make an appointment. Try to book an appointment 2-3 months ahead of a season. If you want to sell spring items, for example, book some time in February. Call and make an appointment early because if the store is successful, its inventory will fill up quickly and they'll no longer accept items after they reach capacity.
  • Create an impressive display. When I take my items, I place each item on a nice wood hanger, place all my pants in 1 garment bag, tops in another, jackets in another, then place them in a huge suitcase that they wheel to the back. This way, they know that a consignor that takes this much care of the presentation probably takes good care of her clothes, and hopefully, they'll price them a bit higher, which boils down to a few more dollars in my pocket:)

Hope this helps, and wish me luck tomorrow!

that be about it for now.
ciao, y'all!
a

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