In this economy many people have found that shopping (and selling) resale or consignment stores helps them stretch their family dollar. Whether shopping/selling for kids or adults, here are some tips on how to get the most of your resale store experience:
1. Don’t bring everything; be picky: In this case “picky” is not a bad word! Consignment and resale stores will only buy merchandise that they believe they will be able to sell. Look through your items first. Be selective: only bring items that are in good condition and still in style. When selling kids toys or equipment, make sure it is clean, in good working order, has all it’s parts and instruction manuals if possible.
2. Freshly laundered: You should wash and clean the clothes before selling them, (Yes, even if they were clean when you put them in the drawer/closet/storage tub.) Most shops put your merchandise directly on their racks, so it's a matter of presentation. You should also not bring in anything with stains, holes or fading.
3. Leave the trash bags at home: This is a BIG one! Throwing items into trash bags makes the storeowners think of… well... trash. It makes your merchandise harder to sort and prepare for selling. When items are nicely folded, clean and organized, it means that you've taken the time to go through them and they are worth looking through. A laundry basket, box, shopping bag, or brown grocery bag are the preferred method of transport for most shop owners.
4. Take one bag/box at a time. The larger the volume of articles to sort through, the less merchandise they will likely take. For one thing, shop owners see numerous drop-offs a day. No matter how cute you (or they!) think your clothing is, they cannot buy everything. You will have better luck taking in smaller quantities more often.
5. Find a shop that looks like you. Since stores vary greatly in the merchandise that they carry, you will have better luck if you browse the racks first. Pay attention to styles and brands that they carry.
6. Call ahead: It helps to call ahead to find out about buying hours, what the store is looking for, or any particulars related to drop-off. It may help to ask what are they not interested in. Many times there's nothing wrong with what you're bringing in, the storeowner simply has too much of it at that time.
7. How much do you get? Shops vary in what they pay. In a consignment store, your percentage may be higher, but you don’t get paid until your merchandise sells. In a resale shop, your percentage may be smaller, because the shop owner is assuming the risk if your items don’t sell, but your payment is immediate. You often get a higher percentage if you take store credit vs. cashing out as well.
SHOPPING SECONDHAND: Once you shop resale, it will be hard to pay full price at a "regular" store again!
1. Shop often: Resale and consignment stores often get new merchandise on a daily basis. If your shop is local, go back often. Nothing on Monday? Try again Thursday!
2. Use store credit: If you sell merchandise to a resale store, your percentage is usually higher if you take store credit instead of cashing out. Use it immediately or save it for later --- even if you don't usually shop "gently used", many resale stores carry new merchandise as well. Or, in the case of our store (www.Platypuskids.com), store credit can be used towards kids classes.
3. Enlist the storeowner’s help for needed items: Looking for something particular? Ask the store owner to call you if your item comes in!
4. Get on the email list: Find out about new item, specials, or events and take advantage of them!
5. Visit all the local shops: There are numerous shops, especially here in eco-concious Encinitas, and their inventory assortment varies widely. Savvy shoppers usually make it a habit to visit all the local resale shops in their city for the best deals!
Why resale? No need to wait for a sale! Get great brands at great prices everyday while supporting local businesses AND save gas by shopping local. Reducing, reusing, and recycling has never been so fashionable!