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Selling to Consignment Shops? Follow These 7 Tips for Great Success.

sales clerk waiting to help you sell your pre-owned designer clothes

Over the years, I’ve collaborated with thousands of individuals looking to sell their clothing, shoes, accessories, and more. Each seller approaches the process differently; some are seasoned, while others are new to the scene. However, the best sellers recognize that consignment is a partnership.

To improve your chances of success—and ultimately earn more—it’s essential to educate yourself before diving into the selling process. Here are some top tips derived from my decade of experience running a niche consignment store:

1. Understand Realistic Market Value

Don’t assume your clothes are worth anywhere near their retail price. Let’s be realistic: clothing and accessories depreciate over time. While a limited subset of high-end designer items retains value, it’s rare for used clothing to sell for more than 50% of its original retail price.

2. Start Strong with a Valuable Collection

When initiating a relationship with a consignment shop, aim to leave a lasting impression. Don’t make the mistake of testing the waters with lackluster items. Instead, demonstrate your commitment by presenting a collection of at least 10 high-quality pieces. Establishing success from the outset will pave the way for future collaborations.

3. Include Tags and Boxes Whenever Possible

Original packaging and tags enhance the resale value of items and validate their authenticity. They also provide essential product information, making the selling process smoother for both parties.

4. Honestly Evaluate Item Condition

Be truthful about the condition of your items. Even the cleanest collections may have imperfections. If you’re unsure about an item’s condition, it’s best to forgo consignment altogether to avoid any potential issues.

5. Cleanliness is Essential

Ensure your items are clean before consigning them. Nobody wants to handle dirty laundry, and overlooked pockets can lead to unpleasant surprises for resellers.

6. Consign on a Schedule That Works

Selling newer items yields higher resale prices. Aim to consign larger quantities every year or every six months for optimal results. This not only maximizes your earnings but also strengthens your partnership with the shop.

7. Don’t Expect Immediate Payouts

Unlike “buy outright” operations, consignment shops operate on a longer timeline. Expect to wait at least 30 days for payment as prices may be adjusted over time to secure a fair deal for both parties.

Bonus Tip: Consider Resale Value When Shopping

While personal preference should always guide your purchases, keep resale value in mind. Popular designer brands tend to retain their value best, making them wise investments. Conversely, lesser-known labels may not fare as well in the resale market.