Sigh. Well, truth is, a couple of months ago when I told you how I bravely cleaned out my closet I pulled few choice items in order to give consigning a whirl. My mom’s done it for ages and made back a bit of the money she initially spent on clothes, and so I figured, why not?
(I guess the “why not” by now has become obvious; You can spend a fair amount of time prepping and trying to foist your clothes on the consignment shop folks and ultimately wait for a few months to receive a check for $18.88. Plus there’s the whole “Should I have given these to Goodwill or something?” sense of guilt.)
Obviously I wasn’t a huge success (only about a third of my items sold—further proof that I have AWESOME taste in clothes) but I did make a small fistful of cash and I learned some lessons along the way to share with you all, sooooooo, you’re welcome. ALL IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH, FRIENDS.
So, let’s get to those lessons:
1. Consider the time involved: I spent about two hours total on the venture—an hour ironing, lint-rolling, and the like, and an hour taking the clothes to the shop. I imagine that if your consigning options are further away or you have washing/mending that needs to be done this time could grow considerably, but it really wasn’t so bad. I mean, what else was I gonna do with two hours on a Saturday morning (Answer: Watch 120 SOLID minutes of Law and Order.)
2. Consider where you’re consigning: Do your background research—shops are pretty specific about what they’ll take, and you can save yourself time on the front end if you know what you’re dealing with. I actually took my items to two shops. One was much more hoity-toity than they appeared to be online. They more or less were only interested in things that still had tags on or had only been worn once or twice. After they passed on the bulk of my items, I took the haul to another shop down the street and then took them with barely a glance. Clearly I’ll go straight to these folks if I try consigning again. These are my people.
3. Consider the possible outcome: Both spots I worked with gave me a pretty clear contract up front, specifying how the process worked, how long my items had to sell, and the percent of said sale that I would raaaaaaake in. (One shop offered 40%, the other 50%.) The shops also both offered the opportunity to pick up unsold items or donate them to charity. So, while I had the possibility of bringing home about $75 bucks, I fell significantly short. Even though I knew the stakes, I definitely made a sad face when I saw the total on the check.
So would I consign again? Meeeeeh, probably not. I’m not a huge clotheshorse, so I really don’t clean out/get rid of clothing too frequently. And I’m not, like, consigning DVF dresses for a hundred bucks a pop, so in all likelihood I’m never going to make more than a few bucks every couple of years or so. Pass.
I am, however, eyeballing up a few old handbags and considering a run at eBay. Down, but not out.