There are two ways to have more money at the end of the month: earn more or spend less. You can really gain momentum on your financial goals when you do both. Now that I have completed my Bachelors degree and plan to devote more time to my business, I don’t want to lose track of the ways I can keep more of what we earn. One of those tools is shopping Consignment stores.
Oh but Tammy, won’t those clothes smell funny and be worn out?
Au contrair, mon ami! Well, they may smell different, but what else do you expect from a shop full of clothes cleaned with countless different detergents? And as far as being worn out, well, that may depend more on the type of items your local store will accept. In our area, there are a few Consignment stores. One devotes most of its space to larger items such as furniture. Another is a smaller shop, almost exclusively women’s clothing and has gained a reputation as a great place to shop for formal wear and accessories. The third location just opened recently but when I stopped by last week I found it was predominately clothing and toys for small children. This would have been a great shop for me to live near about 10 years ago, but I have teenagers now. That is why I go to the shop I went to last Thursday when seeking clothing for our family members.
This particular store is a regional chain and only offers clothing (for everyone in your family) and accessories. They are very particular about what they accept for consignment (in fact, they refused a men’s suit originally over $200 because it had been altered so it wouldn’t be a true fit to the tag’s sizing).
Here are the things you should keep in mind when shopping Consignment stores.
1. Be specific about what you are seeking.
I was primarily looking for jeans for the teenager who’s grown over 8 inches this last year, but I knew I needed more pants and am always on the lookout for basics (white button ups, a long sweater cardigan for me, dresses that are modest and trendy for my teen daughter, etc).
2. Try things on and/or have current measurements of kids with you when shopping.
Almost all Consignment stores have a no return policy. You could always consign a misfit item but you will never get the full price you paid for it, so take the time to try things on. No matter how strict the store’s consignment policy is or the number printed on the tag, fabrics shrink, items get altered, etc.
3. Only buy it if you would pay full price for it.
Do not get caught up in the trap of buying something that’s ‘ok’ just because it’s $3. If the pants feel snug in the dressing room, they won’t fit better when you have to wear them all day to your child’s field trip. Spend your money on things that you love and need.
4. Make the trip worthwhile by bringing items to consign for yourself each time you go.
I only had four pairs of jeans, a suit and a sweater to consign, but the store has a 10 item limit per day anyway. If I’m going to spend the gas money, it is only to my advantage to bring some things along. It’s also a good idea to bring a few extra things in case they refuse to take an item or two, you can still max out your limit.
Here is what I got last week for myself and my kids. Please don’t judge the number of pants purchased for myself, I was down to one pair of jeans!
For me: regular blue jeans, black jeans, a pair of trouser style blue jeans, two pairs of cream corduroys, a black/white skirt suit.
For my son, two pairs of jeans.
For my daughter, a long sleeve tee and a blazer style jacket.
My suit was $18 but it was extremely flattering and I can use it separately, not just as a suit. Everything else totaled just under $40! The pants were $3-4 and a few still had the store tags. Several items are well known brands. I am not too concerned with what labels are on my clothes, but I do know some brands last better than others. This is more important for me than my son aka Growing-like-a-Weed.
I love Courtney’s rule of $5 at Consignment Shops and $10 on Clearance Racks over at Women Living Well.
So tell me, have you ever gotten a great deal at a Consignment Shop? Do you have questions about Consignment Selling or Shopping?
Tammy has been around the world as an Air Force spouse, is still happily married to her high school sweetheart, and is navigating the teenage years with her two kids. She recently completed her Bachelor’s in Business Management and Leadership and is self employed as a Beauty Consultant. She hopes to begin making time again for the hobbies she had before returning to college like scrapbooking, cross-stitch, photography and whatever adventure her husband wants to try next. Her goal at SkipperClan is to encourage and empower women. You can find her on Twitter as @SkipsMKGirl.