7 secrets for selling clothes on consignment

It’s time. Time to purge your closet (and your kids’ closets) of all those clothes that simply aren’t worn anymore.

However, rather than doing the usual closet whip through and then dropping off an overstuffed garbage bag of clothes to your local goodwill, consider another option that will both streamline your closet AND improve your finances: sell at least some items on consignment.

Worried that it would take too much work? Think again. Here’s what you need to know to unlock the liquidity that’s hiding in those rarely-worn frocks.

#1: Sort your possessions into three piles.

keep an organized pile of clothes to sell on consignment
Pile 1 is for the clothes you want to keep. Pile 2 is for well-worn items that you will either give to goodwill, or if beyond repair, toss. And finally, pile 3 is for pieces in good condition that you think others would find appealing (hint: designer clothes always do well at consignment stores).

#2: Review your items with a highly critical eye.

Frayed Jeans
Being honest about yourself about the condition of your clothing will save time in the end, as the staff at the consignment store is going to be doing the same. It will also make a good first impression if you bring in pristine, unmarred items.

#3: Get familiar with the consignment stores in your area.

Get to know consignment stores in your area
Depending on the type of items you’re looking to sell (i.e. women’s children’s, etc.), a consignment store that focuses on a particular clientele might pay more for what you have. They’re also more likely to sell your clothes as they bring in the right kind of customers for those items.

#4: Visit the consignment store.

Visit the consignment shop before you agree to sell there
It’s always a good idea to check out the store (or stores) you’re thinking about working with. When you stop in, pay attention to the prices and try to get a feel for what sells well. If you can, talk to an employee, as they know what sells and the proper pricing for what you have to offer.

#5: Ask a few questions.

Ask questions of the consignment store owner
It’s important to understand what is required of and owed to you as a seller. Know what percentage of the sale price you will receive, any fees you’re responsible for, keep track of the items up for sale, and cross them off as each one finds a buyer.

#6: Mark your calendar.

Keep track of when the selling period is going to end, and be ready to pick up the items that didn’t sell.

#7: Be season-savvy.

Though it’s tempting to try and sell your bulky winter clothing right now, it’s actually the perfect time to bring in your spring and summer items, as that’s exactly what will be in demand in-store now. Wait until autumn to bring in your fall and winter items to your local consignment store.

I’m curious. How many of you have ever sold (or bought) your clothes on consignment? How much money do you make in a season? If you’ve never done it before, what’s stopping you?