You may be wondering what to do with your extra clothes. Should you just donate them to a local charity or try to make some money? In my previous blog, “Closet Detox,” I shared with you how to sort your clothes into 3 categories; Toss, Donate, or Consign. When you have clothes that are too good to toss or donate, we recommend that you consign them. In this article, Shelby and I will share specifically why we think consigning will make you more money. We will compare consigning to selling online, having a yard sale, and selling directly to a store. We’ve listed them in order of what we think is the best to worst methods.
Consigning Method: Consign is, by definition, (Oxford Dictionary) “Deliver (something) to a person’s custody, typically in order for it to be sold.” Some stores call themselves consignment but also buy directly from you. In our store, you bring your items to us and we sell them for you. We price the items at the highest amount we think they will sell for based on our experience with our shoppers and then we display, market, sell, collect the money, and give you a check. We do all the work. You sit back and watch your account grow with an online account you can sign into and monitor. You can pick up the money you've earned anytime you want or use it to get an extra discount at our store. This yields the best return for you because your items are being managed for 3 to 6 months in which possibly a thousand or more customers will have the option to buy your clothes that are being marketed and targeted specifically to them. See our next blog about why you should choose “The Consignment CAT” to consign with.
PROS: The pros to consigning are that you are going to sell more items and get the most money for the least amount of work.
CONS: The cons are that that you do not typically make money immediately due to the time it takes for the items to sell.
Online Method: Popular online selling options are; eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Buy Sell Trade pages. This method will typically make much more money than yard sales but requires a lot of work on your side. You
must take excellent pictures, write good descriptions, and post the item according to the guidelines of the online site. With eBay, you must also package and ship your items. With
Craigslist or Facebook, you will have to follow your listing and answer questions, negotiate prices, and coordinate a time and place to meet the person (usually a stranger) interested in your item. Even after doing all of this, sometimes the sale doesn’t go through. Then you have to go through the process again with another person.
PROS: The pros to this method are that you can possibly make the most money this way.
CONS: The cons are the amount of work you have to put into preparing your items and the hassle of negotiating and meeting with a stranger.
Yard Sale Method: One of the first things to consider about having a yard sale is the amount of effort and time it takes to prepare for it. Determining prices, applying price stickers, and choosing how to display your items is not an easy task. Another consideration is you have to deal with unpredictable weather conditions and are also usually restricting the sale time to only one or two days. Only a limited number of people will see your items and you must attract people that wear the same size of clothing as you. Clothing at yard sales generally draw very low prices; therefore, you shouldn’t expect to get more than 5% to 10% of the retail price for your items. Even if you price your items at 10% of retail, usually someone that is interested will try to bargain with you and talk you down to an even lower price. Depending on the traffic at your yard sale and the time of day, you’ll often succumb to this type of bartering and end up for $5 for something you paid $100 for. More than likely, you will end up with some unsold items that you will have to decide what to do with. Oh boy! More work!
PROS: The pros to this method are that you can get your money up front.
CONS: The cons are that you will have to do a lot of work to earn a minimal return on your investment.
Buy Outright Method: Some stores will buy your items directly from you. Examples of these types of stores are Plato’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange. They cater to teens and twenty-somethings by offering to buy their gently used jeans and trendy clothing. They pay them cash on the spot. This sounds quick and easy and it is. The BIG drawback to this method is that they pay you very low prices for your items and they only accept clothing for teens and twenty somethings that is less than 2 years old.
PROS: The pros to the method are getting cash very quickly and easily.
CONS: The cons are that you will probably get the least amount of money this way.
Conclusion: In our opinion, consigning is simply the best way to make money off of your gently used, mid-market to high-end name brand clothing. You won’t have to find a way to hang and display them at a yard sale. You won’t have to haggle with buyers over the price. You won’t have to take pictures and write detailed descriptions. You won’t have to meet strangers in public locations only to be disappointed. In conclusion, by consigning your items, we think you’ll make the most amount of money for the least amount of effort and end up selling more in the long run. If you think you might be interested in consigning with us, please check out the “How to Consign” link on our website.