Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Frugal Living Tip # 30 - Consignment

Consignment is something that I have mixed feelings about. I know that there are a lot of people who have great success in finding clothes and accessories at consignment, second hand, or thrift stores. I am not one of them. I have given them lots of chances and tried stores in different areas, but I have difficulty finding things that work for me. I often will find a cute shirt, but then realize it is a few seasons off from my pants and I now have to be extra aware of being modest whenever I sit down or lean over.
I have had some success with children consignment stores, but primarily with items that don't get a lot of use here in Virginia - like snow boots and ski bibs. I have found that a lot of the items are more expensive than what I can find on the clearance rack when I buy ahead for next year at the end of the season.
We are fortunate that the school that our oldest daughter attends has a used uniform store. The store allows us to buy used uniforms pieces that others have donated at a fraction of the cost. (I have learned to understand the higher cost for Lands End items after I have seen the way she wears the used pieces and how well they have held up.)
I also know there are people who take all of their children's outgrown clothes to these places and get cash or store credit to buy new clothes. I personally have not done that either. I find it easier to just take a box of clothes to families that we know who have a child that can use what we have outgrown. I have heard moms say, well I give away whatever the consignment store doesn't buy from me. That is up to you. It makes me smile when I see a little girl that I know wearing a dress that my girls also wore.
I guess the bottom line is that consignment has the same shopping guidelines that anything else I buy. Is it something that I need? Is it in good condition - free of tears at the seams, not missing any buttons, not stained? Can I buy a similar item new on clearance for the same price or even less?
How about you? Do you regularly check out consignment stores? Do you find items that you need? Please share any tips that you have. I would love to hear about buying or selling to consignment stores.

1 comment:

Alison said...

We were talking about the kids consignment dilemma - better stuff on clearance. :) (I personally like Gymboree's seasonal sales)

And I tried the reselling route, and wasn't too impressed with either the time involved, or the return. I prefer to either give to friends or donate now.

If I have time to myself, I do enjoy browsing the second-hand stores when I have ability to try on!