business

How to Sell Clothes on Consignment

You can make extra money by selling items you don't want at consignment stores.

Recently, I wrote that an easy way to make extra money is to sell furniture at consignment stores. Another way to generate cash is to sell clothing, shoes and accessories on consignment. But before you start rummaging through your closet for clothing you no longer wear, you need to know how to get started consigning.

I have sold clothes on consignment, so I know the process pretty well. But procedures can vary from store to store. So I asked Ellen Boryan, manager of the Alexandria, Va., location of Current Boutique, which has three other locations in the Washington, D.C., area, to share her tips on selling clothes on consignment.

Pick the right store. You need to research the consignment shops in your area to find the right fit for the clothing you have to sell. Boryan says that the easiest way to do this is to visit stores' Web sites to find out what sort of clientele they cater to and what brands and items they accept. Some focus only on designer labels while others, such as Current Boutique, will take any brands. If a store doesn't list the brands it accepts, call or visit it to find out.

Make an appointment. Once you find the right store, call to schedule a time when you can bring in your items. Most consignment stores do require first-time consignors to make an appointment so they can fill out any necessary paperwork, set up an account and have an employee select which items the store will take. Some require a certain number of items to start consigning. And some even require appointments every time you want to bring in additional items.

Make sure your items meet the store's standards. Most stores want clothing, shoes and accessories that are no more than two years old. Boryan says that Current Boutique requires items to be in perfect condition. So you should inspect your items thoroughly before you take them in to make sure there are no missing buttons, no pilling, no unraveling hems and no stains, she says. Current Boutique accepts clothing that is wrinkled, but many stores require clothes to be pressed and on hangers. Also, many stores accept only in-season items.

Get paid. Most consignment stores will price items at one-third of their retail value, but pricing can vary depending on the condition and brand of the item. You'll likely get 50% of the price at which your items sell. Most stores will not automatically mail you a check when your items sell. You'll need to call or visit the store to request payment -- or you might also be able to get store credit.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
25 Best Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco
Smart Buying

25 Best Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco

Many of warehouse club Costco's store-branded Kirkland Signature items get high marks for quality and value. Check out our picks.
July 21, 2021
Warning: You May Have to Pay Back Your Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments
Tax Breaks

Warning: You May Have to Pay Back Your Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

Unlike stimulus checks, you might have to repay your monthly child tax credit payments if you get too much money from the IRS.
July 16, 2021

Recommended

Know Your Rights in Debt Collection
Financial Planning

Know Your Rights in Debt Collection

A wave of post-pandemic debt collection is coming. Here's how to dispute a debt and protect your assets.
July 23, 2021
The Most Expensive Natural Disasters in U.S. History
Economic Forecasts

The Most Expensive Natural Disasters in U.S. History

Wind, water, fire and drought have all wreaked havoc on the United States. What’s been the worst?
July 1, 2021
8 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Tax Breaks

8 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

Since this year's tax deadline was pushed back to May 17, many people just recently filed their tax return. That means there are a lot of tax refunds …
May 21, 2021
Managing Your Debt in Retirement
debt management

Managing Your Debt in Retirement

If your debt is anywhere near the $50,000 “red line,” you could have a problem on your hands. The key is to tackle debt systematically – starting befo…
May 19, 2021