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
Should You Take an Extra Big RMD This Year?
required minimum distributions (RMDs)

Should You Take an Extra Big RMD This Year?

Sometimes only taking the minimum IRA distribution can be a costly mistake. When deciding how much to withdraw this year, you need to consider the big…
November 23, 2021
The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 41 Warren Buffett Stocks Ranked
stocks

The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 41 Warren Buffett Stocks Ranked

The Berkshire Hathaway portfolio is a diverse set of blue chips, and increasingly, lesser-known growth bets. Here's a look at every stock picked by Wa…
November 16, 2021

Recommended

Am I Responsible for Paying Off My Deceased Husband’s Debt?
debt management

Am I Responsible for Paying Off My Deceased Husband’s Debt?

You may be off the hook as some debts — including even certain types of credit card charges — are forgiven at death. However, others linger much longe…
November 28, 2021
The Biden Tax Plan: How the Build Back Better Act Could Affect Your Tax Bill
Politics

The Biden Tax Plan: How the Build Back Better Act Could Affect Your Tax Bill

Depending on your income, the Build Back Better Act recently passed by the House could boost or cut your future tax bills.
November 22, 2021
Business Cost Outlooks for 2022: Eight Key Sectors
Economic Forecasts

Business Cost Outlooks for 2022: Eight Key Sectors

What’s in store for all sorts of business costs in 2022?
October 12, 2021
Tackle Your Debt Before Retirement
debt management

Tackle Your Debt Before Retirement

You should aim to leave the workforce with as little debt as possible. Otherwise, money that could be spent enjoying your golden years could end up go…
August 11, 2021