Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Consignment Shop Woes

When my dresser starts to look like this:

I know it's time to unload it by donating a bunch of unused clothes to Goodwill!

There is always some stuff that I just can't let go and donate - you know good, name brand, new clothing, that you just never wear but wish you did. Or you will someday. Right? That stuff ended up in a pile in our closet. I've been wanting to try clothing consignment to try to "earn" back some money by selling our used clothes to a store that will then sell them to customers - consignment. Seems easy, huh? Well, upon researching consignment clothing stores in north Austin, it seems as though there is a high demand for used clothing. Many of the stores that I researched wanted the clothes clean (understandable), pressed (that's pushing the envelope), and on hangers (ain't nobody got time for that). The clothing also had to be within 2 previous seasons of the current season. That was definitely a stretch for our clothing.

So after giving up on most consignment stores, I turned to Plato's Closet, a "chain" consignment shop (under the same company as Once Upon a Child, Play It Again Sports, Music Go Round). After a process (with a toddler in tow) of getting the clothes in the store, signing up, and waiting half an hour to an hour, I came back to the store fully expecting at least a couple of our garments (my skinny jeans or Andrew's blazer) to be accepted for consignment, thus putting some change in my pocket. Alas, no. Plato's Closet recommended that I go to an "older" generation type store called Style Encore (again, under the same company as above) to try consignment again. Sigh. So, same song, second verse. This time my skinny jeans were consigned, giving me $2.50. Thank you Style Encore!

I will never do clothing (or any type of) consignment again. The value of my time used to organize clothes, drive over to the store and especially wait while the clothes are being judged does not equal near the dollar amount that I get in return. More importantly is the value that Goodwill receives from my donated clothing by giving people jobs and in turn selling the products to make funds. I will definitely continue to donate our second hand items to Goodwill!


  1. Becky, we used to consign clothing in Iowa City at Stuff, Etc. It was such a huge pain, but I gritted my teeth and did it a couple of times a year...until they upped their percentage to 60%/40% in stead of 50%/50%. Then I said screw it! They rejected half my stuff anyway and, your'e right, what a pain to sit and wait. Now we donate to Good Will and get a receipt, which we file with our taxes for a write-off. Probably a little less money in the write-off than if sold out-right, but totally worth the time saved. Kids clothes on the other hand....I anticipate consignment working much better when the times comes to get rid of those.

  2. I've run into many of the same problems with consignment that you mentioned, but throughout the last few years I've come up with a few strategies that have helped me cope with the stress and actually make money. Hope they help… 1. Collect items to consign frequently (it's an ongoing process at our house), but only visit the consignment shops twice a year. 2. Pick a day and commit two or three hours (during off business and non-rush-hour-traffic hours and when you can go without little ones in tow) to getting all of your items to the consignment stores and, if your consignment stores go through your items while you wait, getting your money. 3. Plan a route for the day that makes sense. I start at Once Upon a Child and Plato's Closet, and then take the items they don't want to a different consignment store. Whatever's left at the end of my route gets dropped at Goodwill on the way home.

    Yesterday and today happened to be my consignment days for this half of the year, and between my three consignment stores I brought home just over $100.

    Good luck!

    1. Why am I just reading this now?! Anyways, I like the "route" suggestion. And definitely will not bring the little one next time. Thanks!