How Does a Consignment Shop Work?

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What is a Consignment Shop

  • Individuals bring unwanted items to a consignment shop for the shop owner to sell for them. When an item is sold, the sale price of the item is split between the owner of the item and the shop owner. This is good for the shop owner because they don't have to pay up front for their merchandise. It also works well for the owner because it gives them a way to get rid of unwanted items and make a few dollars. The shop owner retains a higher percentage of the sale price to pay for business expenses. Some consignment shops take a variety of items and some very specialized ones. Some of the more popular are children's clothing and, even more specialized, designer children's clothing. There are some that only take wedding gowns or business suits. Books, antiques and toys are also popular consignment items. These types of stores create the ability for some consumers to buy things that could not afford to buy new.

What to Look for in a Consignment Shop

  • When someone is looking to sell their items through consignment, there are some things to look for in a store. First, the store should be in a good location. Make sure the store is not overcrowded and that it is well-organized. The owner should have a policy in place for how long they keep the items, the percentage split and how they keep their records of your items. Price is also a factor. You don't want them priced to high or they won't sell. Lastly, what happens to the items if they don't sell in the alloted time? Most stores will return them to you, or you can make arrangements to have them donated to charity.

What Items do the Shops Want

  • Most consignment shops want clothing to be within a couple of years old. They are looking for clean clothing with no stains or missing buttons. Jewelry and shoes should be polished and in good condition. Toys need to be spotless--it will get your items sold much faster. Get a receipt for all the items you brought in, so there are no questions later. You can find a consignment shop for just about anything you want to get rid of. If it's in good condition, they will take it and it will sell. If it's not in good condition, don't take it to a consignment shop; rather, donate it to charity.

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