Thrift stores and consignment shops offer a low-cost alternative to department stores and boutiques. By shopping at these secondhand stores, you can save hundreds of dollars and create a low-cost wardrobe. You can also make some extra money by picking up bargain-price clothes at yard sales, rummage sales and flea markets and then reselling them at your favorite consignment shops. If you know what to look for, you can get the most from both the clothes in your closet and the ones you pick up along the way.
Scour local newspapers and online classifieds for information about yard sales, flea markets and rummage sales. Visit those sales early for the best pick of high-end designer clothes at low prices.
Purchase all the designer clothes you can find as you shop these discount sales venues (but be sure check them over first and make sure they're in good condition). You might be able to strike a better deal or negotiate a better price if you are willing to purchase large quantities of clothing.
Clean your purchases and make simple repairs before you go to the consignment store. Make sure everything you offer is in top condition, with no tears, stains or missing buttons. Ensuring that the clothing you buy is in top condition will add to the desirability, and therefore the resale value, of those items.
Contact your local consignment shops to determine which items they are looking for. Some consignment stores specialize in a particular type of clothing, like formal wear or items for children. Once you know what the consignment shop is looking for, you can shop accordingly to help maximize your resale earnings. For the most part, only consignment stores purchase items for resale--thrift stores accept donations from the public but rarely buy clothing or other items. However, thrift stores are a good place to shop for bargains you can resell later.
Read the consignment store's terms and conditions before leaving your clothing there. Some stores allow consignees to leave their items in the store indefinitely, while others place a time limit on the items they accept. If you fail to retrieve your items at the end of the contract, the ownership could revert to the store and you will lose any money you could have made.
- Photo Credit David Roth/Photodisc/Getty Images
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