We all have that one friend who always seems to look perfect. They have the best clothes, handbags, shoes, and jewelry. If that weren’t enough to be jealous of, her home is impeccably decorated. But, what really tops it all off and makes you the most envious is that she has never paid full price for any of it. She only shops consignment. How is that possible? For those of you that aren’t familiar with consignment shops, they are stores that take in second-hand items in great condition from the original owners and place them for sale. When the items (clothes, handbags, jewelry, furniture, artwork, etc.) sell, the original owner receives a percentage of the sale. I know that some of you are saying to yourselves, that you either have it or you don’t when it comes to shopping second hand but still looking like you spent a fortune. I on the other hand have a different theory. I am a firm believer that if you know how to shop consignment then you can turn yourself into the friend everyone is envious of. I have come up with a few hints to get you headed towards becoming the consignment queen you were always meant to be.
Know Your Consignment Shops – Start by finding all the consignment shops within a reasonable distance you are willing to travel, make sure you are also aware of their hours. Next, plan to visit all of them so you can become familiar with what they carry. Some focus more on clothing, handbags, shoes, and jewelry while others are predominately home goods such as furniture, artwork, oriental rugs, etc. and if you are lucky, you will also find some consignment stores such as DejaVu Design & Consign that carry everything under one roof. If you are looking to buy higher-end items remember that most consignment stores inventory comes from the community that surrounds it.
Find Out When They Restock – This is an important piece of information that will save you valuable time. Some stores roll out new inventory continuously while others have certain days that they put out new items. This should be one of the first questions you ask when visiting a new consignment shop because it will allow you to know how often you need to visit the store. For instance, if the store only restocks every other Monday there is no need to visit that shop every week whereas if they continually put new items out you may want to visit a few times a week in order to not miss out on new merchandise.
Come With A List – When I say come with a list that does not mean you have to die by that list. It simply means that you can easily become overwhelmed when you walk through the door and have no direction. But with that being said there are going to be times when you find something that you cannot leave the store without. Having a list will keep you focused on things that you really need and help you to not find yourself buying things and getting home only to realize you are going to have to re-consign the item.
Ask About Sales and Markdowns – Just because you are in a consignment shop and the items are marked down from their original cost does not mean that they won’t be marked down more at some point. Most consignment shops have a certain amount of time they give each item to sell and if it does not sell by that time they will mark it down even further. This is something to keep in mind if you see something that is a little out of your price range. Keep an eye out for it each time you come in and if you know after a month it will be marked down, make sure you are there to get it the day it is marked down. Do not do this with something you really want and you can afford to get right then because chances are it won’t be there next week when you come in. Always ask the owner or salesperson to keep you posted on when a sale is coming up, some of them will even take your number down and call you a few days prior.
Don’t Be Fooled By Labels – Do not think that every item that has a designer label on it is the real deal. Most consignment shops have a little bit of both. Be a smart shopper when you are buying something for the label it is not the shop’s responsibility to determine if it is real or fake so if you are unsure go with your gut. I will usually not by certain items unless I am familiar with how to check authenticity.
Inspect, Inspect, Inspect – This should be self-explanatory. Most consignment shops do not allow returns in other words all sales are final. Make sure you check for stains, tears, or holes. Something else I check is if something has been fixed before whether it is furniture that may have had the wood glued from where it had previously been broken or a hem that had been torn out and been resewn. I will usually pass if that is the case because that item normally will not last. But please remember you are shopping at a consignment shop these items have been previously been owned by someone else. While most items are in better than average condition do not expect everything to be new.
These are a few things to get you started on your journey. Consignment shops are amazing places to find things that are unique and original. At DejaVu Design & Consign, South Florida’s premier consignment shop, we pride ourselves on only offering the best selection of items. Please visit our sister website at http://www.DejaVuDesignCenter.com or stop by our 15,000 square foot retail location at 4086 PGA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. Visit DejaVu Estate Liquidators at http://www.DejaVuEstateLiquidators.com.