Consignment can mean different things to different people. Some people love the idea of rooting through piles of clothes to find the perfect item for an outfit, while others cringe at the thought. However, there are lots of different types of consignment shopping these days, most of which don’t require you to get elbow deep in other people’s discarded clothing and accessories. Today I’m going over some of the different types of consignment available, as well as their respective pros and cons!
First and foremost is traditional consignment. These are your classic Goodwill stores that have a ton of items loosely organized based on gender, size, and season. The benefit of the chaos in these stores is that you have a better chance of finding a hidden gem for a fantastic price, if you know what to look for. There’s also likely to be a traditional consignment store somewhere close to where you live. The downside is that you need to have a pretty keen eye and a knowledge of clothing and accessories to be able to determine if something is salvageable or if it’s a lost cause. The other obvious downside is that you have to sort through other people’s old things, some of which can be pretty icky. You’d be amazed at the stuff people think can be donated when it really should be trashed.
The next type of consignment is curated consignment. This is where someone does the dirty work for you and picks out good items and then resells them in a separate store. These are often called “Vintage” stores and are usually set up in a boutique style. The benefit of shopping here is that the cream of the crop has already been found (and hopefully washed) and you can shop the racks just like a regular store. These stores are set-up in an organized fashion like a typical retail store which makes browsing much easier than traditional consignment. The downsides include higher prices than traditional thrift stores, less selection, and there may not be a vintage store close to where you live. However, these stores are becoming more and more common in cities, so it’s worth a google search to check if there’s one near you! These stores can be great if you’re looking for a specific item from a time-period or are looking to score a bargain on a more expensive piece, like a wool blazer or a trench coat.
The final tier of consignment shopping is luxury consignment. This is where people sell off their designer items and then you buy them for a reduced price (based on the going retail rate of that item). This type of consignment is more likely to be found online and usually specializes in a certain type of item, such as designer shoes or purses. The benefit to these types of stores/sites is that you can be sure that you’re getting an authentic designer item, you can easily sort through the collection available, you save lots of time, and you’re only dealing with top quality items. The downside is that you need to do a fair amount a research on these stores and sites to be 100% sure they’re authentic and reputable before buying something, you will be paying significantly more than if you stumbled on something in a curated or traditional consignment store, and items tend to get snatched up fairly quickly. My favourite luxury consignment online site is lovethatbag.com. It’s a Canadian site for designer purses and I purchased my (brand new, tags included) 3.1 Philip Lim Pashli pictured in my first blog post for almost half of the retail price using their website!
So, there’s your crash course in consignment shops! Don’t be afraid of getting something second hand- often you can score incredible deals on barely or never-used items and save yourself a ton of cash! Next time you’re in the market to shop, see if one of these types of consignment shops might be worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for a designer item! Next week I’ll be doing a post on how to know when to snatch up a consignment item and when to let it pass, so stay tuned for that!