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12 smart tips for consigning your own clothes

Recycling your own closet’s fashions and accessories can put cash in your pockets.
Recycling your own closet’s fashions and accessories can put cash in your pockets.12 smart tips for consigning your own clothes – Adapted from image by ClipArtHeaven

Recycling your own closet’s fashions and accessories can put cash in your pockets.

Fashions change with each new season, and so do many of our figures. Is your clothes closet crying out for a clean-up? Why not haul some of your pre-worn styles to a local consignment shop? Let those old dogs fetch some spending money.

Consider a dozen pointers for smart fashion consignment.

Here’s how to consign clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories without stress or confusion.

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1. Visit several consignment stores before choosing one.

This is the fun part. Check out local shops offering consignments. Meet store staffers, and ask how their program works. Compare seller percentages, payment programs and return policies. Some shops, for example, will not return unsold fashions after a specified time. Others may focus primarily on styles for juniors, women, men, or even babies.

Explore the details, then choose the consignment shop you like the best.

2. Call ahead before dropping off consignment fashions.

Although appointments may not always be required, smart sellers phone first. Consignment shop employees appreciate the heads-up.

3. Pull in-season fashions from your closet.

Most consignment shops display current season styles, unlike pricier retailers, who showcase items a season in advance. Ask first, so you can pick appropriate offerings from your own wardrobe.

4. Be ruthless, as you sort out your own wardrobe.

Have a private fashion show at home, and try on everything you haven’t worn recently. Look in a mirror. Ask a stylish friend or family member for feedback. Anything that doesn’t fit you right now should go. Grab those items you overlook often.

5. Don’t forget formalwear and special-occasion items.

Consignment shoppers love fancy fashions. Prom dresses and bridal apparel reign supreme in such stores. Why not sell these, as you will likely never wear them again?

6. Clean and fix items before consigning them.

Laundering, ironing, and mending are key marketing steps for consignment sellers. Apparel should be in good repair and appear new, or nearly so, if buyers are to bite.

7. Place all fashions on hangers.

Virtually all consigned items should be neatly stowed on hangers. We save wire coat hangers from dry cleaning for this express purpose.

Use safety pins for capris, jeans, pants, shorts, skirts and other bottoms. Place fashion jewelry on index cards or in small zippered plastic bags for easy sales display.

Pair up shoes by lacing or buckling them together or hitching them with yarn or big rubber bands.

8. Leave tags and size markers on items.

Plenty of consignment stores refuse to accept fashions without sewn-in brand and sizing tags. Sizes on custom-made or home-sewn styles should be clearly and neatly marked.

Original price tags are a bonus on unworn items.

9. Make a list of everything you consign.

This step sounds time-consuming, but it’s essential. The complete roster should include every single piece that is consigned. Ideally, digital photos may be kept as well, particularly of pricier items.

Careful record-keeping proves invaluable, if consigned items are somehow lost or if unsold fashions are later donated to charity.

10. Enlist a fashion-minded friend for consigning.

Selling with a friend is nearly as much fun as shopping together and considerably more profitable. Why not load up a car together?

Beware, however. If you consign with a pal, you may find yourselves actually swapping pre-worn styles, rather than ridding yourself of them. But that’s fun too.

11. Browse for bargains while shop staffers record your items.

Consignment check-ins can take time, even if you bring a complete list with you. Of course, this offers an ideal time for peeking through the racks.

12. Don’t bring any of your own consignment stuff home again.

This is the big secret to cleaning out your own closet. Once an item is gone, don’t return it. If that handbag or jacket fails to sell, take it directly to a suitable charity, shelter, or thrift shop. If you’ve already cut the emotional tie to that scarf or set of sling-backs, why prolong the agony?

Consigning clothing and accessories is fun, fashionable, and fiscally favoring. How many outfits can you unload for cash this season?