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Tips for taking clothes to a consignment store

Resale, thrift, pawn and consignment stores are popping up everywhere. It's reasonable to assume that consumers are buying used to save money during the bad economy. Consumers are also becoming clients by selling unwanted, gently-used items on consignment.

Now is the perfect time to take some clothes to a local consignment shop. During spring cleaning, set aside unwanted clothes. Sort into piles labeled "consignment" or "donation." Consignment items must be in good to like-new condition. Most shops won't consider clothing with any tears, holes or stains. Also, shop owners buy for the moment so spring and summer items are in demand. Save winter pieces for a fall drop off. Plan to go in early fall to unload some of those summer clean out items.

Don't just show up with a trunk-load of clothes. Call first. Some stores require appointments for merchandise consideration. Allow enough time for the shop owner to thoroughly examine all items. Avoid browsing in the shop or all profits may go back into the store's cash register.

The proprietor will name a buyout price or arrange to display the clothing and will send payment as the pieces sell. Ask whether or not items can be retrieved in the future if this is a concern. Remember that some stores also accept donations. Either way, consignment stores are affordable and, possibly, lucrative shopping alternatives.

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