new consignment and resale boutiques have opened up around the Treasure Valley in the last few years! What makes resale shops so popular?
Resale and consignment boutiques are fun because they are a brilliant form of recycling, and give us the opportunity to get something that’s new to us, at a fraction of the price. Some resale stores will take your gently-used items and sell them for you, keeping a percentage of the selling price. Others will buy your items outright. Either way, they typically offer you a greater return on your items in store credit, rather than cash, so that you can turn around and spend what you’ve earned right there in the store.
There’s also a thrill of treasure hunting that many of us experience, when you spot a new item, a favorite brand, or something from a high-end designer that you know is worth much more than what you’re paying. If you’ve ever bought a Dolce & Gabbana sweater for $10, or paid under $50 for a nice Coach handbag, or scored a vintage Chanel blouse that fits you perfectly off a resale rack, you know that thrill and wear those treasures proudly!
Shopping resale can be time-consuming, but extremely rewarding, especially if you know what to look for! Here are my top 5 tips for how to make the most of your money at consignment and resale boutiques. (Scroll down to watch the video clip!)
1.Check tags for your favorite stores or brands. If you know that Joe’s jeans fit you best, or that you like the fabric of J. Crew cashmere sweaters, look specifically for those things! Knowing your brands will also protect you from paying too much for items that might be lower quality, like cheaply-made pieces from big-chain stores. Use your smart phone and look brands up on the Vintage Fashion Guild’s website, to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth!
2. Examine everything carefully! Never buy something with underarm stains, large snags you can’t sew yourself, or broken zippers. Most resale shops will work hard to ensure broken and stained items are not on their sales floors, but some things do slip through now and then. If an item shows more wear and tear than you can fix yourself in a reasonable time, save your money for something more worthwhile.
3. Establish relationships with the stores you shop in most often. Go often, and be nice to those employees; they work hard to provide you with clean, quality items and a pleasurable resale experience! Many boutiques also have a wish list or customer database, where they can keep track of your favorite brands, or items you are hunting for, and call to let you know when such things pop up in their stores. If you’re snobby or picky or try to barter down every item, don’t expect courtesy calls about items you might like.
4. Know your trends before you go, and have a fairly firm grasp on what your style is! The nature of resale is things that have already been worn, so watch out for clothing items that are really dated. Just because it’s a bargain, or your favorite color, doesn’t mean it’s a worthwhile purchase for your wardrobe right now. Another great idea is to take photos of some of the items in your closet you’re trying to find matching pieces to, so that you’re not wasting time trying to remember if those patterns or colors are going to work out perfectly, or not!
5. Be adventurous about repurposing things that might not be perfect in their present form. Can that skirt be shortened? Can that blouse be turned into a tank top, or layered with a cute sweater? Let your creativity flavor your shopping choices, while keeping your budget firmly in mind. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s ok to leave a store without buying anything, if you don’t find things you really love! Treasures abound, if you’re watchful and patient!
The main secret to successful resale shopping is: Shop often, have fun, and enjoy the treasure hunt!
P.S. Check out my Local Love tab for a list of my favorite clothing, resale, and gift boutiques and shops around the Treasure Valley!
Photos taken at Again Consignment Clothing Boutique in Eagle, ID. Here is the video clip from my segment on KTVB!!!