Thursday, May 16, 2013

Just Got Back From the Consignment Shop

A couple months ago I consigned some of my work clothes that I no longer need.  They were nice shirts, skirts, pants, jackets and dresses.  These were NICE clothes.  Most of them actually still had the tags on them.  I had never worn them.

I shopped around back then to find a consignment store that would take my clothes.  They were name brand, not a department store brand or discount store brands.  I inquired at two shops (clothes in the back of my car).  I go in and they tell me that they can't take my clothes that day.  I have to call on the 20th of the month and set an appointment for the following month to bring in my clothing.  I needed a bit more immediate than that.  The thing that took me by surprise was that everyone in the couple consignment stores I went in to were not very friendly.  They weren't busy at all, only a few shoppers.  No one was at the counter ready to check out, yet they didn't seem that they were interested in giving me the time of day.  I was a bit taken aback by this.  I would think that they would be over friendly since I have to PICK them to sell my clothes.  It is my choice and they benefit from me choosing them.  Most of the shops I inquired in took 50% of the final sale price.  That is fair.

I got tired of driving around with these clothes in the back of my car.  One day when it was pouring down rain, like buckets of rain, I called one last shop.  They said, "no problem, bring them in today."



I don't have to WAIT until the fourth Wednesday of next month to call and try to get an appointment???

I can't tell you how quickly I sweet talked my husband into getting in the car and going with me to take my clothes.  I don't quite remember what I promised him if he went out in the cold, pouring down rain to help me get my clothes in to this store, but I am pretty sure I have paid it back and then some in these last few months.

We arrive and drive around the parking lot a few times to get a spot sort of close to the door.  It is still raining buckets outside and he graciously grabs the big pile of clothes and we make a run for the door.

Two smiling older ladies are at the counter when we come in all wet.  They gladly start sorting through our clothes and ooo and ahhh over some of them.  Now I am a {eh-hem} larger sort of woman and they were more than thrilled to have that size of nice work style clothing come in the shop.

They quickly gather the pile of clothes they want while I am filling out the paperwork.  I sign my life away and they say, "that will be $20".

WHAT????? You mean I have to PAY to sell my clothes here????

"Yes" they tell me, "but you will make that up quickly with your great items here.

{sigh} Okay.  I pay my hard earned $20 which is a lot of money to us, in hopes of a bigger return on the other side.  They tell me to come back in about a month or two and pick up my check for the clothes I sell.

Off we go back out to the rain, feeling satisfied that 1. people were interested in my clothes, 2. they were really excited about the larger sizes, 3.  they got the pile of clothes out of my car and didn't make me wait 57 years to make an appointment!

About a month later I call them to find out if I have sold anything and what the rules are for picking up my check.  They tell me I can come ANYTIME during their business hours and pick it up.  They also tell me that yes I have sold several things and they give me the sale price of each item.

I am getting excited!
WOW!!  I am doing great!

The very nice lady then tells me to add them all up and I get 40% of that.

WHAT??? 40% a measly 40%????

I thank her and hang up.  What is the use now in arguing? I don't remember 40% but then again I was just so excited they took my clothes before a kid sat on them with strawberry jelly hands or smeared the mud from their sneakers on them.

I didn't run right out because the lady said that I still had more to sell.  Yippeee!!!  Maybe I can make a bit more money.

Fast forward to today.  I decide that I am going to run over to that consignment shop and pick up my big fat check.  I KNOW more clothes sold and I am SURE that they sold for a goodly amount of money.  I get there and put on my happy, smiley face and walk through the door.  Boy are they busy! People are shopping, piles of clothes sit everywhere.  I walk back to the back of the store where I am supposed to and I politely say, "hello, I am wondering if I have a check to pick up." I hand her my consignor's card and she looks me up.  She takes a sheet of paper out of her files and hands it to me and says, "Take this to the front and they will give you your money."

I glance at it and see that it looks like most everything has something written next to it.  I begin to add up the sales and see that there is over $200 in sale prices. Woo Hoo!!!! I'm in the money, I'm in the money! {singing to myself}

I head to the front and hand it to the lady.  She sort of grunts at me and takes my paper.  She begins to add things up.


She takes her 60% and tells me that I will be getting $39.40 today.

???What??? I thought it would be double that.  I ask her, "what about all the other items?"

She says with a frowny face showing me she isn't interested in talking to me, "all the items with an SA next to them means we sent them off to the Salvation Army".

WHAT????  You didn't say anything about giving my clothes away.  I specifically remember you all saying that you would give them away if I wanted you to but I could come and pick them up.  I didn't say anything about not picking them up.  Why didn't you all call me?

"Honey, we can't call and hold everyone's clothes for them to come pick them up."


"But there are two items that look like they are still on the racks.  You can go look for them and pull them if you want."

"Really, I mean, you are still trying to sell them right? I don't want to pull them if they aren't ready to be pulled."

"They should have been pulled honey, but they seem to be on the racks still. So you can get them if you want."

I take my sheet and go to start to look.  I look for about 15 minutes and give up. They aren't there.  I hand my sheet back to the lady in the back and tell her I think those two items must have been stolen because I can't find them.

I leave with my $39.40 in my pocket.

From all that effort I think I could have made more money selling my clothes at a yard sale, of which we have had three since I consigned my clothes.

Profit: $39.40-$20 fee= $19.40 a headache and frustration from having to deal with ladies who don't care to give you the time of day.

Lesson learned: 1. buy clothes you plan to wear and wear them out. Then donate them to Goodwill or Salvation Army on your own.  You will at least get the tax write off and not have to deal with mean ole ladies and have to pay to sell your clothes. (That was a long, hard lesson to learn. It took too much time out of my life.) 2. consignment store workers/owners are not very friendly. It must be an application requirement.


  1. #3 Negotiate the terms of consignment before consigning!
    #4 Shop at thrift stores to begin with and get name brand clothes for really cheap, then donate them back when you're done with them.