Thursday, September 26, 2013

Second Time Around - Consign Me Up!

Shopping bags going out instead of coming into my apartment.
After months of procrastinating (okay, it’s been over a year) I finally put a few dozen items up for consignment. Dresses, bags, shoes, and separates, if they weren't my style (regardless of how good of a deal I got on them or whether or not they might someday make a great Halloween costume) out they went.

There are two consignment shops in my town, but one has so much inventory that you can't even see what they have and the other only takes appointments from 10AM-4PM on weekdays and, since I'm not a socialite, those hours don't work for me.

Instead I wound up bringing my items to the Huntington location of Second Time Around consignment. I found them one evening when I was early to meet a friend for dinner (When does that ever happen? Obviously this was fate intervening) and as I browsed I heard the sales girl very politely inform a young woman that they would not be taking the Louis Vuitton bag she had brought in because it was fake. This can be a touchy subject, but the salesgirl handled it in a kind, yet firm manner and I knew this was the kind of place I wanted to deal with.

In addition to their stellar customer service, which they've been providing for 40 years, they have 45 locations in 12 states, tons of press clippings and positive reviews online (for most locations, sorry, Forest Hills) so I feel like they are a reputable company. Plus, they were also featured on Bravo TV's Fashion Hunters. Sure, it was a 1-season-wonder, but it was on Bravo and I take that sh*t seriously.

This is how it works:

You'll need at least three pieces to start an account. STA allows you to either set up an appointment or drop your items off to be reviewed (you can also consign online, here's how, but be forewarned that the unwanted items are donated, not returned to the consignor).
Once they decide what they're going to take they research the items and mark them at approximately 30-40% of the original retail value and if the item sells the profit is a 60/40 split ("luxury" handbags are a 50/50 split). You can keep your earnings as a store credit (which entitles you to an additional 10% off) or request a check (checks under $100 must be picked up, but checks over $100 can be mailed to you) which is available on the 1st of the following month. If your items don't sell in 3 months you have 1 week to pick them up or they will be donated to charity.

Not content to just collect, I felt compelled to create a spreadsheet that would take what I originally paid for the item (because I'm crazy and I keep records of everything) and subtract what I make back to see if I can get out of the red and back in the black. While I’m not taking into account the old shopaholic Price Per Wear equation (cost of item/times worn), some items were gifts and others were sample sale finds, so I'm optimistic. Either way the items are doing more for me at STA than they were piled up in the corner of my apartment.
So far I've sold one item, a fringed black leather Kooba bracelet bag, and made $38. Five of the 36 items are AllSaints and the salesgirl informed me that they have a customer who comes in on the regular asking for the brand, so I'm just hoping that she and I are the same size. All in all I feel like I'm off to a strong start, but I'll still keep my fingers crossed that it keeps trending that way.

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