I needed some new clothes for FinCon – and my four year old had outgrown his fall and winter clothing. Fortunately it’s Labor Day weekend, so it’s time to hit the sales, amIright?
Heck no – it was time to hit the consignment shops!
I’m an avid consignment shop user, getting pretty much all my clothes and accessories from one I found years ago that has high-quality fashion at rock bottom prices. For kids, there’s a store called Once Upon A Child that is stuffed with tons of kids clothes, toys, and supplies. I’ve shopped there consistently for the past fifteen years, ever since my oldest son was born.
I explained a while back my clothes philosophy, after someone decided to e-mail me and criticize my $8 bargain London Fog purse because “I could afford” a better one.
Good news for that person – I was forced to replace my purse when the zipper on the old one broke beyond my ability to repair it. I succumbed to lifestyle inflation by getting this Michael Kors purse for $25 on sale at the consignment shop. Apparently it goes for around $150 secondhand online, so this was a great deal. I look forward to using this purse until it dies.
Yes, I own one handbag and use it until it breaks or is damaged beyond repair. Apparently women own seven handbags on average.
Although I’m not sure if this data is statistically sound given it’s on a luxury handbag site. Also that article states “Having designer handbags is a way of expressing that, ‘I am financially capable!’.” which it totally does not, so take it with a grain of salt. Anyway…
So today, I want to use my consignment shopping experience to share five tips for you to get started consignment shopping.
Check Out The Fashion Show!
If you’d like to check out some of the great clothes I picked up for myself and the little guy, as well as see the tips in video form, check out my latest video! The little guy had sooooo much fun doing the “fashion show” that he asked me to do it 100 times. Lol.
Find a Consistently Good Store
It took a long time for me to find my current consignment shop. Sometimes you’ll need to drive to find a store where you can consistently good clothes that you like, at great prices. If you can find one that matches what you like, you’ll find options pretty much every time you stop by.
Take a day and take a field trip to consignment shops in your area. Take a friend along for a fun girls day out! Visit shops in wealthier towns to get fancier clothes at bargain prices. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again!
Examine the Clothes Closely
Look very closely for signs of wear, missing buttons, working zippers, and the like. You want to make sure the clothes will last once you get them home! Secondhand clothes doesn’t mean you have to settle for something that looks frayed and old.
In fact, the great news is that if something looks good at the store, it will likely hold up well to wear and tear. Why? Because the fact that it still looks great even though it’s already been worn and washed, it will likely look great after you wear and wash it.
Well, that is, unless someone never wore it in the first place.
Be Flexible (And Patient!)
You’ll want to visit with an open mind. The more specific you are about what you are going to get, the harder it can be to find what you want. But if you’re flexible about the brand, or specific look, you’ll be able to access a much larger set of options for great clothing choices.
You’ll want to look at everything – sometimes you find a diamond in the rough buried in between drab looking duds. Be flexible and patient, and you’ll find some great options.
Try It For One-Time Purchases
Even if you don’t want to secure your or your kids entire wardrobe from a consignment shop, like I do, you can get great deals on one-time purchases. Whether it’s a Halloween costume, suit for a wedding or funeral, or a costume for dress-up day at school, a consignment shop can be a great option!
And for adults, if you need something like a fancy outfit for a one-time special occasion, you can snag it from a consignment shop from someone else who only needed their outfit one time.
Sell Back When You’re Done
Help out others who shop at consignment stores. If your kids outgrow their clothes, or you just want a change before you wear them out, sell your clothes back and use the credit to get new duds.
I Want To Hear From You!
Are you an avid consignment shopper? Maybe you prefer thrift stores or tag sales, or have friends/family with kids close in age where you can hand down clothes. Have you tried online thrift shopping (I haven’t) – maybe a fun future video would be me giving it a shot?? Let me know in the comments!
Have an amazing day.
P.S. – After I published this I noticed my friend Angela from Tread Lightly Retire Early published a post today with a review of an online kids consignment option. It looks really cool, and if you’re interested in an online option, be sure to stop by and check out her post.
Be sure to follow my blog for more great posts via e-mail or WordPress, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and say hello! You can also check out what I’m buying or baking on Instagram, what I’m pinning on Pinterest, or the subscribe to the latest videos I’m putting up on YouTube.