How to Make Money Selling Your Clothes at a Consignment Shop

[T]hrough the years I have sold and purchased at many local consignment shops. I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way — all the while, learning how to maximize my income potential! There are definitely things that don’t work, but if you’re willing to pay attention to the things that do…there’s a chance you could make a good bit of money.

Selling you clothes at a consignment shop is a great way to turn a profit on unused items. It’s also super helpful if you’re looking for a quick way to make money. Consignment shops make selling your unwanted clothing, toys, accessories, coats, and shoes uncomplicated and convenient.  

Here are a few things to consider when preparing to sell at a consignment shop:

1. Start by decluttering. Go through every closet in the house and consider all unused articles of clothing. If it hasn’t been worn in the past year or two, it’s time for it to go! It’s not making you any money taking up space :) Establish one pile for consignment/resale and one for charity.

2. Look around at yard sales. I don’t necessarily go out to yard sales looking for things to sell at the consignment shop, but I absolutely keep an eye out for pieces that will sell if I’m out perusing. I look for clothing that is gently worn and in good condition. Those yard sales where they’re selling clothes for $0.25-$0.50 a piece are great opportunities to make money. 

3. Take good care of your clothes. Most consignment stores, unlike the common thrift stores, have the tendency to be picky when it comes to what they buy. More than likely, consignment shops won’t take clothing that is torn, stained, or worn. Make every effort to take good care of the clothes you have — it’s the best way for you to ensure that you get top dollar for your clothing. Tips: Hang the laundry instead of using the dryer. This reduces fading and the worn out look in clothes. And be sure to treat stains promptly.

4. Wash, iron, and neatly fold. It’s all about the presentation! And when selling consignment, going the extra mile to present freshly laundered, ironed, and neatly folded clothing can mean big profits.

5. Look around. There are many different types of consignment shops — in many different neighborhoods — it’s important to look around and find the shop in your local area that meets your needs. Visit the shop and talk to the owner, employees, and buyer to learn their policies, purchasing guidelines and reimbursement rates. For example, the children’s consignment shop close to my home offers cash back (at a lesser percentage) or store credit (at a higher percentage) options.

6. Know what they are buying. Once you have located a consignment shop near you, be sure to call ahead in order to verify what season they are purchasing for.

7. Increase your earning potential. Once you tackle your closets, offer to help organize, declutter, and consign for your friends and family. Do it for a cut of the profit on consignment sales and you are well on your way to earning a few extra bucks and starting a nice potential side business!

Truth is, you can make good money selling your clothes at a consignment shop. Each season I’m usually able to earn enough through consignment sales in order to purchase the clothing I need for my children. Follow these tips, and you too could find real money earning — and saving — success. 

Do you shop consignment? Share some of your tips for making it profitable!

Shared at: New Nostalgia, Your Green Resource

Comments

  1. Being a broke college kid… I am currently VERY tight on money. And I also have 3 bags of old clothes sitting in my closet… just because they don’t fit anymore.

    Don’t think this post could have been better timed! Thanks :)

  2. I chuckled when I read to be sure to wash, iron, and fold them before presenting them to the shop. I forget that’s not an automatic for everybody! LOL

  3. The best thing is when you bought something at a consignment shop and are able to resell it, basically either breaking even or making money. I’ve been able to do this with kids clothes because they don’t wear them very long.

    • Exactly! I’m now selling back to the consignment shop clothes I’ve purchased from there. So basically I break even, and I’m able to clothe the babes for free…free’s good :)

  4. I used to have great luck with this when I was in college. Over the years though it’s gotten harder and harder to find shops interested in my clothes, partly because I’m always moving and having to start over. So many shops are interested in only designer labels and I am blind to labels, preferring to buy whatever I can find on discount or clearance that fits well. I buy most of my clothes at stores like Ross, Marshall’s, or Target. So even though my clothes may be in excellent condition, I get turned away for not having labels from Dillards, Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc. But I can say from experience that consignment shops are a great way to go if you can find one that will accept your clothes.

  5. I love consignment shops. We’ve used them for years. When I made my childrens clothing they just loved to get hand made garments (provided I used a size tag) Contacting the owner and knowing the season change for summer/winter clothing is a good chance to get your items in early and sold first. Our shops require clothing to be on hangers so I save the wire hangers from my husbands work uniforms instead of giving up my plastic. Even if your store doesn’t require this it’s a much nicer presentation of your garments. We also help promote the store to friends, church etc & let the owner know. It’s brought more customers to the store which means higher chances for our things to sell (or at least sales for her) & once in a while she gives us a few extra discounts or contacts us when items come in that she thinks we might like.

  6. We have Pass It On sales for children’s clothing and toys. I’ve just been getting some hardly worn, too small, kids clothing ready for the upcoming spring sale! I’ve also had success with consignments shops too :)

  7. Thanks for sharing this article on consignment! I just made an appointment to take some of my clothes to a local shop. Thanks!

  8. My friend who works in a consignment shop said, “The best way to make your money work for you is to consign/sell and then use your earnings as gift cards to use in the store. If I make $50 off my used items then try and take that out into the real world I might get ONE shiny new thing. If I use that money back in the store I might get an entire wardrobe :)”
    Hope that helps!

  9. Another tip is to try eBay, especially if you have higher end children’s clothing like Gap or Gymboree. I would find my girl’s Gymboree clothing at consignment stores, garage sales or from friends who bought them new, then, I would turn around and sell an outfit anywhere from $20-$50! I know eBay has high fees, but even with the fees that is a lot more than you can make at consignment stores. I had about 3 years where I actually made about $500 per season on children’s clothing! Now that my girls are older, we do a lot of consignment shopping and selling. Teenager clothing does not sell as well on eBay, but sells great at consignment.

  10. I love this! I make money every season by doing this!! My local store runs a sale once a month where everything in a certian area is a quarter! I save up my credits and am able to buy a ton of great clothes for the whole family for…free!
    http://www.alighterjourney.com/2012/01/18/making-money-by-living-lighter/

  11. My local consignment shop just got a lot stricter on the brands that it would accept. They banned the main brand I buy for my son. Considering this is the only brand I can really afford with my budget, this could have been a problem. My way around it was to make a listing on Craigslist for a bundle deal of three shirts and two pants, something like that. If it didn’t sell in a month with one re-listing after the second week, it was either donated to charity. If they were really good items, I just take out my seam ripper, and will completely dismantle the entire piece. Any blobs of thread are combined with dryer lint and other materials to make little fire starter sachets. The graphics are mounted by hand into patches. The remaining material is then used to make things I’m accumulating to put on Esty.

  12. I have a variety of clothes and shoes, NEVER worn, (sizes xs and size 4) I bought them off of QVC and HSN networks and some catalogues. Embellished jeans, dresses, skirts, pants, tops, bikinis, handbags, real leather and suede jackets, coats etc.some or most are designer.

    I have stopped smoking and put on close to 70lbs and cannot lose the weight. Are their any merchandisers willing to buy most or all of these items for a set bulk price for a reasonable amount as I paid a lot for these.

    If you are interested, please contact me at the above e-mail. I also have household items cake platters, stands,pots,kitchenaid, much more and also fenton art glass pieces, belleck, tracy porter and much more.

  13. The is my e-mail address for the unused clothes etc. above

  14. Try consignment shopping online with a new small start up trying to make a name for ourselves http://www.relovedtreasures.net. big giveaway coming up the end of ths month…come check us out!

  15. My sister and I started a Moms Group. We offer a Buy and Sell group for free. You have to sign up with your FB account so that we can keep up with who’s on our sight. Feel free to check us out http://www.themomsgroup.com/index.php . We are a small group and appreciate all our moms. If you have any suggestions or want to ask any questions just let us know.

  16. Do you know of any shops either online or brick and mortar that accept home made baby clothes? My Mom made all my clothes when I was a child. They are in amazing condition and I really need the money so would like to sell them. Does anyone know of a place that takes gorgeous handmade clothing that’s 51 years old but looks brand new?

    • I am not sure if you ever received an answer to your question. Since you are dealing with clothes that are considered vintage, I would recommend trying to see if you can find a vintage clothing dealer. In my area, we have a huge vintage show (takes place every 2nd weekend of the month) and there are dealers that specialize in everything. I really feel that they may have more of an appreciation for your treasures than your typical neighborhood consignment shop.

  17. http://www.ShopMieux.com is the best!

    Mid-range & designer brands like Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Free People, French Connection, Anthropologie, Nasty Gal, etc. for cheap… even as low as only $10!

    You can also send your clothing to them & they’ll give you cash within a week!

    ShopMieux is by far my favorite & most trusted online clothing store. Customer service is the most personable I’ve ever received… even inside an actual store.

    I hope this helps!

  18. Evelyn Reilly says:

    This is a new venture for me.. My beautiful 47 year old daughter died on January 2. She was unmarried, no children, good job, lots of friends, loved to shop, and lost 70 lbs in a year and a half. She went from a size 2XX to 9-10. Most of her clothes were barely worn. Some still have tags on them. She loved country music and the Red Sox, and I have an enormous pile of shirts from those concerts and from Red Sox and Bruins games. Her clothes range from plain and simple, to elegant, to girly-girl and I think she had good taste. I have piles of jeans, piles of tops, and sweaters of all kinds, sorted by size. Still trying to get used to not having her around. Any suggestions? We live in Massachusetts.

Speak Your Mind

*