Money is tighter than ever, but, household needs do not lessen, especially if you have young children. This is the time of year when people are shopping for school clothing and supplies. Fortunately there are numerous dollar stores that are perfect for buying most school supplies on the cheap. But where can you find good quality inexpensive school clothing? The answer may be a consignment shop. Have you ever thought of consignment shopping? These shops are not quite the same as regular second hand shops.
You may see a consignment shop every day, but you quickly walk past it. It does look interesting, still you are not sure if you want walk into the shop, however cute the name. Some of those clothes look worn, isn't that buying second hand clothing? You know like buying from a rummage sale or garage sale? The answer is yes and no. Consignment shops usually sell high-end, gently used clothes, often they have new clothing with the price tags still on them, i.e., someone's fashion mistake.
Before you make a decision to continue walking past a store that can help to ease your tight financial budget, check out these tips. You may find that consignment shopping is for you. When thinking of shopping for school garments, remember you don't have to buy all of your youngster's clothing from these shops. But, you may find such good looking gently worn items that you will not be able to resist.
What is the difference between a second-hand shop and a consignment shop?
A second-hand shop is like a garage, yard sale, or a jumble, where people are getting rid of odds ands ends, and other items they have used a long time and no longer want. Don't knock it, you can find great items at second-hand shops for very little money. A consignment shop is where people bring clothing to sell, in return for a percentage on the sale. There are often stringent rules for selling to consignment business. These items are often high end goods and will cost more to buy than rummage sale or yard sale items. You are more likely to find designer or designer type clothing that has been gently worn or never worn.
If you do decide to use a consignment shop, here are some things to remember:
- Shop early in the season and often.
- New merchandise comes in frequently and some items are usually marked down if they are not sold in 30 or 60 days.
- Purchases are usually final. Use the dressing room if there is one. Also, be sure to dress properly for consignment shopping. Where tights and a fitted tee shirt under your clothing. This way if you have to try on a skirt, and there is no dressing room, you can slip your outer garments off for a try on.
- Look the item over carefully for any damage, worn spots, stains, etc. Consignment shops do screen clothes, but might occasionally miss a blemish. It is up to you to be sure of what you are buying. Why is that new shirt being sold? Check the sleeves, make sure they are the same length, look at the buttons and the button-holes to make sure the fit is good.
- Shop around until you find a good consignment shop. Visit a few different shops to see what each one has to offer. Try to find shop that caters to your needs. Who are you shopping for, yourself, your child, your family?
- Ask if the shop has a mailing list, if yes, ask to be put on it.
- Some shops will alert you to specials. Tell them your needs and give them your telephone number.
- Realize that if you don't buy an item today, it may not be there tomorrow.
- Perhaps the most important tip is get to know the people who run the shop.
What are your feelings about shopping in consignment stores? Do you have a "hand-me-down" issue? If you wore second-hand clothing as a child whether from a shop or an older sibling, buying used clothes may seem out of the question or a step down. Think carefully before you dismiss an excellent opportunity to save money.
On a personal note, I often wore second-hand clothing, my parents had a lot of little mouths to feed and little bodies to clothe. My mother had a good eye so the things she bought were very nice, she looked for natural fabrics. During my early years of working I would go near a second-hand shop. Later as I moved on in my career, some of the women I worked with allowed me into their inner circle, "I bought this designer blouse, skirt, etc., for..." . One Salvation Army store became my favorite and fun go-to place. It was a gold mine for good costume jewelry that was years old.