Whether you need the extra cash or just want to clean out your closet, selling your clothes to a consignment shop can achieve both goals. Each consignment shop sets its own policies and procedures for purchasing, but many follow the same basic steps.
Step 1: Find the right store
Consignment shops exist for all types of clothing, including men's, women's, children and designer labels, so you'll want to find a store that fits the type of clothes you want to consign. Some stores only accept certain brands or certain sizes, so call or email ahead before wasting a trip to the store.
Often the store will list on its website what brands it does and does not accept. You can always call or stop in to see what a store accepts.
Step 2: Check the store's policies
According to Kiplinger's, some stores require first time consignees to make an appointment, while others allow walk-ins. The store may also have set hours for bringing in items or only accept items up to an hour before closing.
Step 3: Prep your clothing
A consignment shop only accepts clean clothes. Depending on the store, it may only take clothes that fit the most recent style trends or come from the last season or sooner. For example, the Plato's Closet chain only accepts teenage styles from the last 12 to 18 months. Other requirements at consignment shops typically include:
- Free of rips, tears, stains and other wear
- Ironed or free of wrinkles
- Folded neatly or hung up on hangers
Step 4: Bring in your clothes
At the store, you'll fill in some paperwork with your personal information like name, address, phone number and email. Some stores require a photo ID as well. An employee sorts through your items and lets you know what items the store wants. If you ask, most stores will tell you why they don't take a certain item.
Some stores request that you wait while an employee goes through everything. At other stores, you can leave your merchandise and return later to see what has been accepted.
Step 5: Get paid
Some stores pay cash on the spot for your clothing, while others follow the more traditional consignment process where you get paid only if your item sells. Usually you will be paid a percentage of the sales prices. Depending on the store, you may receive a check, cash or store credit for your items. Some stores require you to come in to get your money, while others will mail it to you, according to Money Crashers.
Online Consignment Stores
Numerous online consignment stores also exist that follow essentially the same process, except the seller must mail in her clothing. Often, the online retailer will provide a prepaid mailing label. Online consignment stores typically pay immediately through PayPal.