Consignment and sell your clothing, jewelry and accessories

It’s a new year and now that the holiday tinsel and confetti has settled, it’s a good time to go through your closet and get things organized. With organization also comes a chance to clean out old and tired items and also earn a little cash by utilizing consignment or reselling your unwanted items.

Reselling unwanted clothing is good for everybody because:

  • It frees up space in your closet.
  • It’s a good way to make a little extra cash.
  • It’s green because its recycling and keeps clothing out of land fills.

So let’s go through the options and companies that offer resale services and check out how each one works, how much you can expect to make, and the pros and cons of each channel. I even created a spreadsheet so you can easily compare each consignor to help you figure out the best avenue to resell your stuff. Also, I compiled a list of tips for prepping and selecting items that are good candidates for consignment.

There is a big market for almost new or gently used clothing shoes, jewelry and accessories. The days are over of being limited to your local consignment boutique in the hopes that someone will wander into that store, looking for your second hand stuff, in her size. There are a number of good avenues to resale these days. The key is to find the best channel for you. Many people also turn to Ebay as a place to sell their stuff, but this is not always the best channel. Several consigning outfits even offer you the opportunity to mail your unwanted items in. Another, The Real Real, will make a house call to help you in person with selecting items for resale. Others offer you a chance to trade instead of receiving cash.  I thought my readers might also enjoy learning about re selling options and how they work. So here are my tips and rundown of the best on line consignment options.

Consign with The Real Real

The Real Real launched in 2010 with a luxury consignment point of view. This is an extremely well run organization and they really make it easy to consign. The down side is that they are very selective in items they accept. They only take better and high end designers. I imagine that their clients are Neiman Marcus shoppers and high end boutique shoppers. Here’s the scoop on how The Real Real works:

  • An Account Executive will come to your house and work with you in person to select what they will take. This is super convenient, as there is no hauling a bunch of stuff to the consignment store, filling out forms, and then having to decide what to do with the rejects.
  • The Account Executive that comes to your home will use an Ipad to photograph and create a virtual “closet” for you. Its all done electronically. Accepted items are immediately bagged and taken with the Account Executive who send them on to a regional office for finally acceptance, photography and getting listed on their site. Once your items are listed you are notified that they are live and up for sale.
  • They will help you sell your jewelry. Major cities will have an office in which you can bring in your jewelry and work with a trained Real Real jewelry professional and get some feedback on whether your items are are suitable for resale with them. However they are only interested in high end like Van Cleef or David Yurman, or highly coveted jewelry such Chanel.
  • Only take high end clothing, shoes and accessories. Low end for them is Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.
  • Compensation: Commission rates are based on sales. 60% of the Net Selling Price of items sold before reaching total sales of $7,500 in your consignment year. After you hit sales of $7,500 in your consignment year you will earn 70% of the net selling price.
  • There sales are all done on line and they do a fabulous job marketing to their ideal customer. Items can sell quickly or take up to a year. They say on their website that many items sell within 3 days.
  • Be aware that The Real Real always runs a 20% off promotion code so most likely the buyer will use that discount to purchase your item.

I have consigned with The Real Real and it was a good experience. An Account Executive came to my home and I showed her my possible consignment worthy items. She selected the only the items that were high end names, in perfect condition, meaning no spots/stains, no wear or tear, and no missing buttons, etc. She also rejected items that were in excellent condition but were too dated for them. In total they took 11 items and sold them over a years time. If you have high end stuff, this is a great option.

Consign with Posh Mark

Poshmark is an app on your smart phone. Its’ easy to get up and selling with Poshmark. You create a profile and list your items for sale by using their app.

They take care of the shipping so all you have to do is find a box and print the shipping label. The shipping is paid for by the buyer, and Poshmark uses USPS as their carrier. So, once an item is sold, the buyer pays for shipping with the sale transaction. Then you are emailed a shipping label. You simply print the label attach it to the box and leave for your post person to pick up or drop it in a mail box or at the post office.

Fees for selling on Poshmark are as follows: For all sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95. For sales of $15 or more, you keep 80% of your sale and Poshmark’s commission is 20%. You can spend your earnings to buy new things on Poshmark within the app or withdraw your money as cash whenever you like.

Resell with Material World

Founded in 2012 Material World caters to a clientele that is shopping for better and high end brands. The are very specific about what they will buy from you and items need to be either brand new or barely worn. They have a specific list of about 230 accepted designers which your access on their website. They are strictly mail in and once your send you stuff in, they will offer you a price to buy those items outright. there are no fees to mail your items in. You can then choose to be paid with either a Trade In Card, or a Gift Car. Here’s how they break down.

Trade In Card

  • Accepted at 700 plus retailers around the world
  • Re-loadable
  • Eligible for promotions
  • Text to get your balance any time

Gift Card

  • Limited to the following retailers: Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Intermix, and Barneys
  • Not re-loadable.
 Resell or Consign with Crossroads Trading

Crossroads Trading is pretty trendy and they buy for the current season. For a peak at what they are buying right now click here.

For your accepted items you earn 50% in trade for what the item would sell for in stores or 33% in cash for what the items would sell for in stores ( 30% for mail in option)

I have sold with Crossroads and they are quick and efficient, only taking the best of the best.

Resell with Buffalo Exchange

Founded in 1974, this re-seller merchandise selection depends on their clientele for that particular store. Brands they like are Banana Republic, Free People, Anthropologie, Vince, Kate Spade and Rag and Bone to name a few. They are fashion and eco-conscious and . You can get more details here on how to consign with them.

Of the items they select they will immediately assign a retail price. From that price, you’ll receive 50% in store trade or 30% in cash the same day you sell.

I have sold with Buffalo Exchange and they are quick and efficient, only taking the best of the best.

Local consignment boutique

This will vary for each independent consignment boutique. Typical selling time is 8 weeks. Usually a 50/50 split.

I have sold with local consignment boutiques and I have positive experiences.

Sell on eBay 

EBay is where you will have the most control to try to get the money your want. Their fee is 10%, of the final price that you sell an item for. So, you can control the price that you list an item, but you will need to do some research on what a similar item has sold for and price it from there.

Downside is that you will do all the work. That means:

  • researching what a similar item sells for so you can determine the price
  • pack and ship the items
  • respond to any questions as posted or communicated by potential buyers
  • photograph the item so that details are clear
  • measure and communicate specs, size, measurements and fit for each item

The main thing to remember is to list your item at a buy now price. Figure out what price you want to walk away with after the Ebay fees. So, determine your price and add 10%.

I have sold things on ebay and like that I can control the price of an item. It is a lot of work to get items live so be sure you are up for project if you have a lot of stuff you want to sell.

Do you have jewelry to sell on Ebay? Check out my blog post with a step by step tutorial on how to sell your jewelry.

Prepping your items for consignment or resale
  • Clean. This means no stains, dirt or ring around the collar.
  • No holes. No one wants to take on a project to fix something. The only place where it makes sense to show something with holes is if its actually part of the design such as jeans that have tears strategically placed, etc.
  • Working notions. This means all buttons attached, snaps, hooks, eyes, and zippers that work.
  • Labels attached. Meaning the label that identifies the designer must be attached and legible.
  • Seasonality. Consignment stores cater to customers who are buying to wear things right now. This means that they area looking for items for the very next season. For example they are not taking summery white linen in October. Instead they most likely would be taking those spring clothes in Feb. or March. If you are not clear, check the newest deliveries at a major department store or specialty store.
  • Shoes clean, no missing heel tips or mud or dirt on sole.

Consignors are usually buying for the current or very next season. For examples, they are not taking clothing summery, white linens in October. They would be interested in these in March or April. If you are unclear, contact the reseller or consignor and ask what season they are currently taking.

If you do consign at a local boutique be sure you are clear on:

  • How and when your compensated
  • What the selling time frame is
  • How to deal with items that don’t sell. Many consignment shops offer the chance to pick up you clothing and accessories at the end of the consignment period. It is your job to monitor this and make arrangements for pick up. Most stores will email you that your consignment period is ending and that if you want to pick up you need to respond by a certain date. The other option that is typically offered is a chance to donate them to a local charity or Goodwill.

Check out my comparison spreadsheet to help your decide which channel you want to consign or resell with:

Do you have any tips to consign or resell clothing, jewelry and accessories? Please share your tips below.

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