Tips for consignment shoppers

Tips for consignment shoppers


Tips for consignment shopping

How to shop and get good value and quality deals at consignment shops.


Welcome to the world of consignment shopping!

With a good eye and sometimes a great deal of patience you can furnish or decorate your home at a small fraction of the cost of new retail. Here are a few points to keep in mind when considering the purchase of a consigned item:

- Most consigned items are used. They may look new or have never been used, however, they have been previously purchased. Many times they have been kept in storage or meticulously taken care of and you can often get great value from a unique piece that cannot be found readily available anywhere else locally. Many times older pieces of furniture are manufactured much better than modern pieces and you can get great quality as well.

- Most consignment stores have a “no return or exchange”  policy. Look over your merchandise carefully for condition. If you are not sure if an item will fit the space you have in mind measure the item and your space before making the purchase. Sometimes it is a good idea to photograph the piece and return home to visualize if that particular armoire, chair, dresser or table will fit in nicely with your home decor. On occasion a customer will use Photoshop or other digital software to place the furniture into a room and get a better visualization of what it will look like. You can even bring in samples of carpet, wood flooring or color samples of your walls to check the compatibility of the pieces in the showroom to your home.

- If you are not able to take your purchase with you most consignment stores will allow you to come back and pick it up at another time. They will also most likely have a limit to how long an item can be left in waiting as most consignment stores do not have a lot of “off the floor” storage space to set aside merchandise. It is a good idea to plan ahead for transporting anything you may purchase before you even head out for your consignment shopping excursions. By doing that, you will have a plan in place for picking up and delivering your purchases and it will give you more flexibility to act quickly if you see a piece you like. Many consignment shops though, will provide delivery services at a reasonable fee.

- Most consignment stores operate under a contract that spells out when and at what percentage a piece of merchandise can be discounted. Many times shoppers think they can bargain with the shop owner or employee for a lower price as is often the case with lower end shops like thrift shops, but you are asking them to break the terms of their contract when you are purchasing from an upscale consignment shop. You can take your chances on that piece being discounted if it does not sell within a given time period, but you also run the risk that it may be scooped up by another buyer.