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Consigning your used goods, and shopping second hand are two skills I think every woman should have.

These are both great ways to not only limit the amount of money you spend out of pocket, but  score some amazing designer goods at a fraction of the price! In fact, I am gonna level with you — the All Saints denim and beaded jacket I am wearing in this post were both scores from My Sister’s Closet, and cost me $0 out of pocket…no joke!

When executed correctly, consigning your undesired threads can add up pretty quickly. That being said, all resale boutiques were not created equal, and simply lugging your bags of dejected clothing in hopes of scoring a new designer wardrobe simply will not do!

Whether your closet is full of thrift store finds, budget friendly pieces from H&M, or designers to die for — there is still a fine art to maximizing the amount you can collect when turning your castaways into cold hard cash (or a new wardrobe).

First Impressions: First things first…How your consignment items look make all the difference. Do your homework and find out if the consignors you are going for have certain brands, policies, or requirements before you go in.  For example, Buffalo Exchange will only accept items when they are folded, but My Sister’s Closet prefers them hung…so do your homework. Also, make sure your items look as clean and presentable as possible — this will ensure that you receive the maximum return.

Divide + Conquer: All of your castaways are not created equal. Set up three shopping bags or boxes when getting ready to haul your used threads. One bag is for items you want to sell at a place like Buffalo Exchange for cash-in-hand, one is for items to consign at a high-end designer re-sale boutique, and the final bag is for items to donate. Donations should include anything with holes, stains, a button missing etc. If you try to consign or sell these piece (no matter the brand), buyers will second guess everything you are bringing them (in case they are damaged), so its better just to let them go.

Know Your Market: Remember, second-hand boutiques have buyers just like a high-end department stores do. Pinpointing each re-sale shops  niche is really important if you want to maximize your return. Most re-sale boutiques have a certain style they are known for, and knowing where to take your pieces the first time will increase not only the pieces they accept, but the overall profit you receive as a result.

Just as a designer label does not automatically earn you a spot on the best dressed list, the amount you spend does not mean you are going to look fabulous. I have actually found that once I started going to second hand shops like My Sister’s Closet and Goodwill my style actually improved significantly, because I began expanding my imagination to consider the possibilities.

Finding patterns with your own style (such as my lust for statement necklaces) combined with expanding your shopping zip code to include the road less traveled can help you find all kinds of unique pieces that chances are, only you will own. Clean out your closet, and be a total prude when adding new pieces.  I promise you that when you actually commit to this philosophy, you will transform your closet into a seamless and well-oiled machine that is 100% you and pays for itself!


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