The glass pieces and the pedestal bowl were all purchased at consingment stores.
Recently I visited a newly opened upscale consignment store in my area.I may have gushed a bit when I spoke with the owner, but I was truly impressed by everything from the inventory of goodies to the merchandising. As I left with my new-to-me gold bamboo mirror and a blue and white pedestal bowl I couldn't help but think that all consignment stores are not created equal, I would definitely be back.
My new mirror was promptly hung in my dining room. (Sorry for the quality, it's really hard to get an image of a room with black walls!)
Whether you are a buyer, a seller or a little of each,consignment shops have a lot to offer if you are savvy in your approach and keep a few things in mind.
Bigger isn't always better
A store with 2,000 square feet of retail space may be a better place to shop than one with 20,000 square feet. To keep customers coming back it's necessary for a shop to constantly have the store stocked with inventory. It's not always easy for a store owner to keep an especially large shop filled with quality merchandise.That may mean that the owner is willing to accept less desirable merchadise to keep the floor looking full.I don't know about you, but as a consumer I don't want to spend time sorting through what looks like cast offs from a Brady Bunch yard sale.
On the other hand, a small shop can be choosier with what type of merchandise is accepted. Sometimes this means higher price tags, but not always. Once you get to know the shops in your area you can quickly figure out if this is the case.
Know When to Shop
A little common sense is necessary to get the best access to quality merchandise. Think about the times of year when people are most likely to organize their homes and get the urge to purge. For most, it is when the weather gets warm or at the beginning of a new year. More sellers lining up to sell their items on consignment means that shops are able to be pickier about the types of merchandise they are willing to accept.
One of my favorite shops was packed with furniture on the spring afternoon that I found this vanity table. Here's the before shot:
It spent a little time as a makeshift desk before I painted the mirror and put it in my daughter's room.
Shop Early and Shop Often
Don't write off a shop because your first experience isn't mind blowing. You may have hit the store on an off day. Visit often, preferrably early in the day, for a better chance at scoring.
Be on a First Name Basis with the Employees
The employees at your local consignment store are you allies when it comes to getting first dibs on the best they have to offer. If there are particular items that you're looking for ask that they give you a call if something on your wish list comes in. They want to move merchandise so they will be happy to help.They may even offer to show you items that haven't yet hit the sale floor.
When I told him I was looking for a beverage cart, an employee at one of my favorite shops pointed out the cart below that was hidden in the corner of the "final sales" room.
After a minor facelift, the beverage cart has been used multiple times for serving drinks or coffee and tea when we entertain. Currently it's ready to use for Easter brunch this Sunday.
If you have furniture or other goods that you're thinking about selling on consignment be sure to call multiple stores in your area to see who offers the best deal.Some shops charge a yearly consignment fee which might be fine if you have a lot of items to sell, but for someone who has only a few small pieces or a single item of furniture they'd like to part with, they may end up seeing very small profit. In order to move merchandise most shops will discount items once or twice at pre-determined intervals. Those discounts affect your bottom line. For instance, a never used Pottery Barn area rug I inquired about selling (I paid $169 on clearance, the original retail price was $499.) would have netted me only $24 at one consignment store if it hadn't sold until after the final reduction. If you are comfortable with the idea, you may be better off selling on Craigslist if none of the shops in your area offers a fair deal. (In case you're wondering, my hair stylist ended up purchasing my rug for $150 after I shared the story with her.)
I found an image of the same rug I sold on Emily's site.
Consignment stores can be a bargainista's best friend. With a little know how you can furnish your home with one-of-a-kind pieces and save money.
What is your best consignment shop story?