Here you are once again with a bag of clothing you don't want anymore. What do you do with it? You could sell your unwanted items online to make a profit, but will you? From waiting for someone to bite at your items to shipping, selling your stuff online can be exhausting.
If you're anything like me, I usually end up donating my things simply because I don't want to deal with the above. However, there is another alternative to selling clothes online or donating them: consignment.
Consigning and donating clothes each have their own benefits. Donating your clothes supports your community and local non-profits, such as Goodwill, while consigning them can support small businesses and make yourself a few extra dollars.
Now to the real question: when should you consign your clothes and when should you donate them? Here are some of my best tips for navigating that decision.
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| when to |
Your clothes are name brand
Name brand items range anywhere from American Eagle Outfitters to Kate Spade. Some consignment shops may prefer name brand items only and not items from Forever 21 or the like.
Your items are in good condition
Good condition means there are minimal to no signs of wear and tear. This means no stains, tears, pilling, missing tags, scuffs, scratches or other battle scars.
Your items are still in style / are classic pieces
This rule primarily applies to extremely basic and dynamic pieces, like a nude blazer or a jean jacket; or a classic designer item (depending on the consignment shop) including sunglasses, purses / handbags, scarves, ect.
In my opinion: this doesn't ALWAYS include Michael Kors or Coach as these designers are extremely accessible / mid-range. Because they are more affordable, more people purchase their products new, which increases the amount produced and ultimately lowers the value of the items in the long run. Many of these designer handbag styles are also trend based, so while in style today the design may not stand the test of time. This is so unless you have something that is limited edition or vintage, in which case the item's value may be significantly higher.
HOWEVER - this is not to say these items will not sell if you decide to consign them- it depends on many factors.
| when to |
Your items are not name brands
Having an item from a random brand doesn't make it less valuable by any means! But, it may make consigning it a bit more difficult as some consignment customers may be looking for specific brands. These pieces may be better off being donated.
You're eager to rid yourself of your unwanted goods
I do this more often than not: I clean out my closet and simply want my excess stuff gone so it doesn't take up space anymore. Doing this is fine because you're putting your perfectly good clothes toward an even better cause.
The item isn't in perfect condition
This does NOT translate to "please donate your trash to your local thrift store." By imperfect condition, I mean a pair of jeans with holes in the knees or a handbag with imperfections- not something that is beyond the point of repair. Someone who's into sewing patches on pants for a fun vintage look or enjoys the worn feel of jeans may find those jeans I mentioned and fall in love with them. Or, someone who's savvy with sewing or restoring products may take that handbag with the imperfections and refurbish it to be as good as new. The possibilities for repurposing your unwanted things are endless. These types of items can and should be donated.
| where to |
I've been donating clothes to and shopping at Goodwill for years and have always supported their cause. Most communities have a local Goodwill store and I'm fairly certain every location accepts donations. You can also donate your clothing to churches, homeless shelters, women's shelters or friends in need. In short, research your community to best determine where your items may be needed most.
| where to |
Personally, my GO-TO local consignment shop is My Girlfriend's Wardrobe in Downtown York, Pa. Not only is the shop always full of beautiful, quality pieces, it is owned by mother-daughter duo Alexandria and Deborah. These two ladies (who I initially mistook for being sisters!) have given me not only a wonderful experience as a consignor with them but one of the best retail experiences I have ever had. They are extremely personable, awesome and make any trip taken into their store something to get excited about.
If you're local to the area and wish to become a consignor, check out their site for more information or visit their storefront to browse their collection.
If you're not from York (Pa.), simply do some online digging to discover the best consignment shop near you.
Until next time...
*This post is not sponsored or affiliated with any of the parties mentioned throughout. All opinions are my own.