What Is a Consignment Shop?

What Is a Consignment Shop?

The consignment shop industry is projected to grow as the overall popularity of these shops is expected to continue to grow along with an increase in consumer spending. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially as shopping sustainably has become trendy and made designer style more accessible over the years.

What is a consignment shop, though? Why should you be fulfilling all your retail needs at one? Keep reading to find out or visit ReTreat to fall in love with consignment shopping!

What Is a Consignment Shop

Consignment shops are retail stores that mainly resell items of clothing. However, some will carry accessories, home goods, and luxury items as well. 

Most of the goods sold at these shops are second-hand items that are being resold to consumers at a discounted price. At first, this may seem synonymous with the proceedings of a thrift store, but they are completely different!

A consignment store is not a place where you go to donate your unwanted goods. Therefore, you will not receive any kind of donation slip for taking your unwanted items there either. Consigned items are higher quality items both consignors and shoppers benefit from. This is how a thrift store does business. 

Instead of donating items, you are reselling them when you take them into a consignment shop. This means you will be compensated when the item is sold! However, consignment shops will take a portion of the sales profits because they acted as the seller. 

Normally the store's staff will sort through the items you bring to them and choose the items that they think would be a good addition to their retail selection. An item may not be accepted if it is in poor condition or it does not mesh with the style of the store's shopper demographic. 

The Different Types of Consignment Shops

For starters, there are in-person consignment shops that you can go to like ReTreat. You can bring your items to these stores and look through the inventory that is already there while an employee assesses the items you brought in with you. It is also nice to be able to go over the details with an actual person who can explain their store's specific policies.

There are also online consignment shops. ReTreat also has a website (you're on it!). To partner with these shops for a sale or to simply browse their inventory, you do not even need to leave the comfort of your home!

Some shops do it all! You will see some storefronts with in-person shops that you can visit and an online platform that they use. For sellers, these particular consignment stores are great because they allow you to advertise your items more so you have a better chance of obtaining a buyer and making a profit!

There are other types of shops as well. Some may be limited to selling clothing, furniture, or designer brands whereas others may sell a variety of different items. ReTreat, for example,  offers desigher fashion, shoes, accessories, handbags, furniture, decor, lighting, and art. 

Shops that sell more than one specific type of inventory are usually fantastic consignment shop options for both buyers and sellers. This is because someone who came in looking for a new rug might come out with a blouse that they never knew they needed! The original seller makes a profit and the buyer leaves happily with a new purchase!

The History of Consignment Shops

Thrifting was a concept long before the first consignment shop. However, it was generally frowned upon to shop second-hand until charities started utilizing the idea to bring in more funding for their religiously tied causes. 

It was not until the 1950s that consignment shops made their very first debut! Although they were mainly marketed towards higher-income Americans at the time. This was mainly because a result of a sudden rise in the popularity of vintage clothing and shopping consignment made acquiring must-have unique pieces possible. 

Now consignment shops are much more inclusive and bring in a wide array of customers. There are now twenty-five thousand thrift and consignment shops in the United States. To add to this, more shops are expected to pop up as the business grows with support from younger generations and everyone looking for better deals when shopping retail. 

The Benefits of Consignment 

So, why has consignment become so popular over the last couple of years? There are several reasons, and once you know all the advantages you will think twice about returning to buying full price goods anywhere else!

It Is Good For the Environment 

It is no secret that a lot of fabric textiles end up in landfills. When you take your clothes to a consignment shop rather than condemning them to be sent out with the rest of the garbage you are recycling. Annually consignment shops save roughly two million tons of fabric textiles from ending up in landfills. 

You are also helping reduce pollution. A lot of clothing has cotton in it and when cotton is grown there is pesticide runoff. The factories that take this cotton and turn it into the products consumers buy are emitting several pollutants as well. 

By shopping consignment, you are doing a good thing not just for the earth but also for future generations. Shopping fast fashion has the exact opposite effect. 

Help Your Community

One major benefit of consignment shops is the jobs they create. They need people from your community to sort through new consignment items, assess the value of items, and complete transactions. In a world where a lot of other retail jobs are being replaced by advancing technology, it is important to support small businesses like consignment shops because of the opportunities these stores create for the people around you. 

Additionally, not everyone is affluent enough to buy the goods you may be discarding. By giving someone else the chance to buy your old work clothes at a discounted price you could be helping them secure a better job. Taking your teenager's clothes that they no longer wear to a consignment shop can help clothe another kid in your local area. 

Spend Less

Your wallet will also thank you when you start shopping consignment! Maybe you have had your eye on a designer handbag but do not want to dish out thousands of dollars on a purse. If that sounds like you, start shopping at consignment shops for the deal of a lifetime on one of a kind finds!

Most consignment shops, including ReTreat, will even be sure to verify that designer bags are the real deal before they partner with the previous owner. So, not only are you getting a great deal but you can sleep soundly at night knowing your bag is an actual luxury product and not a fake!

Earn More To Spend

Everyone has clothes they never wear just sitting in the back of their closet gathering dust. If you love going shopping, for new-to-you style, you should take these clothes a consignment shop!

You can schedule a time to bring items in and browse their current retail selection while their employees sort through the clothes and other items you brought in with you. After items have been chosen for sale you can start making other purchases knowing extra cash will be coming your way soon! 

Your experience with this may be a little different if you choose an online consignment shop. However, the important part remains the same: You can earn money for your next shopping trip and make more room for your new stuff!

Vamp Up Your Style 

Shopping consignment can help you rebuild your wardrobe at a lower cost. You can easily clean out your closet, earn shopping money, and shop apparel at discounted rates all at once. There is no other way to redesign your wardrobe!

What about your home, though? You should look into consignment shops that sell home decor, furniture, rugs, and more! You can usually find really good deals on items for your home at certain consignment websites and then have these items shipped right to your door in just a few days!

You can sell and swap out items in every room in your house and completely change the style if you want to! Consignment makes it an affordable process through the profit you make from your sales and the discounted rates when you buy! 

Things You Need to Know as a Seller

If you are selling an item, be sure to clean it before you bring it into a store or photograph it for review. It is not the store's job to clean your items for you and so consignment shops do not want to sell items that come in with stains or odors. If you want to partner with a shop to sell your item cleaning is a crucial step to ensuring your partnership with most stores.  

Make sure you are aware of how much of a profit you will be making when the item sells. This will be noted as the consigner and store split. Some stores will attempt to make a larger profit than you, meaning you will make back less than fifty percent of what the item was sold for. You may get a better split for authenticated luxury items.

When looking for a consignment shop to partner with you should be looking for one that will guarantee you at least a fifty-fifty split of the profit. This is a good deal for any seller. If any store is trying offering you less than half, try taking your item to another store or getting it reviewed online!

There are some other questions you should make sure to ask as well. For example, you should also ask if the store will be putting your item on sale at any point if it does not sell. Also, if it fails to sell within an allotted time will it be donated or can you come to get it? ReTreat used Traxia to allow consigners to see the status of their consigned items at any time. 

Things You Need to Know as a Buyer

If there are not any consignment stores near you, then you should look online! Most online stores are able to give you the same amazing discounts on the items you buy in store.

If you have stores near you check them out! A lot of consignment stores will cater to a particular crowd. For example, parents may want to look for children's consignment shops whereas someone who works a nine to five may want to find a store that sells business casual apparel. ReTreat carries everything from every day fashion and decor to unique, authenticated luxury items.

When you find a consignment boutique you like ask them if they do store credit when an item sells! A lot of consignment shops will do this if you plan on buying and selling with them and it is a great way to avoid any potential buyer guilt when you spend money on yourself! Plus, if you get home and decide you don't love your purchase you can consign it again. 

When you shop consignment you should also remember that the item you are looking at today might not be there tomorrow if you decide to come back for it. Consignment shopping has been all the rage recently and so there is a lot of store traffic. Chances are that if you like an item someone else will too so if you love it, don't miss your chance! 

You should also find out if these stores will sell you gift cards (we do!)! This is a great gift for anyone in your life. Not only is it environmentally friendly but they will also get to go and pick out exactly what they want from the store and who doesn't love that? 

The Search for the Perfect Consignment Shop Is Over

There are a lot of advantages to shopping consignment. Selling and buying with these stores is a decision you can make in good conscience and yet still reap the benefits of. 

So, what is a consignment shop? Well if you are still unsure at this point click here to check out ReTreat, a consignment shop that has an in store location in downtown St. Petersburg in Tampa Bay Florida and you can shop anytime through their online shop!