This is an exclusive extract from Rescu Me: The makeover guide for a life more fabulous by Bahar Etminan.
Ever wanted to sell that beautiful dress that just doesn’t quite fit anymore or those uncomfortable but stylish heels you never wear? You could be holding onto some profit as there is quite a market for second-hand pieces, especially designer or vintage. Jane Thompson from Sydney’s recycled fashion mecca Blue Spinach reveals how fashion insiders trade in (and trade up) their wardrobes
How it works
Consignment stores sell pieces on your behalf, online or in a shopfront, taking a percentage split of the sale price. Often, if your piece has not sold in a period of or so months, it will be returned to you. If pieces are designer, unique or have niche value, selling through consignment will gain a higher return than selling upfront as they have specialist market knowledge and an established customer list.
Find the right store
Consignment is often specialised – not all stores take all labels or types of piece. Some focus on current season, others contemporary fashion (from the last 10 years) or in vintage, luxury or luxury vintage. Check yours out before signing up to be sure they represent pieces the way you would like them to.
Things to know
Check terms and conditions in detail before handing items over. Not all consignments will accept responsibility for items while they are in their care – an important consideration for high-end luxury pieces.
Setting the price tag
A consignment store should be able to appraise pieces and determine a value. If you have a price in mind, make it clear but note age, condition and current desirability all influence value. Remember: consignment is a way to make a bonus off things you don’t wear or want anymore, not a method recouping your original spend. If you are hung up on making as much money as you paid, perhaps you still value it too highly to sell.
The split to expect
You should get aminimum 50% of the sell price through to a maximum of 70%. The higher percentage returns will be limited to luxury labels. Online consignment may offer higher returns, but, as they can only display a photo, pieces can take longer to sell than a boutique setting.
Condition and quality
Deliver clothes freshly laundered, dry-cleaned or pressed on hangers. Shoes, accessories and handbags should be cleaned and polished. This limits fees that apply to restoration. Include any receipts, certificates of authenticity, dust bags or boxes.
It’s the ultimate way to find gems. Not only will you have a second chance at pieces you loved and regret not buying last season, you can find an eclectic mix of designer and special pieces at lower-than-retail prices. Get on VIP lists for the heads up when pieces you’d like come in.
For more practical insights and advice from the leading experts in health, relationships and wellbeing, finances and career, fashion and beauty, pick up a copy of Rescu Me: The makeover guide for a life more fabulous by Bahar Etminan.