Saturday, November 8, 2008

Consignment & Thrift Shopping

I know this probably won't come as a surprise to many of my wonderful readers, but it seems that consignment shopping is increasing with our economic woes. Really?! Well, I've been doing it for a long time, so I guess folks are getting smarter and realizing how much further their dollar will stretch at the consignment and thriftstores. I'm talking mostly clothes now and we have a number of new upscale clothing consignment stores that have opened in my area.

This recent article in our Birmingham paper, summed it up this way:

The National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops recently released a survey with store owners citing an average spring sales increase of 30% over the same time in 2007. One of our local furniture consignment shops, Consigning Interiors, said their increase is more like 40-50%,with new clients contacting him every day.

About 80% of the store owners in the survey reported more new customers, and 65% reported more new consignment sellers. Many customers sell what their children have outgrown, then shop the store for winter or Holiday outfits.

Everybody is looking at what they can do to cut some money from their budgets and this is one way they can cut down on spending, but still get clothes. People still want to go to their parties, but they are trying to find a more economical way to do it. By and large, this industry is a depression and recession friendly business. It is advantageous for the seller as well as the buyer.

So, how about you, my sweet readers? Do you shop for clothes (or furniture/accessories) at consignment or thriftstores (or yardsales)? If you read my blog, you will know that I am not too proud to wear second-hand clothes and wallow in a good deal on designer duds. In fact, it thrills me to no end, like when I scored on all those clothes from my neighbor, who has her own upscale consigment store. I asked her if business was picking up and she indicated that it was for her too. Sounds like from the article that women selling clothes is also picking up. An easy way to make a quick few bucks perhaps.

I know some girls turn up their nose at the idea of second hand clothes...but many of you probably love it as much as I do.

Yes or no on buying or selling second hand clothing?

Be sure to come back on Monday. I've got the new guestroom all ready for viewing and y'all will be the first to see it! I have to say...I love it!

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Jen r. said...

Yeah, I'm the first! You know me, consignment and resale are all I wear.... and I get a lot of complements too.. the only problem with the rise in resale shopping, is I noticed everything is so much more picked over!

shysue said...

A big "YOU BET"! I've been buying from garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment stores all of my life. I inherited the second hand gene from my mother. When I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of money for basics, not to mention luxury items. We made ends meet by buying second hand. I have a better life now, but it is probably due to my frugal ways. I just can't bring myself to pay full price for something that I can buy for a fraction. Even my friends ask me to be on the look out for things they need. I see nothing wrong in wearing used clothing as long as it is laundered well. I think there will be many more people out there at GS's and TS's now. Get ready for more competition for those bargains we love!

Maureen said...

Ah, dear Rho- if only we all were blessed with your tall stature and willowy form! I'll bet you find a lot of goodies that fit! I definitely check out shops that consign clothing, but mainly donate stuff, and it's mostly to interiors consignment shops. Trying to get rid of stuff someone else may need! Have noticed a lot more of these shops popping up here. Some are fussy about the clothing being newish- one shop will not accept items older than one year, and that limits the neat vintage stuff, which I much prefer!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Rhoda~ you are such a delight!
I grew up wearing my sister's hand-me-downs. I'm not proud!

salmagundi said...

I'm not so much into the consignment stores for clothes, but love the furniture and accessory stores. I do shop very frugally for new clothes, however. Sally

Stacey said...

I'm not against thrift/resale shopping...I've just never found one that I really like. I usually buy new but ALWAYS on sale. Half the fun is the bargain! I can't resist saying I got something for $4.00!!

laurie said...

Is there some other way to shop? Can't wait to see your guestroom. laurie

Handmade Housewife... said...

Absolutely! We recently had to renew our homeowners insurance and were discussing the coverage of our posessions should something happen. My husband said the insurance only reimburses the depreciated value of items. I laughed and said everything in our house is depreciated...it's all second hand!

-Hayley

Handmade Housewife... said...

Forgot to say that I also consign and buy from an upscale clothing consignment shop in our town. It's where I went first to find a cocktail dress for an upcoming cruise. You just can't afford to buy things like that at full price. Most of them have only been worn once too.

-Hayley

deputyswife said...

I have long been a second hand shopper! I love the thrill of finding a deal.

I also wanted to say in the past two years I have found something else that makes me just as happy as finding a deal. I give all of my kids clothes and my clothes through our local Freecycle. I used to have garage sales to make a little extra money. Yet, with three small children, all that work, and little pay off it wasn't worth it.

Giving our gently used clothes to families that really need it makes my day. And I am sure it makes their day too. This fall I gave five sacks full of clothes to one young mother. She emailed me back to tell me that I must have given her some wrong sacks because their was some very nice name brand clothes in there. I told her no, the clothes don't fit and they were now hers. She couldn't believe it and was so appreciative.

So, if you don't have time for a garage sale or can't get to a donation center, try Freecycle. It's worth it!

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Oh yes I'm with ya girl! I'm not too good to wear second hand clothes! In fact one of the cruises our family of 4 was on I noticed at the formal dinner that we were all dressed in clothes from thrift/consignment stores...and we looked great! Spent about $40 on the clothes for all 4 of us!

Lady Katherine said...

I always gone to resale, consignment,thrift, garage, antique stores, when girls were small, I bought baby things and clothes, they grow so fast. Then I was, had more money than time, Bad to say, but on road for 5 years. I found chico's, most of my clothes come from. But went to denist and there was a consignment shop, opened, I checked it out, As I walk in the lady says, Oh you have on chico's, and led me to the racks, All looked new, and my weakness is their jewelry, I did not buy, but I would, now I have more Time than money. I have been home 2 and half years. Most of my the things in my home came from one shop or another. On the road, I hit them for things, I could ship home, or stack into the motor home.

the undomesticated wife said...

I posted an article like this on my blog a few weeks ago. Very interesting, isn't it?! I've noticed, like another commenter said, things are a lot more picked over now.

I have no problem buying thrift/consignment clothes. Once they are washed/dry cleaned, it doesn't really matter. I've found some cute stuff, and some great boots the other day.

PamperingBeki said...

YES on thrifting!!

It's the thrill of the hunt as much as the find... :)

Kim~"HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs" said...

I mostly shop for household items, but do buy some clothing from thrift stores, etc. I mainly buy my clothes on clearance...very rarely do I pay full price for anything.

Alyce said...

I am all for second hand clothes..or hand me downs as we call it. I love them..Jeans from the thrift store are the best, cause they are soft and broken in ;-)
Alot of times, I can find my size better in a thrift store. I used to buy lots of my maternity clothes from there too. I also got a boat load of mat. clothes off ebay. Great deals!

Twice as Nice said...

No, I don't buy a lot of second hand clothing but I'm not against it. Around here if you go to yard sales the clothes have seen their better days if ya know what I mean. I love going to the store and getting a great bargain. I mostly look for household things when I'm looking at second hand. Now if I spotted something nice to wear second hand then YES I would buy it :o) Perhaps I need to come visit you this summer for all those great finds!

Sandi McBride said...

I love consignment shops best of all. Why should I pay full break the bank prices when I can get great stuff for a fraction of the price. I'd love to go Thrifting with you!
hugs
Sandi

Nichole said...

I love going to thrift stores, consignment shops, and rummage sales. I go to look for decorating items but if I see cute clothes I'll definitely check them out. Can't pass up a good bargain!

Ally0005 said...

A few years ago I started selling my girls clothing and toys at consignment sales around our town.
One year I made over $700.00, I'm not kidding. That was the year I really cleaned out. Now I make around $200 every spring and summer.
I just found a thrift store about 20 minutes from me.
I found a skirt that still had the tag on it. The price was $99.00 if I had gotten it at the store I paid $11.00 at the thrift store.
I have gotten name brand jeans in great shape for under $4.00.
As I type this now I'm wearing a cute top I got for $2.00. The other day I went out in my thrift store clothes and was so happy I had got a deal and no one knew my clothes came from a thrift store.
Oh and while living in Atlanta did you ever go to the Bargainata?
My husband went once and got three name brand suits hardly worn for $50.00. They also have woman items also.

Sharon said...

When I think of shopping I automatically think of thrift stores, consignment shops and the Goodwill. My little girls wear ADORABLE clothing and 90% of it is second hand. Love, love, love finding a deal!

Lisa said...

I love consignment and thrift stores. Clothes, home decor, shoes...whatever. Once I considered opening a consignment shop. I would probably go broke though, buying up all the stock..lol.
Can't wait for that reveal Rhoda.
Lisa

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

I am never too proud to purchase items at consignment shops or thrift stores. My only problem is sometimes I can spend too much because the deals are so great. So I have to stop and talk to myself, "Do I really need another pair of black pants? You already have two!"

Rhoda, I wanted to tell you my husband has been flying into Alabama each week for a few days a week to check out the project he's overseeing at Alagasco. He said the weather has been beautiful. Lucky you.

Blessings,

Sher

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Oh yes...certainly. I am a huge donator to the stores and a purveyor too!

We have quite a few...I always jump up and down a little when I find a great Eileen Fisher ensemble for pennies on the dollar!!

Funny cartoon picture Rhoda!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

We've done consignment, resale, thrift store and yardsale shopping for years. Secondhand clothing doesn't bother us.

When Kim was in college, during the 1980's, she loved dressing like Diane Keaton, in Annie Hall. She put together the cutest outfits from a charity resale shop, here in town. She still shops these shops and so does Miss Xanti, who loves vintage. And will not pay retail.

We alway donate to the shop, here in town. It benefits a mental health agency in our county and a couple others. They're always happy to see our bits and pieces.

Ivy Lane said...

I say yes to shopping at consignment stores. Nothing wrong with that!

Karen said...

I do both! I have always loved a good bargain!

Michelle said...

We definitely wear clothes from thrift stores and yard sales. I rarely shop at consignment stores for clothes because I'm so spoiled with the cheaper prices at yard sales and thrift stores. We have 8children still living at home. We receive lots of compliments on how nicely dressed everyone is. I've already purchased everyone's outfits for the Christmas season and it cost less than $50 for all of us. It also helps buying off season.

When my youngest daughter and son outgrow their clothes, I pass them along to a freecycler or another big family.

I've noticed our thrift stores are much busier than they used to be too.

Anonymous said...

I love to get a deal and I always shop the sales. Nothing thrills me more than getting something L'cheapo. But I haven't tried consignment for clothes.

I donate quite a bit to our Goodwill and Big Brother & Big Sister I think everyone should.

Looking forward to Monday Rho,

Take care,
Kathy :)

Tracy said...

Yeah, I am a garage sale diva! I love it. I haven't found a thrift store that I really love. I don't seem to have much luck with our local Goodwill store, but I keep trying! I mainly buy house "stuff" but I buy clothes too when they have my size (which they rarely do) Have a great weekend!

Gretchen said...

I don't buy a lot of consignment clothes because it's just hard to find things that fit. I did buy two dresses at Goodwill this summer for $5.00 each and they were perfect. Black small print, sleeveless, lined and silky fabric. Great deal. You've encouraged me to look a little closer at clothes.

Gretchen

Leigh said...

I am sure you already know my answer (if you read my blog) I love to buy and I also consign. Its a vicious cyle with me...but one where I am rarely out any money because in with the old which seems new...out with the old...

tardevil said...

Oh, I love the cartoon - it is so me! I don't even go in places intending to come out with something. Like today, I went in a consignment store & came out with $70 of stuff. I guess I just need to stay home b/c I'm out of control!

KMfamily said...

I see no problem with it. My younger son wears leftovers that have survived from my older son. No one would ever even know they were hand me downs.
Recycle & Reuse! You betch-ya . Im all for it!

Patricia said...

The reason I love your blog is it inspires me to do awesome things with consignment shop and thrift shop and flea finds

As a consignment shop mananger I have found a dramatic increase in shoppers and consignors in the last few months.

There are some really great goodies to be found in consignment shops and with some creativity and "spray paint" you can make them your own.

Chandra said...

Love your blog!

I have three growing girls, and I primarily shop at thrift stores for clothing/decoritive items. The secret is to buy brand names so you're getting quality along with a good deal!

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

I haven't ever purchased second hand clothes, but I also don't buy anything expensive and I only own a few outfits. I'm very frugal about what I buy and how much. But, I have 3 kids and their needs come before mine. We do have a resale shop that just opened for furniture and I'm planning a trip there very soon.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I love thrifting for furniture. Not so much on clothes, though a friend of mine has found WONDERFUL things including a gorgeous dress she loaned me when I was in between sizes and didn't want to buy something for a party. I used to give my clothes to charity, and I give some of my other items to a church thrift shop or the Salvation Army. I probably ought to consign things. Not sure where to start, though.

Sheila

Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall said...

Second hand jeans are the BEST. When I was in high school and college, the coolest thing was a great pair of vintage Levi's! Now, I love all my consignment and thrift stores!

My favorite scores though, still would have to be furniture. Jaime and I love a day in the studio fixing them up:)

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Can't wait to see the room!! I do second hand shopping on jewelry and home decor. I love the old vintage pieces!

Carrie said...

Can't wait to see the new room...I am sure it looks wonderful!!

As far as your question regarding yard sales or consignment shopping, I am ashamed to say I don't.

When my kids were younger, I got a lot of there clothes from yard sales. But I guess to me clothes seemed like the no brainer.

But I admire you and others in blogland. Too be able to go into a thrift store or consignment shop and look at a piece of art or home decor and to know instantly what your going to do with it.

I wish I was that creative!! Too be honest, I think that is why I don't shop consignment shops. I feel a little intimidated. Does that sound silly!?!?!?

Any pointers for us newbies??

Gina @ Six in the Country said...

Yes Maam! My daughter, DH and I spent most of the day "roaming" today, yard sales and thrift stores. Gotta love the cheap stuff! I actually just posted about the deals of the day.

Charm and Grace said...

Yes, we definitely do the consignment thing. And aren't we fortunate to have some of the best consignment shops in and around Birmingham. My mother is practically a professional consignment finder, and I am fortunate to have found somewhere to consign the outgrown clothes of my three children (Clotheshorse in Vestavia). I really appreciate that there are shops in this business... from both ends of the spectrum!

By the way, I am adding your blog link to my blogroll. I meant to do it a long time ago... in fact, I thought I had. But, it's there now. :-)

Blessings,
Christi

Sidney (Sixy Mama) said...

Oh my gosh, I went to my three favorite thrift stores today! One's particularly good for knick-knacks (Goodwill), another good for clothing, and the last is just kinda all-around okay. I've outfitted my six kids since my now 17-yr old was 18 months old, and I've also bought much furniture and decor (in fact, most all of it) at thrift stores and yard sales. Sometimes it's a matter of necessity, but I really believe that even if I was "rolling in the dough" I'd still thrift!

And I was just telling my mom that the word is out...my fave thrifting place was packed today...with lots of upscale vehicles in the parking lot!!

lucinda said...

I buy and sell my children's clothes via resell. I don't buy new clothes for myself very often and when I do, it's usually new, but my kids stuff is on a rotating cycle at the local consignment store.

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh my goodness. I can dirty tshirts like nobody I know. I Have to buy them at thrift shops..lol. That where I get my jeans too!! Laurie

Elizabeth said...

Looking forward to seeing your new room. You always amaze me with all you do and all your wonderful ideas. Yes I shop thrift and consignment. It is in my blood!!

SophieMae said...

Ah, one of my favourite things! Not only do I frequent thrift and consignment shops, but I love curb shopping. I picked up a fabulous dining table from the curb a few years back. Whenever I go online, the first things I check are craigslist and freecycle. It's like kissing frogs... you have to kiss a lot before you find the handsome prince. 8-} I don't think there's a new piece of furniture in my house right now.

Oops, I reckon I kinda wandered off the subject of clothes. I'm not much of a clothes horse at all and really don't like to shop for them. But when I do, I always check the thrift/consignment shops first. In a rare moment a few weeks ago, I actually ordered from a major catalogue. It was all on clearance, plus I had a coupon, so I got all those new clothes at TS/CS prices. ~\o/

greedygrace said...

I'm not big on shopping at consignment stores or garage sales. Where I live, it just seems like there's nothing but junk. But I do buy second hand! I an a huge fan of E-bay! And that way I can cater to my designer tastes without the huge price tag!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

This is so timely (to me)! I gathered up some of my better "clothing product" and I'm heading to a local consignment store tomorrow to see if they can take them. And I'm also curious to see what's available while I'm there. I can't do used shoes, though...just can't do it. :-) I did buy a new pair of Aerosole boots at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago for $5 and I'm still on cloud nine over that one!

See you in NYC?! Oh, I'd love to meet up!

xo, Laura

Donna@designson47thstreet said...

Definitely I buy from thrift stores, consignment and garage sales for my home, but I don't spend a lot of time looking at clothing. I'm certainly not against it, it's just that I don't seem to find much. I do plan to start looking a little deeper. There is a very nice consignment shop a little distance from me, but it's on my list to stop by it soon. CAN'T WAIT to see your new room!!!! :)

Kitty Scraps said...

I have some secondhand clothes but honestly most of the things I find in my size are not things I'd wear, it seems anything good is in tiny sizes. On the other hand I find very nice designer things for my husband and sometimes something for myself when shopping on the men's side of our GW store. I haven't invested enough time in checking out the local consignment shops as far as clothing goes, maybe I'd have better luck with the clothes. I buy mostly things off the clearance rack anyways at very inexpensive mass market retailers so I'm not spending much on clothes to begin with. Now home decor items are a whole different story for me! I work for HL and my boss is amazing about giving me a great deal on clearance merchandise. I seriously score. I love thrift stores, yard sales, consignment shops, antique shops, junk shops, roadside finds, clearance sections, I really have great luck with anything NON clothing related.

Simply Me Art said...

Absolutley Yes,! Ive been Garage Saling and Thrift storing for a long time now. The kiddos aren't Crazy about it but for my Hubby and myself along with the Home and my Jewelry shop, its Great. They are really on the Rise here in Southern Cali, sign of the times I guess.

carolyn at cranberry crossings: said...

I am not too proud to pass up a good deal on almost anything! Being frugal and thrifty is a way of life for us.
Looking forward to seeing your guestroom!

Panda707 said...

I'm all for buying second-hand, but here is what I'm seeing in our area: Walmart has summer clothing on sale right now for $2 and $3. Our Goodwill charges $4.98 for ladies' tops and $6.98 for jeans and slacks. Goodwill must realize the price difference or they're going to lose a lot of customers like me. I still buy a lot of small furniture at GW.

Kristi said...

Girl, I have been consignment shopping all my life. It's hard to go back to paying retail for a pair of jeans that you could buy at consignment for $4.00! I get most of our kid's clothing at bi-annual consignment sales. I just hate that more people shopping means less bargains!!!!

Holly said...

Absolutely! A lot of my own and my children's clothing comes from thrift/consignment stores or garage sales. A few weeks ago I got 3 pairs of jeans for me (2 Gap, 1 Ralph Lauren) for $1 each!
However, lately I've become addicted to thrifting for household/decor items (thanks to blogland!). So, while I get those things cheap, I'm not sure it really counts as thrift, since I'm sort of spending extra money on it, as they aren't needs.

sandra/tx said...

I used to do more consignment shopping in Amarillo than I do now -- mostly because I just don't have a lot of time to shop and scour. I love it, though, and wish I could do more.

Liz said...

I love to find a good bargain. I don't care if it is new or second hand. As long as its a good value, who cares. I also have a bad habit of bragging about prices. I'm trying to be better about it though. : )

~Liz~

I'll be back tomorrow to check out the new guest digs!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I haven't had much luck finding clothes at garage sales or at consignment stores here.

I have had good luck though at Hudson's Treasure Hunt and Dirt Cheap which are both stores that sell salvage.

I usually don't buy anything unless it's on sale except for special occasions!

I love consignment stores for kids clothes and home furnishing and decor!

There are 2 great ones in Tuscaloosa...you may have been to them!

Melanie said...

I LOVE resale, thrift, and consignment shops! Not only for clothes, but for household items as well. I have a lot of beautiful clothes from Goodwill - good name brands, too: Lands End, Coldwater Creek, Liz Claiborne, Geoffrey Beene, etc. It thrills me to no end to get a bargain; to be wearing a gorgeous sweater or jacket that was $4.99. The resourcefulness runs in my family - my mom, aunt, and grandma are the same way! As they say, "You could pay more, but why?"

Gina said...

Yes! Absolutely yes. And you know there are just some things you find that you could never find anywhere else. It is indeed a treasure hunt, but paid for in a lot less gold!

Janera said...

Once we've worn and laundered our clothing the first time, it's used. So, there ya' go.

If it fits and it's in good shape, I say, "Why not?".

Girl, I love the cartoon on this post. Cutie patootie!

ThriftyDecorChick said...

I'm a HUGE consignment shop fan, as well as Goodwill. I've made a ton of money from taking clothes to a few shops too. Love it!

Bo said...

Hi Ms. Rhoda...Oh yes, I LOVE thrift shopping...clothes, home decor, whatever...and who can't launder or dry clean apparel to wear again?! The ones who turn up their noses at the idea, they might think about all the people that tried on the new stuff in the stores before they bought something...heehee. I think that's just SMART spending... ;-) Bo

Cathleen Farrell said...

Consignments store are now considered Chic, I think that's called going green! Great Job. :-)

Vonda said...

Absolutely but here in Germany they keep their clothes FOREVER and honey I mean FOREVER so the clothes are very worn. So I'm looking forward to getting back to the U.S. where I can find some great bargains. Ya know I learned my thrifting from you with that bookcase in Raleigh that you and Rhonda helped me paint. Great memories!!!

Jaybird said...

Yeppers.....I buy almost everything for the house from gently used sources. (sometimes not so gently...then I have to revamp!) Clothes come from wherever I can find them and go to a resale shop when I am finished!
Love your blog and hugs to you!

I Play Outside The Box said...

You bet I do. My Mama made all her childrens clothes until we moved to NE when I was in the 2nd grade....then she found out there was such a thing as a yard sale....well they called them a rummage sale back then...in that town anyway. We thought it was grand to have an "uptown" dress and we certainly had more changes of clothes than we had ever had.
I still to this day love a good bargain. It wouldn't matter if I were a millionaire...I'd still shop the second hand stores and yard sales. I think smart people just do it!! Ü