Did last weekend's spring cleaning gig leave your apartment with new decor in the form of garbage bags stuffed full of clothes, accessories, and shoes? Yep, we have those, too. Before you decide to bequeath your unwanteds to the Sanitation Department, remember that your trash could be another man's treasure—and line your own treasure chest, too. Indeed, New York is home to a handful of dollar-doling consignment and re-sale stores who will pay for your stylish rejects. And while not everyone has an unworn Prada they're willing to part with, there are plenty other boutiques who will happily take the gorgeous and still-pristine H&M suede top that's made one too many appearances in your Facebook photos. But wait—before you load those suitcases, read these handy reminders to make sure you get the most bang for your buck (and time).
1.) Before hauling your backbreaking load, take time to call your secondhand store of choice and ask for particular styles and labels they are buying. Pre-editing will save you (and the buyer) precious time and energy. Currently, boutiques are on the lookout for spring/summer pieces like dresses, shorts, and sunglasses.
2.) Location matters. Your cutoff denims and beat-up brogues will find a more receptive market in an East Village or Williamsburg shop than a Madison Avenue spot. Take note of how people dress in the neighborhood, and you'll have a better idea of what will sell.
3.) Most stores have their own pricing guidelines, but shops like Tokio 7 let consignors set their price. In any case, trust the buyer's judgement—they know what sells for their particular market and for how much—but don't be afraid to speak up (nicely, please!), and explain the value of a particular piece if you feel they are underpricing an item.
4.) Find out if you need to schedule an appointment with a buyer. For stores on a first-come, first-served basis, it's best to go on a weekday when there are less people around.
5.) Be present when the buyers are evaluating and appraising your merchandise. This will give you the opportunity to point out an item's value and heritage on the spot, and possibly score you a better price.
6.) Most importantly, only bring in items in good, clean condition. The catchphrase used by each and every re-sale shop is "gently worn." Make sure all items are laundered and dry-cleaned when brought in, otherwise they won't be spared a second glance.
So, are you ready, willing, and stocked? Click through to view our list of cashola consignment and re-sell hotspots in the city.
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