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Consignment Cheat Sheet: The Bay's 14 Best Spots To Buy And Sell

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[UPDATE: This story was originally published on July 30.]
While our closets house some of our most sacred possessions, they also have the capacity to catapult us from calm to crazed in seconds. Especially when they’re packed to the brim with items, which, quite frankly, are collecting cobwebs.
But, it’s never too late to save your sanity — and style – by unloading those unworn goods for cash and trolling for secondhand treasures. To aid you in becoming a savage scavenger, we’ve devised a handy-dandy cheat sheet to S.F.’s best consignment shops. Whether you’re looking to replace that pair of too-snug jeans with some vintage YSL's or trade in a tired tulle frock for a slick pencil skirt, we promise, there is a cheap find for every kind on this list.
What You’ll Find
Eclectic vintage (like a Fred Perry wool jacket worth $400 for only $58) and local East Bay independent designers.
Expert Tip
Sarah Dunbar, owner of Pretty Penny says, “Make sure items are in excellent condition and in season. Other than that, have an open mind to the experience.”
Pretty Penny, 5488 College Avenue (between Forest Street and Lawton Avenue), Oakland; 510-594-9219.
What You’ll Find
Unusual statement items including embellished motorcycle jackets, hand-embroidered tops from Guatemala, and '70s batik wrap skirts. You'll also find vintage designs from YSL, Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Pierre Balmain, Ceil Chapman, and James Galanos.
Expert Tip
Karen Anderson, owner of Mercy Vintage says, “Build relationships with consignment-shop owners. We often call people when we know what they are looking for. Find out how often your favorite shops replenish and when. Be consistent and patient — it will pay off and often the hunt is half the fun.”
Mercy Vintage, 4188 Piedmont Avenue (between Linda and Entrada avenues), Oakland; 510-654-5599.
Pretty Penny Photographed by Christine Ting
What You’ll Find
Last season’s Gucci, Prada, Lanvin, Marni, Tom Ford, YSL, Comme des Garçons, Rick Owens, Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton in exceptional condition.
Expert Tip
Miguel Lopez, co-owner of Sui Generis says, “If you are looking to sell, have reasonable expectations about pricing for secondhand items. And, if something is not a perfect fit, but really close — a little tailoring works wonders."
Sui Generis Illa, 2265 Market Street (between Sanchez and Noe streets); 415-437-2265. Sui Generis Ille, 2231 Market Street (between Sanchez and 15th streets); 415-437-2231.
What You’ll Find
High-end designers galore, including Gucci, Prada, Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Hermès, Chanel, Christian Dior, YSL, Sonia Rykiel, Jil Sander, and Chloé. Also: contemporary brands like Diane Von Furstenberg, Cynthia Vincent, Theory, Milly, Trina Turk, Tory Burch, and Catherine Malandrino.
Expert Tip
Lynn Nice, owner of Labels Luxury Consignment says, “If an item you are considering is at the shop for a month or two, ask for a better price. We often have leeway after our contractual agreement term is met. Most consignment shops and its consignors want to move these items at a reduced price when there is a client match with the price adjustment!"
Labels Luxury Consignment (apparel), 1367 North Main Street (between Duncan and Cypress streets), Walnut Creek; 925-952-4566; Labels Luxury Consignment (accessories), 2629 Ashby Avenue (between Benvenue and College avenues), Berkeley; 510-356-4144.
Sui Generis Photographed by Christine Ting
What You’ll Find
Vivienne Westwood, Proenza Schouler, Alaïa, and vintage Chanel mixed with new items by Minkpink, Motel, Jeffrey Campbell, and See You Monday.
Expert Tip
Donna Lisa of Wasteland says, “Do your research — look at stitching, lining, fabric, label, and overall condition of the item before you commit.”
Wasteland, 1660 Haight Street (at Belvedere Street); 415-863-3150.
What You’ll Find
Broken-in rock t-shirts, vintage Levi's jeans and jackets, jewelry, and designer bags and luggage. Vintage day and cocktail dresses as well as contemporary dresses and coats from labels such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Rag & Bone, Burberry, and Missoni. For the men, vintage and modern Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake, Thom Browne, YSL, and Christian Dior are there for the taking.
Expert Tip
Bryan Lehman, owner of Static Vintage says, “The more time you put in, the better the chance you'll turn up something great.”
Static Vintage, 1764 Haight Street (between Shrader and Cole streets); 415-422-0046.
What You’ll Find
Designers like Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Phillip Lim hidden among more trendy H&M and Forever 21 items.
Expert Tip
Sarah Kamshoshy of Crossroads says, “If you’re carrying too much, take advantage of our fitting room attendants, because they are always happy to hold your finds for you while you continue to shop. The more you sell, the more you can ensure that everything in your closet is indeed something you love, and there's less chance the items you bring in will be passed on because they’re no longer current.”
Crossroads Trading Company, 1901 Fillmore Street (at Bush Street); 415-775-8885.
Wasteland Photographed by Christine Ting
What You’ll Find
Mostly, you'll find vintage skewed towards the '80s and '90s. Flowing floral print dresses, high-waisted and tapered Guess? jeans, pieces by Bongo and Calvin Klein, and vintage Coach purses and backpacks. Men can count on great Woolrich and Pendleton flannels.
Expert Tip
Leah Martin, owner of No Vintage says, “A lot of people bring stuff to consign in the spring and at the beginning of each month. That's when we put out new consigner items and add markdowns on older merchandise.”
No Shop, 389 Valencia Street (near 15th Street); 415-252-9982.
What You’ll Find
YSL, Chloé, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Miu Miu, Christian Louboutin, J.Crew, and Banana Republic in perfect condition.
Cris, 2056 Polk Street (at Boradway Street); 415-474-1191.
No Shop Photographed by Christine Ting
What You’ll Find
Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Missoni sundresses; Alice + Olivia, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci purses and statement-making shoes. For men, John Varvatos boots, Gucci suits, Hermès ties, and Louis Vuitton dress shoes.
Expert Tip
Erin Wallace of Fillmore and 5th says, “Our consignors tend to come in on the weekends when they have time to sort through their closets. To find a great deal, I suggest coming in during the middle of the week to beat the weekend rush and see what new goodies are on our sale rack.”
Fillmore and 5th, 1775 Union Street (between Octavia and Gough streets); 415-814-3776.
What You’ll Find
High-end designers like Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, and Hermès for under $80.
Goodbyes Consignment, 3464 Sacramento Street (between Laurel and Walnut streets); 415-346-6388.
What You’ll Find
Both mature and youthful styles from Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, Tory Burch, Theory, St. John, and Ann Taylor.
The Designer Consigner, 3525 Sacramento Street (between Laurel and Locust streets); 415-440-8664.
Fillmore And Fifth Photographed by Christine Ting
What You’ll Find
Low-priced, mid-level designer scores, '60s through '90s vintage, and last season’s BCBG, Forever 21, and H&M.
Buffalo Exchange, 1555 Haight Street (between Ashbury and Clayton streets); 415-431-7733; and 1210 Valencia Street (between 23rd and 24th streets); 415-647-8332.
What You’ll Find
Vintage flannels and wool shirts, embroidered tops, leather jackets, and shoes for really cheap! Plus, Painted Bird's own in-house accessories label.
Painted Bird, 1360 Valencia Street (between 24th & 25th streets); 415-401-7027.
Photo: Via Buffalo Exchange

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