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



[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.

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Pretty Penny
Located in Rockridge, this East Bay gem is giving lots of love to Oakland by not only providing residents with gorgeous, vintage resale rags, but by consigning items only from local fashion and jewelry designers. It accepts vintage clothing, accessories, jewelry, and footwear from the public on the weekends. So, the best time to wander in is on a Monday for a first look at the newest treasures.

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.

Mercy Vintage
As a go-to for many West Coast stylists who are looking for that extra-special something, Oakland’s Mercy Vintage is the place to find those mind-blowing “wait, where did you get that?” pieces. It buys and replenishes daily, and consigns new handmade jewelry and designer clothing and accessories. Bonus: The profit is split equally with clients.

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
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Sui Generis
Sui Generis is a must-hit for S.F.’s style set when looking for that special-occasion something you know will turn heads. With a constant influx of amazing designer pieces, it’s best to hit the shops two storefronts (one for men, one for women) on the regular. If you’re looking to unload, it offers appointments during the week and consignors get paid 40% of the final selling price.

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.

Labels Luxury Consignment
For over 14 years, customer service has been a priority for Lynn Nice, the owner of Labels. With two locations — the original apparel store in Walnut Creek and an accessories haven in Berkeley — this high-end consignment store offers personal shopping, layaway, and no-appointment-necessary drop-offs — seven days a week. It features only women’s clothing and consigning is a 50/50 split. The store is organized aesthetically by designers and category and if you’re budget is a little lower, don’t worry, they’ve got some sweet sale racks with items under $20!

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
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Wasteland
This huge open space stacked with vintage-rock tees and slightly worn designer duds is the reigning king of cool on the tourist trap that is Haight-Ashbury. It doesn’t offer consignment, but buys outright every day from noon until 6 p.m., giving the seller 35% of whatever it prices the items at.

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.

Static Vintage
This well-curated shop in Upper Haight runs the gamut, from everyday-wear to high-end designer pieces. Static conveys a very strong aesthetic (think '90s ankle boots and sweaters) and is less concerned about labels and more focused on style. Prices vary and you can pay $10 for a perfect vintage t-shirt or up to $3,000 for a designer bag. It purchases items from the public for 40% of the retail price.

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.

Crossroads Trading Company
As with any job, hard work pays off and Crossroads is a perfect example. Be prepared to spend more than an hour in one of the many locations scattered around the Bay. The style and color-coordinated shop is packed with new and used clothing that is priced upon style, condition, and seasonality. The best bet here is to go through all the racks and try on everything that you think might work! There are some real treasures hidden in the chaos. Most people consign over the weekend — the shop gives consignors 50% of the selling price — so the best time to come in for a first look is on Sunday afternoon (or Monday to avoid the weekend rush).

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
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No Shop
Right smack in the middle of the hip Valencia Corridor, No Vintage will make you want to say yes to everything you see. As with most shops, consignors get 50% of the sale price. Well-made basics like button-ups and silk tanks, small fitted jean jackets, oxfords, woven-leather flats, and lace-up boots usually get snatched up right away.

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.

Cris
Cris is most definitely worth the trek over to Russian Hill. It houses two rooms of gorgeously merchandised high-end and mid-priced brands for both men and women. The prices can tend to be high, but you can definitely find some steals. Perusing the racks feels similar to shopping in a boutique and when it’s all said and done you even walk away with a gorgeous bag garnished with a fresh flower. Swoon!

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
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Fillmore and 5th
This brand-spanking-new store up on Union Street is focused on designer consignment, steering away from vintage unless it is something absolutely covetable. You can easily snag Prada boots for $475 or stumble upon a $350 Missoni dress with tags. They pay 40% of the selling price and have automatic check-in to make the process easy and hassle-free for sellers.

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.

Goodbyes Consignment
Nestled in Laurel Heights (read: luxury ladies' castaway heaven) this bargain-hunter’s dream has upscale lines at super-low prices. Hit up one of the yearly sales in January and July to sweeten the deal. It consigns only designer brands for 50% and makes it easy by allowing you to drop off while they assess and email you the inventory list. It even makes house calls for large closets!

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.

The Designer Consigner
Another outpost for the upscale women of Pacific Heights' gently worn garb, The Designer Consigner consigns for 40% and is home to women’s apparel and accessories. While you have to dig a bit for on-trend items, we’re not above a little elbow grease for a bargain. Hey, luxury ladies, thanks for your leftovers!

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
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Buffalo Exchange
A mandatory stop for anyone on the closet-purge tour, Buffalo Exchange is much like Crossroads where the inventory is plentiful and you should be prepared to dig. The selection is pretty funky and feels a lot like thrift, but with better quality and styles. If selling, the shop buys outright, pricing on condition and style, and looks for on-trend items.

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.

Painted Bird
They say that good things come in small packages, and that is very true for Painted Bird, located just a few blocks off the beaten path on Valencia. While it may be tiny, you are guaranteed to find something that will tickle your fancy from vintage to independent designers at prices that will make you do a double take. It pays outright 35% cash or 55% trade when consigning items. So, grab a few things and head in for an upgrade!

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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