Tip 1: Make a Mental List
"Assemble a mental list of what you're looking for. Think about what you're currently coveting. Do you want a good carryall, a flattering midi skirt, or a cute cardigan? Consignment and buy-sell-trade shops are awesome because there is only one of everything, but they can also be overwhelming for the same reason. You don't have to write it down, but keeping a mental note will keep you focused."
Tip 2: Monday, Funday?
"While savvy sellers hit up the shops during the week, the majority of people sell on the weekend — probably because it’s too hard to find time, otherwise. Monday is always my favorite day to shop for the maximum amount of new arrivals. The neat thing about consignment is that inventory changes and is replenished literally by the minute – with every person who sells, new stuff goes on the racks."
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more elaborate consignment collection than the one at Ampersand Boutique. The shop boasts a mixture of bangin' brands from Christian Louboutin to H&M — quite the variety, eh? Plus, any items that aren't sold are donated to Dress for Success. Good garb for a great cause!
Ampersand Boutique, 658 North Larchmont Boulevard (At Melrose Avenue); 323-466-3300.
A fixture in the consignment biz, Buffalo Exchange continually stocks stellar, on-trend threads on the cheap. Whether you just want to pop in and browse, or cash in some of your sartorial leftovers — you won't leave disappointed.
Buffalo Exchange, 131 North La Brea Avenue; 323- 938-8604.
It's no secret that Decades is one of L.A.'s brightest resale stars. Since 1997, the shop has brought top-tier, luxe labels from around the globe to Los Angeles shoppers (we can't get enough of the exquisite baubles). Mosey around and view the stunning (pre-loved) items from the likes of Chanel, Nina Ricci, Balenciaga, and many more. We're like kids in a consignment candy shop, here.
Decades, 8214 Melrose Avenue (at Harper Avenue); 323-655-1960.
A must-hit Melrose haven for cashing in your oldies (but goodies) is the always-dependable Crossroads. Here, you'll find an open space brimming with enticing items — floor to ceiling. And your wares are always welcome, too. Clean out your closet this spring, and scurry pieces over to Crossroads to make some moolah — or just spend some on hip gear, if that's your preference.
Crossroads Trading Co., 8315 Santa Monica Boulevard (at Flores Street); 323-654-0505.
Tip 3: Quality Time
"Pay attention to the quality. A poorly constructed piece that has already been worn won't last that much longer. I'm not saying that you should be totally label conscious, but there often is a correlation between quality and brand. Inspect the stitching, material, and general feel of the garment. If it feels cheap, you're probably not getting as good a deal on it as you would on a better-quality item priced just a bit higher!"
Tip 4: Don't Take It Personally
"Don't take it personally when a buyer passes on your gear. I think a lot of us think it’s a statement about our style, but you have to remember that this person is working, and they can only buy things that they think they can sell – it has nothing to do with your sense of style!"
Tip 5: So Fresh, So Clean
"Buyers are going to look for imperfections in clothing when they look through your stuff. If your white T-shirt has a small stain or tear at the seam, see if you can correct it before you take it in. That stain may be small to you, but it may be the reason the buyer rejects your shirt. Spray and Wash does wonders, as do bleach pens. Even if it was rejected on the basis of a small stain or tear, if it's easy to fix, then you can possibly even bring it in again."
How could we round up our top consignment shops without including the wondrous Wasteland? A trip to Melrose isn't complete without a stop at this L.A. staple. Not only does this spot have the buying-slash-selling art down pat, but you are sure to stumble upon some super-swanky finds. Looking to sell? Be sure your merch is up to code, and that you aren't stumbling in with a stained skirt or tank top in winter — not going to cut it. Sorry, folks.
Wasteland, 7428 Melrose Avenue (at North Martel Avenue); 323-653-3028.
Ask any Angeleno what consignment shops top their go-to list, and we're sure Great Labels will come up. Stop in any time to find brands like YSL, Dior, Prada — you get it — at a beyond-bargain price. We approve!
Great Labels, 1126 Wilshire Boulevard (Near 12th Street); 310-451-2277.
The Address Boutique
Bargain lovers — treat yourself with a trip to the Address Boutique. This one-stop shop has everything we dig in a resale space: fancy frocks, a friendly staff, and leading labels. This Santa Monica shop is about as chic as consignment gets. We need those blue, high-heeled loafers in our life.
The Address Boutique, 1116 Wilshire Boulevard (at 11th Court); 310-394-6171.
Prep yourself to spend mega-dough here — that's how serious the selection is at Fashionphile. You are going to want it all. The designer handbags are out of this world. We are talking Hermès, Balenciaga, and Louis Vutitton. We get giddy just thinking about swinging by this stellar store. Definitely a must-hit.
Fashionphile, 9551 Wilshire Boulevard (Near North Beverly Boulevard); 310-279-1136.