Tips on discovering amazing items when consignment shopping

Stylist Erica Wark shares advice on finding second-hand treasure, from wardrobe staples to handbags and footwear.
Published January 19, 2021 1:32 p.m. EST

It's no secret the resale industry has really taken off with all age groups, and second-hand fashion has only grown during the pandemic. Not only can you find some amazing deals, there's also the thrill of a treasure hunt, searching through clothing racks for that one piece you've always dreamed of. We're getting excited just thinking about it!

To help us on our consignment treasure hunt is stylist Erica Wark, who shared her tips for  buying and selling on consignment. She even recommended some of her favourite stores across the country - and what's more, they're are all available to shop online. 

WHAT IS CONSIGNMENT?

Consignment stores sell second-hand items on behalf of the original owner, who then receives a percentage of the selling price. It's a great way to find some fantastic second-hand items that would have huge price tags elsewhere!

WHY CONSIGNMENT?

The sustainability factor! Choosing used instead of new is one of the easiest ways to lower your fashion footprint. The benefits don't stop there, though. As a consigner, you get to clean out your closet and make money at the same time. As a buyer, you’re getting items that are in some cases, brand new, or very slightly worn at a significantly discounted price. Anything from H&M, Zara and Aritzia to Chanel and Prada!

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR FOR

There are a ton of great options to look out for when visiting a consignment store, and you never know what you might find. Stylist Erica Wark shared some expert advice on what to look out, and how to use what you find in your wardrobe! Check out her picks and tips below.

SMALLER ACCESSORIES

Sunglasses, jewellery and scarves are great things to consider purchasing on consignment. They’re an easy and impactful way to look put together and update your look for your next work Zoom call and beyond. Plus, it’s a fun way to play with designer accessories, without the whopping price tag! 

Check out:

Brilliant Clothing, Halifax, NS

Love Canary, Calgary, AB

 

HANDBAGS AND FOOTWEAR

Handbags and footwear are where you will find the strongest cost-per-wear value and where it’s definitely worth it to spend on the designer brands. These items will still cost more than average, but this is an opportunity to obtain that coveted piece for a more reasonable price - and we'll never say no to that. Keep in mind that consignment shops will not put a handbag or shoe on consignment that’s not in excellent condition.

Check out:

VPS Consignment and Fashionably Yours, both based in Toronto, ON.

Lab Luxury Resale, Hamilton, ON

 

WARDROBE STAPLES

Consignment storesare chock-full of those wardrobe staples that you're looking for, at a much more reasonable price. They often have an overstock of DENIM, so it’s a great option to consider when sourcing your next pair of jeans. Blazers are another fabulous staple item to buy on consignment because sizing is fairly standard when it comes to blazers, making them easier to shop.

In general, coats and jackets can be a bit more expensive , which is what makes them a great item to shop on consignment. Similar to handbags and footwear, the cost-per-wear value is strong here. BRB, ordering a new jacket online right now!

Check out:

The Fashion Edit, Toronto, ON

Turnabout, Vancouver & Victoria, BC

 

TRENDY PIECES

This is where you can have a lot of fun at any price point! Look out for things like fashion-forward sweaters, tops and matching sets. Who knows - maybe you'll even be the trend-setter this year?

Check out:

The Upside, Calgary, AB

 

HOW TO SELL ON CONSIGNMENT

Have some second-hand items that you'd like to sell on consignment? Erica shared some handy tips to make the process as easily as possible that will leave you with some extra money in your pocket!

  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH: Go online or make a phone call to find out what brands the consignment store you’re looking into accepts because you want to find the right match. You also need to find out when they accept seasonal products.
  2. PREPARE THE ITEM(S) PROPERLY: Every consignment shop is different, but what you will need to do is prepare your item(s), so for example, clothing on hangers, and placed in a nice garment bag to be delivered.
  3. THE SELECTION PROCESS: The shop will go through your items and take what they think will sell, and send back what won’t. Often times, the items that they don’t accept will be donated on your behalf.
  4. THE DISCUSSION: There will be a discussion on what you would like to sell the item(s) for, or the shop will make a suggestion. Erica recommends following their suggestion - because they know best! They have the experience and remember, they’re going to be making money on your items too, so selling is a priority.  
  5. THE SALE: Generally, it’s a 50/50 split, depending on product, or 60/40, so you get 40 and they get 60. 

 

BEFORE YOU GO: This newborn baby monkey is the cutest thing we've ever seen

[video_embed id='2121526']This newborn baby monkey is the cutest thing we've ever seen[/video_embed]