How to Find the Best Consignment Shops to Save on Clothes
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Buying clothing can be expensive. Whether you’re a working professional, have children, or need clothes for a new season, you may spend a small fortune on clothing every year. However, consignment shops can help you save money on clothing. They can also be a great way to sell your unwanted clothes.
You can shop at consignment stores and spend significantly less, even at stores like Walmart. This is a great way to save money.
Online vs. Physical Consignment Shops
When it comes to shopping at local or online consignment stores, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
With local stores, you can see items before you make a purchase and you might find better clearance sales. In regards to selling clothes, local stores can inspect your items more quickly than online stores if you need money fast. Some local stores even offer instant cash or store credit.
Online consignment shops make it easier to compare prices and find clothing for any season. Also, if you are selling clothes, online shops may be more willing to buy off-season clothing.
Best Local Consignment Shops
Most towns have local consignment stores where you can sell or buy used clothes. Shopping local allows you to try on clothing and may score you better deals.
It can also be easier to sell clothing to local stores since you can sell items in person instead of mailing them to an online shop. Some stores even offer instant payment instead of making you wait for your item to sell.
Here are some of the consignment shops you may have in your city.
Plato’s Closet is one of the best consignment shops in the country. They specialize in items for young adults.
Buyers are likely to find quality clothing and brands because Plato’s Closet is picky about what they accept from sellers.
Plato’s Closet doesn’t offer the greatest payouts for sellers. While you can get an instant cash payout, you might only get up to 30 percent of the selling price. As a result, you may prefer to use them for shopping instead of selling.
If you do decide to sell items to Plato’s Closet, your local store’s website can give you information on the most popular brands and items selling in your area.
Keep in mind that you’ll have the most luck selling your teen and young adult clothing and accessories. After a quick inspection, you’ll receive a cash offer for the items they want to buy.
Your potential earnings depend on the brand, quality, and demand for your items. Popular brands and newer clothing can fetch higher rates.
Key facts about Plato’s Closet:
- Offers gently-used clothing, shoes, and accessories for teens and young adults
- Items sell for up to 70 percent off mall prices
- Buys current styles and trends from most name brands
- Receive an instant cash payment for the items your store buys
- Bring a valid ID to sell your clothing
Another terrific local option is Buffalo Exchange. You’ll find designer brands and seasonal trends for men and women at this consignment shop. All items are in excellent condition.
To sell items at Buffalo Exchange, you need to schedule a drop-off appointment at your local store. You can bring up to 50 items at a time. It takes up to three days to inspect your items because items must sit overnight to have a contact-free inspection.
All payments for items you sell locally are contactless. You receive up to 30 percent of the selling price if you choose the Paypal cash option. Trade-ins fetch up to 50 percent back on a Digital Trade Card.
Buffalo Exchange also offers a Sell By Mail program that enables you to sell your clothing online. You can request a bag online and mail it with free UPS shipping.
Only select brands and items qualify for the mail-in program. You can expect to receive your cash and trade offers within a few weeks.
Another plus is that Buffalo Exchange is big on giving back to the community.
Key facts about Buffalo Exchange:
- Buys men’s and women’s clothing in excellent condition
- Local drop-offs take up to three days to process
- Free mail-in shipments are available too
- Receive up to 30 percent back for PayPal cash payments
- Get up to 50 percent back in-store credit with a Digital Trade Card
Once Upon A Child
Looking for children’s consignment shops? You’re in luck if you live near a Once Upon A Child. It’s one of the best consignment stores for kids.
*Related: Need to furnish your home for less? Read our guide on the best affordable furniture stores near me to score the best deals.*
Once Upon A Child sells clothing as well as:
This store is also a good option to buy cheap children’s shoes. When you go into a Once Upon A Child, you’re bound to find something for your kids.
If you decide to sell items to Once Upon A Child, they pay you on the spot. You can sell some items and use the money you earn to buy a few new items during the same visit.
Be sure to join your store’s rewards program. You receive points each time you buy or sell. Rewards members can also learn about special promotions and discounts.
Key facts about Once Upon a Child:
- Buys gently used children’s clothing and items
- Can receive upfront cash payments
- The current “most wanted items” are worth more
New York City has some of the best resale shops. Beacon’s Closet is one of them. Fans of the super-trendy or vintage vibe will appreciate this option.
You can sell up to 50 items at once by dropping them off at a local store. Beacon’s Closet pays out 30 percent cash from items you sell or offers a 50 percent store credit. You can request the store donate any items you don’t sell to charity.
Like other local stores, in-season items have the best chance of selling for the highest price. Beacon’s Closet also states they will consider “exceptional items from other seasons.”
Your cash payment methods are Apple Pay, PayPal, and other contactless payment apps. If you choose to receive trade-in credit, your earnings are only valid at the store issuing the credit.
Beacon’s Closet offers a mail-in program. Send them at least four photos of each item you wish to sell and you’ll receive pre-approval for items they are willing to buy. Shipping is free, but you must sell at least five items.
You will receive cash or a store credit within 48 hours of Beacon’s Closet receiving your shipment.
Whether you sell online or locally, your cash and credit payments will be similar.
Key facts about Beacon’s Closet:
- Buys men’s and women’s clothing
- Schedule local drop-offs with up to 50 items
- Must get pre-approval to mail clothing in
- Return shipping costs $8.95 per item for mail-in sales
- Get up to 30 percent back for cash payments
- Get up to 50 percent back in-store credit
Awoke Vintage is one of the best vintage shops in Brooklyn. There are three local stores and you can buy online with free shipping in the United States.
If you follow Awoke Vintage on Instagram, you’ll be one of the first to see their newest items. You can request free shipping or in-store pickup.
Awoke Vintage doesn’t have any details about buying your vintage items. Contact your nearest store if you have pristine vintage clothing to sell.
Key facts about Awoke Vintage:
- Sells vintage clothing
- Three local stores in Brooklyn
- Free US shipping for online orders
Best Online Consignment Shops
Not everyone lives near a resale store. If you fall into this category, online consignment can be the better option for you.
Many online shops make the buying and selling process simple. You can have an easier time buying items you need and comparing prices. Some online shops even let you sell clothing directly from your phone.
Here are the best online consignment stores.
One of the best online resale shops is thredUp. You can find high-quality dresses, shirts, pants, and shoes on thredUP. They offer free shipping if you spend at least $79.
All of the clothes that thredUP sells go through an inspection before they are listed on the website. This means that you are receiving like-new clothes for half the price.
You can sell women’s and children’s clothing and accessories with a free clean-out bag. Shipping is free with the US Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS.
If you decide to sell your clothes on thredUP, their rules are a bit more stringent. thredUP states that they accept an average of 40 percent of what’s inside a clean-out bag.
What happens if thredUP rejects your clothes? You’ll have three options:
- Donation: If clothing isn’t accepted for sale, it is donated to charity.
- Standard: Any clothing not accepted for sale is sent back to you. You can expect this to take at least three weeks.
- Expedited: Anything they don’t accept is sent back to you minus $16 for expedited service. You can expect this process to take place within a week.
Unlike some shops that offer instant buyback, thredUp pays you once your items sell since you receive a slice of the final sales price. Depending on your item, your listing has 60 days or 90 days to sell.
If your item doesn’t sell during that time, you can donate it or request return shipping.
The pay range varies widely, but you can expect to make up to 80 percent of the value of the item sold. thredUP also pays an extra ten percent on designer brands over $100.
Your cash payment options are PayPal or Stripe. Store credit to thredUP, FRAME, or Toad&Co is another option that will score you a 20 percent bonus.
The only downside to thredUP is that it is only for women and children. If you’re a fashionable male on a budget, this isn’t the site for you. However, there are other used clothing sites for men.
Key facts about thredUP
- Clothes must have no signs of wear, damage, or alterations
- Free shipping for clean-out bags
- Potential return shipping for unaccepted items
- Items have either 60 days or 90 days to sell
- Receive up to 80 percent of the sales price
- Receive cash or store credit when items sell
Poshmark is another online resale store that makes shopping convenient and inexpensive.
If you’re a seller, your first step is setting up a free profile. You then take pictures of your clothing, list them with your price, and wait for someone to buy them. Make sure to use the invite code “JSCHMOLL1” to get a free $5 in your account to spend.
Since the buyer pays for shipping, all you have to do is print the prepaid USPS shipping label. Poshmark does take a fee for all clothing sales.
You will pay $2.95 for items that sell for less than $15 or a 20 percent fee for any items sold for more than $15.
You can redeem your payment with direct deposit or request a paper check. Another fun option is trading items with other Poshmark users.
If you are a buyer, you can shop for items similar to how you would shop on eBay. Each item you find may be from a different seller. If you buy from the same seller, you might be able to “bundle” your order and get discounts or discounted shipping.
Poshmark is one of the best clothing consignment stores because you can get quality clothes for less. Shopping with Poshmark also supports someone who is trying to make money on the side.
Additionally, you can score some of the best deals on Poshmark for vintage and designer items. Just make sure that the pieces you order are authentic.
Key facts about Poshmark:
- Can sell adult and children’s clothing
- The buyer pays shipping costs
- Poshmark keeps $2.85 for items that sell for $15 or less
- Poshmark keeps 20 percent for items that sell above $15
You can find just about anything on eBay. Consider searching on eBay for used clothing that most resale shops won’t sell. The items might be unique but not trendy.
You may also find clothing with alterations or some wear that cost less than the sale price at shops.
A perk to shopping on eBay is that you can typically find cute, cheap baby clothes and hard-to-find items. You may even be able to score a bag full of clothes for less than you’d pay for a few items at a department store.
Selling on eBay is fairly easy. However, their fees can get a bit ridiculous.
Expect eBay to take at least ten percent from the final price as a standard fee. You’ll receive payouts through PayPal, which will cost you three percent of the final price as well. If you offer free shipping to your buyer, you’ll also pay shipping costs.
eBay provides 50 free listings per month, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make money.
Key facts about eBay:
- Can sell adult and children’s clothing
- Items are free to list but expect to pay 13 percent in sellers fees
- First 50 listings per month are free
- The seller might be responsible for shipping fees
If you want designer clothing for less, Tradesy is one of your best options. Not only do they offer some of the best deals on designer brands, but they also offer an authenticity guarantee.
This means that if an item you buy through their site is not authentic, you get your money back. You can even find many items for $100 or less.
With Tradesy, you can find designer clothes for 50 percent off the retail price. This is a huge deal and these designer items can last you for years to come.
Tradesy makes it relatively simple to sell clothing items. You create an account and once you make a sale, they send you a prepaid shipping kit to mail your item. Tradesy charges $7.50 per item under $50 or a flat rate of 19.8 percent for items over $50.
You can redeem your earnings to your PayPal, debit card, or bank account.
Key facts about Tradesy:
- Can sell designer bags, clothing, and shoes
- The seller pays no shipping fees
- Flat $7.50 fee for on sold items less than $50
- Tradesy keeps 19.8 percent for sold items above $50
Another site to try for luxury and designer brands is The RealReal. Like Tradesy, they have an authenticity guarantee. The RealReal also offers men’s designer clothing and accessories.
This sets them apart from other online consigners since most don’t offer men’s items.
*Related: Looking for extra ways to save money on clothing? Check out our guide on how to get free clothes online to keep more money in your budget.*
Want to save even more money on The RealReal? Check out the sale section on their website. Not only will you find already discounted luxury items, but you’ll save even more money because they want to clear out their inventory.
The RealReal is an excellent choice to sell your gently-used designer items. They offer a free consignment kit for you to ship your items with UPS.
Home pick up is an option if you live near their offices in one of the following cities:
- Los Angeles
- New York (Midtown and SoHo)
- San Francisco
- Washington D.C.
The RealReal offers a scale-based payment system. goo it’s possible to earn up to 85 percent of the value of the item sold, sellers may only earn 40 percent on items selling below $145. If you have high-end items to sell, The RealReal is a good option to sell your items.
Key facts about The RealReal:
- Can sell men’s and women’s luxury clothing and items
- Curbside drop-off or free UPS shipping
- Earn up to 85 percent of the selling price
Why Sell at Resale Shops
Many consignment shops make it easy to sell unwanted clothing for money. You won’t earn as much by selling these items on Facebook or a local yard sale.
In addition to decluttering around the house, you’ll make money instead of donating or throwing away items.
You can use the money to offset the cost of new-to-you clothing or save it for another expense.
Before you decide where to sell your clothing, make sure you understand how they manage payments. Most stores, especially online consignment shops, make it clear how you’ll receive payments.
You can expect to find cash via PayPal, gift cards, or ACH as options. Also, see if the store pays you upfront or has to sell your item to another buyer first.
Shopping at Consignment Stores
Whether you buy used clothes online or locally, consignment shops can be your best option. Perhaps the best reason to use consignment stores is that you can get like-new clothing for a low price.
It’s possible to save more money by shopping at consignment store clearance sales such as end-of-season sales.
While thrift shops and yard sales can be cheaper, the clothing can have stains and wear. You’re also less likely to find designer brands depending on where you live.
There are many great options for clothing consignment stores. Whether you prefer buying and selling items online or visiting a physical consignment store, there are options out there that will fit your needs.
If you love getting good deals on gently used clothing, or if you want to sell some of your old clothing to make extra money, give these consignment shops a try. You may be surprised at all the goodies you can find or the payouts you receive.
How often do you try to sell clothing? What are some other tips you use to save on clothing?