What, me, buy used clothes? Get out of here! I’m not a believer.

Yeah, that’s what my sister said to me. Even after seeing some of the great things I’ve bought. I’ve taken her to consignment stores with me and twice she was able to find a great pair of never been worn shoes…that she purchased. And who coveted my Jimmy Choo purse that I got for $80? So who’s not a believer.

Well she still isn’t a believer, but she’s warming up. People may look at me and think I’m just an average chick without an interest in fashion. But let me tell you something. I LOVE clothes, and shoes and purses are my weakness. Now I’m not all che che foo foo about it. I’m a girl but I’m also a businesswoman. I love to look good when it counts and I’m not a label whore. I don’t buy things just because it’s hot to have it or because it costs tons of money. I’ll make good investments in my purchases when I know the quality is there and it’ll last through many seasons. But that one off Prada dress or that one season wonder Coach bag, nope, not the kid. I know what I like and what looks good on me. And it doesn’t matter if it came from the Gucci store in Beverly Hills or the Target around the corner from my home. Or one of my favorite consignment shops (my secret guilty pleasure).

Now don’t get me wrong. There are some designer stuff I absolutely adore. But when I look at the price tags, I feel that urge to keep my money right in my pocket. But at a consignment store, if you hit the right one on the right day, can be a playground for the fashion obsessed. But hold on. If you wear a size 12 or above (aka Plus Size) you’ll be hard pressed to find many items. Luckily for me, I’m patient and have a good eye. So I find a lot of great stuff. I’m usually a size 12 but on occasion, I ease over to a 14. Yes, I’m curvy. So a lot of those designer digs aren’t designed for women like me who have curves.

That’s why when I do find great items at consignment shops that fit me, I snag them. For one, they’re well below the retail value (unless you hit one of those upscale wanna be consignment shops that try to charge you retail or no less than 20% below retail). Two, if you wait long enough the price eventually comes down. And three, most consignment stores will only accept stuff that is quality (no stains, rips, etc..and if you’re really lucky, they still have tags on them). You see, consignment shops are for women who over buy then need to get rid of what they bought. So you benefit from their shopper’s guilt. I know, it seems kind of crooked in a way, but it is what it is.

For gals on a budget, consignment is the way to go. Especially if you’re plus size. Many consignment shops don’t make a push for plus size clothing as much as thrift stores do (more on that another time). So this is an ideal time for the plus size fashionista to consider consigning. The more curvy women who get out there and consign, the greater the selection will be for everyone. I know it’s hard to part with items you’ve paid so much for, but think of it this way. You’ll get back some of the money you spent. Not all of it, but some of it, and that’s better than nothing. When you consign your plus size clothing, you’re doing your part to make consignment shops and designers know that the plus size community is an important one worthy of inclusion. And you give other curvy women hope that they too will find that perfect dress or suit or whatever.

Here’s how consignment works. You pick a store and contact the owner or sales representative. They ask you to bring in your items for review. Keep in mind, some have very high standards and only ask for certain types of clothing based on season, label, size, etc. Once there, they will look over your clothing with a fine tooth comb, checking for any flaws or damage. Once they decide to accept your clothing, you’ll fill out a contract that gives the consignment shop anywhere between 40-50% commission on what sells. Yes, 40-50%. The consignment shop determines the price at which the garments can be offered.

Once you sign the contract, you leave the clothing there and they display it. They’re kind of like your eBay. You agree to a 30, 60 or 90 day cycle. Now here’s the catch. The longer the item does not sell, the more the price is reduced, cutting into your net. Also keep in mind not all stores offer cash. Some prefer to do store credit so if you’re OK with that, go for it. But if you’re trying to make money, well, that’s not the consignment shop for you. If the item doesn’t sell, they’ll give you a certain amount of days to pick up your item or they have the right to donate it to charity or Goodwill, leaving both you and them out of money and that item. So they really don’t lose anything, but you potentially lose your item and the ability to make any money on it.

Consignment isn’t generally designed for the consignor to win. However, Curvy Girl Closet doesn’t roll that way. We want to help you turn that coset into commerce without taking advantage of you with multiple (often hidden) fees like that shop online place we won’t mention that starts with an “e”. We want to make sure you win, we win, the buyer wins. So if you are a size 12 or higher, please consider consigning. In fact, you can purchase a membership specifically to consign and we take care of all the order processing, inventory control and most of the general marketing. Consignment stores hang your item up on a rack. Sometimes if it’s chic enough, it’ll style it as a display. But that’s not often.

If you want to consign with Curvy Girl Closet and you’re a size 12 or higher, check out our membership plans. Again, with consignment you only get a fraction of what you originally spent on the item. But it beats a blank. Plus you can always swap out or buy clothes from other members and still be saving money while getting “new” clothes. For more information about how we work, contact us via email at info@curvygirlcloset.com or tweet us @CurvyGirlCloset.

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