How to Find the Best Consignment Stores

Looking to sell some of your stuff, like clothes, accessories or other apparel?

If it’s almost new, you should consider trying to sell it at a local or online consignment shop. If it’s a little more worn than that, consider donating to a local Goodwill or other charitable organization.

If it’s saleable, and you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place.

This article will show you how to find the best consignment shop for you to sell your items!

Editor’s Note: When our kids were little, we used to live at consignment stores. We were the first in our group of friends and our family to have kids so we learned quickly that little ones go through clothes very quickly.

We didn’t have the benefit of a lot of hand-me-downs so we relied on second hand and consignment stores near us. So many times we’d go to stores and find clothes that even still had the tags on them – it saved us a ton of money and we didn’t feel bad when the kids got them all messed up.

As an aside, while this article focuses on the sell side of consignment stores, buying from a consignment store is a great way to save money and be more sustainable. Personally, I love Liz’s (of Chief Mom Officer) philosophy on clothing. Why buy new when there’s an ample supply of gently used clothing out there?

If you are looking to sell jewelry online, you must review our guide on selling jewelry online to maximize what you get.

1. Local Consignment Stores

There are consignment shops located in communities across the country. But since they are consignment shops, they may not be particularly well known, at least in comparison to major retail chains.

If you’re having difficulty locating a consignment shop in your area, check out Showroom Finder. The site can help you locate consignment shops for women’s clothing and accessories, furniture, kids clothing and furniture, resale and thrift, antiques, and vintage and estates shops in your area. They offer profiles of more than 5,000 shops in all 50 states and Washington DC. And they specialize in a dozen or so of the largest cities.

This is often the best option if you want to sell your furniture.

2. Poshmark

In recent years, Poshmark has rapidly grown to be one of the best known web platforms for consignment selling. As is the case with all consignment stores, but particularly those online, they’re looking primarily for “gently used” clothing and accessories. You can both buy and sell on the website.

Poshmark is accessible by an app, which means you can buy and sell on the go. What’s more, it functions more like a community, where you can swap ideas with other participants, and even build a following.

They offer flat rate shipping, at $5.95. That will be a disadvantage on lower-priced items, but a major benefit on larger orders.

Poshmark has a two-tier fee structure:

  • $2.95 for items under $15, or
  • 20% on items over $15.

Probably the major disadvantage of this platform is that it’s available only in the US.

If you’d like more information on Poshmark check out our review of the service. And if you’re shopping, you can get $5 off your first purchase if you use the promo code MISSMARTHAR.

3. eBay

If you aren’t able to sell used clothing on Poshmark outside the US, you can always go with eBay. The major advantage with eBay is traffic volume. Since every conceivable product on the planet is sold on the platform, it’s an opportunity to give your items maximum marketing exposure. And if you’ve ever sold anything on eBay in the past, you’re already familiar with how the process works.

While traffic is a major benefit, competition is the primary limitation. You’ll need to make your listings stand out among the hundreds of others. That will require creating compelling headings, and adding plenty of high-quality photos.

Pricing is simple on eBay. They charge 10% of the final sale price, which will give you a larger cut of whatever the sale is.

4. Plato’s Closet

If you’re looking to make a clean break from your clothing, you should try Plato’s Closet. It’s a chain of consignment shops with several hundred stores across the US and Canada. Instead of listing your items for sale, then waiting for a buyer, Plato’s Closet will pay you cash for your items. Naturally, they’ll be a sharp mark-down from retail value. But it will give you an opportunity to get cash immediately.

Be aware however that the chain is highly selective. They buy and sell only gently used brand-name clothing. Think Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Eagle and Hollister. And their target market is teenagers and young adults, between the ages of 12 and 24.

5. Beacon’s Closet

Beacon’s Closet is a very local consignment chain, with just four shops – all located in New York City. But if you live in or near the Big Apple, this one may be well worth your time. You can earn 35% on the sale of your items, which is one of the more generous commission arrangements in the industry.

Even if you don’t live in the New York area, you may still be able to sell to Beacon’s Closet. That’s because they offer “sell by mail”, as well as “sell in store”. And either way, they pay cash the day they receive your items. The store will donate any items they don’t sell.

6. Crossroads Trading

Crossroads Trading has 37 stores, located primarily in California, but they also have locations in New York, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Houston, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Washington DC.

They primarily buy men’s and women’s current, on-trend clothing and accessories, which must be in excellent condition. Items must be name brand and designer clothing. They can be sold for either cash or trade credit.

Your items can be sold in one of four ways: in-store, drop-off, consignment, and by mail. The by mail option means you can work with this chain, even if there isn’t a store in your local area.

7. Tradesy

Though hardly a household name, Tradesy is one of the largest competitors in the consignment space, even though the company was only launched in 2012. They bill themselves as “the marketplace made by women, for women”. The platform has created a marketplace for designer clothing, providing easy shipping options, and giving you the ability to set your own price on items you’re selling.

The shop goes beyond clothing. They also offer bags, shoes, watches, jewelry, and accessories. You can also buy and sell wedding apparel, including wedding dresses wedding decorations, bridal jewelry and accessories, and even outfits for grooms and groomsmen.

8. Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo Exchange is a another major competitor in the consignment industry. They have shops located in 18 states across the country, plus Washington DC. When you sell items through the chain, you receive a 30% commission in cash. However, you also have the option of taking a store credit at 50%.

Like every other consignment dealer in this review, items must be gently worn and high-end labels. But it’s another shop where you can simply bring your clothing items into the store, and get cash on the spot.

9. thredUP

thredUP bills itself as the largest online consignment and thrift store. The website itself is a bit annoying because you need to sign up to navigate around it. They primarily sell items for women and children, including clothing, handbags, shoes, jewelry, and accessories.

Like Poshmark, they have a two-tiered fee structure:

  • 5% on items under $15, or
  • up to 80% on items over $300.

10. The RealReal

The RealReal pays as much as 85% of the sale price of any item sold on consignment. The company deals primarily with high end designer items, including women’s and men’s fashion and accessories, men’s sneakers, handbags, fine jewelry and watches, fine arts and home decor.

They have stores available in 20 metropolitan areas and can offer a choice as to how to deliver your items for consignment. You can either drop your items off at a local office, schedule a free in-home pickup, or ship your items directly, with a free prepaid label.

Fees paid start at 40% on all items with an original resale list price of $145 or less. There are five fee tiers in all, with 85% being paid for watches with a resale list price of $2,500 or more.

Have you ever used any of these consignment shop sites before?

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Kevin Mercadante

About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on OutofYourRut.com. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

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  1. Barbara Holtz says

    I have about 10 fancy dresses that I’d like to sell on consignment. How can i get a picture of these dresses to you? Thank you.

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