Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Consignment - Selling Used Books and Clothes for Cash!

Selling used clothes and taking advantage of bookstore buy back programs can mean money in your pocket. Consignment shops and used bookstores have more to offer than just bargain prices.

The Wardrobe
I have to admit that I while I love upcycling and everything eco friendly, I am not a thrift store shopper. I want to be in an out of a store as quickly as possible. I like having a sales associate navigate the racks of clothing for me. Digging though mountains of random clothing that smell a bit funny is not my idea of shopping.

Until a few months ago, I didn't even know that clothing consignment stores existed. I definitely didn't know that I could take my clothes there and get money for them. Sorry Goodwill, from now on I'm going to the consignment stores first and you will have to settle for the leftovers.

I'm a little more familiar with buying and selling used books. I've bought used books on Amazon before. I thought for a millisecond about selling some of my books online, but it seemed like it would be a lot of work by the time I posted each book, figured out shipping, packaged them up when they sold, and drove them to the post office. I am not sentimental about my books, but I do value my time.

Today a friend and I went to two clothing consignment stores and one bookstore that sells new and used books. I learned a lot today that will serve me well for my consignment selling future. My town has quite a few shops and all of them have different rules and forms of payment.

If you want to give consigning a try here are a few quick tips-
  • Google consignment shops in your area.
  • Before you go, call each store and find out if you can walk in or if you need an appointment. 
  • Ask if there is a limit on how many items you can bring and whether or not they need to be on hangers. Some places will want you to iron everything before you bring it in. 
  • It is a good idea to ask what type of items the stores are looking for.
  • Find out how long the consignment period is and make sure you know what is happening to the unsold clothes at the end of the set time.
  • Ask how payment works. Some stores offer a percentage of the final sale or store credit only. Others will value the items and give you cash on the spot. 
Don't expect anyone to take all your items. Consigning is not like Goodwill drop off. Someone is going to go through every item and decide what they want to take. They are also going to look for stains, holes and piling.

Bookshop Santa Cruz

Selling used books is similar to selling used clothing. I haven't run into any place that sells books on consignment, most places just offer cash on the spot or store credit. Still, make sure to call stores before you go to confirm that they do buy used books and to schedule an appointment.

Today we left the bookstore with $23.10. They only took 10 of our 40+ books, but I'm going to take the rest to another store tomorrow. One consignment store took 12 out of our 25 items. In 45 days we have to return for the items that don't sell and to collect for the items that did. Another shop is looking though the six bags we dropped off. Tomorrow we are going back for cash and to retrieve the items the store doesn't want.

I'm working on my consignment shopping skills too. A few weeks ago I bought a really nice skirt and today I tried on a pair of shoes. I'm not a convert yet but I'm always up for a key buy!

More ways to make money off your unwanted items and trash -


  1. another useful and interesting post, ashley! there's always something i learn from you. :) I'm gonna check if there are any consignment store here in nj/nyc. i got lots of books!

  2. That was a really great post with lots of helpful information especially for those new to consigning or selling their used items. I've always been creative at finding that extra bit of cash I need in a pinch, this is one of the ways I do it. What till you see my mad yard sale skills and flea market madness.

  3. Update-

    The lady we left 6 bags of clothing with took 19 items and we received $61. The weather was SUPER nasty so we haven't made it to the other consignment shop or book store yet.


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