You are currently viewing 7 Tips to Score High in a Consignment Store

Shopping in consignment stores can save money and slow fashion down. It stretches your fashion budget and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle fashion-wise. Read my consignment tips so you can score high.



When Is It Best to Browse Consignment Stores?

Typically, people clean out the closets when they have time. Store employees need half a day to a day to make an inventory of and tag the brought-in items. Therefore, Monday afternoon or Tuesday are the best times. Then the offer is typically the largest. Another good time is 1.5 days after a public holiday.


Why to Search only for the Colors of Your Palette?

Here my reasons for this consignment tip:

  • You will look best in your colors.
  • The likelihood that an item offers many outfit options with what you already own, is highest for your color palette.
  • You avoid falling in love with a piece that’s wrong for you colorwise and will not work with your wardrobe.
  • Finally, it saves time.


Consignment Tips When Not to Buy

Tip: If it is not your style, not your color or does not fit, don’t buy it.

Take this free color season test to identify which colors look flattering on you.

Tip: Never buy something, just because it is a high end brand for peanuts.


Let it go. It would be too expensive, no matter what the price tag says.


Why to Inspect the Piece for Flaws?

If the item has flaws, you cannot fix you won’t wear it. If the flaw is fixable, you don’t want to overpay. For instance, when you still have to bring it to a tailor to shorten the hem or dye, add these costs in your mind.  Always clean the clothes before wearing. As a rule of thumb, dry cleaning is between $10 to $15, hemming is about $20, dying is about $5, but might not turn out as you like.


How to Score Brand-New Items?

Many people gift accessories like scarves, bags, clutches, costume jewelry, but miss the taste of the gifted. These items often end up in consignment stores. Therefore, browse these items for pieces in your personal style.

Here an example of how I scored a so me brand new Jaeger tote of the kind and color I was looking for since a long time – for $80!


When I saw that the bag was brand-new, I said to the cashier: “I can’t understand why someone buys such a bag and then never carries it.” She said “The lady who brought it in said it was a gift that someone bought for her in Europe. But it was not her style.” “A white elephant so to speak.”


Recall: One woman’s trash is another’s treasure.


Examples of Past Consignment Store Finds

The following photos show examples of consigned pieces as visual inspirations how to integrate consigned fashion into your wardrobe for a modern look. More on how to look like a 1000 bucks for a couple of bucks.


Iconic Floral Silk Coat

This beautiful coat was $52. I like the sleek elegant cut that seems somehow in contrast to the floral pattern. The pattern is quite large so it does not look sweet or romantic, but edgy.


fashion over 50 woman in spring coat
Outfit details: Banana Republic floral print silk coat (consigned), DIY and thrifted silk scarves, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag, D&GM sunglasses, unbranded pantyhose, and L.K. Bennett pumps.


Pro tip: Classic items and basics are the easiest consignment finds to integrate into your existing wardrobe.


Statement Buckle and Belt

Kieselstein Cord belt buckle detail view
Zoom-in on statement belt


fashion blogger over 50 in casual work look with denim skirt and consigned sweater and belt
Oliveo denim skirt, Landsend sweater, unbranded scarf, L.K. Bennet pumps, Kieselstein Cord belt, Seiko watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle


Statement Color Dress

Style blogger Nicole in thrifted shirt dress
Tip: Always have someone take photos from all sides to check the fit.


proof for consignment tip to tell a sales person a teal sleek shirt dress with floral pumps
Side view


fashion influencer in teal thrifted shirt dress styled for work
Back view


style blogger in a Burberry Brit trench coat with thrifted shirt dress, floral pumps, and black pearl necklace
Outfit details: Burberry Brit trench coat, Express dress, Hermes Medor watch, Madonna True or Dare pumps, D&G Madonna sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Jaeger tote, and pearl necklace. The sales person called me when this dress came in.


AK Pumps

Open-toe pumps with a classic heel mean the pumps are not yesteryear. A neutral color makes them very versatile.


Stylist tip: When buying shoes second-hand, check the heels. A soon upcoming visit to the cobbler means they are more expensive than the price suggests!


I am not a big fan of normcore or label prints all over an item. However, since both Anne Klein and Alaska are abbreviated as AK, I had to have them. 😉 .


details of summer office outfit with thrift store found pumps
Zoom-in on shoes and bag


consignment tip look for brandnew items that meet your style like this jaeger bag
Calvin Klein sheath, Jager tote, Tissot watch, Anne Klein pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien bangle


Summary of Consignment Tips

  1. Know the medium and high end brands or designer that you want to look for, how they fit you, and search the racks for them.
  2. Know the colors that flatter you, and only browse the rack for them.
  3. Don’t rely on the size tag. An item may be there because it shrunk in the washer/drier. Know your measures, have a measure tape ready, and measure the item of interest to save time in the fitting room. More on how to buy by measure.
  4. Browse regularly, but only thru items one size up or down of your size, in your style and color palette to save time.
  5. Inspect the item for flaws and assess whether the condition and price match.
  6. Befriend a sales person. Tell her what you are looking for, and give her your phone number. She will call you when something comes in that you may like.
  7. Browse Tuesdays or 1.5 days after a holiday.


See also these tips for 5 star shopping on eBay.


Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2023 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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