Most of my clients have a love/hate relationship with clothing consignment. They love it when it goes as planned, their items are accepted and sold, even if they are sold at a discount. They appreciate that the items are donated if they aren’t sold. It is a big relief to know that their items will have another home and they are even doing their part to help the planet. But clients tell me they hate it when their pieces are rejected. It’s not the outright rejection, it’s the way it is handled. Now, no one likes rejection of any variety. But being addressed in a condescending manner is never appreciated, and negates a potential future donation relationship.
From time to time I will visit consignment stores to bring items in for clients, or, to try to sell my own unwanted pieces. Recently I experienced the same uncomfortable interaction as several of my clients expressed. In this case it was even one of the store’s co-owners. She barely looked at my pieces and then started walking away. In an offhand manner she said “oh, we have too many tall black boots, scarves and skirts.” No thank you, no eye contact, no effort to try to get me to come back another time.
So, I believe on line is the way to go. The proliferation of sites such as ThredUp, Rebag, and the Real Real reflect consumer’s strong appetite for secondhand. When I started my business 11 years ago clients were much more hesitant to try to sell their pieces, and to even purchase items from consignment. But that has changed. The secondhand stigma is gone. An enormous number of transactions take place from online retailers – both first and second hand. And, the fact that more and more of these sites keep appearing shows that we are tired of being insulted and rejected.
When in doubt, consider consigning online.