How To Buy Clothes At Consignment Shops

consignment shopping men

The general rise in consignment shopping is old news, but while there tends to be a greater focus on women, retailers say interest among men for discounted, designer duds is clearly there.

Whether you’re checking out the consignment sale scene or are just trying to tighten your belt and save a few bucks clothes, consignment sales continue to be the frugal preferred way to shop. But if you’re new to the consigning, it can be quite overwhelming.

We asked Lorena Shiff, “The Consignment Princess”, to share shopping tips and advice for men that are interested in getting on the consignment bandwagon.

“Let’s start by saying that men – even though they should – Men don’t like buying second hand,” explained Lorena. “Today, men can get the same pieces in consignment that they can get brand new in a store at 10-20 percent of its retail value! With that price difference men should learn how to buy consignment and save lots of money.

Lorena shared some great consignment shopping tips, but before we begin, a little explanation about what exactly a consignment store does.

What does consignment mean and why should men consider it when shopping?

First off, let’s discuss the actual idea of a consignment deal. What exactly does consignment mean?

A consignment is “an arrangement in which goods are left in the possession of another party to sell.” Typically, the consignor receives a percentage of the revenue from the sale (sometimes a very large percentage). Consignment deals are made on a variety of products, such as artwork, clothing and accessories, and books.

Because the seller and the store want to make a profit, the prices will be a little higher BUT much lower than a person would typically pay in retail for the same item.

What should men look for when consignment shopping?

For beginners – Lorena suggests starting with the easy pieces like jeans, a tie – if you need one, belts. If you are already advanced in this area and have tried this niche – you already know that the best deals are in the shoes, shirts, jackets and suits and unique pieces ! What to do?

For beginners :

  • Use common sense and buy from a reputable seller. Make sure they have a clear return policy.
  • Know your size and measurements. Make sure you know your size in US and EU sizing and your measurements. This way there is a zero chance you will go wrong. If you don’t know how to measure yourself or don’t want to – then buy brands that you are familiar or go to the store and try the sizes in the different brands so you know your size.
  • Disclosure – While looking at items for sale make sure seller provides lots of images, measurements, and tags. Make sure that items are authenticated. Vague descriptions are big question marks !!! If you are in a brick and mortar store – even better!

Here are some items guys should be on the lookout for when shopping second-hand.

Jeans – Men usually wear the same style over and over. They might go thru some different color combinations but men – unlike most women – will stick to that one style. Once you know your style you can buy them on consignment at about $40-50 a piece while a new pair of designer jeans starts at $250-350 ranking up to the $900 for the high end designer brand.

Ties – Ties have the lowest resale value on consignment – and all the consignment stores that sell them – you will see – they look brand new!!! Why pay the retail price for an Hermes Tie when you can buy one second hand for about $50-75. If you go for Gucci or Armani we are already talking $30-50. So that’s a no brainer. You don’t need to know much about ties to buy one that you love in your desired designer brand.

Belts – How can you go wrong with a belt, even if it’s second hand. Looking around you can see that black belts – even high end designer ones – are up for grabs at ridiculous prices! For example, a crocodile belt that retailed – on its peak for $2000 – is sold for $200 (Dior Homme). That is amazing! Especially if you are looking for special pieces that have almost no resale value.

Those are the easy pieces – and I’m sure that men can get the hang of it!

As far as shirts, jackets, suits and unique pieces you will find amazing deals but the are some caveats. Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Items that you can’t wash – ex. dry clean only – might be susceptible to BO.
  • Underarms area – make sure it’s not discoloration or stained.
  • Suits – make sure they are not altered and if so – make sure it fits you. Even if you can buy an Armani suit for $200 but it doesn’t fit, that is a waste.
  • Uniques pieces might be a big red flag for fakes. So know your stuff or trust your seller.

For more great tips, check out Lorena’s Worth.

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