Consumers, worry no more. Consignment shops are here to the rescue. Why pay full price for retail when you can acquire a treasure for a fraction of the cost? That’s right. Consign- ment shops typically sell items at 50 to 75% off retail price. Whether you’re searching for a Graco high chair or a Ralph Lauren dress, you can fi nd it. Consignment shops range from basic to chic boutiques, so there’s something for every taste. Th ink of it as a form of recy- cling; you gain a new item that didn’t work for someone else.
Many of the items were originally bought on impulse. Th e skinny jeans looked fabulous when you held them up at Express. You didn’t have time to try them on because you had a meeting in twenty minutes, so you rang them up. Excited for your Saturday night outing with your girlfriends, you tried to pull them up and, oops! Th ose lunches at Cheesecake Factory last month snuck up on you. Your noble intentions to return the jeans went by the wayside as you got caught up in a million other tasks, and the jeans end up taking residence in your closet. It happens to the best of us.
One day, an article about consignment shops captures your interest in the Post while you’re sipping your morning Starbucks. You realize this is a perfect way to earn some extra cash. You take those jeans to your nearest con- signment and if they sell, you pocket forty to fifty-percent of the profi t. If they never sell, they are usually donated to charity. Everyone wins.
The shops have strict guidelines on the brands and conditions of the items they accept. The styles should be no more than two years old and in excellent condition - no stains, no holes, no missing buttons, and functioning zippers. Clothing ranges from gently worn to brand new.
Consignment shopping is becoming the new craze. Th e negative attitudes toward second-hand items are dissolving. Even the stars, such as Julia Roberts and Penelope Cruz, are doing it. Th ere is a wide market: teens and college-aged (with limited spending money), young adults following the trends, business- women, and mothers looking for deals on children’s products. So, savvy consumers, let the shopping begin.
SMALL CHANGE CONSIGNMENTS
Reston | Ph: 703.437.7730
1629 Washington Plaza Reston, VA
Friendly neighborhood shop located in historic Lake Anne Village Center in Reston. Off ers children’s clothes, accessories, shoes, toys, baby equipment, and furniture in a variety of brands, including Gymboree, Children’s Place and Melissa and Doug. One-of-a-kind items from all over the world due to Reston’s diverse population. Half-price sale in January, 2010.
Leesburg | Ph: 703.777.1188
302-A Industrial Court SE Leesburg, VA
Specializes in upscale women’s apparel including designer clothes, estate jewelry, accessories, housewares, maternity clothes, some children’s clothing, and prom and evening gowns. Archipelago Botanicals and Th e Lavender Path bath and body products also available. Features local and nationally known artists’ products: jewelry, shawls, note cards, collage prints, and quilted purses.
FASHION EXCHANGE CONSIGNMENT
McLean | Ph: 703.760.0808
6663-B Old Dominion Drive McLean, VA
Situated in the middle of McLean, it off ers a large variety of clothing, shoes, and accessories such as handbags and jewelry from designer brands to moderately priced labels. Known for its well-organized shop layout.
Washington, DC | Ph: 202.667.1122
1702 Connecticut Avenue NW, 2nd floor Washington, DC
A sunny and spacious shop located in the heart of DC in Dupont Circle. Carries current, top designer fashions and accessories, classics, and occasional vintage. Customers range from urban professionals to teens to mothers on- the-go.
Alexandria | Ph: 703.683.1022
116 South Pitt Street Alexandria, VA 22314
Housed in an 1880’s townhome with a European fl air in old town Alexandria. Full of high-end merchandise including designer clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, scarves, and other accessories. Named as “Best Consignment Shop 2009.”
|Suzanne is the author of The Little Embryo That Could: Conquering Genetic Termination, Secondary Infertility, and Other Injustices. She lives in South Riding, VA with her husband and three children.