June 24, 2009

Clothes make the man – and the woman

In our work helping Seniors move and providing Executor Support Services we often find full closets of clothing that are no longer needed.  We always try to sell items before we resort to donation or trash.  Whether you have a whole closet to empty or just a few items you won’t wear any more, these handy tips will guide you through the selling process.

  1. The goal of a resale shop is to turnover merchandise as quickly as possible to offset the limited margin that they make, and to keep loyal clients coming in frequently. So your items must be eye-catching to the typical patron of the shop.
  2. There are 2 critical factors that determine whether they will take your items: Style and Condition. Style applies to everything; the length of skirts and jackets, the cut of blouses, the toes of shoes, the width of ties and lapels. The staffs in these shops are knowledgeable. They can often tell the age of a garment just from the style of the label. And the items must be in pristine condition meaning no stains, no wear marks, no pilling. Every garment must meet both the style and condition criteria. It doesn’t matter if you bought it 10 years ago and never wore it. It is out of style.
  3. In this day and age, shoulder pads are a giveaway. Cut them out before you take things in if you want any chance of them being accepted. If it is an expensive piece it might be worth a washing or dry cleaning before you sell it.
  4. Set your expectations on the price you will get. Resale shops rarely price anything at more than 50% of the original value. You will receive 40-50% of that. And in most cases the price goes down after a month….and so do your $$$.
  5. Be realistic and generous. Let them donate it to charity if it doesn’t sell. You weren’t going to wear it anyway. And believe me; it is too expensive to store it until it does come back into style!

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