Consignment Corner
What is consignment, anyway?
March, 2012 - Issue #89
Just Between Us Boutique  257-4200 (photography by Mel Carll)
Just Between Us Boutique 257-4200 (photography by Mel Carll)
There's a preconception that consignment is reserved for those who can't afford retail prices. We disagree; in our world, consignment is for folks who can afford retail, but are smart enough to never pay full price!

It's no secret that Inside SCV pubs and staffers are fans of the consignment process. We love snagging new or like-new clothing and accessories for ourselves and our kids at super-low prices and, when we make a fashion faux pas or just grow tired of the "same old same old," we know that all is not lost. We can sell our gently-loved designer handbags at places like Just Between Us Boutique (257-4200).

Boutiques like Just Between Us provide a way for you to sell your nicer-quality women's clothing and accessories at a better price then you would get if you sold them at a (gasp!) garage sale (and without the drama of eBay). It is also a way for you to shop for those items you would really rather have at a fraction of their retail cost in an environment that is designed especially for the discerning clothing shopper. Consignment also helps the environment by promoting the reuse and recycling of no-longer-loved clothing.

Each store or sale (more on those below) has their own process, so it's important to check with the establishments to determine their precise methods to become a consignor. (For "just shoppers," the process is super simple. Show up and save!) Luckily, all the important info can easily be found online (Check out for a great "store" tutorial.).

Here are the basics: Women's consignment stores prefer "nicer" brand items (Sorry, Target. We're talkin' "Macy's and up."). Some stores accept vintage items, but most are very picky when it comes to pieces that are older than three years. (Timeless classics are always welcome!). Pieces should be in great condition (no pilling, tears, etc.) and should be freshly laundered and in "ready to hang" condition. Designer purses, shoes and even unopened perfume are also big sellers. Of course, there's no guarantee that your items will be accepted for sale. Both boutiques and twice-a-year sales have limited floor space and a reputation to uphold. They also know what will sell. If you're going to be offended when they politely hand back your blazer, consignment may not be for you.

Many women and families choose consignment to make a little (or a lot!) of cash. How much you make off each item will depend on the store or sale (Twice-yearly sales often increase your take-home percentage when you volunteer to help for a few hours at the sale.). The big difference between the two outlets: You choose the price at twice-yearly sales (and you tag your own items!). At boutiques, the pros will choose the best price for your pieces.

Mastering the consignment process isn't hard. One of our dear friends made $1,600 last year by selling her no-longer-worn designer clothing, purses and sunglasses at both Just Between Us and the Dress on a Dime sale. Yes, she sniffled a little as she parted with her Coach, Louis and Fendi, but her big check brought plenty of comfort.

If you've never consigned, start small and give it a try. And if you've yet to stop in to the lovely, easy-to-shop Just Between Us Boutique, now's the time. New seasonal pieces are being added daily!
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