February 19th, 2014
You’ve moved from an apartment to your first home, or you’re just ready to completely redecorate a room. What to do with the old stuff? You could list it on Craigslist, but then you’d have to meet up with someone who would probably want to haggle on the $10 price. Or you could have a garage sale where the early birds knock on your door at 5:30am to see if you’re selling a vacuum. Or you can let the problem be someone else’s, and you just take home the cash. Consignment stores handle almost everything for you.
There are a few types of consignment stores. The first is the classic store where you leave your items, and they are responsible for selling. The second type is more like a warehouse. They take your items and list them on eBay and manage the whole process for you including shipping. Both take a percentage of the final sale price or a flat fee.
Another major positive is that the furniture is out of your house immediately allowing you to repaint, wallpaper, re-carpet, or even change over to wood flooring before buying new furniture. (Or if you’re in a consignment store and see something even better, you can bring it home right away)
Organizational expert Peter Walsh, from TLC’s “Clean Sweep,” confirms the trend. “eBay drop-off stores like iSold It are really the hot new trend in home organization,” he notes. “For occasions such as that yearly cleaning, they provide an easy way for you to get that clutter out of your house and earn some extra cash.”
According to a recent PEW Internet and American Life Project survey, only 22% of online American adults have used the Internet to sell items. eBay drop-off stores professionally photograph the item, write descriptive copy, list it online, collect payment and then pack and ship the item. Once the transaction is complete, the seller receives a check in the mail. For many drop-off stores there are no up-front charges; instead, commission is charged once the item sells.
The commissions can run from 25-40%, so do some research and decide what you want to receive for the item.
Often, consignment stores are broken up into types of stores such as furniture and housewares, clothing, and baby items. The good news is that items often sell very quickly in consignment stores so you get paid quickly.
From the Fun Times Guide:
I would, however, recommend consignment shops for buying and selling furniture and housewares! No joke.
I’ve probably sold household items through consignment shops about a half-dozen times in Texas, Florida and here in Nashville (actually Franklin).
In my experience, you can find huge discounts on name-brand, good-quality furniture, decorations, and household accessories. (Think, big mirrors, coffee tables, framed prints, decorative throw pillows, knick knacks, and of course furniture — sofas, chairs, bedroom furniture, bookshelves, etc.).
In fact, items sell so quickly at the furniture-type consignment shops I’ve been to that you have to grab something the first time you see it (if you’re buying), and you get a hefty paycheck right away (if you’re selling).
Overall, I’ve had excellent experiences, both shopping and selling. And I’ve gotten great deals both ways.
TIP: You can find some really great deals on furniture, housewares, and baby items at the consignment shops located in trendier, more upscale neighborhoods. If there’s one several miles away, it’s usually worth the drive!
Read the contracts carefully and know what you’re getting yourself into. Some consignment stores require you to forfeit your rights to the piece and they can dispose of it in any way they like after two months. Different stores have different fees and commissions. Some places will pick up the furniture for you, and others won’t.
The bottom line is how much effort do you want to put into selling your old furniture. And, chances are good that you will make a larger profit selling through consignment than you would through a garage sale. Plus, you don’t have to have anyone over to your home like you would through craigslist.
Would you use the money for more furniture or for a vacation?