Thursday, January 23, 2014

Time to consign?

So I've been cleaning out some closets.

To be fair, I'm pretty good about weeding my clothing. (We live in an apartment and the closets aren't the biggest, so I rotate clothing in and out of our storage unit by season.)

When it gets unpacked and when the season is over, I take a look at what I haven't worn, what I don't really even like anymore, if anything got ruined/doesn't fit.

Obviously that doesn't mean I don't have sentimental things I've held on to for no logical reason (That would be you, drawer full of old T-shirt) but I make a conscious attempt not to hoard.

I keep a bag next to the closet at all time for things that can go and live elsewhere. When it's full, I put it next to the front door so I get a daily reminder to get it out of our living space.

Sometimes the bag rolls around the back seat of my Subaru for a few weeks. But since we moved to  Charlotte, I've (eventually) dropped everything off at my neighborhood Goodwill.

(It's between Target and my branch of the library, so it's a relatively easy and convenient way to get things out of my hair.)

But lately I've come across some things that I don't want/need, but wonder if I might be able to recoup some of the purchase price.

I'm not talking about the one-season trend tops that were bought inexpensively and have outlived the "cost-per-use" purchase justification formula.

(While in law school, a friend who lives to shop had to get a grip. So she started using this formula as a buying guide. 'Would I be willing to pay $1/$10/whatever amount each time I want to wear this? If so, will I wear it enough times that it'd pay for itself?' Classics such as boots and suits yes, trends such as neon statement earrings or patterned designer skinny jeans, no.)

Because I've not always had this method, the closet still has some handbags I'm not wild about and barely-worn shoes I can live without.

When we were living with Nashville, I had a network of friends roughly the same height/size that I'd swap stuff with. (Miss you, Bess and Alaska.) Same thing in Knoxville during college.

So now what?

Clothing swaps were really popular a few years ago, did they have any staying power? You'd pay a small fee, bring all the stuff you didn't want and could leave with what you liked from what others brought.

A quick Google search for CLT wasn't terribly successful, though there was at least one group on the social forum Meet Up that had upcoming swaps and "consignment shop hops" on its 2014 calendar.

But what about those who don’t feel like swapping? I’m told there’s always consignment.

The one and only time I’ve gone that route was in college when a roommate talked me into it. Once there, “buyers” have you browse their inventory while evaluating what you’ve brought in.

I suspect this was deliberate, but by the time they called me to the counter, I’d found a number of things I couldn't part with. The visit ended with me spending all the store credit I’d just accrued and then some. (Was not impressed with myself or this process.)

But Charlotte has a seeming plethora of consignment shops. Some accept housewares, others only designer label clothing. Everything I’ve got seems to fall somewhere in between.

So perhaps consignment merits another try? This weekend might be a good time …Will keep you posted.