Consignment VS Thrift

There's a lot of talk about "thrifted" items in the blog-o-sphere...but what does it mean???

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a thrift shop as "shop that sells secondhand articles and especially clothes and is often run for charitable purposes"  

Typically speaking, thrift stores are donation-based and, like the dictionary definition said, many times the proceeds go to a charitable cause.  Because it is donation-based, the quality of the items may vary from location to location.  Often times, the prices are set prices and usually the organization is by type of item and/or color.

Salvation Army
Locally-based charity/donation shops

Consignment is a relatively new idea, possibly fueled by the present economic status.  It is such a new phenomenon that the dictionary definition simply said "the act of consigning."  Helpful, right?

To consign means to bring items into a store to sell.  The consigner receives a percentage of what the item sells for.  The most common split is 60/40 with the consigner receiving 40%, the consignment store I work at works on a 50/50 split, and there are probably many more variations.  Most often you will have to wait for your items to sell before you receive your percentage.  

The Fairy Circle 
Crossroads Trading Co.
Locally-based consignment shops

However at some shops (I like to call them resale), they will pay you upfront for your items...typically resulting in less than a 50/50 split as they are taking a chance that they will sell.  Many resale shops offer cash on the spot or an immediate credit toward purchases in the store (often this will be a little more than what they  could pay you in cash).

Plato's Closet
Clothes Mentor
Buffalo Exchange
Locally-based re-sale shops (just ask if they buy outright or wok on a consignment base)

Some people consider "thrifted" to be strictly from a "thrift" store while others consider anything "thrifty" (including discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Rugged Warehouse) as in, anything that saves you a bunch of money.  I love to shop all of the above as it is a way to re-use, recycle, and save a lot of $!

If you have any further questions or if you need help finding thrift or consignment stores in your area feel free to contact me via email or leave a comment!  I'd be happy to help :)


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