We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are Consignment Shops?

By Deborah Ng
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Consignment shops are often confused with thrift stores because they both sell second-hand merchandise. While they do share this characteristic, there's also a major difference between them. With thrift shops, the merchandise is donated and all the profits end up going back into to the thrift shops or are donated to charity. People who donate the merchandise receive nothing in return except good karma and sometimes a tax deduction. When goods are sold on consignment, on the other hand, the profits are split between the consignment shop and the person who brings the items in to be sold.

Since thrift shop merchandise is donated, for the most part shoppers get what they pay for, and clothes might be stained, ripped or generally worn. Most consignment shops won't accept any merchandise unless it looks as if it's new. For this reason, the goods sell at a higher price than those found at thrift shops. Because the owners split their profits, they want to get the highest price possible in exchange for their items, so the used merchandise can't look second-hand.

In addition to clothing in poor condition, most consignment shops won't accept used items unless they recognize the name on the label. In many cases, they are not interested in carrying generic brands or clothes originally purchased at a discount store.

Many times, the profit split is either 50/50 or 60/40 between the seller and the store, with the higher percentage going to the consignment shop. Many people actually make a decent living selling their slightly used merchandise this way. Bargain hunters often love these shops as well because they know they're getting a good deal on some decent items since the goods are all previously owned. Consignment shops in upscale locations have been known to carry designer wear at a fraction of its original cost.

Items that are worn only once are perfect to sell on consignment. Wedding gowns, tuxedos and prom dresses can all be found at these stores. This is perfect for the bride on a budget or anyone one else who doesn't want to spend a fortune on formal wear. The best part is, the consignment shops will be happy to sell the goods again after they've been used a second time, provided they're still in good condition.

People looking to buy nice clothes at a discount may want to start by looking in consignment shops. The clothes are in good condition, they're usually name brand, and shoppers can get them at a discount. With the money going to the store and the original owner, it's often a situation in which everyone wins.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon348538 — On Sep 18, 2013

I owned one of the biggest consignment locations in the US. We sold millions of items, and when we closed, I released the software for free, as an open source GPL3 project. The program prints bar code price labels for consigned items, has a fast cashier checkout screen, provides online sales reports for consignors, and does everything else we needed to operate.

By icecream17 — On Jul 23, 2010

SauteePan- There is two kids’ consignment shops near my children’s school and they have the most adorable clothes. They usually only accept name brands like Gymboree, Polo, Hilfiger, Osk-Kosh, and Carters.

I think that opening a kid’s consignment store is a great idea because parents often buy more clothes than kids can wear. Also, they grow out of clothes so fast that some outfits barely get worn.

I have beautiful imported dresses from Spain that I got my daughter that she wore a handful of times. I just am attached to her dresses, but I know they would sell well at consignment shop.

By SauteePan — On Jul 23, 2010

Anon7399- I did not know there was software specifically designed for consignment shops. I do know that many consignment shops sell many high end designer clothes.

These items offer the best value because they are generally in great condition and are often popular designer brands.

The cost is a fraction of the original price because the merchandise may be off a fashion season or two.

Most people don’t follow fashion so closely to know which item was from which season, so I think that you get a high quality designer item at a reasonable price and that is what is most important.

By anon7399 — On Jan 25, 2008

Software can help manage your consignment shop. I use ConsignmentTill by RJFSOFT.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.