How to Get the Best from Consignment Stores #1

After my Magical 4 Rules to Save Money While You are Thrifting guide, I received many emails asking me to write more about this topic.

First of all thanks for all your kind emails, I really appreciate them 🙂

Some of you wrote me how addicted they are to thrift stores and others how they prefer consignment stores for their retro furniture hunting.

Then, I thought to share with you few tricks and do a comparison between shopping for furniture in consignment stores and in thrift stores; based on my experience.

To start, I want to point out the main differences between the two kind of stores:

  1. The consignment stores are intermediaries. You bring to them the objects you want to sell and they put them on sale for you. When they are sold, the store pays you a proceed from the sale.If after a while the object is not gone yet, they discount it.
  2. The thrift stores, instead, are ran by charity organizations. You bring the stuff you want to donate to the store and it sells them keeping all the profit.Sometimes you can negotiate the prices, but it’s for charity…I never do it.

This is, more or less, how all the consignment and thrift stores work.

Why I Prefer Consignment Stores

I prefer the furniture consignment stores to find unique and affordable retro modern furniture and home appliances; I really got nice bargains there.

For example, many years ago in a furniture consignment store I bought an amazing wooden handmade storage from the early 1900s for 45 euro only!

It was a fantastic craft piece, priceless. My Mom is still the very happy owner of it 🙂

Anyway… there are several practical reasons why I prefer to shop for retro furniture in consignment stores instead of thrift stores.

The main one is that it could be easier to find big piece of furniture in a consignment store. Massive furniture, in fact, need to be delivered to the store and not everybody have a truck.

That’s why often consignment stores -specially for big furniture- offer a collection service and, as all the transportation services, they have fixed days to collect the goods.

This means that they also have, more or less, fix days to display the furniture in the store!

Two Tricks to Get the Best From Consignment Stores

And here there’s a great trick: you have to find out which days they display the new arrivals in.

I found out 2 ways to do it:

  1. Being friendly with the employees: Becoming friend with the store employees ensures you to know when they show the latest arrivals and consequently to find out the best days to go; being sure to find new furniture and maybe what you are looking for as well.On the other hand, this also means that you have to visit the store quite often and if you don’t have time it could be a problem. So here we get to point two!
  2. Subscribing the Newsletter: The big consignment stores have a newsletter about the latest arrivals in the shop and the special offers. This is a cool way to be up to date without checking the store everyday.The problem is that you’ll share this info with all the customers that subscribed the newsletter as well.

    Moreover, the newsletters are sent out few days later the actual arrival of the furniture in. Then, it could be too late to find that retro cheap living room furniture that you were looking for.

    So, If you see something you like, you’ve to be quick!

These tricks are based on my experience, what about yours?

What do you prefer? Consignment or Thrift stores?

I can’t wait to hear also your tricks 🙂

This is the first part of a 2 posts series on How to Get the Best From Consignment Stores, if you don’t want to miss the second part keep following Mid Century Home for free trough the RSS by the Mail List or Twitter!

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Ciao!