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The difference between consignment & thrift.

Cher cleans out her designer clothes

Clueless - Cher Cleans Her Closet 

I am often asked what the difference is between consignment shops and thrift stores. In a broad stroke thrift shops are for donations and are usually for charities that could benefit anything from Family Services to Special Needs, Special Olympics or even a specific disease such as Lupus or specific cancers. 

Consignment shops are usually for profit and do not accept donations; items are specifically selected by criteria set up by the owner.

For example: A thrift shop accepts clothing so this could be almost anything as long as it's considered clothing. 

A consignment shop may decide that its clientele will be hipsters, teen and young adults, workout and hiking enthusiast's, children's items etc. If a consignment shops market is golfers, backpackers and hikers they certainly will have no interest in trying to sell a gown.

The beauty of donating items to a charity is you drop it off, walk away and you're done. 

If you feel that your items may have some return value that is where consignment comes in. The trick with consignment is finding the appropriate shop that can sell your items for you; usually a store will say we look for this but we do not want that. As a person trying to get rid of her/his unwanted "treasures" it can be frustrating to have your items turned away. It always feels personal but it's actually not. Everyone has their own idea of what a thing of beauty is; the old "I'd wear these if they fit me" is usually a pretty good indicator that the garment has been around awhile. Conversely if you put on weight or have lost a few pounds  and the item doesn't fit you anymore, styles do change and the garment may no longer be considered salable by the shop owner. There is always the possibility that you toodle down the road, show your items to the next place and they love what you have and think it's perfect for their clientele - bravo, you've found your shop.

No matter which route you choose cleaning out your closets and drawers and keeping your personal look fresh and stylish is always a win-win.

Christina Novak

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