Spend enough time at sales with clothing too cheap not to buy and you’ll end up with a few pieces that are too cheap to wear. Let Mom give you a few designer duds that don’t fit her right and you’ll end up with a closet full of stuff that won’t fit anyone right. The solution: Consignment. Luckily, New York is filled with shops dedicated to making sure your gently-used clothing ends up in the right hands, giving you a couple of bucks and a chance to fix your mistakes in the process. Remember, always bring a state-issued photo I.D., and always clean your garments before trying to sell them–there’s nothing worse than getting turned away from a store because they’re just not nice enough.
Beacon’s Closet (10 W. 13th St.)
At Beacon’s Closet (main image), clothing is sorted by color, so you’ll need time, patience, and a full stomach to make the journey through the racks. But it’s worth eating a hearty breakfast to find lacey Madewell shorts for $20 or a frilly Betsey Johnson dress for $40. They also cater to vintage lovers, with denim jackets, floral ’90s prom dresses, and pleated schoolgirl skirts.
What to bring in: Mainstream fashions no more than two years old, and vintage classics.
Appointment: Not necessary, but the earlier the better because lines can run out the door.
What you get back: 35% of the resale price in cash, or 55% in store credit.
Second Time Around (94 Seventh Ave.)
When you walk in and see an entire rack dedicated to Diane von Furstenberg’s latest styles, you know you’re in Second Time Around, where "resale goes upscale" is more than just a tagline, it’s a way of life. Targeting a younger clientele (think 5F), along with fans of Prada and Louis Vuitton bags (the rest of Bergdorf Goodman), Second Time Around carries contemporary brands and high-end fashions. Desperately need a cocktail dress but want to avoid eye-widening prices in the how-could-they-charge-so-much-for-so-little fabric way? That LBD you’ve been rocking forever just won’t cut it anymore? Second Time Around is the place to go. Although let’s face it, if you’re a consignment shopper in the first place, you’re most likely not going to have just one little black cocktail dress.
What to bring in: Dry-cleaned or laundered, new or like-new condition of a current style, seasonally appropriate, with a three-item minimum.
What you get back: 40% of the item’s resale price, payable by check.
Ina (207 W. 18th St.)
Ina features both classic–Chanel tweed jackets, Christian Louboutin pumps, Hermes scarfs–and contemporary–white eyelet Chloe dress, Dolce & Gabbana lace camis, t-shirts printed with Holly Golightly and her infamous cigarette holder.
What to bring in: See Ina’s list of designers and you’ll get an idea of what to bring in: the highest-end of the fashion spectrum. And of course make sure its cleaned properly and of the current season (unless it’s a classic).
What you get back: The price that each consigner will receive is set during the initial appointment.
[More by Anabel Simotas]