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Avoid the landfill and pocket some money with consignment

Woman trying on vintage jacket, looking left

Consignment stores offer a different experience than donating and shopping thrift. At consignment stores, people bring in their more valuable, sellable items. If the store agrees, then they’ll showcase and sell the item, give the original owner a percentage of the profits, and then take their own cut.

Customers benefit because they get great stuff for discounted prices, and everyone is doing something good for their budget and for the environment.

Woman facing away from viewer looking at her closet for items to donate

How to sell and shop consignment

The Twin Cities area has a wide variety of locally owned consignment shops, including everything from sporting goods and bikes to musical instruments and clothing. If you are interested in consigning your unwanted items, be sure to check with each store individually on their consignment policies and agreements. Many times, you’ll either must make an appointment to bring in your items to set up the consignment or bring in a limited number of items during designated hours.

Consignment shops have specific requirements to meet before they will agree to sell and item for a consignor. They look for items that are truly reusable – in working order, free of chips, tears or stains, and many times they look for certain brands that are more likely to resell at their store.

The Wardrobe Consultant has a blog on How To Shop Consignment: Stylist's Guide to Thrift Stores and Secondhand Clothes which includes practical tips for shopping consignment.

Tips include:

  • Shop during the week. It’s less crowded and there’s more to choose from (there is typically less inventory on the weekends). 
  • Sizes may vary. Vintage clothes run 4-6 sizes smaller than modern clothes.
  • Know your measurements - this is a SUPER HELPFUL tip for any kind of shopping but especially for secondhand shopping.
  • Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to slip things on and off.
  • Know what you have in your closet before you go. Don’t just buy to buy. Think about what this item will go with before you bring it home

Boy playing with sporting equipment

Local consignment shops

Sporting goods:

Musical instruments:

Furniture and home décor:


Children’s clothing:

Online consignment

Online consignment is a popular way to sell and shop consignment. Platforms like TheRealReal and ThredUp are more traditional in the consignment definition as they take the items for you to sell and mail to the buyer. Poshmark, Mercari and eBay are other types of consignment, as they take a commission for the sale, but you set up the sale and the mailing to the buyer.

Consignment can take time

Sometimes your item can take time to sell, so depending on how quickly you want it to move, you may have to adjust your price, or ultimately decide to give it away or donate.

Even if you didn’t turn a big profit, you’re still keeping it out of the trash, which is always a win for the environment.