How to turn closet clutter into cash
Dollars in the Details

Take a look in your closet. You’ll be surprised how much money is hanging around.  Most of us have things we no longer adore. So, why not make room and learn how to turn closet clutter into cash? After all it’s always a good time to clean out the clutter. This is especially true for fashionable New Yorkers, whose closets seem to be shrinking by the minute. So roll up those sleeves and prepare to cash in on your retired wears.

My mother, Laura Fluhr and I are here to give you all the tips and hints that will help you eek out every last dime. We know just about everything there is to know about scoring the highest returns on last seasons duds. Here are our top ten insider tips and tricks to get the most value for your items at the consignment counter.

Truth is, a little TLC will not only add value to your retired fashions but if you consign items in tip-top shape, they will be put on the floor right away.  As a courtesy to our best consignors we sometimes send their merchandise out to the shoemaker and seamstress, however, it could be weeks, sometimes months before those items sell.  Better to bring them to us ready to go!

  1. Make it Shine. 
    Hardware on high quality fashion accessories can be quickly brought back to glistening condition with a little dab of silver polish and a dash of elbow grease. Be sure to use a polishing cloth and test a small area before going to town. For those sparkling jewels be sure to use a general jewellery cleanser or give it a good blast of steam before having it appraised.

  2. Button Up. 
    A new set of buttons can make a drab item look dynamite. There are many well-stocked button sources that can be found online we recommend

  3. Take out the sewing kit. 
    Take a needle to your items and make sure there are no open seams, loose buttons, or falling hems. If you don’t have the time or patience most dry cleaners and tailors will do this at very little cost.

  4. Shoe polish is a wonderful thing.
    It can make your favorite shoes everybody’s darlings.

  5. Clean & Press. 
    There’s nothing worse than receiving items covered in cat or dog hair. Take your items to a dry cleaner you trust and have them delivered to Michael's clean and pressed. Having trouble removing those pesky deodorant stains? We love Gal Pal garment deodorant removers, they work every time and are safe for most fabrics except silk. 

  6. Bring in all the bells and whistles. 
    Deliver your items with all the original accoutrements (sleeper, shoe bags, paperwork, receipt, box, ribbon, etc…) Having all of the original documentation and packaging is a huge selling point and will go a long way at the cash register.

  7. Never remove the labels.
     Most high-end consignment shops won’t take the garment if the labels are missing so deal with the pesky label… never cut them out.

  8. Don’t store items in a bag by the front door. 
    As soon as you get your items ready for consignment, call for a pick up or bring them in.  If they stay in a bag, they will not be in fresh selling condition.

  9. Bring your shoes to the shoemaker. 
    A $20 repair or leather cleaning and conditioning could make you another $100 on consignment. It’s well worth the investment, and who knows, maybe you’ll want to wear them again.

  10. Working order.
    Zippers, snaps and buckles need to all be working properly.  If they are not, take them in to be repaired.
January 01, 2016 — Tamara Gates

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