Why Consignment Shops Won’t Accept Your Items

Posted: March 10, 2015 in boutiques, consignment boutiques, consignment shops, resale shops

Briella's Prom

As a crocheter and jewelry maker, I sell a lot of my items through my daughter’s store. My daughter and her business partner (her sister-in-law) own an upscale consignment boutique. They pride themselves on the fact that they accept only quality merchandise that is less than two years old.

Their store doesn’t have the feel of a resale shop and looks more like a fashion boutique than it does a consignment shop. People enjoy shopping there because they know they are getting high quality clothing and other items at a fraction of the original cost.

Because consignment shops invite customers to consign items – with the stipulation that they might not accept every item, they have to reject some items that customers bring in. Customers should not take the rejection personally, but often they do.

Customers sometimes bring stain-covered items or clothing their mothers wore around the house twenty years ago. They fail to examine their items before bringing them in. Sometimes it helps to call ahead and ask if the shop accepts vintage clothing.

Though they are aware that not all of their items will be accepted, some customers become irate, not realizing that the reason their items haven’t been selected for sale has nothing at all to do with them personally and everything to do with their item.

If your items have been rejected, some reasons may be:


Believe it or not, I actually almost bought a lounge outfit from a different consignment shop until my daughter examined the outfit and noticed brown stains on the bottom! No, thank you! Who wants to purchase clothing with blood stains, poop stains, oil stains, baby formula stains, or grease stains?


Besides the obvious body odor that accompanies some items, another smell that assaults the senses is smoke. If you smoke in your home, the smoke infiltrates the fabric in your clothing. Nobody wants to walk around smelling like an ashtray.

Another odor consignment shops won’t accept is pet odor. If you want to sell clothing at an upscale consignment boutique, wash the clothing prior to selling it, and make sure that when the item comes out of the dryer, the air isn’t filled with cat or dog dander, odors, or smoke. Fold and bag it immediately. Then take it out of your house.


Most consignment shop owners don’t have time to press your garments before selling them and will throw them on the donation pile if they look too wrinkled. Make sure your items are freshly pressed before you drop them off.


While some consignment shops will accept items worn in the 1970s and in fact, appreciate receiving vintage items, many will not. It may be better to get together with friends and hold a garage sale if you want to get rid of items your grandmother wore in high school.

Poor Craftsmanship

A lot of people create homemade items to sell at consignment shops. Just because you know how to knit a scarf doesn’t mean you know how to knit it well. Dropped stitches, unless they are done on purpose will not escape the eye of consignment shop owners who want to adhere to a high standard for the items they sell in their shops. Consignment shop owners also look for broken clasps on jewelry and holes in seams.


Don’t get huffy if the consignment boutique doesn’t accept your items. Some people become enraged when they find out their items are not accepted by the consignment shop. They may not have noticed the stains along the collar, the elastic that was too stretched out, or the well-worn knees on their jeans, but employees of consignment shops examine each item carefully and look for those things before putting items on the floor.

If your clothing is freshly washed and pressed, looks good, smells good, and is less than two years old, you stand a good chance of making some money by selling your item in an upscale consignment boutique. If your clothing doesn’t meet the standards of the boutique shop, consider donating your items.


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