Monday, July 27, 2009

Re-Sale Shops

In most towns of any size there is at least one re-sale shop. The idea behind it is to bring items (primarily clothing and accessories) that are of nice quality and barely used that you can't use any more. The shop sells the item for an amount way less than you originally paid. They split the money, usually they get 55-60%, you get 40-45%. It seems like a simple and wonderful concept.

Last week I discovered the reality. My mom was a shop-a-holic. I don't know any other way to describe it. My dad wants us to clear out these things, my sisters and I have spent several days just sorting clothes. There were a few items each of us could use, but size-wise most of it wouldn't fit anyone we knew. We took a huge load of clothing to Goodwill. Goodwill and Salvation Army stores sell used items. The money goes to charity--unlike a re-sale shop. They are also less picky about what they accept.

There was another huge pile of clothing that still had tags on them. We couldn't find receipts to return them. They were decent quality, pants that cost $45.-$60., blouses in the same price range, shoes $80.-$150.. My mom always liked to buy nice things. None of us can afford those prices except on rare occasions. As I mentioned, none of us could wear the clothes either.

So we thought we would try to make a little money at a re-sale shop. I read their websites and researched as much as I could. I learned that you bring the clothes in on hangers, they hang them all up in a back room. If they choose to 'keep' an item, they will transfer it to one of their hangers. They only take clothes for upcoming seasons. Although it is the end of July, the websites said they were now only taking Fall clothes.

We were blissfully unaware of this when we took all the clothes OFF of the hangers and piled them on the bed. So I went over and separated clothes into seasons, put hangers on all of the "Fall" clothes (trying to guess if a sweater is Fall or Winter). I loaded about 150 items (told you she had a lot) and drove the re-sale shop. Only to be told that they 'updated their website too soon' and they weren't taking Fall clothes yet. However, the owner offered to look them over to let me know what they accepted. My dad had come with me, so we hauled all the items into the shop. Only to be told that these were 'old lady' type clothes and they didn't want them. I was shocked. The only people who have money and love to hunt for bargains these days are older women. Looking around the shop I could see a lot of children's clothes, but other items didn't look much different from what we had brought in. Okay, whatever.

Called another shop from there that was located twenty minutes away. They were not taking Fall clothes for two weeks. They would only 'accept' thirty items at a time. In talking to people, we learned that third shop (about thirty minutes away) has a bad reputation for not paying people the money when items are sold.

My dad was fed up. "We're just taking it all to Goodwill" he said. "I just want this stuff gone." I understand that he is very upset, he had no idea how much my mom had spent and that there were all these things packed away in closets. So we went back to his house, took all of the hangers off again. Added all the other clothes to the back of his van. Drove it to Goodwill. At least the money would go to charity. Thousands of dollars worth of clothes. No inheritance for us!

As far as re-sale shops, I'm not sure they are worth the trouble.

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