Consignment Shopping… where everything is new again!

Adventures in Aging
April 23, 2019
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Who doesn’t love a bargain? I know I sure do! I was raised in retail, so I know and understand the system of mark ups, discounts and sales.  I also know on many items, especially luxury items, I soon discovered a consignment store can be a great resource to find something special at a fraction of its original price.

I first stumbled across consignment stores years ago, while living in Palm Springs, California. Furniture consignment stores were booming in the desert. I found the entire consignment concept very intriguing.  Who would take furniture, china, crystal to a store to resell it?  Isn’t that what you do at garage sales? Or, better yet, who was buying all these items for their home?  What I realized was that many people were doing it!  Including me!  I loved rummaging through someone’s old china, tiffany lamps, crystal from the 1940’s.  It felt like an amazing scavenger hunt for secret treasure.  I was thrilled and often laughed to see some of the items these stores carried. 

Homes in the Palm Springs area were being emptied by the truckloads into these consignment stores quicker than you could blink. The scenarios or reasons varied why folks sought out these stores. Often it was aging parents dying off, and the children were left with the difficult task of selling all a home’s contents. It seemed like a perfect solution as these consignment stores would take the items before the homes were even being sold. 

Believe me, we had a lot of aging parents in the Palm Springs area.  I heard Palm Springs was even called: God’s waiting room.  The synergy between consignment shops and this community seemed to be a great fit in the 90’s and earlier! These consignment stores were really booming with business for one reason or another.

Then consignment stores started to get a bad rap for not paying those who brought in the furniture or items.  People were being told, oh your furniture never sold so we donated it, or we just don’t even know where it went. Then the most absurd statement, you now need to wait several more months for payment. Often that payment never arrived.  Soon many of these unreputable stores quickly closed. But there was still a demand for this type of business, so more reopened with better ownership, rules and regulations. 

I think George Carlin said it best regarding STUFF and probably a huge reason why consignment stores are amazing:

“A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff!

Sometimes you got to move, got to get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore. Did you ever notice when you go to somebody else’s house, you never quite feel a hundred percent at home? You know why? No room for your stuff. Somebody else’s stuff is all over the place!”

I was pleased that these stores resurfaced as I found myself taking my furniture and other items to trusted ones, and I certainly needed help more and more with every home I was selling.

I took the next step into the consignment world when I moved to Scottsdale, Arizona.  Someone told me about a place that sold women’s clothes.  Again, my mind was intrigued thinking who, what, and why? I went, and I was sold!  I went home cleaned out my closet and found I had so much to take in to my shock.

I was taking in clothes 4 times a year and loved picking up my check.  It was like a reward for spring cleaning and decluttering. Mind you, I wasn’t making much, especially compared to what I paid for it, but It felt good to know that someone else was enjoying my clothes and even the smallest check made me feel happy to take to the bank!  I was hooked yet again!

My tastes in clothes also have changed over the years and I was becoming discerning with what I was taking where.  I must admit I found consignment shopping an adventure. More and more clothing consignment stores were opening with a variety of clothing such as high-end labels & styles to every day fashion.

The other day, I was shopping at a high-end consignment store while they looked over the bags I brought for resale. I figured I might as well shop for more stuff too. Since I tend to have a habit of leaving my cell phone in random places and lose it, imagine my delight when my Samsung fit in this wonderful Chanel phone case!  The universe speaks to me in mysterious ways! I am taking this as a direct call from spirit….and it says I need this phone case to stay connected.  

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