Once you’ve decided to re-sell things you no longer need or use, it’s time to learn which second hand stores are going to be your best resource.
There are three different types of second hand stores: consignment shops, pawn shops, and thrift shops. Each is unique with what it can offer.
Equally important is understanding the entire selling process. From what items sell best where, to how much they pay out, it’s all about maximizing your return.
So let’s dive right in and explore what second hand stores can do for you!
Today's Post Focuses On Second Hand Stores & How to Land on the venue best for you!
Second Hand Stores | 1. Consignment Shops
How They Operate
Consignment shops typically pay you when your items sell. A few may buy your things outright but this can be less common.
These second hand stores may also charge a small flat fee in addition to the percentage payout. Your return will be larger if you agree to take a store credit instead of cash. After all, this makes sense when you help with moving other inventory off the store floor.
The store will quote you a starting price. Be sure to ask if there are periodic markdowns that would impact your return.
Many shops will have a set cycle for when they mark down inventory. They need to ensure goods are not just sitting and taking up valuable floor space.
If your item doesn’t move after a certain amount of time, you may be asked to pick it up. But they may also offer to donate your items to a local charity on your behalf, which saves you a return trip.
There are numerous specialty consignment shops so there are too many to address individually. Some carry a little bit of everything and others specialize in furniture, clothing or household items. Many are independently owned and operated as opposed to a chain of retail fronts.
Moreover, it can make more sense to take your stuff to a store that focuses on a particular type of item, i.e., an upscale shop selling designer apparel or a furniture store carrying only contemporary pieces. It stands to reason that specialized second hand stores can attract more potential buyers.
Lastly, expect to receive between 40-60% of the final sale price.
The Bottom Line
Be sure your items are in clean, serviceable condition. If the store politely passes on your stuff, don’t argue with the staff.
They are making decisions based on their professional knowledge and the current demand. Ultimately, they are not interested in having your stuff collect dust on the sales floor and nor would you be, either!
Also, until someone buys your stuff, you are in a holding pattern, waiting for your cash. If you’re looking for a quick payout, a consignment store will not be your best option.
Therefore, a pawn shop would be a better option for selling your stuff, if time is of the essence.
Second Hand Stores| 2. Pawn Shops
How They Operate
Not everyone immediately thinks of pawn stores as viable second-hand stores.
Until popular TV shows brought these stores to the forefront recently, there was always an aura of shame and intrigue. Why did someone sell their family heirlooms? What financial downturn occurred?
However, there are distinct advantages to checking one out. Here, you turn possession of the item over to the store and receive an immediate payout before you leave.
You are not impacted if it sells at an extraordinarily low price or never sells at all!
Pawn shops can be good venues for items that are in less demand at other second-hand stores. Think taxidermy, electronics, guns, tools or musical instruments.
In fact, a pawn store is a very good venue to sell gold or diamonds! Just be sure to compare their bid to other second hand stores that exclusively buy and sell used jewelry before moving ahead with the transaction.
On average, pawn shops pay 25-60% of the resale value of your items.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to convert your stuff into cash quickly, these second-hand stores will pay you on the spot.
However, keep in mind that payment up front means you will realize less than if you were willing to wait for a buyer at a traditional consignment shop. So if you can be patient, circle back to option one above.
Second Hand Stores| 3. Thrift Shops
How They Operate
Thrift shops are the third type of second-hand store. What makes them distinct is that most operate as a nonprofit business. This means that many will not pay for your items.
However, I mention these as they are also a viable resource for offloading excess personal items. That in itself, is a bonus!
You may not receive monetary compensation but you may qualify for a tax credit (consult your financial advisor). They are often linked to a business such as a local hospice. Or think of Goodwill. Profits are funneled back to the parent business, which ultimately provides jobs in your community or funds other worthy initiatives. So ultimately, you also get the satisfaction of helping out others in some fashion.
The Bottom Line
When clearing space quickly is more important than a monetary payback, thrift stores are an ideal outlet. Not only will your stuff get a second life with new owner. Your donations are converted into dollars that support a worthwhile service in your community, too.
The Wrap: Second Hand Stores Can Be a Fabulous Outlet for Cashing in on your clutter!
Which second hand stores make sense for you? Keep the following factors in mind when decluttering:
- Time: how quickly do you need to turn your items into cash?
- Money: how much (if any) return is enough for you?
- Specialty: are your items rare or of a specific genre?
- Donation: would you be satisfied with supporting a higher cause?
Some folks enjoy the whole selling experience and seem to really cash out. Others, not so much. Like anything else, it takes time and energy to makes the rounds in order to see what you can get.
Something is better than nothing but at some point, diminishing returns can set in. Charitable donations start to look much more appealing! You make a difference to someone who can’t afford new and you may realize an income tax credit, too.
Related Topics and Resources to Explore
3 Decluttering Tips Which Absolutely Maximize Your Return When Selling Your Stuff
How an Estate Sale Quickly Declutters Everything (But the Kitchen Sink!)
15 Premium Places for Selling Used Clothes to Clear Space in Your Closet
Listen: Wades Venture Shows How Consignment Works