For the last 10-11 months we've been sans couch or really sans living room of our own. We sold a lot of our beat up furniture before our big move last year and it's been slow going to replace it. That is more intentional than not - we'd rather do without for a while, save up and be able to buy the right thing when it comes around. Usually this process is a little frustrating, but so worth it in the end. We've scored great furniture - bookcases, highboy dressers, etc. often antiques or at least quality vintage for great prices without using any kind of credit and now we have own more piece to add to the list.
Our new couch.
We've had our eye on this guy for about a month and half at our favorite consignment shop, but alas it was still $300 and with delivery it was just too much as we had a budget of $200. So we waited, the items in the store go on discount after they've been in the store a certain period of time so we thought if it was meant to be we'd wait for it to drop. Well turns out we didn't have to wait, there was a summer store wide 50% off sale in 3 weeks and a good chance the couch could be included. So we waited, and waited and bought a $10 ticket that let us in a half hour before the rest of the crowds and woke up really early (to us night shift folk) at 7 a.m., loaded up the kid and were at the store at 8.
We made our way downstairs to the furniture section and were not disappointed, our couch was still there and 50% off. We grabbed the ticket and a couple other things - two sets of shoes for the kiddo, a new pair of good shoes for the hubby and a complete set of dinner ware (microwavable and dishwasher safe this time), the dinner ware was also something I've waited to find for about 2 years. Everything was 50% off and with the store credit I had in my account we left paying less than $180 for everything. Add to that the delivery fee $35 (we had a $10 off coupon) and the couch + delivery came in at about $185, down from a potential $345.
A few times for great consignment shop deals -
- Have a store account - we get 40-50% of our total sales back - and use send in stuff on a regular basis.
- If you're lacking in stuff you need to get rid of - ask around with family or friends, sometimes you can find someone who'd be willing to give you that pile of stuff in the garage just to get rid of it and the worst that can happen is they'll say no.
- Be nice to the folks going thru bags of other people's stuff
- Make sure your items are clean of dust, dirt and stains - an extra round in the washing machine could make the difference between an accepted item and your return pile
- Put sets together - particularly bedding, dishes, clothing sets, toys and games with multiple pieces you'll get a better price for a set than individual pieces
- Pay attention to their rules - don't waste their time with outdated electronics, totally off-season clothing, and things the explicitly state they don't take
- Don't be afraid to point out antiques and collectables - these folks often know a lot about what they see, but can easily miss a valuable if they're busy
- Don't be afraid to take in stuff that has been refused a time before - I often will take in things multiple times just to get it perused by a different sales associate or closer to a different seasons. Often they might not choose to take a stack of baby clothes one week (not close enough to fall or summer) but will take the stack a week or two later.
- When your LCS (local consignment shop) starts taking seasonal items get your stuff there asap. They're more likely to take more of your seasonally appropriate clothing & shoes if they're not already full of winter coats, swimming suits, etc.
- Sign up for newsletters - a great way to find out about special daily savings or weekend sales to take advantage of
- In my favorite LCS the best time to get great deals on fall/winter is January and spring/summer is late August/September when they sell their leftover seasonal merchandize cheap - I've left paying 12 cents for name brand clothes before.
- Don't be afraid to wait things out - particularly the big items like furniture or high-priced clothing and accessories - most people come to these stores for a bargain and the highest priced merchandize is less likely to fly off the shelf.