I have a friend who owns a salon in New York City. She doesn’t take any time off during the year, but in the winter she’ll take six weeks off and go to Costa Rica. She doesn’t use money from the salon to pay for this, but rather she’ll sell a few key pieces (think a Bottega floor length gown she bought to wear to a wedding) to fund the trip. Even if there isn’t a specific goal, there’s really no need to have clothing and accessories collecting dust. There are many ways to get rid of pieces you no longer love. I’ve personally never gone the consignment route so I was curious to find out how much one can make and what brands hold the most value.
For anyone else looking to Marie Kondo their closets in 2020, read below for insight from Michael’s, a women’s luxury consignment store on the Upper East Side, owner Tammy Gatesto. Tammy is the third generation owner of her family’s business – they’ve been around for 65 years and carry brands like Chanel, Hermes, Prada, and Louis Vuitton (for those looking to shop rather than sell!).
How can people assess which of their items have any value when it comes to reselling?
“In general, it pays to make sure that you bring the correct item to the correct store. You might not want to bring your Chanel classic to a store that sells Old Navy and Gap items as you may not get as much for your item as it is worth. A store that specializes in high end luxury resale will be your best bet for your most coveted designer pieces.”
What designer brands have the best resell value? What popular ones have the worst?
“There are some items that are trending that have more value than others but in general, the heavy hitters maintain their value in the secondary market. Designers such as Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Louboutin, Prada, and Bottega Veneta have consistently been attractive items for resale. If the items are popular and trending in the primary market then they have value in the secondary market. It’s the designers that go out of fashion that will lose their value in the secondary market. For example, Armani was hot in the 80’s and 90’s but just is not as sought after today as it once was.”
What are some of your best tips for storing clothing and accessories to prevent wear and tear?
“My number one tip is that if you have not worn it for one year then you should not store it at all, but should instead consign it. It’s my one year rule that I live by. Aside from that, you’ll want to make sure your items are in a temperature controlled environment. Some fabrics break down or disintegrate if it is too hot, others don’t like it to be too cold. I am also not a big fan of dry cleaning as the chemicals, even organic ones, can do a number on fabrics. If possible, hand-wash items in Woolite and lay them flat to dry. Certain items like sweaters should not be stored on hangers as you can end up with hanger marks in the shoulders and that is not a good look.”
How much can people expect to make back when consigning?
“In general we price things about ⅓ to ½ off retail. However, there are some designers and items that fetch closer to retail in the secondary market. Once an item sells, the consignor gets 50% of the selling price or around 15-30% of the original price. It’s important to note though that for items that sell for more than $5000 the consignor will get 60% of the selling price and for items that sell for more than $7500 the consignors gets 70% of the selling price. That increases the money expected back to 20-40% of the original price.”