How to make the most out of shopping at consignment stores

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Outfits can be expensive--that's why consignment shops and consigning are really catching on in central Indiana.

"We try to price about a third of retail depending on condition and demand, and people are loving all the options to choose from," said Kristen Sweeney, general manager of The Toggery Resale Boutique, located at 1810 Broad Ripple Ave. in Indianapolis.

You'll find brand names that are often 70 percent off retail at almost all consignment shops. Gone are the days when consignments were thought of as  "dirty or uninteresting."  There are more interesting things you can find at consignment shops, because it's all in one place and items come from a variety of different sources and people.

"You can find everything from Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, all the way to Anthropology brands, Gap and Lululemon," said Sweeney.

Many of the items are basically brand-new because people often bring them in without wearing them. Some of the clothes still have the tags. Like many consignment shops, you don't have to travel to another store to find accessories to go along with clothes. At Toggery for example, they have accessories, like handbags, jewelry, and shoes. The prices on those items are also a fraction of retail, despite looking like new.

"I've got a great little J.Crew jacket on. It's one of my favorites and I got it for $10! My entire outfit from head to toe was under $70," said Laura Walters, owner of Style Riot.

They do have men’s clothes at most consignment shops, albeit generally in a much smaller section. Some consignment shops have people to help you pick out items that'll make you look your best. Stylist Laura Walters says it's a nice option to have an expert to help.

"On Mondays and Wednesdays, I'm here at The Toggery from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to offer styling services for people. I point them in the direction of what they're looking for and then I also have a rack of my 'Style Riot must haves,'" said Walters.

You can also save up to 20% when you shop consignment stores during their "deal days."  Most places have specials and special days to get customers in and move product out.  Like many consignment stores, the merchandise can change daily with new items, so it's a good idea to know their schedule.

Don't forget--consignment is not just about items they sell, but what they buy from you. So if there's something you don't wear, or want some extra cash for, you may want to try to sell it.

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