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Calgary Consignment Shopping



by Lisa Lammi

So you want your family to look like a million bucks, but you don't want to spend a small fortune on their clothes. How about checking out a consignment store in your area? You may be pleasantly surprised.

Barbara Davis and her partner Diane Foster have operated a consignment store in Calgary for the last 11 years called Changes, which specializes in high-end career wear for women. As Barbara says, "consignment" is no longer considered a dirty word. It has become a socially acceptable and practical way of buying affordable clothes. Their consignment business has done so well, in fact, that they will soon be opening a third store in Calgary and another in Vancouver.

The owners of Changes, like other consignment store operators, have set high standards for the kind of used clothing they will accept. Everything must be clean, pressed, show no visible signs of wear and follow current fashion trends.

Most consignment stores take a fifty per cent share of profits from the sale of clothing. Clothing baring a designer label such as "Anne Klein" or "Jones of New York" obviously will sell for more money. Therefore, it is important labels are never removed from the garment.

Photo of woman in spotted dress

Another thing consumers don't realize is consignment stores also carry new items of clothing. Changes acts as a clearance center for 25 ladieswear shops in B.C. , Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Consignment shops are not limited to career wear: you can find everything from wedding gowns to baby clothes. Growthspurtz in Calgary sells high end clothing for infants to teenagers, along with an assortment of maternity fashions. Kelly Grinton, who works at Growthspurtz, says consumers can get children's clothes for almost half of retail. Since children tend to outgrow clothes before they show any sign of wear, buying clothes from a consignment store just makes sense.

If you're interested in selling clothing to a consignment store, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Phone around, as store policies may vary on how much of a percentage they demand for selling your clothes.
  • If your garment hasn't sold within a certain length of time it will usually be marked down by as much as 25 per cent and finally given away to charity.
  • Of course, always keep in mind that the retailer can't be held responsible if your clothing is lost or stolen.

FoundLocally has a listing of local consignment/thift shops.

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