Shopping in thrift or consignment stores can be thrilling: between the variety and unique nature of the items you're likely to encounter, shopping may start to feel more like an adventure than a chore. However, the same thing that makes shopping at consignment stores fun can also make it feel daunting at times—with all those options, how are you supposed to know that you're making the right choice? And how do you know when you're better off buying something new?
Fortunately, with a little bit of research and a discerning eye, shopping at consignment stores can be a productive—and even lucrative—process. The key is to understand which types of items hold their value over time (or even become more valuable!) and which ones are best bought new.
Focusing your attention on high-quality, durable items will ensure that you find one-of-a kind goods that will hold their value and last a lifetime. This can be a great reason to look at consignment shops that specialize in luxury items.
When looking for clothing or home goods, keep an eye out for the following types of items that have been known to age particularly well—thereby becoming great finds at consignment stores:
Well-cared-for wooden furniture tends to age extremely well. In fact, vintage furniture is often higher quality than its modern counterparts, which are frequently mass-assembled out of flimsy materials like particleboard and designed to be thrown away rather than repaired. On the other hand, pre-loved or even vintage furniture—especially if it's solid wood—is more likely to be hand-crafted from high-quality materials.
Further, high quality pre-owned furniture can often be transformed, restored, or customized much more easily than cheaper items. If a wooden table has a couple of minor scratches, or the color isn't to your liking, it can be easily sanded, re-painted, or re-stained. Similarly, if that consigned couch is perfect except for the fact that the upholstery doesn't match your existing decor, it's relatively easy (and probably still less expensive) to buy it and have it re-upholstered rather than buy a new one.
Designer clothing is another item that can easily stand the test of time if it's properly cared for, making it a safe —and stylish!—consignment store find. Like furniture, designer clothing is more likely to be made from high-quality fabrics like silk or linen, and to have been carefully crafted. As a result, you're more likely to find larger seam allowances in designer clothing than in fast fashion clothing, which means they can be tailored for a better fit.
From a fashion standpoint, shopping for clothing at high-end consignment stores gives you a better chance of discovering unique, timeless styles as opposed to the short-lived trends that tend to dominate mainstream fashion retailers.
Bonus: you can look good and feel good knowing that you're supporting a worthwhile cause! In addition to the fact that buying pre-loved clothing supports environmental sustainability efforts, some luxury consignment shops (including North Shore Exchange) are also nonprofit or charitable organizations, and use their proceeds to contribute to local community improvement efforts.
Consignment jewelry is where the best of affordability and luxury meet. Consignment jewelry often includes precious metals such as gold and silver, and gemstones such as emeralds, amethysts, and diamonds. These types of items will hold their value, too, meaning that you can potentially resell them someday for roughly the equivalent of what you paid for them.
As with designer clothing, shopping for jewelry at a consignment store can be a great way to add classic or unusual pieces to your collection. Whether you're interested in stylish, unbranded jewelry or a matching collection, there's a good chance you'll find what you're looking for in a luxury consignment store—and often at a better value than you'd find elsewhere, too.
Tabletop, Art, Home Accessories
Many people may not think to look for dishes or home accessories at consignment stores, but at the right place, you can make some spectacular finds. Some consignment stores receive entire sets of valuable china, crystal glasses, or unique items like silver serving trays that may have been discontinued and are no longer available commercially. Alternatively, rather than going for a matching set, you might stock up on mismatched individual pieces for an eclectic, bohemian style.
North Shore Exchange is a nonprofit luxury consignment shop that offers pre-owned and pre-loved designer clothing, vintage jewelry, and accessories. Our expert Merchandising team carefully inspects all products to ensure authenticity, so you can shop for discount luxury items with complete confidence. Explore high-quality, timeless handbags, jewelry, clothing, or home accessories and decorative objects!
In addition to the satisfaction you'll feel from knowing you've gotten the most bang for your buck, you can feel good knowing that North Shore exchange supports Chicagoland charities, and that your purchases are helping to provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and services to prevent abuse to children and families.Visit one of our locations or explore our website to see more about our work, our curated product selection, and how you can donate or consign your own luxury items with North Shore Exchange today. Get cash for the luxury goods in your home, and find new ones at great prices—all while giving back to the community. It’s the best of all worlds!