Thursday, June 7, 2012

Frugal Does Not Always Mean Consignment

For the past decade I have had an account with a local consignment shop.  I drop off items, she sells them, and I get a percentage of the profit.  It worked really well for me when I started.  Then I was single, bought stylish clothes more frequently, and had lots of spare time.  These days I shop for my clothing at second hand stores, and rarely at that.  Spare time to lug items to the shop is near existent.  And most of the stuff I want to get rid off is from my children -- and she does not sell baby/kid stuff.  As a result, the money I generated from consignment sales has dropped to less than $10 per quarter.  It is not worth the effort, or gas to drive there (about 5 miles away from my home).

My consignment drop off has been replaced by a donation to Savers, which gives me a coupon for  20% off my next purchase.  The new routine is to fill up a bag of unwanted items, go to Savers, get coupon, shop, and save usually $6 - $12 per visit.  I do this about once a month.  It is a great way to keep moving unwanted items out of our home, save money on second hand purchases, reduce trips in the car, and support a non-profit.

If you have stylish clothing, accessories or furnishings that you spent a lot of money on in the past 2 or 3 years, consignment might make sense for you.  For this frugal person, a 20 percent coupon off at Savers in exchange for a bag of donations makes more financial sense.  Lesson, run the numbers.  Question convention.  An alternative route may save you time, money, and tread a little more lightly on mother Earth.

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