Making the most of your money at resale, consignment boutiques

BOISE -- Resale and consignment boutiques are fun because they are a brilliant form of recycling, and they give us the opportunity to get something that's new to us at a fraction of the price.

Some resale stores will take your gently-used items and sell them for you, keeping a percentage of the selling price. Others will buy your items outright. Either way, they typically offer you a greater return on your items in store credit, rather than cash, so that you can turn around and spend what you've earned right there in the store.

How do you know you're getting a bargain? Tanya Carnahan, a wardrobe stylist and founder of the stylespygirl fashion blog, shared her top five tips for making the most of your money:

Tip #1 - Check tags for your favorite stores or brands. If you know that Joe's jeans fit you best, or that you like the fabric of J. Crew sweaters, look specifically for those things! Knowing your brands will help you get your moneys worth.

Tip #2 - Always examine items carefully, underarm stains look for snags or broken zippers. Resale stores work really hard to ensure everything on their floor doesn't have those things however it's always good to double check as things can get worn out in the dressing rooms.

Tip #3 - Establish relationships with the stores you like the most and go often. Be nice to the employees. They work hard to provide you with clean quality items and a pleasurable resale experience. Many boutiques have a wish list or data base where they can keep track of your favorite brands or items you are hunting for and call to let you know when such things pop up in their stores. If you are snobby and picky or try to barter for every single item, don't expect to be called when your wish list items show up.

Tip #4 - Know your trends before you go, and have a fairly firm grasp on what your style is!
That helps narrow down your choices, for your favorite colors and brands, as well as whats hot and trendy right now. Another great idea, take pictures of items in your closet that you are trying to find matching pieces to so you have a visual representation of what you are hunting for.

Tip #5 - Be adventurous about repurposing things that might not be perfect in their present form. Can that skirt be shortened? Can that blouse be turned into a tank top, or layered with a cute sweater? Let your creativity guide your choices, but keep your budget firmly in mind. Remember, at the end of the day, it's ok to leave a store without buying anything. The treasures are out there, and they are worth saving your money for.


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