Does anybody buy or sell clothes at designer agencies /consignment stores?

(39 Posts)
ArcticRoll Wed 24-Jul-13 11:58:17

I'm about to sign lease on shop to open such a store, very excited and scared too!
I want it to be a beautiful environment so it feels like a high end boutique rather than a glorified charity shop. I will have to be quite ruthless in the type of clothes I accept to keep the feel of the shop high end.
Would be really helpful if anyone who uses these type of stores had any positive or negative experiences/tips which I could bear in mind when I open. Thank you so much.

There is one near me which is exactly as you describe - all Marni, Prada, Lanvin etc. The owner is very choosy with her stock and knows her target audience well, which helps. For example, I asked if she'd take some jeans from me (all high end - J Brand, Current Elliott etc) and she said she couldn't as she mostly sold to older ladies who didn't really wear jeans. I love going in for a browse - got some beautiful pink Louboutins in there for £90.

ArcticRoll Wed 24-Jul-13 12:08:40

Thank you AmberNectarine,that's really useful. I think the key is to be choosy with stock and know the target audience.

Area is pretty important too. I live in quite an affluent area, near a very upmarket shopping area. Naturally the shop is well positioned to garner good stock.

Corygal Wed 24-Jul-13 12:19:11

I sell to one of the most lauded shops in London, Bang Bang. Over the years, I've flogged shoot samples, props, you name it - plus my own stuff.

I wear dresses, mainly, and they like those - everything has to be in nigh on unworn nick, and they take the best of the High Street too - TopShop designer collabs, for instance. Contrary to what you might think, they don't do a lot of tiny sizes - 12-14-16 are really good sellers. They pay 30 per cent of the selling price (low).

They run an exchange too, so you can swap stuff - I got a new Burberry handbag for almost nowt - so there's always the temptation to have a little root about.

They don't buy a lot of black - does make a shop look dreary, and neither do they buy jeans "people tend to buy their own new".

QueenCadbury Wed 24-Jul-13 12:48:37

I had 3 near me, 2 of which have closed down. One I'm not sure why as I thought it was doing ok but the other one I'm surprised stayed in business as long as it did. She only accepted items less than 2 years old but she didn't know enough about clothes presumably as you could tell that some things were way older than that and like you say, was a bit of a glorified charity shop. I sold quite a bit through it though especially white stuff. That always seems to sell well if you are considering high st.

The open one is a nice space and the owner's lovely but I was out off the first time I went in thee by her sullen asst so choose your staff well. She takes designer as well as high end high st (think monsoon and above) and white stuff. I think the trickiest thing is getting your pricing right. Too little and you risk not making enough but too much and you risk not selling enough.

ArcticRoll Wed 24-Jul-13 17:16:30

Thank you for all replies AmberNectarine,CoryGal and QueenCadbury -really useful hearing your views.

Yes agree AmberNectarine about location.I'm opening the shop in the area where I live, a fairly affluent area of Brighton where there is a community of shops which attract a high footfall of my target market. I'm guessing my stock will be of Whistles, Jigsaw, Reiss, White Stuff, etc with a smattering of more designer led items. I'm hoping to attract fashionistas from accross the city who have high turnover of clothes to bring in their clothes or I will arrange to visit them to pick up items.

Yes agree QueenCadbury about pricing-it's going to be a tricky balance. Also hear what you're saying about snooty shop staff-I'm not planning to employ any staff initially so it will be down to me to be friendly but not overbearing to customers.

MollyBerry Wed 24-Jul-13 18:53:44

I'd love to go to one of these how do I find them?

(I live in London and often travel to Bristol so both are good )

Allthingspretty Wed 24-Jul-13 19:14:50

I have had a really bad experience as a buyer Arctic. All I will say is that if you are selling designer goods make sure that they are authentic.

evertonmint Wed 24-Jul-13 19:47:08

I'd love to know your address and when you're opening up as I'm
Brighton area and would be interested in shopping with you smile

TollgateDebs Wed 24-Jul-13 20:05:31

It depends on the age of your stock, but The Vintage Fashion Guild is well worth a look -, with excellent advice on how to spot a more vintage piece and determine if it is genuine. Please don't be afraid of unknown pieces, as good quality and design talks and I've bought some cracking stuff from dress agencies without knowing the label. Good lighting and large, honest mirrors - essential!

ArcticRoll Thu 25-Jul-13 10:18:07

allthingspretty-thank you will have to be very careful when taking in designer stuff to avoid fakes.
TollgateDebs-thank you for that, yes agree I won't just take known labels, will choose on quality design etc too.
evertonmint-will be at Fiveways-Preston Drove next to Co-Op-not opening until September but please do pop in!

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 25-Jul-13 10:24:12

I've sold some stuff through a shop in Bath. She takes high end high street and designer.

The shop is a bit dreary to be honest and you'd need to rummage. She is also not keen on small sizes or jeans.

And the shop takes 50%.

ArcticRoll Thu 25-Jul-13 10:29:11

mrscampbellblack-yes I've been to some dreary ones which is why I'm keen to create beautiful uplifting environment,want it to feel like an upmarket boutique rather than charity shop.

carrie74 Thu 25-Jul-13 11:11:58

MrsCB I think I know the shop you mean. Despite trying hard, it still felt just a bit too charity shop for me.

Good luck AR, I imagine Brighton is a great place for this kind of shop smile.

QueenMaeve Thu 25-Jul-13 11:48:48

My friend opened one last year. She also does bridal, mother of the bride, first communion etc, which do really, really well.
Her shop is in a nice Victorian building with high ceilings and she has is decorated very boutique like.

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 25-Jul-13 12:54:57

Yes Carrie it is very charity shop in feel.

Arctic - good luck! I think not shoving everything too closely together helps and also making sure the shop doesn't have that 'smell'.

evertonmint Thu 25-Jul-13 13:04:00

Right side of Brighton for me - will def pop in! Good luck smile

ArcticRoll Thu 25-Jul-13 14:26:01

Thanks for all the really useful replies, advice and good wishes.
evertonmint-yes please do pop in,and spread the word!I will have spaces for customer parking too.
MrsCB -yes totally agree about not overcrowding the rails (also have wooden not plastic hangers) and will have Jo Malone or similar room diffuser to prevent 'that' smell!

Allthingspretty Thu 25-Jul-13 14:48:32

On the other hand there is a nice one not so far away from me that is lovely with woodwn fkoor boards etc. Prices are reasonable too.

Are tou going to be online too Artic?

pierpressure Thu 25-Jul-13 14:59:07

Have sent you a pm as would also love to visit.
I echo that you need friendly staff when you can afford it. I used to go to one in Chiswick where they were so rude, I stopped going in. There is one in Cuckfield though which is fab, very friendly and brilliant stock, I have taken loads of DFL friends there!

ArcticRoll Thu 25-Jul-13 15:00:46

allthingspretty-no I don't think I will sell online initially but may reconsider once I open.I will have Twitter,FB,Instagram and Pinterest accounts to link to new items coming in.

ArcticRoll Thu 25-Jul-13 15:11:38

pierpressure-thank you for DM-have replied-looking forward to seeing you when I open!
Yes have heard about the one in Cuckfield-am planning a visit for research shortly.

pierpressure Thu 25-Jul-13 15:14:55

I gather it helps if you have a constant source of clothes coming in from a celebrity clothes expert wink

ArcticRoll Thu 25-Jul-13 15:17:31

pierpressure-Yes I would like to find such a source!!

allmycats Thu 25-Jul-13 15:24:46

I have used these shops in the past - both to sell and purchase and the advice I would give, based on my own experience is -

Be RUTHLESS with choosing your stock and maintain the quality - I do not want to be seeing high street unless it is top end such as Reiss, Whistles, Hobbs etc - you can buy lower end high street in charity shops.
IMO opinion White Stuff etc is not high enough end.

Make sure your lay out is clean/sharp and user friendly and not over stocked.

If you find something really exceptional that does not fit in with your usual lines may be have a very small selection called 'something different'.

Good Luck !!

ArcticRoll Thu 25-Jul-13 16:14:01

allmycats-thank you for all your helpful advice.Yes agree I will have to be quite strict on what clothes I accept,agree that White Stuff may not be high end enough but it might suit the area and demographic where I'm selling, it is going to be quite interesting working out what to stock. Also take on board what you're saying about accepting items which are exceptional but don't fit in with wider style.
Agree about not overstocking-some of the shops I've been in which I haven't liked have been rammed with stock.

santamarianovella Thu 25-Jul-13 17:55:48

arctic all the ones i visited in london and paris,concentrate on handbags ,belts ,scarves.. etc all high end designer and they are doing very well,extremely well in fact. as it has been mentioned, the atmosphere of the place is crucial. and keeping your customers updated with new stocks is important.
i wish you all the best of luck,and would love to visit your store one day!

ArcticRoll Thu 25-Jul-13 18:39:30

Thank you santamarianovella.

ArcticRoll Fri 23-Aug-13 21:58:18

Have signed lease and about to refit shop ... Very excited and scared so any other nuggets of wisdom would be most appreciated!

bigredbook Sat 24-Aug-13 06:07:44

All good ideas.

Would add- keep ur stock appropriate to the season.

Good luck

HarryandJess Sat 24-Aug-13 09:59:45

If you can get into London it might be worth checking out The Loft (just off Shaftesbury Avenue). I used to go there a lot when I lived down South and it clearly does something right as it has been going for years.

ArcticRoll Mon 09-Sep-13 20:00:30

Thank you bigredbook and HarryandJess for your advice-will look at The Loft next week when I'm in London.

LaFataTurchina Mon 09-Sep-13 20:27:38

Ooh that's very near my parents house. I will make sure to pop in and have a look when you open smile

I think you should do really well, lots of young mums in that area who I bet would love to go buy something nice without having to go all the way into town and pay extortionate bus fare/parking.

ArcticRoll Fri 20-Sep-13 18:20:16

LaFataTurchina- yes think this location is perfect for such a shop-please pop in and say hi! Open launch is Saturday 12th October from 9am-6.30pm-there will be prosseco, canapes, great to see Mumsnetters there!

ArcticRoll Sun 10-Nov-13 17:10:10

Thanks for all the advice-we've now been open four weeks and have tried to incorporate all the advice given here-so far it's going really well so thanks for all the tips!

What is the shop called?

ArcticRoll Sun 10-Nov-13 17:35:10

NoArmaniNoPunani-Preloved of Brighton-up at Fiveways in Brighton.

TJH1 Sun 10-Nov-13 20:29:57

For a min I thought the shop was called NoarmaniNopunani, lol. Good luck with your venture.

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