Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How to Have a Successful Consignment Experience

At Le Thrift Consignment we are always hear from potential consignors about their fears about consigning or dreadful past experiences with other consignment stores.

It led me to wanting to write a post about how to have a successful consignment
experience whether you work with Le Thrift or any other consignment store.

When you are starting to go through your closet here are a few tips to help you choose the right pieces to sell.

1. Make sure that the items are in season and also clean or that they are dry cleaned before you bring them in.

2.  Examine the item and ask yourself is this something I would buy from a store? Is it relevant to what people are wearing now? When was the last time I wore this? Am I ready to give this up and sell it? If the answer is yes on all of these, then put it in your consignment pile.

3. At our store and many others, it is always about the quality of items that come in than quantity. The best items are going to sell and therefore make you money. When new

consignors come in with lots of items to go through and most of it we cannot sell, it is a waste of time for both parties. Bring in edited pieces that you feel would sell and donate the rest to a local charity.

4. Do some research on the consignment store before you walk in. Do they have a reputable business? Check Yelp, Zagat and Google to see honest and real feedback from customers about the store you are about to do business with.

5. Have you looked at their store policies? Usually they list them on their web site along with the percentages. If not, it is wise to call in and see what their policies are before bringing your items in. See if they take appointments or you can stop by anytime during business hours. Some consignment stores offer free pickup or shipping if your items qualify for those services.

6. Check to see if the brands you want to sell are carried in their store. We offer a brand list online to let our customers know what we are looking for and the brands we accept.

7. Fold, hang and pack the items you want to sell neatly into bags or containers. Hanging
your items is even better. Again check with your consignment store how they prefer you bringing your items in.

8. Make an inventory list of the items before you bring them in and have the consignment store employee count the items that they accept. Check these on your list as the ones that were accepted. Knowing the number of items you left gives you reassurance and can give you piece of mind.

9. Make sure you read over the contract carefully. I cannot tell you how many people don't read the contract. It is your items, so take your time and make sure you understand the terms of the contract before you leave.

What happens next is different with each consignment store. Some offer online portals so you can see your sales and accountability of your items. Le Thrift Consignment offers this service to their consignor for a minimum fee. If your consignment store does not offer this service, make sure you at least have a handwritten list that both you and the store have a copy of and have agreed to.

Now on to the fun stuff! How do consignment stores typically price your items? The process is usually pretty universal, but always ask your consignment store first.

1. Items are usually priced to market resale value. For items that are worn, they generally sell from 25-30% of the original retail price depending on the wear of the item. Items that are new with tags generally resale for 50-60% of the original retail price. In very rare cases some items increase in value. For example, a rare Herm├ęs, alligator skin handbag from the 1980's would go up in value.

2. Consignment stores usually pay each quarter. In some cases they might pay cash or pay monthly. Ask your consignment store when they pay. How you will receive payment and when your items will want to be returned. Also ask how long they will sell for and how long they hold on to the items after they stop selling. Will they be donated? Can you get a tax write off? These are all important questions to help you have a successful experience.

3. Markdowns often happen at consignment stores as well. Just like big box retailers, consignment stores need to start marking down items to give customers incentives to buy them. If an item sits on the floor too long at the same price, it becomes a "dead" item. Items that sit too long, usually end up never selling at all. A store will have a certain following of customers and the public dictates what that item is truly valued at. So if your items all sell at the original estimated price, you have done very well. But, most times the items that sit longer will be marked down and ultimately that is better in the long run as your items will sell through and your check will be larger.

3. The last point I want to bring up to you is that most consignment stores are trying their best and reputable at what they do. Try to be a great "business partner" and not always be calling and checking in on your items. There is a fine line between a friendly check-in and being a nuisance. If you feel unsure of something go ahead and ask, but then always give the store time and space to sell the items and you will have a better outcome.

I hope this helps you whether you consign with Le Thrift or consign at your local consignment store. As a consignment store owner, I want to share this information with you so that you can know what to expect and have a great experience.

So ladies, clear out your closet and start making some cash!

Christine Sanderson
Le Thrift Consignment 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Discovering Vintage Chicago Book Release Party!

Thursday, May 21st we are excited to announce a book release party for Discovering Vintage Chicago by Amy Bizzarri from 6-9 pm at Le Thrift Consignment.

Meet the author and hear about her experiences with visiting and learning some of Chicago's most famous and "vintage" businesses.

During the event, there will be a vintage, rockabilly styled fashion show. Small bites will be served by some of the books featured restaurants and businesses. Enjoy a glass of champagne and shop consigned, designer vintage and contemporary clothing at 10% off. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Bridge to Success in Chicago.

We were excited to interview Amy about her experiences while writing the book.

What was your inspiration to do the book? 

I was inspired by all the businesses that are unique to Chicago; the historic businesses that
Optimo Hats at 320 S Dearborn St., Chicago
make our city so special. How could anyone step into a fast food joint when we live in a city that has Lem’s barbecue rib tips, Kurowski’s kielbasa, Manny’s matzo ball soup, and Lindy’s chili within reach? You can’t even compare the products and services of the businesses featured in this book with those of mass retailers, either: Just try putting an Optimo hat on your head—you’ll ooze with elegance. Burn a beeswax
lambathe from Athenian Candle and watch it glow longer than any candle you’ve ever lit. Bite into an Andersonville coffeecake from the Swedish Bakery—and you’ll have a hard time returning to the artificial ingredient–laden cakes found at most grocers…Chicago just wouldn’t be Chicago without these historic, one-of- a-kind places, and the people that run them from behind the scenes with nothing but love, hard work, and pride.

In a nutshell, what is the book about? 

Discovering Vintage Chicago is a guide to all of the city’s timeless classic spots that take you back in time. The book spotlights the charming stories that tell you what each place is like now and how it got that way. It includes indexes that let you choose the places you want to visit by neighborhood, by category, and—naturally—by era. Discovering Vintage Chicago takes you to classic restaurants, shops, and other establishments that still thrive today and evoke the unique character of the city. They’re all still around—but they won’t be around forever. 

What is your favorite place to go in Chicago? 

Margies Candies at 1960 N. Western Ave., Chicago
I will always love Margie's Candies. Nothing says summer quite like a Hot Fudge Banana Split from Margie's Candies, with its three jumbo scoops of ice cream, swirls of whipped cream, banana, sprinkling of nuts, wafer cookie and of course, a cherry on top. It's even sweeter if you share the happiness that is a Margie's sundae - so remember to ask for two spoons.

What was the most interesting experiences you had while writing this book? 
I was thankful for the many family members who shared their most cherished memories with me. Their hard work and dedication to their craft, whether it be finding a rare record for
Superdawg at 6363 North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
a customer, drawing out a perfect draft of beer, or serving an ice cream sundae with a smile - are not only the secrets to business longevity but also what makes Chicago the great city that it is. I also have so many personal memories tied to the places in this book: trips to the Berghoff with my Grandma Lofthouse, during the holidays; taking my own children to Superdawg still in our snowsuits after an afternoon of sledding at Caldwell Woods, spending Saturdays just driving around the city with my parents, both of whom grew up in Chicago.

What is your favorite vintage item? 
I love any and all retro dresses. From the elegance of the '40's to the boho style of the '60's, I am inspired by fashions of yesteryear.  

Where can you purchase the book? It's available now on amazon.com

Discovering Vintage Chicago - Book Release Party
Author - Amy Bizzarri
6-9 pm
Le Thrift Consignment - 1821 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago IL

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Le Thrift Consignment Now Announcing a New Satellite Location at the Aqua Tower

Starting Monday, April 27th Le Thrift Consignment will have a satellite drop off location at the Aqua Tower downtown located within My Storage Suite.

It is the perfect partnership of storage needs and also consignment services for clients. Le Thrift will have the satellite location open every Monday 12-7 PM and the last Saturday of each month from 10-2 PM. Conveniently located in the famous underground Chicago Pedway - which can be accessed through the Aqua Building at 225 N Columbus Dr., Chicago.

This satellite location will primarily be a drop off location for high end, designer and vintage clothing and accessories. White glove pick up services are also available for clients who live in the Aqua building, Magellan Properties and surrounding area. For a white glove consignment pick up call 312-469-0858 or info@lethrift.com.

Le Thrift Consignment will accepting designer and vintage - men's and women's handbags, jewelry, dresses, tops, jackets, pants, denim that are in trend, in season, damage-free and clean. Le Thrift is selective with what is accepted because important to have a positive sell through experience with each consignor. So it is recommended to bring only the best of what you are thinking to consign.

After the items are dropped off at the Satellite location within My Storage Suite,
your items are inventoried and put into a consignor portal which you will have
access to. These items then will be tagged and put for sale at Le Thrift Consignment's retail location at 1821 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago. Items with a higher resale value will be photographed and listed on our Ebay store for sale as well, offering clients two ways to sell through their items.

Along with consignment services, there are storage options offered by My Storage Suite, including their Anything Trunk and Storage Units. My Storage Suite is a high-end, gorgeous storage development suited to cater to city dwellers storage needs.

For more information on the Le Thrift Consignment process Click Here.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You're Invited to a Breakfast at Tiffany's Event for One Hope United

This Saturday we are having our annual Breakfast at Tiffany's Event for One Hope United's Go Blue Campaign.

Le Thrift Consignment decided on using the Breakfast at Tiffany's theme because of the adoration of Audrey Hepburn and how she was such a big philanthropist before it was "trendy" to help others in Hollywood. Also, the "Tiffany blue" ties in with the theme of April and National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

The color blue represents a broken hearted Grandmother who in 1989 had found her Grandson beaten to death. She dedicated April as National Child Abuse month and tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her vehicle to make others aware of child abuse in her community. That created a movement across the nation and now others wear a blue ribbon in April in memory of children who had lost their lives to child abuse.

Since its inception over 100 years ago, One Hope United has had a mission to provide children safe and loving homes on a local scale. Whether it be community-based, family support systems, placement into foster care homes, therapeutic residential facilities or early learning and child development centers. This organization makes a difference in these children's lives. Some of the other actions that One Hope United does is find donors to fulfill children's wishes for gifts every Christmas or supply them with backpacks filled with school supplies for back to school. If you are interested in finding out more on how to get involved, visit their site at www.goblueforohu.org.

A percentage of sales from the Breakfast at Tiffany's event will be donated to One Hope United. Stop by to have a complimentary manicure and Mimosas, plus much more! No RSVP is necessary.

Le Thrift Consignment
Saturday, April 25th 2015
12-4 PM

1821 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago IL

Complimentary Manicures – choose to have yours done in Tiffany Blue!
Delectable Mimosas, pastries and mini bites.
Enjoy 20% off items in store.
Silent Art Auction.
Raffled Prizes

Spring fashion presentation by My Chicago Stylist, Maash Boutique and Le Thrift Consignment.

10% of net sales will be donated to One Hope United's GO BLUE CAMPAIGN during the event.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Saks Fifth Avenue presents Oscar de la Renta at the MCA for a Better Chicago

Peter Copping for Oscar de La Renta Fashion Show at the MCA Chicago

Monday, April 13th a crowd of well-heeled women dressed to the nines gathered at the MCA Chicago for a private cocktail reception and an Oscar de la Renta fashion show to benefit A Better Chicago. The event was hosted by Nora Daley, Kathleen Henson and Trishia Rooney and Margie Stineman and was presented by Saks Fifth Avenue.

It was quite the show with the new line by Creative Director, Peter Copping for Oscar de la Renta. His previous stint was for Nina Ricci and before that he worked under Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. Oscar de la Renta trusted his label and 50 years of his extensive career, at age 82 to Peter Copping. Copping very much shares the same aesthetic as Oscar de la Renta, dressing women as "women" in feminine, chic but also a hint of classic and traditional in his designs.

It was exciting to see some of the first work by Peter Copping starting recently in February 2015 for de la Renta. His collection is a dreamy mash up of vintage inspired, lady-like style style with a trendy chic edge. Rich, jewel colors were repeated with lovely florals and rich textured fabrics. After viewing Copping's collection, I wanted every piece that sauntered down the runway and will be sure on the hunt for some of his feminine statement pieces.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Friends and Family Sale - Enjoy 20% Off

Spring is an exciting time in Chicago. We all get to empty out our worn closet wares and rediscover our spring wardrobe. It is also time to replenish our wardrobe with new, unique pieces to enhance what you already have in your closet.

Now through Saturday we are having our Friends and Family Sale! Enjoy 20% off your sale with lots of new arrivals coming in the door. It is a way to celebrate and thank you for supporting Le Thrift Consignment. We have now been at our new location 1821 W. Chicago Ave. for over one year and in business for five years!

Our online customers also get to enjoy newly added clothing and accessories with discounts as well. Up to 20% off or free shipping at www.LeThrift.com.

The Friends and Family Sale starts today - Thursday, April 2nd and ends Saturday, April 4th. We are closed on Sunday, April 5th in observance of Easter. Hurry! The sale ends soon!

Now Accepting New Consignment 

Le Thrift is now accepting spring and summer items. We offer white glove pick up service in the Chicago and surrounding suburbs, southern Wisconsin, northeast Indiana and southwest Michigan areas. Free shipping is offered to those out of state. To find out more information on how to consign contact Le Thrift Consignment at info@lethrift.com.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Grab a piece of Paul Brockman's 55,000 Dress Collection

Paul Brockman and his wife Margot - 
Courtesy of Elodia Corona - Creative Director/ PR - 55 thousand Dresses
Every once in a while I am lucky enough to meet an amazing person in the fashion world.
This spring my friend and vintage fashion blogger, Lotta Yanong of Delux Redux 
Vintage, invited me to join her on an amazing trip to to meet Paul Brockman and view his 55,000 Dress Collection. His collection has vintage dresses from the 1950's all the way to the late 90's. This collection has been recently titled the worlds largest collection of designer label dresses in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The warehouse in Gardena, CA
We were lucky enough to view the collection located out in Gardena, California. When we entered the warehouse where they were stored, it was like accidentally stepping into a vintage lover's dream. Trying to keep my cool, I was hoping to purchase some of these gems for my boutique in Chicago.

Everywhere there were racks of multiple dresses from past decades just waiting to be unleashed and debuted on their newest buyer. I was so excited looking through each section, it was almost overwhelming.

You might ask how did this man get so many dresses? Well, the answer is purely
enchanting and what most women would dream of. Paul bought them for his wife. A wonderful, romantic story that is intertwined with the collection. Even making it more appealing, hearing his stories while perusing through it. After all, this out of love? He bought these dresses because he always wanted his wife, Margot, to step out in the newest and next dashing thing when they went out dancing together.

Still in love over 50 years later, Paul and his wife Margot came here when they were first
married from Bremen Germany. Paul, as a child had been affected by the war and how clothes would be a scarcity just as much as food. As a young man he had fetched employment at a local ocean port. He had never seen so many dresses come in at the port in his life. They were from the United States and at the time the American dresses were influenced by the designer Christian Dior. He had never seen such beautiful, feminine pieces with tucked in waists and full skirts. This experience would soon funnel an obsession with collecting dresses for Margot spanning over five decades.

Paul with his Lucille Ball dress
Here in the United States is where they built their life. Paul built his construction business from the ground up as a very hard and smart working man. With this success, he liked to buy Margot something new to go dancing in. Paul not only bought new, he also bought dresses from yard sales and estate sales. He even scored a dress that was formerly owned by Lucille Ball. We were lucky enough to see that one in their personal collection at home.

Le Thrift Consignment is now featuring dresses from this famous collection. Yours to purchase and enjoy here.

Here are just a few of the pieces we have from his collection.

Evelyn Rice's Desert Belle 
red vintage dress

Styled by Saybury 
silk robe dress

Jonny Herbert Original 
seafoam blue vintage dress