by Gabrielle Manchester

My favorite part of shopping consignment is finding amazing deals on high-end fashion. Consignment can already be up to 90% off of retail prices—which is incredible value—but did you know there are tricks to negotiating an even better bargain for your resale snags? There is nothing more satisfying than turning a good deal into a total steal!

My Insider Tips on How to Make That Happen
You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. This adage applies in most facets of life and definitely when you are trying to get a better deal! Be nice and you incent the salesperson to be nice in return, increasing the chances of negotiating the best price possible. It is as simple as that! That being said…

Know the resale value. If you are hunting down a particular designer item that you’ve had your eye on, make sure you know the resale value range and the retail price. This will depend on things like brand, age, and condition, but if you know the range, that gives you negotiating power. It also will help you decide what a fair price is and what you are willing to pay for it. If the item you want is priced above what you are willing to pay, don’t be afraid to…

Ask about their sale/markdown policy. Each store handles it differently. Some mark down monthly, some not at all. Maybe you’ll get the inside scoop on when something is likely to go on sale. Even if you know the general policy, be aware that certain exceptional items may be exempt due to an agreement with the consignor or at the store’s discretion. If they tell you an item can’t be reduced, be respectful and see it as a step towards…

Developing a relationship. If they know you come in regularly and spend a significant amount in the store, it behooves them to make sure that you stay happy and come back often. This can often translate into better prices at the register! Likewise, if it is your first time in the store, let them know and they will be motivated to make sure your first experience is stellar. And always…

Be discrete. If someone loudly asks for a discount in front of the whole store, it makes it very difficult to cut her a good deal. Everyone else will expect the same, and since it is on an item-to-item basis, a request for a discount can’t always be accommodated. (If you are buying many items at once, there is generally more flexibility.) Last, but not least…

If you walk away, be prepared to let it go! A good negotiator has to know what the price limit is and be prepared to walk away. But remember, at consignment, there is typically only one of everything—so if you walk, be prepared to let it go! There is no guarantee that it will be there tomorrow. If you have your heart set on something, grab it!