Omaha & Denver Clothing Store

What's the Difference Between Consignment Stores and Buy-Sell-Trade Stores?

Consignment Stores VS Buy-Sell-Trade: Pros and Cons

One way to save money and make money is through specialized stores that offer discounted prices on merchandise, or ones that will actually pay you for your items. While thrift stores are cheap and while they get most of their merchandise from donations that means nothing is "curated". So you end up spending your time sorting through a lot of unsavory items to see if you can find any gems. When you want to make money on your used clothes, thrift stores will be able to give you a tax receipt for your donation but that's not cash money.

We know you want to talk about how to make money on your used clothes so let's get into it! 

If you're looking to make a profit off some things you own, there are a couple of different options to pursue. You could try a buy-sell-trade store (like Scout: Dry Goods and Trade), or take a crack at a consignment store.

While they are often confused for one another, these two kinds of stores are not the same thing and there are benefits and drawbacks to both. To help you decide who you want to do business with to sell your used clothes and used merchandise to, this post will help you learn about the difference between consignment stores and buy-sell-trade stores.

Buy-Sell-Trade Stores

Typically when you think of selling your used clothes, you probably picture a buy-sell-trade establishment. These are places where you can take in your used clothes and used accessories (that are in great shape) and they will buy them from you at an agreed price.

Below are all the parts of the buy-sell-trade business model. 

Buy: You can buy expertly-curated vintage, new, and used clothes and accessories at a significant discount from traditional and online stores.  

Sell: You can sell your used clothes and used accessories to the store and they will give you cash on the spot! (It's a great way to make extra money fast!)

Trade: This is a great way to get new-to-you clothes and accessories without spending even a fraction of what you would at traditional retail stores. In this case you bring in your used clothes and accessories, the store will tell you how much you can get in store credit (an amount that is higher than the cash amount you could get) you then get to go shopping! You could essentially trade out your whole wardrobe for pennies!  

Buy-sell-trade stores are absolutely the most convenient and fastest way to get quick money by selling them your used clothes and used accessories and they allow you to save time by finding all the cute used and vintage clothes for you! 

Pros: Instant money, less clutter, can trade in your used clothes for a new wardrobe. Another Pro is that you're able to get rid of whatever it is you are looking to sell, regardless of whether the store accepts it. In most cases buy-sell-trade shops will donate the items they don't accept (and that you no longer want) to people in need saving you the trouble of hauling the items back home.

Cons: They will only accept used items that are on-trend and in great shape. 

Consignment Shops

Consignment is a completely different business model. When you sell an item on consignment the shop essentially becomes a broker for your used items. That means that you don't get anything until the item sells. If the item(s) do sell the store takes a percentage of the sale. How big of a percentage you each get depends on the store and your agreement. Just as with a buy-sell-trade stores, you can negotiate, but since the store is running a business you can expect to get more if the shop does not have to invest its own money. When you sell on consignment, it's free inventory for them but they still have the overhead of keeping the shop open along with paying the staff like buy-sell-trade stores also do. While you might get more money through a consignment shop, you have to wait for any money you might make because it all depends on IF your item(s) sells so you could wait weeks or months for the item(s) to sell and you could wind up with nothing. There is absolutely no guarantee or getting money in your hands! 

Pros: Potentially more money

Cons: Payment is deferred and is not a guaranteed


There is no right or wrong way to part with your belongings for cash, the important thing is to understand how each business works and which system is best for you. Have you had any luck selling on consignment, or getting quick cash at a buy-sell-trade store? Share your experience below in the comments! 


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