Consignment-store shopping is something of an art form—shop with the right combination of persistence and patience and you can score some serious bargains for the whole family. The smart approach? You need to shop often, and be ready to pounce when you spot a great deal, advises Karen Schlusberg, owner of The Maizie Consignment Boutique in Scarsdale, which sells a wide range of women’s clothing (“Everything from Gap to Chanel,” she says.), and boasts a coveted handbag selection.
“We receive over 100 items everyday, so there is constant turnover. We only get one of an item in one size, so my advice is: Don’t wait if you like something, because when you come back it will probably be gone!” Schlusberg says.
It also helps to befriend the owners—once they know your style, they may call you when “you” pieces come into the shop, says Kori Malandrino, marketing director for luxury consignment shop the Penny Pincher Boutique in Bedford Hills. Malandrino keeps a customer wish list with specific items like “Chanel Jumbo Flap Bag in black with gold hardware”; she reviews it weekly, and contacts customers when she has what they want. She also advises engaging on social media. Penny Pinchers’ Facebook fans are notified of special sales (about four to six times a year), when the shop’s racks of Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and other exclusive designer goods—normally sold for 30 percent to 50 percent off retail prices—are even further discounted.
The same rules apply when searching through kids’ consignment shops. Bedford Hills shop The Preppy Turtle also receives a daily dose of new merchandise—which runs the gamut from popular kids brands like Janie and Jack and Mini Boden to teen party dresses from Un Deux Trois, Ella Moss, and Sister Sam, as well as toys and books. (The store also carries women’s clothing and accessories.) So frequent shoppers have the best chance of finding what they want, says owner Ann Hardy.