Uptown Consignment Wants The Clothes In Your Closet
Uptown’s extensive inventory of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing grows by thousands of items each day. Customers regularly troll the compact aisles for bargains anything from a Brooks Brothers suit for $68, a sophisticated beaded prom dress for $58 or designer jeans for $10. Children’s high quality replica handbags china clothes are particularly popular. “I look for bargains,” said one young mother who brings in her children’s out replica louis vuitton bags grown clothes to be sold.
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While on vacation in Florida 25 years ago, Capenera visited a consignment store. The clothes looked new, stylish and attractive. She replica louis vuitton bought a red Calvin Klein jumpsuit for $8 and got the idea for a new business.
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“This is the greatest concept ever,” she thought. “In Connecticut, they barely exist.” A two year stint as a sales assistant at Sage Allen gave her some background in retailing, and she keeps current on fashion by reading magazines, shopping and consulting her younger staff members.
She rented a storefront in fake designer bags a Rocky Hill strip mall on Cromwell Avenue that had been a former bookstore. Over time, she built up an inventory from customers who wanted to sell their old but still wearable clothes through word of mouth and advertising. Their mantra was: Come to replica louis vuitton bags from china us and you can dress well and earn money from the clothes you no longer want.
Capenera bought clothes racks and hangers, and developed a computer system that today is sophisticated enough to find out in seconds whether there’s a boy’s size 14 jacket in stock, for example, and notifies store personnel when an item is acquired that is on another customer’s wish list. Clients can check their accounts online and see what has sold, and what they have earned.
Within two years after her 1991 opening, Capenera doubled the size of her store. Eventually, she opened two others, one in Southington and the other in South Windsor fake louis bag , and she employs 48 people in the three locations.
The store receives packages of clothes from customers who winter in Florida or California, as well as clothes from local shoppers. Each customer receives 55 percent of an item’s selling price if fake designer bags it is $75 or more www.dolabuy.su , or 40 percent on less expensive items. If the customer buys something in the store and uses the credit in her account to pay for it, she receives an additional 10 percent discount.
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While she has competitors, she has the advantage of having a large inventory; an array of clothes segregated by type, color and size; and a rapid turnover: any item that has not sold within 30 days is marked down by 50 percent. After 60 days the clothes are donated to a charity unless the customer wants cheap replica handbags them back.
Uptown Consignment’s success reflects a national trend. Across the country, the so called “re commerce” business merchandising second hand clothing is taking off. Online sellers of second hand clothes such as Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags Tradesy and The RealReal have raised tens of millions of dollars from investors eager to expand on a model perfected by eBay.
On a recent gray day, the consignment counter at the Rocky Hill store was busy accepting clothes from a handful of the Uptown Consignment’s 41,000 patrons with items to sell. One employee cast a practiced eye over the offerings. Clothes must be clean, pressed and ready for resale, with no stains or missing buttons. They must be in style. Some labels are coveted: Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Talbots and Nordstrom. She was quick to reject one dress with long sleeves, it was not appropriate for spring. Dirty collars on two jackets disqualified them but she urged the donor to wash them and bring them back. A man’s suit had stains and was sent back for cleaning.
Later, during a lull in sales, longtime store manager Carol Carbone inspects the consigned items, and calls out the prices with the fast patter of an auctioneer, while another employee keys in a descriptive label as fast as she can type. A third employee attaches the tags to the clothes, and hangs them on racks around the store. Some days, Carbone takes in 1,000 items. She said 98 percent of them sell. Some labels from Wal Mart, K Mart and Target are not accepted.
“We explain as kindly as we can why we can’t take them,” Carbone said.
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Customer Karen Wardrop had cleaned out her closet for spring. “I give a lot away,” she said, handing over a suit of Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags her husband’s and some size 4 jackets that were too small.
“They shrink in the closet,” she said. “They don’t fit but they are of good quality.”
The store specializes in handbags, and a display case contains Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Coach bags. One employee has educated herself on the details, including neat stitching and matching patterns, that help her identify the many knock offs that flood the market. A Coach tote bag has a price tag of $128. Retail cost is $350. A Lana Marks bag is priced at $1,900, a bargain, Carbone said, compared to a retail price replica designer handbags of more than $3 high quality replica handbags china ,000.
“They sell almost immediately,” said Capenera. “We have a waiting list.”
Sometimes customers come in to sell their expensive handbags, only to discover that they have been duped by a knock off. Many can’t tell the difference, Carbone said. Some customers give the store a wish list, waiting to find out if a desired item has been consigned.