As a bargain shopper I’ve always stuck to surfing the thrift store racks. However, there are three other types of secondhand stores: consignment, classified and pawn. These are all places where you can save money while still getting stellar deals! The main difference between these four shops is 1.) when you surrender ownership of your items, 2.) when you get paid and 3.) whether someone else helps you sell your items.
1. Consignment Shops – Loved more by the buyers than the sellers
These shops sell goods for an owner; the owner will retain ownership until the goods are sold. An example: if you cosigned a stereo for $30, then the shop would take 50 percent and you, as the owner, would receive the remainder of the money. Items are usually in place for 30, 60 to 90-day cycles. If the item fails to sell then it’ll be discounted.
2. Pawn Shops – You get paid, even if the store doesn’t sell your items
Most people wouldn’t believe that pawn shops are considered secondhand, but they do meet the qualifications. As a seller you surrender ownership of your items immediately when you receive payment for their worth. Two well-known chains that use pawn shop standards would be Plato’s Closet and Half Price Books. The payment you receive from the store won’t be affected if the store can’t sell your items; all the risk is on the store itself.
3. Classifieds – People love classifieds because the fees are lower than other shops
This is a way to advertise for your goods by placing an ad in a newspaper or online source. Classified ads are popular because the fees that are required are significantly less than the ones charged by pawn and consignment shops. Craigslist is, hands down, the most popular option because it’s free and gives the sellers more control. E-Bay and Amazon are also examples of classifieds.
4. Thrift Shops – People donate because they know it’s for a good cause
Most of these stores are run by non-profit organizations and are based on the donations they receive. The donator will receive a tax-deductible receipt for the estimated cost of the items they give the shop. Most people enjoy donating their items because they know its for a good cause. The thrift store giants are Goodwill, Savers and the Salvation Army.