Jan 5, 2009 8:15 pm US/Eastern
Consumer: Consignment Shops Save, Earn You Money

Kirstin Cole

Retailers say the 2008 holiday shopping season was one of the worst on record. But consignment shops have seen an increase in sales over the last year

Consignment shops like Second
Time Around offer designer items at
bargain-basement prices. WBZ

Not only can you find great deals, you can make big bucks.

Lynn Witty is a self-professed shop-a-holic. Her once a week addiction usually nets her at least a couple of great finds to fill her closet. Yet she pays next to nothing.

What's her secret? Consignment. Her store of choice? Second Time Around in Greenwich, Conn. The labels she scoops up include DVD, Trina, Burberry, Tory and Ralph.
"I personally love to clean out my closet," Witty said.
"There is so much stuff and the prices are amazing and it's designer stuff," said shopper Maggie Peikon of Bethpage, N.Y.
They're all part of a growing trend across the country. The National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops says sales are up 30 percent from last year -- with a 75 percent spike in the numbers of people selling their clothes.
"It is countercyclical. People find real value at being able to turn their unwanted clothing into cash," said Jeff Casler, owner of Second Time Around.
"And so I decided to clean out my closet for some cash," Witty said. "This is a Milly dress in perfect condition. I wore it once. It never fit me right."
So how much can you earn???
"This probably retails for $200-$300 at least," Witty said. "We'll sell it for $98, and I'll get 40 percent of that.
"You can see real money go into your account."
Which let's Witty shop without guilt.
"I feel like I'm saving a lot and right now I would rather go out and purchase stuff for my kids or groceries or paying bills," she said.
While popular labels fly off the racks things that are a little out of date or too well loved don't make the cut, they can all be donated to good will industries, giving you one more reason to feel great to recycle.
There are 16 Second Time Around shops from Washington D.C. to Vermont. The owner builds a shop a year and is the biggest donator to good will.

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