Make money in your closet

September 15, 2008 3:35:52 PM PDT
It is like spring cleaning, only different. Call it fall cleaning - swapping out your summer clothes for warmer attire. And we'll show you how you can make money doing it.

Designer pieces are where the money is, but don't overlook that jacket from a lesser-known label or that pair of pants that were an impulse buy.

With the ecomony the way it is, just about everyone is looking to scale back and save money. And an easy place to start is in your closet.

"There is so much value in people's closets that they are overlooking," style expert Gretta Monahan said.

She led the way on a treasure hunt, looking for key items that will get the most bang for your buck. We invaded Nanne Allecia's closet. She is a self-professed consignment junkie.

"I have a couple consignment places that I visit religiously," she said.

Right now, everyone is busy sorting out seasonal items and finding ways to stretch their clothing budget. They are all good reasons to consider visiting a consignment shop.

"There's the thrill of the hunt and finding that special piece, and we have a broad costumer base and very broad selection of merchandise," store owner Ina Bernstein said.

At Ina's, you'll only find designer labels. But the shop is run like most: Bring in pieces, and then a price is agreed upon. Then, you wait for the payoff.

Back in the closet, Gretta decides what stays and goes. Two pieces in particular, one that has never been worn and another that is rare (and too big) will pull in a pretty penny.

But before coming to the consignment store, Gretta warns, designer or not, you must take care of your clothing.

"Dry cleaning, pressing, not piling your clothes and having fibers get ripped and torn," she said.

Fix any tears or rips before heading to the shop. Also, save all of the tags and, if possible, receipts to show the value of your piece. And make sure the fabric labels are in place.

"The textiles directly correlate to the quality of something, not just the label," she said.

So how did we do? Nanne paid about $3,500 for her sweater. She'll probably walk away with about $400.

"It's sort of like bonus money," she said. "Wow, a new pair of shoes."

What you get for your items depends on how long it takes to sell them. The longer they sit on store shelves, the less you get.

And at places like "Ina," if pieces do not sell and the person who brought them in doesn't want them back, they will donate the clothing and handbags to Housing Works, an organization that helps the homeless and people living with HIV and AIDS.

For more information, visit


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson


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