7 On Your Side: Consignment shops close, leaving sellers in a lurch

SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- A chain of popular and high-end consignment stores suddenly decided to shut down operations, leaving sellers scrambling to get their money or items back from the company.

Second Time Around has nine locations in Manhattan, and the closure has left dozens in the lurch over pricey possessions entrusted to a reputable resale shop.

They were shocked to get a notice that everything was being put on sale, when many hadn't been paid for what was sold already.

The NYPD saw the security gate halfway down at the posh Upper East Side resale shop.

7 On Your Side got an earful from customers who said they were robbed.

"They can't find one of my things," one seller said. "So I guess I'm screwed."

When asked if customers were going to get paid, the store manager hedged.

"I'm not corporate ma'am," she said, referring to customers to their corporate statement.

Designer bags, expensive shoes and jewelry were among the items sellers said were missing in action, along with lots of cash.
The manager wouldn't talk, and customer Renee Fisher said Second Time Around has been giving her the runaround since March.

"It's like robbery," she said. "They took my item, sold it, then completely disconnected from me when I called."
The school teacher put her $3,000 Celine purse up for consignment in March, and the shop emailed her they sold it the very next day.

Months later, she's still not paid, owed $1,119. Then she got an email from Second Time Around announcing chain with 14 stores nationwide was going out of business after 40-plus years.

Panicked, consignees rushed to retrieve items. No one we met was able to pick up a promised check for items they say were already sold.

Second time around said it will pay consignors for all sales made on or after last May 1. But as for sales made before May, the company isn't saying. Items that haven't been sold can be picked up, but that wasn't easy.

When we were at the SoHo location, the doors were shuttered for non-payment of rent, according to the building owner. He said all merchandise has been secured, though. New York City Consumer Affairs is handling the return, and customers can CLICK HERE for help locating consigned goods from Soho store.

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