On Your Side: Consignment shops thriving in economic downturn

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

News 12 at 6, November 19, 2008

AUGUSTA -- Even with gas prices dropping, many industries are bracing for what's expected to be a rough holiday shopping season. One industry that seems to be hanging in there during the tough times is the consignment industry.

For some folks "going consignment" is the right direction right now. It's a way to stretch shoe string budgets just a little bit further.

Stephanie Gaines is what you could call an experienced consignment store shopper.

"This is a place where I can find bargains and also a place I can make money in." she said.

Whether she's selling clothes or buying them, this is her place to do business.

She pointed out one blouse to us saying: "If you went to Talbots to buy this off the shelf you'll pay 60 dollars. You can get the same blouse for 10 dollars. That's a big savings. That's a big savings."

In these rough economic times, it helps Stephanie keep her budget in line.

And by 2nd Time Around owner Karen Thompson's numbers, Stephanie isn't the only one.

"Last month was one of the best month's we've ever had." Karen told us.

Since the economy started slumping, Karen says her business has been up 20 percent.

"People are cleaning out their closets." she said.

And Karen's store isn't alone. A survey by the National Association of Resell and Thrift Shops says more than 2/3's of its stores have reported their sales are up by 30% since the economic slowdown.

Possible proof that people like Stephanie can still find what they need during these gloomy economic times.

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