If you can’t spring for seasonal fashion, or are tired of looking at the same wardrobe, you can spruce up your style on the cheap with consignment.

Brittany Oury, a senior in university studies, works at 2 Time Couture, one of my favorite consignment shops in Albuquerque.

“Our store is more of a boutique. It’s really organized, with more contemporary clothing. We do a lot of designer stuff, which is hard to find in Albuquerque,” Oury said. At 2 Time Couture, you’ll get 50 percent store credit or 40 percent cash back after the item sells. For example, if you bring in a designer handbag and the buyer says it could sell for $100, you’ll be offered $50 in store credit or $40 in cash after the purse sells.

Buffalo Exchange, a local student favorite, offers a little more instant gratification. Instead of consigning pieces, they buy them on the spot, so you walk out with cash in hand or store credit.

The store offers 50 percent store credit or 35 percent cash back.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you try to sell clothes is to bring in clean, high-quality clothes.

Don’t take it personally if stores don’t buy your stuff. There’s more to it than just checking for rips and stains. Secondhand stores consider current trends, the season and what’s selling well at the store when choosing pieces.

“The most important thing is the quality it’s in, and if it’s in season,” Oury said. “Handbags and jeans sell well always and rarely make it to the sale racks.”

Oury said True Religion, Joe’s Jeans and 7 for All Mankind are popular denim brands at 2 Time Couture. At Buffalo Exchange, it’s more about trends than brands, said Jessica Leising, associate manager at Buffalo Exchange.

“Current styles are the most important — styles that you see on blogs, in fashion shows and in the stores,” she said. “In denim, high-waisted with a flared leg; high waists are really big right now.”

Timing is crucial as well. “In season” may mean different things to different stores. For example, Buffalo Exchange starts buying pieces as people start wearing them. So if you see shorts around campus, chances are the store is buying shorts.

At 2 Time Couture, the rules are a little different.

“We start taking spring stuff in mid-February, summer at the beginning of April, fall pieces in August and September and we’ll begin buying winter wear in October,” Oury said.

If you’re unsure of the store’s policy, ask and make note of it.

Then, put your out-of-season pieces away and save them for the right time to maximize your selling potential. You should also get a sense of the store’s clientele.

Buffalo Exchange is in the middle of the University area and caters to students. 2 Time Couture has a slightly more specialized client base that is more brand-oriented. Become a consignment hopper. If 2 Time Couture won’t take your fabulous Target T-shirt, try Buffalo Exchange. If you have things that are more conservative or mature, consider Déjà Vu, another Albuquerque consignment shop.

Ready to consign? 2 Time Couture is taking spring styles and will start taking summer styles soon.

So clean out your closet and go on a shopping spree, courtesy of the things you already own.

2 Time Couture
600 Central Ave. S.E.

Déjà Vu
7015 Fourth St. N.W.

Buffalo Exchange
3005 Central Ave. N.E.