Think you can consign that Chanel bag for some extra cash right now? Not so fast, even secondhand stores are suffering from the recession.
According to an article in the Washington Post, resale shops, which sell consumers' castoffs (sometimes unworn, with the tags still attached) for two-thirds or more off retail, might have enjoyed robust sales when the economy was just starting to tank, but no longer. Since the financial meltdown last fall many thrift and consignment shops have been hurt not only as people are shopping less but because those who
remain are being pulled away by 80% off signs at the mall.
Shoes from such names as Chanel, Prada and Manolo Blahnik that retail for $700 to $1,000 at regular stores used to sell almost instantaneously when priced from $125 to $250, said Peter Kabcenell, the manager at Manhattan-based consignment shop Encore. Now, with upscale stores slashing their prices on new merchandise, they aren't moving after a month at that price.
Keeping up with retailers' discounts has become a challenge. If regular stores are discounting new items up to 80%, how can resale shops compete if they typically sell used goods at just two-thirds off retail?
Bonnie Kallenberg, owner of 25-year-old Finders Keepers, which operates three consignment shops in the Atlanta area, each with a different focus, said she has thrived in past recessions but now she's feeling pinched. "I have never seen discounts on this level," she said. "I have never had to compete on this level, and never had seen people holding onto their money as tightly as they have."
Read "Resale shops are latest casualty of bad economy" here.
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