HOUSTON-Shoppers are "Saving Cents" at local consignment shops.

Consignment shops
Sherry Williams checks out consignment shops
August 17, 2009

"I fairly routinely get a check for couple hundred dollars every month because I come often," said Dr. Georgia Hitchcock, a frequent visitor to The Guild Consignment Shop.

Often she comes with her daughter, Johnna, who recently brought two glass and wrought iron end tables to sell on consignment.

At a consignment shop, the store takes your unwanted or unused items and puts them on sale. When it's bought, you and the store split the money.

"You bring it to us. We don't pay you outright, but we put it for sale here at The Guild Shop," said Louise Symmes, director of The Guild Shop.

At her store, the customer gets 65 percent of the money and the store keeps 35 percent.

"We're the best deal in town," she said.

The store's portion helps to support St. James House in Baytown, which assists the elderly.

The consignment store has the final say on what price will be put on your item, but they welcome input from you, especially documentation to support any claims of how much value the item has.

There are lots of high-end items in The Guild Shop, which is located at 2009 Dunlavy in River Oaks. On a recent day, there was a white gold and diamond watch on sale for $280.

Jane Lomasney visited the store recently during a trip to Houston, and she was still excited about a great deal she got on a watch.

"I bought a gold Omega watch and I paid $279 for it. I took it to Adlers in New Orleans which is an old, old jewelry store, had it appraised. It appraised between $2,500 and $2,800," Lomasney said.

Buyers keen on getting a good deal at The Guild Shop need to play the waiting game, but it's a risk. The shop marks down items significantly the longer they're on the shelf, but that means someone else may beat you to the punch.

The store has a strict "first come, first served" policy on items and will not hold them for customers.

For example, Symmes said a grand piano was recently on sale for pennies on the dollar, and several people were playing the waiting game to get it at the lowest price possible.

On the morning the store marked it down to its final sales price, several interested buyers were waiting at the door. Symmes said they all ran to the piano when her staff unlocked the doors. The first one to reach it won the right to buy it.

Other Houston-area consignment shops:




SECOND CHILDHOOD, 1922 Fountainview

BUFFALO EXCHANGE, 1618 Westheimer

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