DoubleTake owner, Marci Kessler, on the Nate Berkus Show

Posted: Monday, November 08, 2010

Marci Kessler, owner of DoubleTake stores in Ridgewood, Englewood, Short Hills, and Red Bank, NJ was the guest expert on The Nate Show with Nate Berkus on Thursday November 4. Read below the tips Marci shared on the show to successful consignment shopping..

"Having owned a luxury consignment shop for nearly 20 years, I have seen everything and have interacted with thousands of the most savvy consignment shoppers in the world. Based on my personal experience and interaction with these customers I can offer several important consignment shopping tips:

1. Shop in Affluent Areas. Women who are seeking high-end designer merchandise such as Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, etc., are more likely to find these items in shops that are located in affluent neighborhoods.

2. Finding Celebrity Fashions. Some consignment shops do business with movie studies, TV shows, actresses, and stylists. People interested in outfits that have been down the red carpet or in a recent movie, simply need to ask our stores to put them on a "wish list" when these items arrive.

3. Get Runway Fashions Before the Stores/Boutiques. There are some women who shop with stylists and buy right off the runways and then turn around and consign these items when they are done with them (e.g. Socialites who wear an item once). Interested shoppers need to find consignment shops that work with such stylists and let them know that they would like to be notified when these items arrive.

4. Finding Fine Jewelry. It is not unusual for consignment shops to receive fine jewelry and watches and even large quantities of estate jewelry. For those people interested and willing to buy gold and diamonds from a consignment shop, you need to find those shops that provide appraisals for these exclusive items.

5. Frequent Visits and/or Calls for the Most Desirable Merchandise. Because consignment shops receive new merchandise daily, it is important to either visit or call your favorite shops frequently to see if the items you desire have arrived. At DoubleTake we have had a "Wish List" in place ever since we opened, which enables us to notify the interested people as soon as an item arrives. We also send texts and IM's to subscribers who wish to be notified when special items or large quantities are received.

6. Get the Inside Scoop on Sales and Special Events. Make it a point to become friendly with sales staff, since they will let you know about upcoming sales and special events. Some consignment shops even have special private sales.

7. Ask About Extra Discounts at End of Season. Many consignment shops mark down their merchandise at the end of a season, so it is smart to ask the salespeople about markdowns on interested items. Smart shoppers can save an additional 25% if their timing is good.

8. Politically Correct Furs. For those women who value the luxury and warmth of a fur coat, but have an issue with buying new, consignment shops present a way to get a beautiful fur at a great price without directly impacting the demand.

9. New Merchandise from Local Boutiques and Manufacturers. Some boutiques prefer to consign their end of season merchandise as opposed to running deep sales, since they are concerned with the image of running such sales. Additionally, some manufacturers prefer to work with consignment shops vs. discounters for the same reason. The best consignment shoppers know that the higher end consignment shops tend to get this type of merchandise. If you are interested in this type of merchandise then you should call or visit the shops in your area and specifically ask about this type of merchandise."