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Top Dallas Resale 2020

Comparing the 5 best options for luxury fashion resale


Introduction

Since starting Dallas’ [ ] over 40 years ago, we’ve witnessed constant innovation in style and business in the resale industry. Over the last 5 years, the pace of change has been truly astounding, as many new players, local, national and international, have joined us here in Dallas. Looking forward to 2020, we decided to take stock of the Dallas consignment scene and the many options that consignors now have here. We approached the project with an open mind, a lot of mutual respect for our competition, and a desire to establish a unique purpose that sets us apart from others. To do that, we needed to hear from our consignor community, who now number over 30k. The insights below come from them, and from our experience

Many Great Options

Before getting to our five-way comparison, there are two categories of options that we didn’t delve into here:
 

Peer to Peer Marketplaces.   DIY listing on sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Tradesy is a growing trend, especially amongst younger consignors. This type of market works particularly well for lower cost items, where the risk of buying from a potentially unknown entity is lower, and there is less maintenance required to make a sale. Most top consignors in Dallas still see the time and money trade-off of DIY listing to be less beneficial than delegating to a consignment partner. We chose not to delve into peer to peer selling in this article, but we’ll continue to follow the trend and may add features to support this type selling in the future.

Boutiques. There are a number of excellent smaller boutiques in Dallas for high-end fashion consignment that shouldn’t be overlooked. These stores are great for local consignors interested in supporting neighborhood business owners, or for getting personalized service.   Martini Fashion, X, Y are among our favorites.

Our Top Five

Putting these other great options aside for the moment, in our polling, we found that 5 businesses stood out for top consignors in Dallas: The Real Real, Clothes Circuit, Luxury Garage Sale, To Be Continued and Clotheshorse Anonymous. So why are these stores sought out? And why should someone choose one over the other? We’ll break things down:

Location

Of the top five options, The Real Real, based in New York and Silicon Valley, is the only one operating without a showroom in Dallas, but is rumored to be considering one soon. Real real has a consignment office near downtown. Luxury Garage Sale (based in Chicago) and To be Continued (based in Phoenix) both have medium sized stores in the Park Villages area, along with the larger Clothes Circuit. This neighborhood is the epicenter of Dallas fashion and it makes sense that the area is heavily populated with options. TBC and Luxury Garage Sale have impressive, chic store environments, and Clothes Circuit has recently renovated to stay in line with this trend. Clotheshorse is a bit further north with 9,000 square feet of space, making it larger than the other stores. Though parking can be tricky in the Park Village and downtown, accessibility is a strength for Clotheshorse.

Payout Terms

Payout terms generally get better for consignors as item prices increase. The different terms from store to store can make comparing them difficult - especially given various bonus and incentive programs that can change the terms depending on what you consign. We created this chart to help put things in perspective. It shows increasing item prices up to $500 along the bottom axis, with the consignor payout rate paid by each business for that price point. We limited the chart to 4 for readability.
 

Loyalty Programs & Expensive Items

The Real Real, LGS and TBC all offer increased rates if you consign a majority of your merchandise with them. [describe programs]. Clotheshorse also offers an 80% split for items over $5,000.



 

Online Resale

The Real Real focused a lot of marketing efforts on Dallas early in the online consignment game, and has secured the top spot among online-first sellers here.   Numerous online only options have come to market since, though with less of a concentrated following in Dallas. These companies include: Le Prix (formerly Snobswap), ThredUp Luxe, Vestaire Collective, Tradesy and Pohshmark. Clotheshorse, LGS and TBC added online shopping to become “hybrid” sellers shortly after Real Real entered the market in Dallas in 2014. Clothes Circuit recently launched its online store as well, selling select items from its store.
 

Hybrid vs. Online  While dedicated online-only marketplaces have been able to thrive recently, hybrid stores (those with physical locations AND online stores) have been closing the gap in online sales performance.   Facebook, Google and other online heavy weights have empowered local businesses to reach online audiences on a scale formerly available only to venture funded start-ups. Smaller companies can now place products in Google searches, or in Instagram Influencer campaigns with an equivalent audience share per item to most online-only stores.

Pricing

All of our top 5 stores set their own pricing. The local stores tend to be more flexible with input from consignors about pricing input. Our anecdotal observations suggests selling items online usually requires a discount of about 15 to 20% from the price that we can get in-store. There are likely several factors involved in this. Online shoppers usually have the benefit of price comparison with other sources (e.g. eBay) so online prices usually have to be the lowest available at any point to make a sale. In addition, shoppers who can try on fit-dependent items like clothing and shoes, tend to be more confident about purchases and may be willing to pa a premium for stuff that looks or feels great. That said, online sales can result in faster matching of customer with items, and this is especially important for items that require a specific shopper, or who may not walk into a store on any given day.
 

The downside of fast sales & high payout rates.  It's important to pay attention to how your items are priced. Often, high payout percentage, for example. 10% loyalty program boost, can be more than offset by a low pricing method. When a store advertises that it can sell an item quickly, that usually means that items are being priced very aggressively. An item worth $300, but sold online at a 20% lower price point, will return less money, even when a 10% loyalty payout increase (e.g. from 60 to 70% consignor share) is applied. For more information on how we calculate our selling prices you can check out our online pricing worksheet here.