The Boston Herald, Sunday, November 14, 2004

Clear out, cash in; Make space and money when you consign your designer duds


There's that pair of Marc Jacobs pants you long to stuff yourself back into; the gorgeous wool sweater you bought on sale last year that you still haven't worn; and those beautiful purses you've forsaken for Balenciaga and Tods.

Face it - you have too much stuff. But one woman's no-longer- loved Prada is another woman's prize, thanks to the miracle of consignment shops.

Last week, as I attempted to squeeze my new Marc Jacobs jeans, Ralph Lauren blazer and Ella Moss dress into my overflowing closet, I took a minute to survey the excess. I had things in there I haven't worn in more than a year, and some of them still had tickets attached. It was time for a change.

In less than 30 minutes I packed my Diane Von Furstenberg carry- on full of Prada, Karen Millen, Juicy and BCBG and made an appointment with Second Time Around, a designer consignment store at 252 Newbury St.

"Right now we're looking for winter clothes, designer labels and current styles," said Paige McCollum, Second Time Around manager. "Generally we're looking for items that are no more than two years old. What we're not looking for are double-breasted blazers with shoulder pads and tapered, pleated pants."

The store, stocked with Fendi, Prada, Manolo, Chanel and mink, fox and shearling is a far cry from thrift shopping.

If you consign, you should know that the store bills quarterly, and checks go out on Feb. 1, 2005. Second Time Around offers customers a chance to put items on layaway for up to one month. As a consignor, you get paid only after the customer has paid fully, and you can check the status of your items online at The Web site also allows you to create a wish list, and when the item you covet comes in to the store, someone will call you.

McCollum said certain brands, such as Juicy, Marc Jacobs, Diesel, Lacoste, LeTigre, Chanel, Stuart Weitzman and Seven Jeans, fly off the hangers in no time.

"People who come here shop based on brand recognition," she said. "First-time consignors should make sure they know our selling criteria, look for stains on the items they're bringing in, decide if they want to consign it because they want to replace it with something they want more, and if they still like it, someone else will too," she said.

But if you bring something in, and lie awake at night lamenting your decision, don't worry, there's a quick fix for consignor's remorse - just go back and get it.

"Everything is the property of the consignor till it sells," said McCollum.

Lauren Milstein, a 20-year-old student at Northeastern University, came back for her yellow snakeskin Stuart Weitzman mules. Milstein, a first-time consignor, came into the Newbury Street store three weeks ago armed with Fendi and Prada purses, a Juicy jumpsuit, Joe's jeans and those precious Weitzman shoes.

"They were just collecting dust in my closet," she said.

So far, she's made over $100.

"Now I can go buy some new Marc Jacobs," she said.

For me, my collection of items is selling for a total of $768, a decent amount of bank for items, quite honestly, I haven't touched in more than a year.

What I brought them:

- Purse by Lancel bought in Paris

Selling for $32

- Covertible one-shoulder backpack and briefcase by Prada bought at Neiman Marcus. This bag was sold "as is" because the front pocket showed wear and tear.

Selling for $86

- Convertible toiletry bag and backpack by Prada bought at Neiman Marcus

Selling for $118

- Poncho by BCBG bought at Lord & Taylor

Selling for $28

- Jeans by BCBG bought at the boutique on Newbury Street

Selling for $32

- Ruffle wool sweater by DKNY bought at the boutique in New York City

Selling for $32

- Warmup pants by Marc Jacobs bought at Neiman Marcus. $120 price tag still attached

Selling for $64

- Polka-dot shirt by BCBG bought at the boutique on Newbury Street

Selling for $32

- Pink suede shirt by Guess bought at the boutique on Newbury Street. $59.99 ticket still attached

Selling for $32

- Crochet skirt by Karen Millen bought at the boutique in London

Selling for $72

- Skirt by Ralph Lauren Golf bought at the boutique in New York City. $98 price tag still attached

Selling for $42

- Jeans by Seven for all Mankind bought at Saks Fifth Avenue

Selling for $52

- Denim skirt by BCBG bought at the boutique on Newbury Street

Selling for $26

- Black hoodie by Juicy bought at Saks Fifth Avenue. This piece also was sold "as is" because the J hardware from the zipper fell off after just one wash.

Selling for $20.

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