Don't Waste Your Money: Consignment shop policies vary - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Consignment shop policies vary with stolen items

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(Toledo News Now) -

Consignment shops are hot these days and new ones are popping up all the time because they make selling unwanted clothing so much easier than using eBay. But be cautious; there is a downside to consigning.

Consignment shops have exploded in popularity because they offer a way to easily unload old clothing and furniture, and make money at the same time. But there's something many people don't know about some consignment shops, and it concerns what happens if something you bring disappears.

Where's My Coach Purse?

Erin Gross loves handbags. This mom buys them, gets some use from them, then resells them. Until one vanished.

"She said that it was either stolen or donated, and I was pretty much out of luck," Gross said.

She recently took a $300 Coach purse to the consignment shop "Classy and Sassy," figuring it to be a risk-free way to make extra money. She then learned there were risks.

"You would think that you would take something there and it would be fine," Gross said. "It never crossed my mind that it would be stolen."

But since it was stolen, the store won't pay her for it.

All Stated In Contract

Store owner Pricilla Sandlin said she's done everything she can to find the bag, but said it comes down to the contract that Gross and other customers are required to sign. 

Among other things, the contract clearly states the store won't pay if your item is lost, damaged, or stolen.

"We do the best we can. We have cameras. We view them at night to try to see if we can catch them. We try. But we always tell customers, read your contract," Sandlin explained.

It's a lesson for anyone who consigns because different stores have different policies.

Gross now understands and wants to share what she has learned with other women who consign. 

"Definitely ask up front," she said. "I've learned my lesson on that one, unfortunately."

Other Stores May Have Different Policies

Classy and Sassy did nothing wrong in this case, but not all shops have the same policy.

Donna Speigel, who owns the Cincinnati area's largest consignment chain, The Snooty Fox, said if an item is stolen from her store, she still pays the customer as if it sold, to keep the customer happy and retain them as a future customer.

Bottom Line

Always read the contract and ask questions, because rules vary. That way you don't waste your money.

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