Buy low, sell high.

Words by

Carlos Mangubat

When you’re a stylist, you inevitably accumulate excessive amounts of clothing.

Between buying pieces ‘great for an editorial’ and keeping clothing from advertising jobs, eventually, the archive builds itself.

But soon reality hits. And you realise that you've got more clothing than floor space in your one-bedroom city apartment. You realise it's time to get ruthless before you end up on the next episode of Hoarders.  

In an attempt to curb my habits and regain floor space, I’ve come up with the rule that I can only buy clothing that has re-sell value. Whenever I get over an item, or when a very large phone bill is due, I sell my archive. 

Over time, I have developed a network of re-sell stores that I approach when I feel claustrophobic in my one-bedroom closet. Seeing as Melbourne has no shortage of second-hand clothing buyers, I know that I can always find the right home for every item in my collection.

For those who find themselves in a similar situation, have constant buyer's remorse or can’t be bothered selling their own clothing, I thought I would narrow down the search. 

4/217 Chapel Street, Prahran

If Donatella Versace decided to sell her entire archive, Eurotrash would be the place she'd go to.

A strong nod to the ’80s through to the early ’00s, Eurotrash sells a large range of vintage high-end European labels from Hermès Birkin bags to ’90s Jean Paul Gaultier mesh tops.

Consigners are able to negotiate the price they want to receive back on their item and the store marks its price on top.

Sold: Mid-2000s Louis Vuitton satchel for $200 within a couple of weeks of consigning.

Mio Tesoro
The Como Centre 6/299 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Chanel CC earrings, Louis Vuitton luggage and Hermès bangles easily find a home at Mio Tesoro. Rare high-end handbags and accessories are the store’s speciality (a.k.a. a bloggers dream).

Consigners can negotiate rates on their items after booking an appointment with the owner.

Sold: Céline two-tone zip clutch for $125

Stop Staring
256 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Stop Staring offers the broadest range of brands among its consignment buddies on Toorak Road. Everything from Sass & Bide to Balenciaga can be sold here with non-negotiable buyout prices on your items. Meaning, if your items go on sale, the store covers the cost of the reduction, not the consigner. Most pieces are contemporary and no less than five years old. Prices range from $59-$1000.

Sold: Thurley dress for $60.

2/286 Toorak Road, South Yarra

If Secondo was a bag, it would be considered the Chanel 2.55 of consignment stores: the old favourite.

This store is the most apparel-heavy consignment in the area, selling contemporary European and Japanese labels, no more than three years old, to southsiders for over 28 years. These guys know what’s up. Consigners get 40 per cent of the sale value, which is paid promptly.

Sold: Carven pants that I couldn’t sell myself for $125.

157 Gertrude Street, Collingwood
284 Queens Parade, North Fitzroy

If you are willing to part with your Comme des Garçons and Ann Demeulemeester pieces, Bruce in Collingwood is the ideal place to sell coveted avant-garde Japanese and Belgian pieces. Consigners receive 50 per cent of the store’s selling prices and the sale price is determined by the type of garment.

Its North Fitzroy counterpart targets more high-end European and American labels from DvF to Gucci, as well as saving space for menswear (unlike many other consignment stores in the area).

Sold: Comme des Garçons Homme Plus shirt for $60. 

Recycle Boutique
127 Sydney Road, Brunswick
2 Johnston Street, Collingwood

Recycle Boutique is curated to offer buyers a large selection of timeless and quality pieces that have longevity beyond the first and second use. Selling prices range from $30 to $600, and consigners receive 50 per cent of the sale price, minus GST and a small handling fee. With two store locations and large floor space, Recycle Boutique is the biggest consignment store in Melbourne. It also has the widest selection of menswear. This store is by far the fastest-paced consignment store with the most foot traffic.

Penny Lane Clothing Exchange
145 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Anyone with an environmental mindset will feel at home at Penny Lane Clothing Exchange. Aimed at extending the life of clothing, the Penny Lane community can exchange pre-loved items for store credit or receive cash on the spot for their items. Store credit lasts a lifetime, which allows sellers to accumulate credit over time.

Mainly targeting the middle market, a list of suitable labels can be found on its website. This place is could be the home for that Búl blazer you stopped wearing two years ago.

Mutual Muse
687 High Street, Thornbury

With a focus on selling garments made from natural fibres, Mutual Muse carries a strong selection of local Australian designers such as Gorman and Obus, with a bit of Country Road. The whole store is priced from $20 to maximum $150. Sellers can get 50 per cent store credit or 25 per cent cash back. For those with an eye for local, quality and well-priced garments, this place is your homegirl.

Illustration by Twylamae.

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