I often hear responsible shoppers swearing by the "one in, one out" rule. It's a principle that has them purging their wardrobe at the same speed they're purchasing new attire. Personally, I'm the frantic type, usually clearing clothes in a "there's nothing I can wear anymore" fit.
Jaclyn Wirtanen has organized a shopping concept for local shoppers on either end of the closet-cleaning spectrum. Wirtanen, a stay-at-home mother of four from Palmer, is the mastermind behind Consign49, a women's consignment event she plans to put on in Palmer each spring and fall. The first will be April 19-21 at the Palmer Train Depot.
Through her three-day consignment sale, you can strategically multiply both sides of the one-one rule -- selling the trimmings of your sartorial self while taking advantage of the shopping at consignment prices.
"The whole idea of this seasonal consignment is huge in the Lower 48," Wirtanen said. "It really is a win-win situation."
"We just get so used to hanging onto our stuff. It's more like your closet is revolving and not stagnant," she said. "There are huge, massive sales in L.A. People basically flip their whole closest every six months and make money doing it."
First seasonal consignment event
Consign49 isn't the first seasonal consignment event in Alaska. Bella Kids, in Palmer, and Hand Me Ups, an Anchorage-based event, both offer seasonal consignment sales primarily focused on children's clothing and accessories.
"The benefit is basically every six months, if you know you're going to get good money for your stuff, you'll hold onto it," Wirtanen said. "For example, if you're going to go buy your kids new coats, you can wait for the event.
Consign49 has two main consignment levels: If you choose to be a Rock Star Consignor, you earn at least 65 percent of your consignment sales, but you price, inventory, hang, tag and deliver your own items for the sale. VIP Consigners allow people to avoid the "to do" list if they're willing to take a lower starting consignment return of 35 percent.
There's an initial participation fee ($10-15 depending on the consignment level), but you can also earn higher percentages of your sales in 5-percent increments by volunteering before, during or after the event.
Bottom line: If you're motivated and have some time to help out, you can earn up to 80 percent on consigned items that sell. Another perk to volunteering is the chance to shop first during the pre-sale. (To put that in perspective, 50 percent is typically the most you can earn through brick-and-mortar consignment stores and the payout is not always immediate.)
Website walks you through
Consign49's website is chock full of tips for interested consignors, including what you can consign, tips for deciding what's worth selling and how to prepare your clothes for the sale. There are instructions to walk you through Consign49's online inventory system, which you'll need to study if you want to have Rock Star status.
Even though the focus is on women's clothing and accessories, home décor and menswear is also welcome. Wirtanen also said the seasonal aspect of the sale shouldn't distract consignors – anything in your closet that is consign-worthy is welcome.
"It's cleared my head a lot knowing I can consign," she said. "It's helped me think of my closest more as revolving instead of, 'Oh, I paid $75 for this and now I have to figure out how to wear it.'"
Anchorage freelance writer Leslie Boyd writes a regular column on local shopping and style. Ideas, information or tips? Contact her at akshopgirl(at)gmail.com