ugg cozy knit slippers Spring clean your wardrobe with the help of a dress agency
Dress agencies sell quality, unwanted clothes for a fraction of the original price and are a mecca for bargain hunters with a taste for designer gear or women who want to clear out their wardrobes and make a buck to boot.
These agencies will sell your clothes on your behalf, often giving you half the sale price. However, they are discerning: most want clothes that are nearly new or “gently worn”, in top notch condition from designer labels or shops at the high end of the High Street.
“Dress agencies are a win win for everyone involved,” says Jacey Lamerton, who so loved the concept she opened one herself Get Your Frocks Off, in Goodramgate, York. “You can make money from your wardrobe clutter knowing that one woman’s clutter is another woman’s chic.”
They are ideal for recessionistas woman who still want to look trendy during the economic troubles. “It enables you to buy wonderful clothes much more cheaply,” says Jacey.
Among the top end labels on sale at Get Your Frocks Off are a Paul Smith dress (original price: 300, now 100); a pair of Rock Republic jeans (were 200 now 80) as well as an Armani skirt for 40, an All Saints dress for 80 and a Farhi dress for 40.
Sonia Room ran a dress agency on Fossgate in York for nine years before selling it on. But she’s back by popular demand and her clients couldn’t be happier. Well, where else could you bag a Prada handbag for 98 (original price 280) or a suede Dolce Gabbana fringed jacket that was bought for 2,000 for 300?
Other steals include Ugg boots worth 280 for 88. “I had a Mulberry handbag the other day that flew out for 280 but probably cost 575 new,” says Sonia.
The key to a successful dress agency, she believes, is being fair to the seller and customer. She splits all sales 50 50 with the seller, and keeps her prices keen, aware that if they are too high, the goods won’t sell.
As a guide, items are sold on at about a third of their original price. Stock is only kept for eight weeks, when it is either returned to the seller or passed on to charity.
Lorraine Turnbull operates a similar policy at her shop in Malton, The Frock Exchange, on Savile Street.
Opened for a year, it already has a loyal following among sellers and buyers.
“People can come here and pick up beautiful pieces that would normally be out of their budget,” says Lorraine.
Highlights in her collection include a Dolce Gabbana black satin evening dress which cost 225 new but is now 80; a Joseph Ribkoff dress, new at 225 now 65 and a Hobbs jacket, bought for 225 and now 45.
Lorraine’s boutique also stocks bargain priced designer hats, shoes and accessories, making it a one stop shop to find the perfect outing for the races or a wedding.
Local fans include Vicki Fahey, wife of Malton racehorse trainer Richard Fahey. During racing season, Vicki may have to attend two or three meetings a week, while a stint at Royal Ascot demands five different outfits.
“It’s a fantastic idea,” says Vicki. “When you wear an outfit you might not want to be seen in it again, so it’s great, I can bring it here to sell on and buy something else while I am here.”
Lorraine even admits to touting for new sellers. “Last year I went to York Races and gave out my card. I went up to ladies and said: ‘If you don’t think you will wear your outfit again, do come and see me’.”
Seller’s story PAM ABBOTT, from Burythorpe, near Malton, is a regular at The Frock Exchange.
She sells lightly used clothes and accessories via the shop and uses the proceeds to buy something for herself from the boutique in Savile Street. Among her best buys have been a pair of LK Bennett boots, still in the box, worth 229 for which she paid 45.
Pam said: “I could not possibly afford 225 for a new pair of boots, but at The Frock Exchange you can get designer labels for a fraction of the price. All the items are quality goods, which is why, I am sure, it is successful.”