Turn the urge to purge into a cash surge

We've found some great places to get top dollar for your unwanted stuff

  • The Clearing House Ltd. in Timonium is the place to sell your high-end furniture.
The Clearing House Ltd. in Timonium is the place to sell your… (Gabe Dinsmoor, Baltimore…)
August 05, 2011|By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun

Your home is starting to resemble an episode of "Hoarders," but without the tearful back story.

Sure, that armoire is gorgeous. But you never use it. Those antique candlesticks that Grandma gave you are just collecting dust. And what about all those clothes in your closet that still have the price tags attached?

It's time to purge.

Purging is always the first rule of thumb at the start of any project, said Stephanie Bradshaw, a Baltimore stylist who also does residential and commercial design.

"Whether we are helping design a new living room or purchase the perfect party dress, we must first edit out a few things to bring in the new," Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw likes to discuss with clients the emotional reasons they are holding onto excess items.

"Once clients can talk out a bit why letting go of this or that particular item is special or important, it is often easier for them to let them go," she said.

Bradshaw suggests that people follow the fashion industry cycle and purge during spring and fall.

"When you are bringing out those change-of-season clothes, think about a change of season in your living spaces as well," she said.

So now that you've established you have a problem, what do you do?

You could always give it away to Goodwill or some other charity, but times are tough. We looked around the Baltimore region and found some places that will pay a premium price for your items.

Vogue revisited

What to purge: High-end clothing

What's to like: Vogue Revisited is one of the few high-end clothing consignment shops that doesn't require appointments. You can drop in just about anytime — except Saturday — and unload your designer duds.

Owner Chris Anderson is looking for garments and accessories not older than two years and in season. For example, she is no longer purchasing summer merchandise; she's moved on to lightweight fall clothes.

With an inventory that includes Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and Gucci, Anderson is looking for the best. Clothes must be clean, ironed and brought to her store on hangers.

If your clothes make the cut, items will be sold on consignment during a 90-day period. Items will be sold at full price up until 60 days, when prices are reduced by 20 percent. After another 60 days, items are reduced to half off. Whatever price the item sells for, you get half the proceeds.

Vogue Revisited is at 4002 Roland Ave. in Baltimore. Call 410-235-4140 or go to voguerevisited.com.

Clearing House Ltd.

What to purge: Transitional and traditional furniture

What's to like: With a showroom floor of more than 7,000 square feet, Clearing House has one of the region's largest selections of furniture. The store's promise to display your consigned goods for up to 120 days is also attractive.

Clearing House has more than three decades of experience, and its items get top dollar. Buyers here have paid $10,000 for a lamp and $12,000 for two-carat diamond earrings.

Owners Cara Derr and sister Lisa Hudson also boast that their 55/45 selling consignment percentage is among the best in the region. "If you have an expensive item, you will get better money here," Derr said.

The key to getting top dollar at Clearing House is to have classic merchandise that people want in their homes, according to Derr.

"A lot of times, people think their items are great, but they might not be sellable," she said. "You need to have a realistic expectation. They should be clean. We couldn't stress that more. No one wants to buy something that is dirty."

Clearing House, Ltd., is at 200 W. Padonia Road in Timonium. Call 410-561-4546.

Service Photo Supply Inc.

What to purge: Camera equipment

What's to like: Service Photo Supply's approach to buying and selling camera equipment makes you feel at ease. The store cleans and performs functional checks and tests on all items they sell. When assessing equipment, the store's staff thinks about pairing your equipment with other merchandise from the store, which will help it sell. In addition to the store, they also have a popular online business.

The key to getting top dollar at Service Photo Supply is to get your merchandise into the store as soon as possible, said owner Burke Seim.

"Sell your older film-based camera equipment now," he said. "In the future, there may not be film to use in those cameras and therefore the value will decline further."

Seim also recommends that people bring in equipment during spring, fall and just before holidays. "They may not be the time that people are taking the most pictures, but they are thinking about it," he said.

Service Photo Supply, Inc. is at 3838 Falls Road in Baltimore. Call 410-235-6200.

David's on The Avenue

What to purge: Vintage decor

What's to like: In addition to vintage decor, the store buys and sells a little bit of everything. Consignment sales are a 50/50 split, but the store will also pay cash for merchandise. For a fee, David's will pick up items from your home.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.