Prom and homecoming are one of the BIG events in the life of a teenager. It’s a right of passage. Teenagers and parents spend BIG money on the event. It’s one of the few events that schools plan all year for. For girls, it’s about two things… the dress and who to go with. For many girls, the dress is the most important part.
Prom and homecoming dresses are items we’ve been reselling for years. Sadly, these items have worse resale value than most automobiles. Seriously! While autos may require an investment that you can recoupe later (minus depreciation, of course), that’s not likely with a prom or homecoming dress. Once you leave the store, tag and all, it no longer has the same value. It’s worse if you actually wear it. Yes, even if it’s “only worn once”!
Who determines the resale value of these dresses? The buyers do. That’s the girls and their parents. We’ve found that pricing these dresses at about a quarter to half of the new price is a fair price to both the consignor and the buyer. Buyers will pay quarter to half of the new price in a consignment store because they’re saving a LOT of money.
The aggravating side to all of this is the markup on these dresses. While many teens or parents are happy to pay $350 or more for a new dress the markup on that dress is likely 200% or more. If you don’t want to think about the math let me help. That $350 or more dress likely cost the store you bought it from about $80 – $150. They made a bundle off that dress you just bought. These high prices are one reason the salesperson that helped you was likely paid a commission. Dress shoppers can sometimes be frustrating to help and can consume a lot of time. The term “bridezilla” is just an older version of some prom shoppers. 🙂 Don’t be a “promzilla!”.
Back to the resale value. Have you noticed the Facebook Classified groups with all the dresses for sale? Or the Cragslist ads? Have you noticed a common theme to them? They say “Worn only once!” or “Worn for a few hours”. Another common theme is “Paid $700, asking $500”. As if $200 off your used dress is a bargain.
One issue girls have trying to sell their dresses themselves is potential buyers don’t want to go to a stranger’s house and try on a dress. Who really wants to go to someone’s house and try on clothes? There are several reasons this should be a bad decision.
We are asked many times each week if we buy dresses. The answer to that is “No, we offer consignment only”. If we did buy dresses we’d have to offer a pittance for them. We prefer not to do business that way for a couple of reasons. We can pay the consignor more if it sells on consignment. This means you get paid when we sell the dress. Selling these expensive dresses on consignment is also a business decision by ensuring we don’t have money tied up in a dress that might not sell quickly.
So, if you are planning to attend prom or homecoming we hope you have a great time! Make some great memories. You’ll be glad you went. In the weeks leading up to it be sure to stop by and check out our inventory. We’d be glad to help.