'Madoff Inventory' has Palm Beach pawn shops booming


At a time when most retailers are struggling, business is booming at Palm Beach consignment stores - thanks to Bernie Madoff.

That's where many of the disgraced financier's victims are now hocking designer clothing, furniture and other luxury goods at an unprecedented rate, local shop owners say.

"We're actually expanding the store," Shelby Bye, a manager at Chris Ellis Consignment Collection on South Dixie Highway, recently told wowOwow. Bye said the store, which sells high-end accent tables, armoires, chandeliers and other pricey household goods, is having trouble handling it all. "There's not enough space for everything that's coming in," she said.

This surge in so-called "Madoff inventory" comes on top of a seasonal purging of has-been designs and labels at this time of year, along with the downturn in the economy. That's leading to unheard of deals on everything from Hermès purses and Armani jackets to a $7,500 art deco expandable table.

At nearby Attitudes Consignment, a $1,900 Lora Piana Mini Globe handbag is going for $975. "I've never seen anything like this," owner Olive Grey told wowOwow.

For more fabulous finds, check out this photo gallery.