Consigned your clothes at 2nd Time Around? You may never see your cash


Consignment store 2nd Time Around announced recently that it would close its entire chain, and thousands of consignors could be left in the lurch.

"Because of a convergence of market forces hitting all brick and mortar stores – including increased competition from online retailers combined with skyrocketing rents – we have made the difficult decision to close our stores," says an FAQ page explaining the closure.

Retail chains and independent businesses have struggled to maintain their physical presence in the current internet shopping environment.

The FAQ notes 2nd Time Around will continue to sell items prior to widespread closeout sales in June; items sold during the going-out-of-business sale will be paid to consignors before June 15.

What Does This Mean for Consignors with 2nd Time Around?

The store plans to pay consignors for items sold after May 1, but it's unclear whether people will ever be paid for clothing and accessories that the chain's locations sold prior to May.

Racked and theBoston Globe share stories about customers who say they are owed hundreds of dollars from previous items sold, and in some cases can't get their remaining merchandise back from their local store.

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Retailers closing stores in 2017
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Retailers closing stores in 2017
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The company's closure FAQ also reminds consignors that they leave their merchandise at 2nd Time Around locations at their own risk, and the company is not responsible for "loss by theft, damages, negligence or other cause."

A representative on the store-closure customer service line at 877-251-1455 told us the chain cannot commit to paying for sales made prior to May 1, but offered to take an email address for contacting with further information should it be released. The customer service line is available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT.

2nd Time Around's main phone number was busy throughout the day Thursday. The company, which rebranded from Second Time Around in 2015, is concentrated along the East Coast.

If you're feeling burned by this sudden closure, it may be time to investigate the online flea market options that have popped up over the past few years.

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How to master the art of thrifting

Never have an expectation for finding a certain item, keep an open mind. You might go in for a dress and come out with an awesome top instead.  

(jennifer m. ramos via Getty Images)

While you’re thrift hunting, look for timeless pieces. Denim, cashmere and silk are fabrics that will never go out of style and can be purchased secondhand for much less than buying new! Also keep in mind that interesting prints are always a fun trend to incorporate and Savers is the perfect place to find those unique pieces.

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Browse a department you wouldn’t usually shop in and don’t limit yourself to size. Some of the best blazers, cardigans and shirts for women can be found in the men’s or boy’s departments. Interesting fashions can also be found by taking something in a larger size and adding a belt.

Get creative and look beyond the clothing that is right in front of you. A little DIY magic can give just about any secondhand clothing item a fresh breath of new life. You can take a skirt or men’s shirt, add a belt and you have a brand new dress!

(Maskot via Getty Images)

Wear something simple, such as flats, leggings and a tank top so that you can try items on as you shop.
When in doubt—grab it, and try it on. You never know!

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Don’t be shy and look closely at clothing and accessory items so that you can get a sense of the quality and craftsmanship. For example, look for textiles made in the USA, Canada, Italy and Spain – known for high quality fabrics and leather goods.

Thrift shopping is always better with friends! Bring a few shopping buddies and make it a competition to see who picks up the best hidden thrift treasure.

(Tom Merton via Getty Images)

Research the trends. Before you hit the sales floor, check out some of the latest fashion or home décor magazines for inspiration.

(Top Photo Corporation via Getty Images)

Instant dressing room! Wear something simple like flats and a tank top, so you can try items on as you shop.

Shop left and right. Sizes change from era to era, so shop on either side of your normal size.

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Keep an open mind. Let the items find you for a change! You won't believe what you'll discover when you're not looking for it.

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Get playful! With thrifting, you can take risks without risking going broke. So have some fun with your style.

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Fits..almost? You can find amazing things that may just need slight alterations or repairs to make them work.

(Reza Estakhrian via Getty Images)

Make a list. Get a thrift strategy: make a list of must-haves items then keep it handy for reference.

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Mark your calendars. Post-holiday and spring cleaning are great times to shop. Can you say massive inventory!?!

(Paper Boat Creative via Getty Images)

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Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.

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