Stock photo.

How to make shopping secondhand your first choice

Consignment shops have become extremely popular and convenient in recent years, thanks to online retailers and social media. These days, more and more people are shopping secondhand, shifting gears towards making eco- and budget-friendly choices. And when I talk about secondhand shopping, I don’t mean making a trip to your local Goodwill, I am talking about a little upscale resale.

Luckily for Baton Rouge shoppers, local businesses like Swap Boutique have made it easier than ever to shop for luxury and designer brand items, but at affordable prices. We asked Michelle Reinhardt, owner of Swap Boutique, about how consignment-store shopping can help fill your closet.

1. It makes luxury items affordable.

“Upscale consignment shops have made secondhand shopping a luxury market,” says Reinhardt. “Now buyers of all ages and household incomes can have access to high-end brands of clothing, handbags and shoes.”

Typically, most secondhand stores price items 60%-90% lower than the original retail price, so luxury-lovers and budget-conscious shoppers alike can fill their closets with designer merchandise for a fraction of the cost. 


View this post on Instagram


‼️#justin #louisvuitton shoulder bag!! #onsalenow for just $600!! 😍🙌 *we offer priority mail shipping*

A post shared by Swap Boutique Baton Rouge (@swapbr) on May 25, 2019 at 11:42am PDT

2. It’s eco-friendly.

“Buyers appreciate the intrinsic value of resale apparel, and they promote sustainability,” says Reinhardt.

Recycling doesn’t just apply to cardboard boxes and water bottles anymore. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 26 billion pounds of textiles and clothes end up in landfills every year. So instead of buying, wearing and tossing, consigning your lightly worn clothes can break the cycle and allow for cute pieces to make their way into someone else’s closet. 

3. Service with a smile.

Reinhardt explains that many consignment shops offer the same service and shopping environment as high-end boutiques. Not only are the stores organized, but each item is hand-selected from the best closets in the area.

Now if you’re thinking that shopping secondhand sounds great, but you have no idea where to start–trust me, you’re not alone.

Photo courtesy Swap Boutique

Reinhardt understands that shopping can be overwhelming, especially when you have to sort through racks of clothes. In order to get the most out of your secondhand shopping experience, she shares her favorite pro tips:


1. Visit often.

Consignment shops get new inventory every single day, so it is important to have the first look if possible. According to Reinhardt, most women who shop secondhand build their closets over time by making regular visits to get the coveted items and designer brands when they first arrive.


View this post on Instagram


beat the heat with this darling look ☀️ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣ Top: M Skirt: 6 Shoe: 6.5

A post shared by Swap Boutique Baton Rouge (@swapbr) on Apr 23, 2019 at 2:25pm PDT

2. Shop all sizes.

As women, we sometimes link our body image to our size. It can be difficult to feel comfortable shopping larger sizes than we are accustomed to. However, Reinhardt explains that when shopping consignment, there are hundreds of different brands in a given store, and every brand runs differently. Plus, many amazing finds end up in a consignment shop merely because the sizing was off. So who knows, it may be the perfect fit for you!

3. Make a wish list.

Reinhardt encourages asking the store to make a list of the the items you are looking for and call you when they come in. Often, wish lists are full of sought-after items that would otherwise go very quickly–think a Chanel bag, a DVF wrap dress, or a pair of Christian Louboutin heels. By compiling a list, you will now have a whole team of people looking out for your must-haves! 

For more details on shopping secondhand like a pro, visit Swap Boutique, located in Bocage Village. Also, be sure to read 10 Questions with Reinhardt from our archives.