RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Upscale consignment is an established concept, but one whose popularity has soared in a down economy. NCB12's Discount Diva found several here in town where you can look like a million bucks for a fraction of price.
"The Butterfly" has been a staple of Patterson and Libbie for 23 years. Owner Shirley Rogers knew there was a huge difference between thrift and consignment.
"Our logo is the intelligent shopping alternative," she said.
She thinks her shoppers are among the smartest in town. They save huge - buying items that range from casual to formal. With inventory changing daily, "The Butterfly" is a bargain shopper's paradise.
"Here you get a one of a kind and it's kind of the thrill of the hunt, you never know when you come in here what you're going to find," said Rogers.
The newest kid on the block opened last May in Sycamore Square. Debbie Ooi noticed a void in Midlothian when it came to upscale consignment. So she established "It's Chic Again" to sell gently used items at 50 to 75 % off retail.
"Ann Taylor, Talbots on up, so you could find a nice Louis Vuitton bag, but you could also find a nice Coach, or Dooney and Burke, and Liz Claiborne," she said.
She carries men's, women's and children's clothes, handbags, jewelry, even a bridal section.
"They could look at getting a brand new bridal gown. We do have some that are new with tags at least half of the price it would've cost them at the store," said Ooi.
If Chanel and Fendi are more your style, then "Baggio" is the store for you.
"Once you learn and you touch it and you feel it, you want it," said owner Norma Santamaria.
Her customers travel from all over the state to take advantage of high retail at a low cost. She accepts items that are no more than two years old and revels in the reaction she gets from customers.
"Sometimes they jump, and scream. The prices steadily decline every few weeks, so a little patience could get you a better price," said Santamaria.
And not only can you shop, you can sell. All three stores accept gently used high dollar items and split the profits with you when it's purchased.