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Consignment Guide

Better Than Before specializes in consignment. We currently have two stores in North Alabama with a combined total of over 12,000 consignors. Consignors bring us treasures to sell on their behalf every day so our inventory is always changing and we are always looking for new consignors! Listed below are some frequently asked questions regarding consignment. This information will give you the basic guidelines you need to follow should you be interested in consigning with us. If you have items that meet our guidelines that you would like to consign, please give us a call at either location, Cullman 256.739.3550 or Decatur 256.351.0666, to set up an appointment.

Q: Do I need an appointment to consign with Better Than Before?

A: We prefer an appointment to allow us to serve our consignors better. Evaluating your consignments takes time and attention and BTB wants to provide you with that attention. "Walk-ins" are allowed on a very infrequent basis, and only if you are willing to donate items we don't keep. Consignors with an appointment will be provided with an itemized inventory.

Q: What kind of items do you accept?

A: Better Than Before accepts new, never worn, or tenderly used merchandise from consignors who take excellent care of their clothing and accessories. Our two showrooms have spacious departments for women/misses, plus size, junior/teens, maternity, childrens/infants, and men's wear. We even accept shoes, purses, belts selectively, and unique one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. We will gladly evaluate both casual and business items as well as evening wear. Our Cullman store also has an extensive prom and pageant section. Better Than Before does not accept bridal gowns or men's suits at this time.

Q: How do I get my items ready to consign?

A: First, determine what season is currently being accepted. Save yourself time by only evaluating those items. Eliminate any items with stains, tears, missing buttons, broken zippers, or any other damage. The sleeves, knees, and bib area of children's clothing should be inspected especially closely. All items should be freshly laundered or dry-cleaned, pressed, and on hangers. Garments cannot be evaluated for consignment if they are not on a hanger.

Q: How long will you keep my items?

A: Better Than Before's routine contract is 90 days. Re-consignments are allowed only if merchandise is still seasonally appropriate.

Q: How are my items priced?

Better Than Before will price your garments based on current market prices and past selling history of similar items. It is our desire to make our consignors a maximum return on their items while still providing the customer with a significant bargain. Each item is evaluated independently. Factors such as brand, style, age, condition, demand, and showroom space will play a role in pricing. We certainly appreciate consignors' input with particularly expensive or unique items.

Q: Will my items be marked down or discounted?

A: After setting an initial price, Better Than Before's program will mark general merchandise down 20% after 30 days, 50% after 60 days, and finally, 75% after the 90 day contract period has expired. Prom and pageant items will mark down 15% after 30 days and 40% after 60 days. Markdown exceptions are occasionally negotiable with certain couture and designer items. Better Than Before reserves the right to alter mark downs during seasonal specials.

Q: What happens to my items if they don't sell?

A: If you wish for your unsold items to be donated to local charities, simply do nothing. Tax receipts are available upon request. Should you decide you would like them back, please be sure to mark your calendar with the expiration date. We do require a 2-day notice to pull your items. Items not picked within 5 days of the expiration date become the property of Better Than Before.

Q: How do I get paid?

A: Better Than Before pays 50% of the selling price on all general merchandise and 60% of the selling price on formal wear. Consignment checks for balances of $20 or more are available for pick-up in the store on the 10th of each month. Balances of less than $20 simply roll forward to the next month's balance. Consignors may use their account balance as store credit at any time during the month. Consignors may receive their checks by mail by providing BTB with a self-addressed stamped envelope. BTB will provide cash pay outs on contract-ending balances of less than $20.

Q: Why didn't you take my items?

Accepting an item requires that Better Than Before be confident it will sell. That confidence comes with 12 years experience and a basic knowledge of what our customers are looking for. Our decision to turn an item away should never be perceived as personal. We have simply learned through trial and error what will and will not sell. You may have paid a great sum for a beautiful suit several years ago, but in today's market, that same suit may not be in high demand. Being over or under-stocked will certainly impact the number of items we are able to accept at any given time. Consignment items are most-frequently turned away due to:

  • Out-of-season
  • Older style
  • Excessive stock
  • Not pressed or on hangers
  • Stained or damaged
  • Smoke or moth ball odors
Q: Do you buy outright?

A: While purchasing outright is occasionally negotiable, we are extremely selective on these items. It has been our experience that consignors make considerably more through consignment than through buy-out programs.