Consigning in the UK has a special name

May 22, 2015

If you’re traveling across the pond, check out consigning in the UK

Why is it that I always imagine Britain and America being very similar? Is it because we basically (at least depending on what part of the country you’re from) speak the same language? Is it because we both like football (albeit different kinds). Or, is it because the British and Americans have been good allies for more than a couple of hundred years? We have one other similarity. We both love to find a bargain. But, consigning in the UK is a bit different.

Dress Agencies

The term “consignment” isn’t generally used in the UK. If you are a women’s clothing consignment shop, you would be known in the UK as a “dress agency”. In my research, I was surprised to find several online conversations, as recently as 2011, where some Brits had never heard of the idea of consignment. One woman said she generally “swished” her used clothing. I’m not really sure what that means. I doubt it has to do with a toilet. (Or the “loo” as they say on the other side of the pond) Needless to say, others in the United Kingdom are very familiar with shopping secondhand. These Brits know where to find the best items.

Consigning in the UK includes shops with names like Bang Bang (yes, that does appear to be a smoking gun in her hand). Plus, the British offer “typical” American shops with names like Retro Clothing Exchange which seems very similar to our own Buffalo Clothing Exchange. Elegant designer clothing shops such as The Dresser and Sign of the Times offer the same luxury resale items Americans crave. The shelves are filled with Prada, Chanel, Hermes, etc.

Known as secondhand

Consigning in the UK under the Union JackCrazy Man Crazy is one of the few men’s shops and stocks vintage American clothing while playing 50’s Rock ‘n Roll. Secondhand furniture shops such as The Furniture Gallery and Hackney Furniture in London, offer similar styles we see in many American furniture consignment shops.

Not everything’s the same

Many of these shops use the same social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but there were a few things a bit different. For instance, you don’t hang your clothes on a rack, you hang them on “rails.” You don’t stand in the checkout line, you get in the “queue.” Finally, when giving directions to your shop, never say you’re close to the subway. You’re close to the “tube.”

Their love for resale is just one more reason to appreciate the Brits. I, for one, would really enjoy making a visit to a “dress agency” across the pond. Wouldn’t you? Cheerio! If you enjoyed reading about consigning in the UK, read about the crazy fun they have in Resale in Japan.

It’s fun to see how others are running their resale shops. If you’d like to hear more about how SimpleConsign customers run their businesses, visit them here.

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.