What’s the difference between you and other recycled clothing stores?
Our specialty is clean, quality Retro and Vintage clothing.
At House of Serendipity we make sure you can find good value, good quality day wear, unique wear, evening wear, and party wear. We also stock a multitude of accessories, such as hats, handbags, fascinators, jewellery, belts, bow ties, braces, shoes and boots (including some fantastic Cowboy Boots!).
Can I buy online and have items posted?
Yes! Our new online store is now being stocked and is ready to use. Check it out via our Facebook page, or click the online shop option on our menu bar above, or go to house-of-serendipity.myshopify.com/
Due to our vintage, retro and sometimes quite unique type of stock, we have been able to help customers with outfits for themed parties covering eras from 1920-1980’s, as well as ‘Hawaiian’, Halloween, Spanish, and of course general ‘Vintage’ parties!
Many customers tell us that they can buy an outfit from us for the same price (or less) than hiring one!
Of course it all depends on our stock at the time, so if you’ve got a party coming up it’s best to check what we have available as soon as you can. If we don’t have want you need, let us know in case we’re expecting something suitable in soon.
Also, since we moved to our new mini store in St. Marys (1159 South Rd. St. Mary’s) we are happy to have an exclusive evening for you and your friends to come and shop in preparation … that can be just as much fun as the party 🙂
If you need some help, our staff are happy to assist you to find something suitable. If you”d prefer to look around yourself but need a bit more idea of what clothing fits which era, just ask to see our ‘Look Book’ where we have some pictures of different outfits for men and women across the decades between 1920 and 1980 … just to help give you some inspiration!
What sort of prices would I expect to pay when I’m shopping at House of Serendipity?
We have a huge range of pricing and our stock changes daily so it’s difficult to be specific: Our specials start at $3, and we have racks of $5 and $10 items. Usually clothing will range from $19-$59 with some exceptions for the more high end or unique items.
Do you stock men’s clothing?
Although we have predominantly women’s clothing we do stock some interesting men’s clothing too. There are usually at least 2 racks of Men’s clothing as well as shoes, Cowboy Boots, belts, hats, ties and braces.
Where do you buy your stock?
We buy quality items mostly from the general public and we have some other wholesale sources we can call on if we’re looking for some specific items. As you’ll immediately notice when you come in the store or shop online, we are quite particular about what we purchase. In fact, many of our new customers are amazed that our items are recycled, because they often look and feel as good as new! Read on to find out more about our buying policy.
Do you offer Lay-By?
Yes we offer lay-by on most items but any special discounts offered at the time don’t apply to Lay-By items. We prefer to keep the Lay-By completed within 4 weeks but we understand issues can come up, so just keep in touch if you need to extend that. Deposit required for Lay-By is 20%.
Do you have Gift Certificates available for purchase?
Yes we can provide Gift Certificates from $20 up to $200 and valid for 6 months.
Can I pay for items with a credit or debit card?
Yes we accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. However if you choose to pay with Amex there is a 3% additional charge. And of course we accept cash. We don’t accept cheques or travellers cheques.
Do you pay cash for second-hand clothes?
Yes we may pay some cash or provide store credit in exchange for second-hand clean quality clothing and accessories such as shoes, hats, handbags, belts and costume jewellery. Our buying policy covers 2 key categories:
- Clothes and accessories that fit predominantly within our niche market of Retro and Vintage.
- Unique clothing or accessories. We’ve had dancing shoes, Burlesque and Belly Dancing outfits, Bowler Hats, Top hats and Tails!
Note that effective May 2017, we no longer buy Designer clothing due to the lack of space in our store.
Do you take items on Consignment?
Most other recycled clothing stores work on Consignment, but our policy is NOT to take on Consignment.
We may break that rule occasionally but it’s very much an exception to the rule. There are 2 key reasons. Firstly, it’s usually better for the person selling the item to take the cash or store credit as soon as we’ve made our offer, rather than have the item linger in our shop and perhaps have to take it back if it’s unsold and they’re then unpaid. Secondly, we find it easier to have paid for items up front so that we can have store-wide ‘special’ offers occasionally for our wonderful customers!
Do you take in new items as well as secondhand items?
Yes we do… if they are the right style to meet our niche. We buy in some items from the general public which haven’t been worn at all and still have the labels on. Sometimes we have customers asking for a specific accessory, and if it’s financially viable for them and us, we’ll buy some of those items too.
Are you always buying?
No not always. Occasionally we will be over-stocked and lack the room for additional items, or our buyer may be on holidays, so it’s important to call us first and make a booking for your items to be considered. It’s easy – just give us a call before you want to bring in your items and we’ll schedule it in. We may even come to you!
Although we prefer to take in items for the appropriate season, we do sometimes make exceptions and take in some winter items in summer and vice versa depending on our available space. We do have some customers who are preparing to travel overseas and are looking for alternative season clothing. So we are happy to hold some ‘out of season’ items in our store-room.
How much do you pay per item?
Unfortunately we can’t pay much, but even lots of small amounts can add up if you have a lot of things that we’re interest in. It depends on a number of things. For example we’ll consider how much we think we can sell the item for, how quickly, whether we believe it needs extra cleaning or mending, whether it’s in season or out of season, what size, colour, quality, and how much of that type of style of clothing we currently hold in stock.
Our policy is to ensure that we buy at prices which are economically sustainable to ensure longevity of our business and which allow us to turn over items quickly at reasonable prices to keep our customers happy and coming back regularly.
As we are not a charity organisation, and do have to pay rent, bills and staff wages, we can only survive if we pay a minimal amount for stock, so please don’t be offended at our offer. Obviously the amount of money you originally paid for the item, or the emotional connection you may have with it doesn’t affect what we can realistically pay for it.
Although we may only pay a few dollars per item, most of our contributors are happy in the knowledge that the item they’ve loved will hopefully be purchased by someone new who will appreciate and love it too! And for many contributors they’d prefer to get a little cash or store credit, rather than just donate everything to charity when they’re cleaning out the closet.
What’s the process of selling clothes to you?
There’s three simple steps ….
1. Call us to check we’re taking stock and schedule a time to drop off the items (or in some instances we will visit you).
Prepare your clothes usually in a bag or several bags (maximum 3 bags). Please don’t leave them on hangers… just folded in strong bags with handles is ideal.
Our Buyer will assess which of the items are suitable for our niche market – usually within 7 days.
2. Our staff will call or text you when we’re ready. We will give you a cash or credit offer for your clothing. It may be for all your items, or just some of them. You don’t need to make a decision at that stage, as we understand you may want to look at which we’ve selected to purchase.
Note: We are unique in our offer to pay cash for your clothes – up front! Others offer Consignment only so that you don’t get paid until (and if) they’ve sold your items.
3. You call back into the store to see what we’ve chosen and you can decide then whether you’ll accept our offer. At that time you can collect either the cash we’ve offered or the credit option, and take your returned items…. or take it all back if it doesn’t suit you.
Note: If you don’t collect your items within 21 days, we reserve the right to dispose of them at our discretion (usually through donation to a local charity). It’s also a good idea to read about buying policy before you bring in your items so that you have an idea of what we’re looking for and what we pay.
How accurate are the sizes on the labels?
We receive stock from many different parts of the world and their method of sizing can be quite different to ours. Plus, over the years our own scale of sizing has changed, so vintage clothing sizes can differ considerably too. The best thing is always to try the item on for size – and that’s the most fun method! The second best option is to compare the actual measurements.
Can I return goods?
There is a ‘No Return‘ policy for second hand items. However, remember that we do pay cash for clothes and accessories , so just bring it back with any other items you want to sell and we’ll make you an offer. In some exceptional cases we can take the item back and provide you with a store credit instead.
Do I get rewarded if I’m a regular customer?
Yes! You can pick up a Loyalty card in store for free. *Every time you spend $20 we’ll stamp the card for you. When you have 10 stamps you’ll receive a $20 shopping voucher!
*Note that the stamps are not applicable when you spend money using a Shopping Voucher or Gift Certificate.
We also offer VIP events occasionally, so when you’re in store (or online) let us know your email and mobile number and we’ll send you an invitation for the next event or special offer.