Shopping >Designer Exchange
On February 20, 2012, I phoned the store and talked with the owner and asked if I could pick up any unsold clothing early as I was due out of town and did not know when I would return due to illness in my family. At that time, the owner stated that I could not pick up my items until the 90 day consignment period ended. (The drop off date and end of consignment date were incorrect on my initial paperwork). She refused to pull my actual contract so that we could discuss the matter. After several conversations with the owner and store staff (who, I might add, were rude, uncompromising, and extremely lacking in customer service skills), the owner finally relented stating that I could come to the store but would need to pull my own clothing from the store racks. I had not previously been advised that this was store policy; in fact, I had been told that this was the responsibility of store employees; specifically, at my request, my clothes would be pulled from the store sales floor and set aside at which time I would be contacted for pick up. The owner further stated that she "had no employees and her store was run by volunteers". I have visited the Harris County Clerks website and found records indicating that Designer Exchange is a "for profit" company owned by a limited liability company. How does a "for profit" entity have no employees? Although I am not knowledgeable in the legal world, I would think this would be a violation of some sort. If it is legal, at minimum, this fact should be disclosed to consignors in writing. Upon review of the contract, it has a signature line noted for an employee, not a volunteer. Needless to say, when I arrived at the store, I searched for quite some time for my items but only located five (out of fifteen) articles which I had dropped off. When I inquired about my other items, she literally shrugged her shoulders and said that she "was not responsible for any missing items as was stated in her contract". I have worked with consignment shops many times over the years and, of course, I understand that there is always the possibility that something may be shoplifted, but this situation left me simply outraged to say the least! It seems strange to me that 10 items were not able to be found (after the store only had possession of my clothing for a period of just over 30 days!). This immediately raised a "red flag" with me. I may be able to grasp the loss of one or even two pieces, but 10! That seems excessive and certainly speaks volumes about the management skills of this store. I believe, very strongly, that my clothing could possibly been taken by store "volunteers" who are not monetarily compensated for their hours or that my items were donated well before the end of my consignment time frame (which would also be a direct breach of contract.) My articles of clothing are considered "high-end" with designer labels and represent a considerable investment. I had anticipated a return on my clothing and even shopping at Designer Exchange with a portion of my proceeds. Instead, I find the majority of my clothing has been stolen either by the store, its "volunteers", or under the "watchful eye" of unpaid and uncaring volunteers.