The economic recession has created a second train of thought among consumers before an expensive purchase, but Turn Style Consignment in Ahwatukee Foothills has turned second-hand into first choice.

Darlene Vollhardt, an avid shopper at Turn Style, said she loves the store's selection and variety, but also that the store doesn't pay outright like many other consignment stores. She said they give customers an option of store credit that can be used later to purchase items.

"My favorite thing is credit," Vollhardt said. "I don't have to spend any money and I love that I can clean out my closet."

Turn Style accepts second-hand or gently-used clothes, furniture, home items and jewelry. Once the item sells, the seller gets a percentage of the selling price. The seller then has the option of either a check or store credit.

Full-time associate Nicole Amedeo said that this is one of the reasons Turn Style is so popular for people looking to consign.

"People get to make more money," she said. "Stores that buy outright only pay around 30 percent cash and we pay 45 percent."

Amedeo added that while Turn Style sells its items at one-third of the retail price, some outright consignment stores sell at only one-fourth of the retail price. This not only gives the customer more money for their items, but creates more revenue for the company, she added.

Because Turn Style pays after the item has been sold, they also have a return policy unlike many other consignment stores.

"I like that they have a return policy," Vollhardt said. "With most consignment stores, once you buy it, that's it."

However, once the item is returned at Turn Style, that doesn't mean the consigner's money is lost. Returned merchandise is for store credit only. This allows the consigner to keep the money they made, as well as brings the customer back into the store.

Vollhardt said the lack of consignment store competition in the Ahwatukee area and Turn Style's location just off Interstate 10 brings her into the store often.

"It's really convenient and close by, and easy to park," she said. "With gas prices as high as they are right now, I'm not going downtown to go to one store."

Vollhardt noted that Turn Style also offers quality clothing and a nice atmosphere.

"The girls are really helpful there," Vollhardt said. "Turn Style has the best variety and the best prices and their clothes are not shabby, holey or anything because they are picky in what they take."

The manager of the store, Gail Dano, also believes that the environment and selection is what keeps the store's customer base.

"I think our success is due to the total environment of the store," Dano said. "Clothing is clean and we have current styles. The home stuff is clean and there is a great variety."

Turn Style is located at 4940 E. Ray Road. For more information, call them at (480) 705-9620.

Emily Pomilio is a student at The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University.

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