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Consignment & Shopping FAQs

Learn all about shopping our amazing selection or selling your wedding dress & formal wear through our consignment service by clicking the FAQ's below.

  • I have never shopped "used" before, what can I expect?
    Our service and experience in wedding and formal has rave reviews because we offer private studios, informative consultations and a very low pressure environment. With all the amenties of a "regular" bridal salon we never compromise the experience of shopping for your special event because you chose a more eco-conscious option. Shopping sustainably is much more common than it used to be! Many of our items are new with tags and never worn while the majority of them are once worn, cleaned and restored to be ready to wear. The hundreds of options you shop here are the same dresses you will find in retail, by the same designers and of the same quality. You will also find a variety of items that are only available through online shops and therefore would have to be ordered without being able to try on. By shopping in consignment you are able to take advantage of trying before you buy the EXACT dress you take home. You are able to try on the most sought after options by clients just like you as our dresses come from bridal salons all over Winnipeg. You also have access to gowns from New York to Australia and styles that are not sold anywhere else in Manitoba. Most importantly all of our options are sold for less than retail with no shipping fees or duties to consider and may even include alterations that save you hundreds of dollars. If you like to save money, shop unique and current collection of dresses while supporting an environmentally friendly way to wed our services are for you!
  • What do we sell at Pearl & Birch?
    Pearl & Birch specializes in new and previously owned wedding and event wear. We carry wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses, wedding party attire, Mother's attire, flower girl dresses, graduation gowns, cocktail and event wear. We also offer shoes, clutches and evening bags, jewelry, hair pieces, veils, jackets and wraps in addition to velvet ring boxes, embroidered handkerchiefs and unique gifts. Consider us a one stop shop for wedding and events! Pearl & Birch Wedding and Formal is our new Portage location.The cocktail and event inventory that was previously sold at our St. Mary's location will now be added to our new store by the end of August.
  • Do I need an appointment to shop at Pearl & Birch?
    AS OF MARCH 2024 WEEKENDS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY FOR ALL SHOPPING & SERVICES. DUE TO THE HIGH VOLUME OF SHOPPERS WE WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO ACCOMODATE APPOINTMENTS ON SATURDAY & SUNDAY. Pearl & Birch Wedding and Formal offers walk in shopping for bridesmaids and wedding party dresses, graduation gowns, Mother and mini guest attire, cocktail and event styling, accessories, veils, shoes and unique gifts Monday - Wednesday and Fridays. We are closed Thursdays. We strongly recommend appointments for wedding gown consultations as we offer private studios, personal stylists and seating for those visits. We will accomodate walk ins space, staff and time permitting during the week. Weekends are by appointment only without exception. Our consultations are 1.5 hours and can be booked by calling 204-237-6625 or using our online calendar. Clients who choose to not book appointments are less likely to have a successful shopping experience simply because formal dress shopping is supported by a consultant that understands the inventory and can support your unique needs.
  • Do the regular wedding consultations cost money?
    NO. The appointment fee is listed as $25 on the online calendar. However, this is only in place to reserve the appointment and the instructions will indicate to select "RESERVE WITHOUT PAYING". The charge is only processed as a cancellation fee if the appointment is cancelled within 24 hours or the guest no shows/no calls on their appointment. Our policy ensures that clients who book with us are genuinely interested in our staff and services. After experiencing a high volume of last minute cancellations and no shows this policy was put in place to value the time and effort of our small business. As of January 10, 2023 all regular grad and dress shopping visits will no longer require a credit card to book. Please be mindful that the cancellation policy should still be respected.
  • Why are wedding gown consultations primarily offered by appointment only?
    Any time you need to shop for an item that you don't have a great deal of experience with, working with a expert is going to get results. Wedding dress shopping is no different. Our consultants can offer insight into our inventory, information on alterations, support you in determining what is important to you in a gown and assist you in changing, fitting and styling your choices. Our private studios are designed to be relaxed, spacious and comfortable and offer seating and space away from walk in shoppers to create a more intimate experience. After years of connecting dresses the most common observations regarding wedding dress shopping is clients not finding what they are looking for in the vast amount of choices available, not understanding the actual alterations investment and feeling overwhelmed. Our appointments eliminate all of these concerns and provide an exceptional amount of information and guidance. Clients who walk in tend to have less confidence accepting help from a stylist and more often then not leave without realizing that there are many options suited to them which we could have guided them to if given the opportunity to explain how our tags are designed and how to shop effectively in preloved formal. Same day and walk in consultation MAY be considered but our based on staffing and studio availability. Our front fitting rooms are not utilized for wedding gowns.
  • What are the business hours?
    Our hours change seasonally and are updated regularly on our Google listing. As a small business we may have to close early from time to time due to staff illness or unforeseen circumstances. Out of town clients are encouraged to call ahead. After hours appointments may be available. We are currently open during the following hours as of June 2023: Pearl & Birch Wedding and Formal 1857 Portage Ave Monday though Thursday 11-8 Friday 10-5 Saturday 9-5 Sunday 10-5 We are closed for the long weekends in the summer and will only host visits by appointment only if we choose to during the long weekends.
  • Is your location accessible?
    Our new space was designed to accommodate all clients including ones using mobility assistance such as walkers, scooters, strollers. The front entrance is sloped and offers a double door if needed. Keep in mind there is no power door so a phone call to the in-store team if you would like someone to open the door for you can be made at 204-237-6625. If you would like to park in the back there are 4 parking stalls directly behind our building for guests and we have a rear entrance with ramp. This can be accessed by calling us and arriving at the metal door on the right side of our back wall.
  • How many dresses to you carry in your inventory?
    We have thousands of dresses in stock at all times. Typically you will find over 350 wedding gowns, 500 bridesmaids and evening dresses, 250 graduation and gala gowns along with hundreds of cocktail dresses. For most shoppers who try on a range of two sizes you can expect to have a minimum of 5-15 dresses to consider based on your personal style, budget and fit. We receive 5-10 new wedding gowns and 25+ dresses a week through our consignment program which means we have new items being added to the floor daily.
  • What sizes do you carry?
    Pearl & Birch Wedding and Formal currently has dress from size 0 up to size 28. Our plus size section sells the most consistently and receives less inventory which means those options can fluctuate. At any time we will have a minimum of 5-15 options in a clients size range based on their budget, style and fit. Pearl & Birch Boutique offers sizes 0-24 currently. The size options will change based on our invemtory that day. This shoppe also carries more mall brand options that tend to fit true to size whereas formal designers run small.
  • Do you carry new dresses and accessories?
    Absolutely! Many of our clients consign new, unworn, unaltered with tags items. New dresses make up about 25% of our inventory. We also carry new jewelry, hair pieces and accessories made by local companies. All new inventory is carefully selected to reflect the values and mission of Pearl & Birch. You will find an variety of options from online only shops that have also never been worn due. These designs are often not available locally and help us create a unique inventory.
  • How much do your dresses cost?
    Pricing of our inventory is based on the age, style and market value of the item. We look at what the dress sells for new, the condition and alterations in order to create a value. WEDDING GOWNS The average cost of a wedding gown that sold in retail for $1800-$2500 would be listed for $1200-$2000 on our racks. The average cost of a wedding gown that sold for $1000-$1700 in retail would be listed for $600-$1400 on our racks. We currenty have over 300 wedding dresses listed between $500-$5000 at our Portage Avenue location. We currently have over 100 dresses priced at $800 or less available at our 539 St. Mary's Road location as clearance. We reduce all new, unworn dresses by a minimum of 15% off retail. We reduce all worn, altered dresses by a minimum of 20% off retail. BRIDESMAID/EVENING/GRAD We price our formal wear up to 80% off retail. Our bridesmaids and evening gowns average between $75-160. Our graduation gowns average between $180-$450. Our 539 St. Mary's location has a secltion of over 100 formal dresses for under $50 as clearance. COCKTAIL AND ACCESSORIES Our event and guest attire is filled with incredibly priced dresses, jumpsuits and accessories. Dresses are priced as low as low as $15. You will find evening and Mother's cocktail dresses at our Portage location. The majority of our every day and event cocktail dresses are at our Boutique on St. Mary's Road. This includes seasonal options for wedding guests. We currently have a $5 rack that hosts over 75 dresses as clearance at that location.
  • What condition are your used items in?
    Consignment allows us to create an inventory that is incredibly unique. All clothing items and shoes have to be cleaned before being placed on the floor. Because each of our items are new or have only be enjoyed by one owner and cleaned before sale the gowns remain in excellent condition with minimal wear from being tried on. Some items may have irreversible blemishes that are noted on the tag and considered in the price. Otherwise, we typically offer to restore or clean small imperfections free of charge for the person who buys the item if the show wear from being considered in our fitting rooms. Marked down items will be sold as is.
  • What is your return policy?
    Due to the nature of consignment and the fact that we sell on behlaf of the community all sales are final. Keep in mind all formal dress shops tend to have a no return policy. For us specifically our sellers are notified through our online portal and we need to honour the expecation once the sale is processed it is considered no longer in our care and therefore no longer on consignment. We offer hold options, extensive consultations on alterations and a detailed client filing system to track all of our shoppers considerations. Please read the tag and clarify quotes on alterations if this impacts your budget and decision making process.
  • How do I consign with Pearl & Birch?
    Consignment is the process of selling an item on behalf of another. Payment for each sale occurs after the item is sold. Pearl & Birch curates our inventory to ensure the items we bring in are what is being shopped by our market. UPDATED If you would like to sell with us simply REQUEST an intake appointment via our online calendar. You will provide your name, contact info and details about the item(s) you are wanting to sell. You may also attach pictures. If we feel we can connect your items we will update your appointment to APPROVED. We respond to all consignment intake requests. If we feel that we cannot sell your item(s) your requested appointment will be cancelled and you will be notified via email.
  • Do I need an appointment to bring in my items on consignment?
    Yes you do! Because of the high volume of shoppers, our focus remains on providing superior customer service. We are unable to accommodate walk in consignments, no exceptions. Please use the links provided on our website to request a consignment intake and fill out the request form. We will pre-screen your item(s) and update your request once we review the form. Items that have been accepted will recieve an updated APPROVED appointment. Items that have NOT been accepted will receive a CANCELLED appointment notification.
  • Do I need an appointment to discuss my current consignment account?
    Yes, all consignment services are by appointment only. If you are coming into the shoppe you will need an appointment to ensure a consignment specialist is available. Walk ins may be told to return at a later date or email.
  • How long is the contract?
    As of October 2018 our contracts are for a one year term to the day. If you consign on January 1, 2019 your item(s) expire on January 1, 2020. There is an option to remove an item from the contract after the first 6 months without penalty. Early removal of items prior to the 6 month mark are subject to a fee of 25% of p&b's potential profit based on the list price indicated on your contract. This allows us to showcase your items to a season of shoppers and ensure that clients returning for top contenders are able to find them here.
  • How much does consigning my item(s) cost?
    To book your intake a charge of $10.00 + tax will be requested as an administration fee. There is no limit to the amount of items you can put on consignment (but there are items limits per appointment!). If you pay to use any cleaning service or if your payout is less than $200.00 we will waive the administration fee. We have invested years of market research into evaluating and pricing items for resale. The administration fee is non-refundable and considered a consultation fee if you choose to not proceed with the consignment.
  • How many items can I consign at once?
    We will review up to 6 items per visit. We will accept items at our discretion and based on their ability to be sold. We charge a flat rate of $10.00 + tax to consign items (see previous question regarding how much consignment costs). If you are bringing in more than 6 items please provide this information during the booking of your appointment. We will either choose to extend your appointment time to accomodate the number of items or ask that you make a new appointment when we have time to process that many pieces of inventory.
  • How much will I get for my dress or other item?
    How much an item will be priced for is discussed during the consignment intake. We determine a list price by reviewing multiple factors including, but not limited to, the year the item was purchased, condition of the item, the original purchase price, the alterations investment, the current market value for that item/comparable items, current store inventory and client needs. Our standard rate is 50/50. If a client is looking to consign a high end designer dress, please contact Pearl & Birch for more info. Overpricing a gown will increase the amount of time it takes to sell and may result in unnecessary wear and tear as clients will try on that item but ultimately decide not to purchase. Items priced reasonably will sell more quickly and maintain their condition. Our pricing strategy will be explained clearly and a price range offered to each seller. The seller can then choose what they want to list their item(s) at based on the price range we suggest.
  • What do you do to sell my items?
    Pearl & Birch maintains a store front that offers all the amenties of a traditional salon and more! This means our clients have access to private spaces, reserved time, one-on-one consulting with knowlegdeable professionals, access to consultations with our in-house seamstresses as well as the convenience of regular business hours and payment processing. Our extensive use of social media, collaborations within the wedding industry, styled photoshoots, trade shows, monthly newsletter and promotions are what get our Birches in here looking at your dresses! We also invest in stock photography twice a month to highlight store inventory. We will publish professional photos provided by the consignor to feature your dress online and in store. Nothing replaces the value of being able to try before you buy and the option to shop multiple styles and sizes. This is why our business is more successful than selling through online community platforms. Most of the magic takes place in store and we invest a great deal of effort and education into the guest experience which is ultimately what has made us successful in selling for the community.
  • Do you pay cash for dresses?
    No, we do not pay cash for dresses. Although we would love to provide a buy out option for clients we are unable to offer this service. Very rarely have we bought dresses outright. If we do it is for a fraction of the amount that could be earned if the item had been put on consignment. Consignment offers a higher return for our sellers because the initial investment and risk for the business is low. If we were to offer a buy out option it would be significantly less than the 50% payout our consignment service offers. Insider info: we offer a buyout option for formal and amazing promotions through our newsletter during select months. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the exclusive information about these limited opportunities.
  • How do I keep track of my sales at Pearl & Birch?
    The best way we can serve our consignors and sell their items is by being available for our shoppers! We request consignors utilize our Consignor Access Portal for 24 hour access to the status of their account balance. For this reason, Pearl & Birch does not contact consignors directly when their inventory has been sold. Consignors are encouraged to check their account frequently. If your account shows a balance an item has sold. You will receive your payment in accordance to the terms laid out in your contract with consideration to any new and current policies listed on the Consignor Access page. Please use the menu within your portal to view reconciled items, inventory and activity. The date bar must be set to the day you consigned and beyond to show all of your items and activity.
  • I never got my Consignor Access link?
    Consignor Access links are sent to your email inbox as soon as we enter you in our system. This may take up to 72 hours. If you have not received the link make sure to check your spam or junk folders. If you still cannot find it please send us an email at consignment@pearlandbirch.com with your full name, email and phone number and we will be happy to send you a new link!
  • What is my Consignor ID and/or password?
    Your Consignor ID (which is also referred to as your account number) is your ten digit phone number. You password a computer generated password which you will be prompted to change the first time you log in. If have forgotten your password after changing it, please send us an email at consignment@pearlandbirch.com and we can reset your account.
  • How and when do I get paid?
    All funds are available to consignors as of the 15th of the month following the month of sale. If your item was sold in March, your funds are available to you as of April 15th. If the 15th of the month does not fall on a Pearl & Birch business day (see CONTACT for hours), payouts will begin on the next business day following the 15th. E-transfer If you indicated on your contract you would like the funds via email money transfer (EMT) this will happen automatically during the payout cycle. EMT may take up to 7-10 business days. Payouts do not occur on weekends. You do not need to contact us to request your EMT. A reminder that EMT comes at a charge of $2.00 to the consignor. Balances below $50.00 will be reserved until additional items sell unless it is the last payout of your contract and we are closing your account. You can request a one time cash payout for balances below $50. All cash payouts must be eligible when scheduling. Cash If you indicated on your contract you would like a cash payout please schedule an appointment with us. We require 2 business days notice to prepare the cash for you. A reminder that we do not notify you when your item is sold so make sure to check your account in the Consignor Access portal and to contact us to schedule an appointment to pick up your cash!
  • What if my item doesn't sell?
    You may pick up your item(s) or request to enter into a new contract for your account to remain active. Both options require an appointment. Items not retrieved or placed back on an active contract become the property of Pearl & Birch after the contract expires and the 7 day grace period lapses. All of this information is presented in your contract in great detail. UPDATED EXPIRY POLICY: As of 2022 our property clause has been removed. Items left off contract will now have their percentage reduced to 10% if sold or are subject to a storage fee in order to be reclaimed. We feel this change honors our need to manage the huge volume of inventory we have while allowing some flexibility for clients who do not honor their contract expiry date. This policy is not retroactive to previous contract holders and will be explained in great detail at your intake. Expiring items: All we require from our consignor's is that contact be made BEFORE the grace period ends. Once a consignor has established contact next steps will be provided. Picking up: Item returns need preparation time and include papework. We request 24 hours to gather your items and draft your release forms. We cannot accomodate walk ins for any consignment services. New contract: Pearl & Birch will offer a new contract for items that we feel confident we can sell and return any remaining items we don't. We do not email new contracts. We will have a team member available to personally go through the new contract with you during your scheduled visit.
  • AS OF JANUARY 2022 THIS POLICY BEEN UPDATED, PLEASE CONTINUE READING: Why does Pearl & Birch have a property clause in the contract?"
    AS OF JANUARY 2022 WE HAVE UPDATED OUR CONTRACT TO ELIMINATE THE PROPERTY CLAUSE. IN IT'S PLACE WE WILL OFFER A REDUCED PAYOUT PERENTAGE AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO PAY A MINIMAL STORAGE FEE. THESE NEW DETAILS WILL BE EXPLAINED IN YOUR INTAKE. ANY SELLERS WHO SIGNED WITH US PRIOR TO THESE CHANGES WILL HONOR THEIR ORIGINAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS. We have been in operation for 7 years and during that time sold thousands of items for over 2000 consignors. Managing the volume of clients and inventory we have requires policies and procedures that ensure we are making the best use of our resources. As a consignor, you have hired us to sell your items and we want to focus on doing that. Time spent contacting, following up with and maintaining unclaimed inventory severly affects the businesses ability to maintain successful relationships with our other consignors and our shopping clients. A property clause places the responsibility on the consignor to manage the timeline of their property and allows us to do what we do best- connect your closet! Property clauses are utilized in hundreds of consignment stores across North America. Our contract explains in great detail how contract expiry works and a grace period is provided to allow consignors ample time to establish contact with Pearl & Birch. Maintaining your contract date information is as simple as programming a reminder in your phone which we include in our intake process!
  • I lost my contract, how do I get a new one?"
    Please email consignment@pearlandbirch.com or call the shoppe during regular business hours. Due to the increase in lost paperwork Pearl & Birch charges $20.00 + taxes administration fee to replace lost contracts.
  • I don't remember my expiry date?
    Try to locate your original contract. Your expiry date is on the second page listed in the terms and conditions. The expiry date is also listed in your Consignor's Access account which was updated in September 2021 to include a more expansive and detailed look at your consignment account with us. If you have lost your contract you can request new paperwork or email consignment@pearlandbirch.com with your name, email and consignor ID (ten digit phone number). There is an administration fee of $20.00 + taxes to replace paperwork.
  • How has Covid-19 affected your ability to sell items?
    Pearl & Birch has adapted to the changes in retail by focusing on the health and safety of the environment we provide, ensuring shoppers trust coming to our shoppe. We have established an online booking system that offers 24 hour access to scheduling visits, an online shoppe that allows us to create galleries and feature items as well as consistent business hours to meet the needs of our visitors. We have had wonderful results with connecting wedding and graduation gowns this year and their continues to be high demand for both. In light of the limitations on weddings, postponements and financial shifts many shoppers are choosing to ready to wear, affordable gowns to avoid ordering timelines and high price tags. This creates amazing opportunites for us to connect your closet!
  • My contract expired during the mandated closure of March 18 - May 5, 2020- what changes were made during this time?"
    As per the provinical mandate Pearl & Birch closed to the public between March 18 - May 5, 2020. We reopened on May 5, 2020 with a very specific reopening plan that was posted on all our social media channels and our website. Communication with any consignor who emailed us during the closure or left a voicemail was returned the week of May 19-23, 2020. If you emailed us during this time and were not contacted please contact us immediately. Pearl & Birch has been reopened for 6 months with regular business hours, an active voicemail, daily monitoring of our inbox and frequent updates on all of our platforms. As a small business we have done our absolute best to be as available and informative as possible. All accounts the expired between March 18, 2020 and May 23, 2020 had their grace periods extended to match the number of days we were closed. This means that all of the accounts that expired during the closure were extended by 77 days. The final date for pick up on a contract that expired during the closure and was provided the 77 day extension was August 8, 2020. Once the 77 day extension period ended the contract was considered expired and the terms and conditions regarding expiry were applied.
  • My contract has expired during the pandemic and I did not contact Pearl & Birch, what happens now?"
    As a small business who employs an even smaller staff we have felt the effects of Covid-19 just as our clients have. As mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, grand daughters, aunts and friends. We acknowledge that this year has been extremely hard for everyone. Pearl & Birch has dedicated a significant amount of resources to updating our outgoing voicemail, monitoring our inboxes, crafting up-to-date autoresponders, publishing current information on our various online platforms and maintaining consistent business hours to ensure we were providing every opportunity for consignors to communicate their needs and retain their property. We have done this while utilzing every financial resource we have to remain open. Contracts that expired after May 23, 2020 were subject to the terms and condtions of the contract including clauses regarding property. That being said, we provided an internal consideration period that was in effect until September 4, 2020. Our team determined that 4 months or 120 days was a generous and sufficient time frame for consignors to re-establish contact with our business based on the changes caused by the pandemic. Any client who contacted us up to September 4, 2020 had their contract reviewed by our consignments manager for possible exemptions. At this time we have suspended exemptions. Pearl & Birch goes to great lengths to present contracts in a detailed and transparent fashion. We are expected to honour our obligations as laid out in the paperwork where payments and consultation are concerned and we feel very strongly that our consignors should respect the partnership by honouring their obligations as well. At some point, the business must return to our normal operating procedures. And this includes recouping the cost of caring for and showing items left abandoned in our shoppe. A storage fee may be arranged for items that have become store property if they still remain in the shoppe. Storage fees are determined by the Consignment Manager. If you would ike to discuss your expired contract, status of your item(s) or storage fees please email us at consignment@pearlandbirch.com and request an Account Status Review.
  • My contract did not expire during the closure, what changes have been made to the terms and conditions of my consignment?"
    All contracts that did not expire during the closure will maintain their terms and conditions as as agreed upon during the initial signing. That includes grace periods and expiry dates as well as client communication regarding pick ups and and renewals. We understand that clients may want to recoup the time lost on their one year term. Automatically extending all contracts would require a complete update of our entire consignor database and would alter the contracted agreement for every client, disrupting our very detailed record keeping and enforcing longer terms on clients without their consent. If your item(s) did not sell and you wish to reconsign because of the 7 week closure we are happy to waive any fees associated with a new contract and provide you another term free of charge.

CONSIGN  WITH PEARL & BIRCH IN 3 EASY STEPS

SELL WITH US

After years of selling in the wedding and formal dress market we know a thing a two about connecting your closet. Supported by our organized intake process, proven pricing formula and the services required to create 5 star experiences for our shoppers our consignment program has successfully sold thousands of dresses while helping our clients avoid the stress and inconsistency of online sales platforms.

Join a circular fashion system and make money on your once worn items by hiring a team of dress brokers who are experts in reselling, reparing, and reclaiming.

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Collect your closet

1.

Gather your new and used wedding, formal & event attire and accessories. Be sure to review your cocktail dresses, shoes and evening bags.

SEE WHAT'S ON OUR MOST WANTED

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Request your appointment

2.

Review our online calendar, fill out the form and request an appointment. Wait for your request to be updated to an approved consignment intake. 

ALWAYS ACCEPTING NEW ITEMS!

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Complete your intake

3.

Meet with a consignment specialist to review your items and discuss pricing, condition and cleaning. Complete your contract in 30 minutes or less.

OUR FAQ'S HAVE ALL THE DETAILS

Had a great experience at Pearl & Birch! They were able to sell my dress and hair piece. My alterations were done so poorly by my previous seamstress that my dress was not salable. Their wonderful and talented seamstress, Adrianne Hill, fixed my dress at no cost and it sold shortly after. Highly recommend!

"

- Ashley G. -

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