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SHOP: Betsy's Consignments

Owner Betsy Peyser Continues to Offer High-End Fashion After 24 Years

In the current era of online shopping, fewer and fewer small businesses manage to hit the two-decade mark. However, Betsy’s Consignments of Ellicottville has been thriving for nearly 24 years, and owner Betsy Peyser has no plans to slow down.

Located next door to Ellicottville Salt Cave & Spa at 34 W. Washington Street, Betsy’s has been a village mainstay since Peyser opened the store in 1996. A village resident, Peyser has been skiing in Ellicottville for 60 years but called Aspen, Colorado home for a time. When she returned to Ellicottville in the mid-1990s, she brought an important part of that experience with her.

“I worked at a shop out there called Suzie’s Limited Consignments,” Peyser explained. “Suzie was my mentor, and I run my store a lot like she did out there.”

Like the famous Aspen store, Betsy’s Consignments features an impressive variety of previously owned high-end clothing at prices that can’t be beat. “I only take the best things, and there’s something for everyone,” she explained. “In Ellicottville, we have people coming in from all over - Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Toronto, and more. A lot of the people who shop with me are the people who consign with me, so I have a really interesting mix of wonderful things in pristine condition.”

Betsy’s carries beautiful women’s and men’s clothing, outerwear, housewares and books, purses, accessories, jewelry and a small children’s section. “If someone is looking for a ski parka, they can stop in here and buy one that’s like brand new that one of my consignors may have only worn for a season,” Peyser explained. “I’m open year ‘round, and my inventory is very seasonal. Right now, I have winter and ski items until the end of the season.”

Due to the influx of visitors – and consignors – during ski season, Peyser said items come in quickly, so there is always something new to check out. “Being right next door to the Ellicottville Salt Cave, which is a destination spa, people come from all over because it’s different or unusual,” she said. “They know it’s going to be a really cool mix of items here.”

Importantly, shoppers can count on high-quality brands that are in excellent condition. “People can find Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers, JoS A. Bank, Patagonia, and more,” Peyser listed. “Everything is in beautiful condition and all the clothes in my store are 100% ready to be worn.”

Peyser encourages those who may be interested in consigning to call her any afternoon at 716-699-6131 or visit her store to see the variety of brands she sells. All consignors receive 50% of an item’s selling price, a policy that Peyser has maintained since she opened her doors. “A lot of shops take 60 or 70% of the selling price,” she said. “But I’ve never raised my cut over the years.” All items belong to the consignor until they are sold. Unsold items remaining at the end of the season are donated to charity, though some consignors choose to pick them up.   

Betsy’s Consignments is open Mondays and Wednesdays from noon-5:00pm; Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:00am-5:00pm; and Sundays noon-4:00pm. Though she hasn’t jumped on the social media bandwagon or opened an online store, Peyser has found that customers’ positive experiences and good word of mouth have been very effective over the years.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s been almost 24 years,” Peyser remarked. “I live right here in the village, and I really enjoy my shop. You never know what’s going to be here, but whatever is going to be here is really great.”