I LOVE CONSIGNMENT SALES.
Perhaps you’ve shopped the sales…. but have you ever sold at them?
I used to think that selling at the sales was laborious and a waste of time… because would I really make that much money? Wouldn’t it take a super long time to price all my items? And I don’t even know where to start!
(Please note: This has been my consigning experience. Since all consignment sales are different, please be sure to carefully read your own consignment sale restrictions and guidelines. Some people only allow certain kind of hangers or certain kind of tags, etc.)
So okay, it does take some time to price everything, but I’ve found a few tricks that have really helped me streamline the process.
1. Collect items over time.
Over the course of several months, set aside clothes, toys, etc. that you no longer need/want. When you change the kids’ clothes from summer to winter or winter to summer, put the outgrown clothes in a box. When kids outgrow their shoes, pop those in the box too. Kids are always outgrowing toys– after your youngest kiddo moves on from soft blocks to duplos, put the soft blocks in the box. Hair accessories, swings, high chairs, cloth diapers, craft supplies, outdoor equipment, puzzles, games, etc.– you can sell it!
If you’re constantly adding to your box, then when the time for consigning comes around, you already have your stuff ready! Taking the “figure out what I’m going to sell” step out of the immediate process is HUGE and saves a ton of time.
My advice is to keep the box accessible enough that you can easily put things in it here and there, but also not in such a trafficked place that you get tired of seeing it and just give it to goodwill because YOU CAN’T STAND SEEING IT ANYMORE!
2. Sign up for the sale.
What sales are in your area? Get on their email list so that you know when it’s time for consigners to sign up! Take note of any consigner fees– factor that into whether or not you want to sell. I tend to only sign up for sales that are free, especially at first when I was trying to get a feel for how much money I’d make (it’s gotta be worth my time!).
3. Gather your supplies
- a TON of plastic hangers (if your consignment sale doesn’t provide these, you can visit kid stores for their plastic hangers. Or, if all else, Dollar Store sells kid hangers, 10 for $1). You can also ask friends and family! Most people have some plastic hangers they are looking to get rid of.
- a box of gallon-size ziplock bags.
- a roll of clear packing tape
- a package of colored cardstock paper
- a pack or two of safety pins
4. Organize your stuff and get it all ready.
Bring all of your stuff (boxed) out into a well-trafficked area. This is key, because you want to get so annoyed by it at this point that you just get it priced already! Ideally, this process should be contained to a week. You’ll want it contained in boxes for a few reasons: 1.) So your kids don’t see things they “really love” and can’t possibly get rid of. “Wow mom, this is my favorite thing ever! Why are you selling it?!” and 2.) You’ll do this next part one box at a time.
- Placing all of your clothes on plastic hangers.
- Placing all of your shoes into plastic ziplock bags.
- Organizing books into small sets that “make sense”. Place in ziplock bags or with strong rubber bands.
- Wrap any board puzzles in plastic wrap or ziplock bags.
- Make sure everything has working batteries. It will help your items to sell better if the buyer can know for sure that it works.
5. Start Pricing!
I’ve done this several different ways, and found that this way was the fastest:
- Go through each item in ONE BOX and enter it online into whatever database your sale uses. Print out the tag on colored cardstock (colors catch people’s eyes! cardstock holds up really well!).
- Cut the tags out and then attach them onto the items. For the clothes, you’ll want to pin the tags with safety pins, and other items, packing tape on top and bottom works out well. (but be sure to check your sale for any requirements– a couple are weird about what you can use).
- Put everything back in the box and then put it out of sight!
- Repeat with each box.
You may be thinking– wouldn’t it be easiest just to do alllll the entering, then alllll of the printing, then allllll of the attaching? It wasn’t for me. I found that searching for the “brown pants” is much easier when I have 40 items I’m searching through then when I have 120 items I’m searching through. This simple strategy cut my time almost in half!
As for pricing strategies, I’ve found that people go wrong when they get a little greedy. For consignment sales, think of a glorified yard sale. For clothes especially, don’t overcharge. For clothes 0-3T, I would suggest very little should be above $3.00 or $4.00 (for an outfit). 4T+ you can begin to price higher because there will be fewer items at the sale to choose from. ESPECIALLY for nice boys clothes, people will pay a lot more (up to 50% of the original price). I happen to have a boy that isn’t very hard on his clothes, which works out great for us!
Many of my items range from $1-$4 each, and I’ve made well over $100 (sometimes $200-$300) each sale with just a bunch of small items. I have really normal kid clothes- not a lot of name brands– many of them I’ve bought at kid consignment sales– so I pretty much get my money back when I sell them!
Typically I’m able to buy the kids’ next seasons’ clothes with the money I’ve made at each sale. For that, it makes it all worth it!
Next up- how to be a smart consignment sale buyer!
photo credit: AL.com