In the past few years it seems like consignment sales are popping up everywhere! As I am writing this, my dining room has been transformed into a smaller version of Gymboree and Toys R Us (and this picture is only one of the three tables!)
I have spent countless hours hanging, tagging and sorting in hopes of making some cash. This post is intended to give you some strategies for making the best of all those consignment sales.
Before you decide to consign, I encourage you to check out ConsignmentMommies.com. This is a great resource for getting started. It also allows you to look at all the different sales in your area, and that is really important!
Every sale charges a consignor fee (usually $5-$10) and also takes a portion of your profit. Contact the sales. Ask questions like how they advertise and how many people were at their last sale. Obviously, you will have a much better chance of selling your stuff at a sale with 2,000 visitors compared to 200! Take time to pick the sale that is going to offer you the best results.
You also have to take time and travel into consideration. Know that you will be expected to drop your clothes off at a certain time and also pick them up at a certain time after the sale. Another perk of some sales is the offer of early shopping for consignors or early entrance to half price sales. So, you could potentially be in the sale location three to four times in one weekend. The challenge in this is being sure you have time (and gas money!) to get to the sale during these time frames. I personally have chosen to consign at a smaller sale this year simply because it is closer to home. You are making less money if you are spending profit on gas!
I would also encourage you to keep track of what you’re spending on supplies and use cheaper options where you can. Hangers can be a huge expense, so ask stores in your areas if they can provide them to you. The Old Navy in my area will give me 25 free children’s hangers per visit, so this is a great option for me. Dollar stores can also be good sources for hangers, safety pins and zip ties. Be cautious, though, because I recently purchased a pack of index cards at a dollar store for $1 and then realized they were only 48 cents at Walmart.
One of the biggest challenges for me is the items that are forgotten by my children until I pull them out to sell. I am generally not one to encourage you to take your kids anywhere but right with you, but in this case, call Grandma! You really need to schedule some mommy time to prepare for these sales. It is a lot of work, and you will be able to do a much better job without little ones crawling all over you or having a meltdown because Kai-Lan has a zip tie around her neck (true story).
Another challenge is pricing items. I struggle with basing my items on worth instead of sentimental value. I know I drive my husband crazy pricing clothes, because I am constantly yelling “Hey, babe! Remember when he wore this to (insert memory here) and he was sooo precious!” The truth is, nobody at the sale cares that your little one looked so precious in it. They’re just trying to get a good deal. So, don’t put $8 on a t-shirt. Seriously, nobody’s going to buy it. Not even on half price day. There are some great resources on consignmentmommies for appropriate pricing.
Consigning really can be a great way to get rid of unwanted stuff and make a little extra cash. What are your tips for making the best of consignment sales?