06 Feb 2012 Thinking of consigning your kids stuff?
It’s that time of year again…kids consignment sales are popping up all around my neck of the woods. I love these sales because it means that I can get clothes, books & toys for my daughter at a fraction of the retail prices in usually nearly new condition. And it means my clients can clear out some of their unwanted items!
Shopping the sales is not for the faint of heart (crowds, masses of stuff to sift through, long lines) and neither is prepping if you want to be one of those who consign. From an organizers perspective, consigning can be a great way to declutter but only if you do it right and follow through.
There are definite benefits to consigning:
- Most sales offer the chance to get in before the regular buyers so you get first dibs
- You can clean out closets & playrooms making space for new things as your child grows & changes
- You can make some good money off of things that may have just been tossed or donated.
First, you need to find a sale (or two) in your area that takes the types of items you have to sell. Luckily, today, most sales have websites or at the very least, a facebook page. It didn’t always be this way and it has made it a lot easier to find the sales. It has also had a downside – consignment sales are limited on how many consigners they will take, and they fill up fast, so you need to jump on them as soon as you can.
Once you’ve identified a sale, read their policies very clearly. Be sure you understand how they split the money, when items need to be dropped off, how those items need to be packaged and labeled, find out if there is a minimum number of items you need in order to consign with them, what happens to items that aren’t purchased at the sale, etc.
Then sign up promptly if their terms suit you so you get a spot. Once that is done, the real work begins!
Getting the most for your efforts:
- Be realistic about pricing. Visit other sales, consignment stores, etc. Have a pretty good idea of what you would pay for something at one of these sales and price accordingly. Generally 1/4-1/3 of the retail is a good rule of thumb, but that doesn’t always work for really expensive items, even boutique or high end brands. People will pay more for these so you can go a bit higher – people are pretty brand conscious these days.
- Make it worth your while by only consigning items that are in good condition, clean and fairly recent in style. The faded Target t-shirt that has seen better days will get passed by while the Justice plaid skort (priced appropriately) will sell, especially if paired with matching leggings.
- Speaking of pairing items….don’t be afraid to combine items when selling. Don’t have too many items togehter but pairing a dress with tights, or gym shorts with a hoodie can work really well. A series of books packaged together works well and a Littlest Pet Shop play house with a few pets included will most likely sell better than just the house alone.
- Be aware of current trends, especially in toys. You can price hot items higher than last seasons must have.
- Be aware of the season. Most consignment sales happen twice a year or sometimes quarterly, and they only want items for the upcoming season. This may not be an issue in some climates but around here, the February/March sales are spring & summer items. The August sales are when the school & winter clothes show up.
- Don’t be emotionally attached to the items you are selling. Just because you loved it, doesn’t mean that anyone else will care. Price it as if you’ve never seen it before and ask yourself what you would realistically pay for it.
Go about prepping in an organized fashion. Find an area in your home that can act as a ‘staging area’ and set it up so you can easily get items ready to go to the sale.
Some materials you may need:
- Hanging clothes rack
- Laundry basket or plastic bins for toys & accessories
- Wire hangers (start collecting those dry cleaners hangers and ask your friends for theirs!)
- Index cards
- Safety pins
- Packing tape
- Ziploc bags (I like the freezer bags as they are more durable)
The sale you consign with will have specific requirements as to how the items are marked and merchandised. Follow them carefully or you may find that you are not welcome at the sale.
Gather all of the items you want to consign, checking them for damage, stains, parts, etc. Clean everything (sanitize toys with bleach if possible, wash all clothes in fragrance free laundry detergent, etc.) and check pockets for random objects that kids leave in their pockets. Check and double check for stains & tears.
Use Ziploc bags to hold groups of small items such as toys, hair bows, socks, etc. Staple the bags shut so items don’t fall out or go missing.
Safety pin clothing to the hangers so they don’t fall on the floor – don’t assume that if something is zipped or buttoned when you took it there, that it will stay that way. It will, until the first shopper comes along.
Start early! If you have your rack and bins set up and materials at hand, you can get items ready for sale as you come across them so when it’s time to drop off, you are ready to go.
Some sales worth visiting in the Nashville/Franklin area include Encores Consignment Sale (this one is huge and very well organized), Little Sprouts (smaller sale but nice items), Monkey Business (generally higher end & boutique brands held in Westhaven), Reruns are Fun! (held in the Factory), and one I haven’t been to but have heard good things about, Oak Hill School Consignment.
Would love to hear if you have any other great consigning tips!