How to make money at consignment sales!

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 I don't know about where you live but consignment sale season is in FULL SWING in my neck of the woods. 

Today I'm going to offer you some tips on consigning because it's a great way to spring clean your house and get rid of your stuff.

I love shopping consignment sales. It saves me a ton of money on stuff for my boys. I also feel like I am supporting people because consignment sales are often themselves small businesses owned by families, and then I'm also supporting other moms who are looking to make a little extra cash.

1. Get a clear understanding of what the sale is.

It's springtime. A lot of the sales that are coming up are going to be summer items. And they're only going to accept summer clothing. Now is not the time to get rid of snow boots and skis and whatever else people in winter weather need.

2. Take inventory of all of the things that you're going to be getting rid of.

My friend Rachel at Sweet and Simple Home says that she just keeps a basket, and as her kids outgrow things, she throws them into the basket. As you sit down to prep for the consignment sale, go through that basket and see what you have to sell.

What are some things that you can sell at a consignment sale? Pretty much anything a child is going to need: shoes, clothing, toys, books, movies, backpacks, costumes. Maternity wear, cribs. Some will accept car seats; some won't. Strollers, Rock 'n Plays, baby swings, breast pumps, bottles, nursing bras. DockATot sleepers, Pack 'n Plays. You name it, they'll sell it.

3. Wash and dry all of your items.

No one wants to buy your stinky children's clothes. Make sure that things are washed. Make sure that you use your best smelling detergents and some fabric softener there, if you need to.

Make sure that things are looking neat. People don't want to buy stuff with holes in it. People don't want to buy things that are stained. They want good quality items.

4. Gather the right supplies.

You need a few things before consigning. Children-size hangers, safety pins, packing tape, Ziploc bags, and cardstock.

 When you're selling clothing items, most consignment sales require that everything be hung up. So you're going to hang the item on the hanger and you're going to secure it with safety pins. You're also going to use a safety pin to pin on the label.

Most consignment sales have moved to an online form where you fill out all the information -- size, price, brand, that sort of thing. You print out the card, cut it out, and put it on the item.

If you're selling something like a Pack 'n Play, you're going to want to take the card and put it on there with packing tape. The same thing with toys. I've seen toys in large Ziploc bags and the prices are affixed to it with packing tape. I've also seen people -- I think this is brilliant -- they save those bags that large comforters and pillows and things come in, and they'll put large toys in those bags.


I know that when I am buying toys at a consignment sale, I look for things that are really hard to find or things that are sold in lots.

5. Determine your pricing.

Know what people are willing to pay for what brands. Some consignment sales will have some sort of formula for you to use. You know that higher-end brands are going to bring in more. And then something like Garanimals or that Cat & Jack from Target, people aren't going to pay top dollar for those. They will for name-brand items. But you're not going to recoup exactly what you paid for something.

Also know that if you sell more than one piece together, you're going to be able to charge more for that grouping of clothing than you would for just one shirt. One shirt from Carter's might sell for $3, but four shirts from Carter's might sell for $6 or $7.

Know that for higher-end brands, you're going to charge 25-30% of retail. I'm talking about boutique brands like Mud Pie.

 For larger baby items and larger baby toys or child's toys, you're going to charge about 25% of retail.

 Make sure what your consignment sale's minimum price is and base your pricing structure on that. Also, most of the consignment sales that I've been to have a 50% off day. So determine your price based on what the 50% off price would be.

6. Group your items in advance.

Go ahead and group things together by size. That way when you get to the consignment sale and you're ready to turn your items in, it makes things go by so much more smoothly.

  Also , consider volunteering because you can make more money if you choose to volunteer at these consignment sales. I know our consignment sale gives you an extra 10% for volunteering at the consignment event. It varies sale to sale and group to group, so check and see how much your group gives for volunteers.

What's the best thing that you've ever purchased at a consignment sale? Mine would be my $7.50 stroller.