I have been an avid children’s consignment sale shopper since my oldest Asher was a baby. Simply put, I love them! I loved the rush of the sale, the good deals, and even the time to myself to shop.
So when it came time to say farewell to all of our baby stuff, I instantly thought consignment sale! A local church in our area does a sale where sellers get 100% of their profit and since I’ve been to this sale before and know the turnout, I decided to sign up to sell.
I have learned that selling in a children’s consignment sale is not quite as fun as buying from one. So here are a few tips and tricks I picked up over the last few weeks that will hopefully help you if you are looking to participate in a consignment sale in the future.
10 Tips for Selling In a Children’s Consignment Sale
1. Research the Sale Before Signing Up
This might seem like a no-brainer but the fact is not all sales are created equal. It takes a lot of prep work to sell in a consignment sale so you’ll want to make sure the sale is worth your work. Here are a few things to learn before signing up:
- Seller fees: most sales include some sort of fee. This fee covers cost of rental space, materials, food for staff, etc. Some sales require an upfront fee while others ask for a percentage of total sales. For the sale I participated in, it was a flat $20 fee upon registration.
- The number of Items Limit: most sales will include a limit on the number of items you can sell so make sure you are putting in the items that will most likely sell first.
- Types of Items or Season of Items: most sales occur in early spring or early fall and ask that sellers sell clothing items that pertain to those seasons.
2. Know Your Work Doesn’t End on Sale Day
Consignment sales are most often staffed by the folks who are selling stuff. Make sure you know what you are required to do before you sign up otherwise there could be a negative impact on your profits. For the sale I am participating in I am required to work the evening before (setting up) and the entire day of the sale. If I chose not to work, I will lose $50 from my sale profits.
Note that some sales also allow friends and family to shop early if they work the sale as well. I have gained early access to a few big consignment sales by simply working to help set up the night before.
3. Get Your Hangers ASAP
Most sales have rules on how to display the items you are selling. I grossly underestimated how difficult it would be to get child-sized hangers. I honestly thought I would be lucky and be able to get some from Facebook marketplace but sadly if there were any to be found they were scooped up by other sellers before me.
Thankfully, hangers aren’t insanely expensive and I was able to get children’s hangers for 10/$1 at Walmart but it still meant I had to shell out even more money before the sale. Also, I now have hundreds of hangers.
If you know you are going to be active in consignment sales, you can make it a point to keep any hangers from clothing you buy leading up to the sale. Also, let family and friends know so they can do the same.
It is also worth noting the sale I participated in required pants hangers for all pants or shorts. I was unable to find a cost-effective set of hangers so instead, I purchased these clips from amazon. They clip to the hanger and turn a normal hanger into a pants hanger. They are also great for hanging full outfits together.
4. Getting Your Hangers Back
Every sale is different so be sure to check the rules of yours but for the sale, I participated in, if we labeled our hangers with our seller number we could get our hangers back.
This was an incredible option because it meant I could use the hangers we had at home instead of having to buy so many new ones. This did mean I had to take my kids’ clothes from their hangers but it was only for a night. In return, I saved us from buying more hangers that we wouldn’t need after the sale.
5. Securing Your Tags
When you sell in a consignment sale there is usually a specific method for pricing your items. For this particular sale we were sent a document with tags that we were to print on cardstock and adhere to our items.
Many sales allow either safety pins or a tagging gun. For this sale I used safety pins. If you choose to use safety pins, I recommend using the smallest size possible to secure your tag. This will make sure that large holes are not created in the clothing item. You can find safety pins at any craft store or craft section.
I also recommend checking with your sale staff to see if renting tagging guns is an option. Tagging guns take less time than safety pins.
6. Use Totes or Bins to Organize by Size and Season
Most children’s clothing consignment sales occur during the spring and then again in the fall. Because of this it usually isn’t possible to put all of your items into one sale.
Related: One Month Declutter Plan
I spent some time sorting my items by season. Being sure to store any of our cold-weather items in their own totes/bins for the fall sale.
If you plan to sell in future sales, consider storing items in a cold-weather bin and a warm-weather bin (vs size or gender) as it will save you time when pulling out items later.
7. Use Ziplock or Zipper Bags to Keep Items with Multiple Pieces Together
Consignment sales aren’t just about clothing. This is a time to sell any baby-related items you want. This includes blankets, wraps, towels, toys, etc.
If you find that you have several pieces in a set or tiny items (such as socks), you can keep them together easily by placing them into ziplock-style bags.
I used zipper bags to keep receiving blankets together, small toy sets, baby socks, hats, bibs, and feeding supplies.
Be sure to make every item of the package is visible to the seller when they handle the zipper baggie.
8. Use Zip Ties to Keep Shoes Together
It is crucial to keep shoes together when selling them and I found that small zip ties work wonders for this job. Simply run the zip tie through the loop at the back or through the laces. This will keep the pair together and make it easier when buyers pick them up to inspect them.
9. Create “Kits” to Encourage Buyers to Buy
Pair together like items in ways that will entice shoppers to buy. Examples include: bath towels and wash clothes, full toy sets (even if they didn’t all come together originally), feeding supplies, bottles, nursery decor, etc.
A large number of shoppers at these children’s consignment sales are soon-to-be or new moms. By pairing items that “go together” together, you take a bit of the guesswork out of it for these new moms. And in return, they are more likely to buy.
10. Price Items to Sell
Always remember why you are participating in this sale to begin with… it is to get these items out of your home and hopefully make a bit of money along the way.
You’ve already made the decision to buy this item for your home so don’t worry about trying to get top dollar for it. Price items at 10-20% of their original value and call it good. Pricing items too high will mean you end up not selling much and your work prepping for the sale might not be worth it.
Additionally, if you can get a feel for the sale ahead of time (ie: what most shoppers want) you can gauge what of yours is likely to sell. I made the mistake of assuming our clothes (which were priced to sell) would fly off the racks. But sadly the shoppers seemed to favor character-themed, casual clothing over plainer, solid-colored dressier clothing. I discovered these items would likely do better at a different sale. Oh well, lesson learned.
11. Clear Packing Tape is Crucial
Buy a couple of rolls. It is great for sealing up the tops of your zip lock baggies, and holding together other larger items such as towel sets, bottles, flip-flops or sandals, and other items.
12. Keep Unsold Items For the Next Sale
In full transparency, this sale took more work than I had anticipated. I think it was in part that I hadn’t ever done one before but also that we had 7 years and two genders worth of baby and children’s gear and clothing. It was a lot to sort through.
By the time the sale came around, I had announced to almost everyone that I would never do another sale like this again.
BUT… once the sale was finished I realized I still had several items tagged and on hangers. Thankfully this sale is one that will let you keep your seller number year after year and sale after sale so if I want to I am able to sell again in the fall and in future sales.
I decided I would go ahead and keep my items for the fall sale. Since so many things are already tagged and priced, I am interested in seeing if this helps decrease the stress I felt around prepping for the sale.
Once your sale is over you can also store away your items (if you have the space) and keep them for future sales. Often times these sales can be a great social event and a way to earn some extra money.
So what do you think? Do you think you’ll participate in a children’s consignment sale any time soon?
Or have you before? If so what advice would you add? Comment below!
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