How to Make Money Selling Kids’ Items at Consignment Sales

Quick and easy tips for selling clothes, shoes, toys, and more

No matter how many kids you have, whether it be one or 10, most parents face a common problem—too much stuff piling up. At the end of each season, you might find yourself with piles of clothes, shoes, used toys, and other odds and ends that your children have grown out of and are taking up space. Garage sales are great for selling junk and inexpensive items quickly, but selling your kid's stuff at a consignment sale will make you more money.

Most people think a consignment sale is a shop that you drop things off for consignment. That is one type of consignment place. However, the best place to sell your children's items is through a bi-annual, local consignment sale. The sales are usually four days long and allow you to set your own prices. The person running the consignment sale will then take 30% to 40% of your sales.

Key Takeaways

  • Consignment sales can be a quick and easy way for parents to sell the piles of clothes, shoes, and toys their children have outgrown.
  • A consignment sale is a local, organized shopping event usually held over three or four days.
  • Sellers drop off items they'd like to sell with event organizers, who are responsible for promoting and running the sale in exchange for 30% to 40% of total sales.
  • To sell your items fast and for the best price, be sure to present your items nicely, price your items correctly, group similar items together, and discount heavily on the last day of the sale.

Why Sell at a Consignment Sale?

All you have to do for a consignment sale is price your stuff and drop it off. The consignment workers will do the rest of the merchandising. They organize all the items, they advertise throughout the whole community, and they keep track of your sales. Since there will be a lot of shoppers, you can charge a better price for nicer items. For example, your Baby Gap sweater may have only earned you a dollar at a yard sale, but at a consignment sale, you can sell it for $5 to $8.

How to Find a Consignment Sale in Your Area

You can search online for the most popular city near you plus the phrase “consignment sale” to see if anything comes up. You can also go to the Just Between Friends website and search for local consignment sales.

Presentation Is Everything

Consignment sales can be picky about what they will accept. They do not want any clothing item that is torn or stained. They will also not take broken items or recalled objects. The best thing to do is to give all of your clothes a quick wash and spot treat any questionable items. Make sure clothing hangs nicely from the hanger and is not wrinkled. Wipe down any toys and replace the batteries.

Pricing Matters

Generally, it is best to price your items 50% to 70% less than the retail price. For example, if you bought a $20 toy for your child, then it should be priced at $6 to $10. Clothes are usually priced $2 to $3 for everyday styles and brands from Cherokee and Carters. You can charge more for brand-name clothing, such as Baby Gap, Guess, and Gymboree. You still want to keep the prices affordable though, so don’t price an item higher than $5, unless it is a special jacket, dress, or full outfit.

Remember, you are pricing to sell, so don’t think about how much you originally paid for an item. Consignment shoppers are looking for great finds at rock bottom prices.

What Will and Won’t Sell

You can sell almost anything at a consignment sale, given that it is the right price and a desirable item. The hardest things to sell are baby items and maternity clothing. These sales are overcrowded with baby clothes and items, so don’t expect to get as much for your newborn clothing or basic baby items, like bathtubs.

If the sale falls right before Christmas, then toys will sell quickly. Most shoppers are buying their Christmas gifts in advance and are willing to pay a little more for nice and gently used toys.

Discount to Make Even More

Consignment sales will offer a half-off day the last day of the sale. This is your last chance to make money and get rid of stuff. It is a good idea to mark your items half off if you want them to sell. Parents working with a tight budget often wait until the last day of the sale, knowing this is the best time to bargain hunt.

Group Items Together

To sell your items at a higher price and at a faster pace, group like items together. For example, not many shoppers will want to buy a onesie for $2. However, shoppers will want to buy a set of five onesies for $5. You can also group similar books together or similar small toys together.

Flip Used Goods to Make Even More

One way to maximize your profit at this sale is to shop yard sales several weeks before the consignment sale, looking for items you can easily flip. You are looking for clothing, books, and toys that you can sell for a profit at the sale. For example, you can purchase toys for about a dollar each at yard sales and then sell them for $5 to $7 each, depending on their retail value. This method will not make you a lot of money, but it can potentially earn you about $3 per item.

The Bottom Line

If you need to get rid of your baby and children’s items quickly, a weekend consignment sale is the way to go. Typically, you can earn more for bigger items, such as strollers or baby furniture, through Craigslist ads or through one of the popular alternatives to Craigslist. However, utilizing a consignment sale to sell these bigger items is quicker and allows you to avoid dealing with troublesome buyers directly. 

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The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.