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 will then take 30 – 40% of your sales. (For related reading, see: 8 Tips for Getting the Most out of a Garage 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 do the rest. 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 five to eight dollars.
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 local consignment sales.
Presentation Is Everything
Consignment sales can be picky with what they 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. For more, see: Turn Your Old Clothes Into Cash.)
Generally, it is best to price your items 50 – 70% less than retail. For example, if you bought a $20 toy for your child, then it should be priced at $6 – 10. Clothes are usually priced $2 – 3 for everyday styles and brands from Cherokee, Faded Glory and Carters. You can charge more for brand-name clothing, such as Baby Gap, Guess (GES) 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. Don’t think about how much you paid for an item. Consignment shoppers are looking for great finds at rock bottom prices. (For more, check out: Top 5 Ways to Budget for a Baby.)
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 time, 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. (For more, see: How to Cost Effectively Spend on Baby Clothes.)
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.
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 consignment. 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 a piece at yard sales and then sell them for $5 – 7 a piece, 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. However, utilizing a consignment sale to sell these bigger items is quicker and allows you to avoid dealing with troublesome buyers directly.