Be prepared for shopping and selling with the children’s toys and clothing consignment tips. Real advice from a frugal pro!
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Children’s Clothing and Toys Consignment: Tips and Tricks from a Pro!
I’m getting some items together to sell them at an upcoming children’s clothing and toys consignment sale right now. I do this practically every season. It’s always a chore, but the rewards are so worth it! Here are some children’s toys and clothing consignment tips and tricks.
Wondering what to do with your child’s outgrown clothes, shoes, and toys? Consider making some money off of them!
- Consignors generally make enough money selling their used items that it pays for a majority of their children’s new wardrobe for that season (if they buy used too).
- You don’t feel so guilty paying for new clothes when you know you can resell them next year and get 10 – 50% of your money back on them (or more if you’ve been a savvy shopper and got the clothes cheap in the first place)!
Every spring and every fall there are usually several good clothing and toy consignment sales for children. After reviewing the ones near my own home, and picking out the one which I’m happy with, I’ve found that consigning is a very fruitful endeavor.
Here are some tips for how to consign at children’s clothing and toy consignment sales:
1. Sign up to be a consignor.
Contact the site of the sales you’re interested in participating in at least a month ahead of time to request consignor information and to register as a consignor. Some sales limit the number of consignors due to limited space, so the sooner you sign up, the more likely you are to be guaranteed a space.
2. Compare sales.
Compare several sites to decide which one is most profitable for you to consign – take into account the distance from your home, the location of the actual site and it’s attractiveness to buyers, whether the site charges a fee to consignors (most do not), and what percentage of profit is yours to keep (most sales offer you around 60%). I highly suggest consigning at sales that are hosted by “non-profit” sites (such as churches, or some preschools). These sites will give you a tax-deductible receipt for the amount you help them earn from selling your items at their location, which is a plus.
4. Presentation matters.
Pretty, clean, and neat things sell. When hanging clothing, it’s a good idea to snap/button/zip all closures and to iron things that are wrinkled. The nicer it looks on the hanger, the more likely it is to sell.
5. Hang clothing securely.
Secure clothing items to the hanger. If there are multiple pieces, make sure that each piece is attached very well to all the others. Things can easily fall off crowded racks, get lost or torn, get stepped on, etc. I use safety pins like crazy, and even use cable ties from the hardware store to attach the tag loop to the actual hanger. Pants work best when safety-pinned directly to a wire hanger. Socks, shoes, small items stay together best when placed inside a plastic baggie – tying them together isn’t always as secure, plus people will inevitably take the tie apart to try the shoes on their kids. Book sets, CD’s/DVD’s, puzzles, etc. are best wrapped in saran wrap or a large gallon baggie, then secured with clear packing tape so that it can’t be taken apart until the purchase is made.
6. Include pertinent details.
Include details on the tag, such as “NEW” or “Worn only once!” or “Great Easter dress” or “All pieces included” or “missing batteries but works fine,” etc. Think about what you would want to know about the item if you were buying it, and use as few words as possible to answer that question (there’s usually not much space on the tag).
7. Know what to expect.
Shop at the sale the season before you decide to consign there. You’ll see what quality of clothing and toys are typically sold, and you’ll see how much others charge for their items. You may decide to consign at two different places – perhaps you’ll find that some sites have more success selling “boutique” and brand-name clothing while others seem to sell more toys or bedding items. Besides, some sales restrict certain types of things like stuffed animals and maternity clothing, while others accept them without stipulations.
8. How to price your items.
In pricing, a good rule of thumb is to consider the value of the item you have when it was bought brand new, and if it’s in good condition and still “in style,” charge about 30-50% of that price. If it’s stained or in poor condition, charge about 10-20% of the original price (if the site allows you to sell stained or damaged clothing – some sales don’t). Shoes, socks, and underwear do not typically sell for very much – unless they’re in near perfect condition.
9. Use the markdown option.
Take advantage of the opportunity to mark your items for the special clearance/mark-down day, if it’s something you just really want to get rid of or don’t want to store any longer.
10. Donate things that don’t sell.
Some sales donate unsold items at the end of the sale. This is a very convenient option so that you don’t have to worry about your things that didn’t sell. If you donate, some sites will give you a tax-deductible receipt. And the items go to people who need them, which just feels good.
11. Shop the presales.
If the site offers discounts or special sale dates for volunteers or consignors, then you should try to take advantage of that opportunity as well! In many cases, you’ll get to shop earlier than the public, and sometimes you’ll get the “clearance day” discount earlier too.
12. Throw away recalls.
Do your part to protect other people’s children. Check your older toys and especially baby gear items and do not sell recalled items. Here is the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s list of product recalls.
If you don’t have a local consignment sale to shop and sell at, then you surely have a local consignment store to which many of these tips apply. I hope these tips and tricks serve you well in your next consignment endeavor!