Kids grow. Kids wear their everyday clothes hard. Kids wear their special occasion clothes once. Kids experiment and change their minds about lot of different interests and activities. My solution for accommodating all of this growing and change is shopping consignment sales.
If you're not familiar with these "pop up" sales, let me explain how they work. These sales are often franchised businesses that set up shop in regional locations several times per year. The sale is built on hundreds of consignors' items and staffed by volunteers. The sale lasts several days with various periods of VIP shopping, public days, half-price days, and (my favorite) a 1-hour Dollar Dash at the very end before leftovers are donated to charities. Consignors pay to sell their items and redeem a percentage of their items' total sales.
My local consignment sale is in full swing so I thought I'd share just a few thoughts on getting the best deals (and making the most on the things you sell)!
To Get The Best Deals
1. Consign or Volunteer. If you register to be a consignor or volunteer to work for one or more shifts during the sale you benefit in several ways. Consignors get early access to the sale and volunteers get in even earlier! Early access offers buyers the best selection of specialty items and items that have been priced really well by sellers. The public has to pay for VIP access or wait until the sale is actually open to the public. In some cases, volunteers may also get early access to the sale on the half-price day!
2. Grab the Good Deals. If you're shopping prior to the half-price day, don't let a good deal go. There are sellers who expect top dollar for their items and, unless it's something you really need or love, you may want to wait to see if they're still around on a discount day. (Check the tag to see if the seller has authorized the item to be discounted or not.) Some sellers, however, really follow the suggested pricing guidelines or price items at an even better deal and those things go fast!
3. Shop the Discount Day or Time. If your local sale offers a half-price day or dollar dash, be sure to take advantage and get there early! I have scored AMAZING deals during the Dollar Dash at my local sale. During this hour, all items originally priced under $20 are just $1 and items originally priced over $20 (think train tables and outdoor play equipment) are just $5. Keep in mind that many sellers group multiple items (e.g. 2 tops and 2 bottoms) together so it's very possible to get items for a fraction of a dollar! Shoes are often pretty picked over, but $1 for "play shoes" is still a great deal.
To Make The Most On Your Items
1. Put tops and bottoms together to create wearable outfits and be sure to hang items so the best details are visible (i.e. the cute cupcake on the butt of the pants should be facing out). Sellers love buying whole outfits vs. random pieces, but it doesn't have to be a store-made set - just put together anything you would have dressed your child in each day. Grouping items - even multiples of the same item like footie pajamas - also helps sellers feel like they're getting a great deal.
2. Price your items competitively. Follow your particular sale's pricing guidelines, but usually you'll price clothing items at 1/4 of their retail price and toys or other gear at 1/3-1/2 of their retail price. If items are new with tags or some kind of high-demand specialty item you can price them on the higher side of the suggested range. My favorite tip for pricing items - especially toys and gear - it to think of the "suggested" price and then subtract another dollar. For example, if I was pricing a sit-to-stand walking toy that retails for $30, I would price it at $14. This is an item that there are likely to be multiples of so sellers will have their choice of condition and price. Taking off that $1 (or slightly more) could be the difference between selling your item on a full-price day or it sitting until items go for half price. Price your items well from the beginning and your payout will be higher in the end.
One final thought - these sales are often a great place to buy OR sell maternity pieces and Halloween costumes!
Regional consignment sales can be a bit tricky to navigate on your first try, but I hope these suggestions help you get ahead of the curve. Have you ever sold your previously loved items or found an especially good deal? Do you have any other secrets to success? Please share in the comments so we can all benefit!