Monday, April 18, 2011

Five Consignment Sale Tips

Twice a year, I participate in a huge children's consignment sale. This is a great way to declutter all of the unused, outgrown and unwanted children's stuff in my house and buy clothing, Christmas presents and other necessities at a reduced cost. Last fall, I was able to find snow boots for all three of my boys for roughly $15 (I don't remember the exact amount, but it was around there). If I had to buy 3 pairs of new snow boots, I would have spent at least four times that amount, likely more.

I tend to think it's far easier to simply donate things than to put a bunch of stuff in a consignment sale, but I know people who enter a ton of stuff each season. I think it's a lot of effort, but I still choose to enter at least the minimum and sometimes more. I've been doing it for a few years, so I've gotten the hang of what sells and what doesn't. Here are five consignment sale tips for you to use to increase the odds of your stuff selling:

1. Follow the rules. Consignment sales have rules. They want clean items in good condition. They want the clothes hung on certain hangers in a certain way. Don't go through the effort of tagging your stuff just to have it rejected at drop off. Inspect everything for stains, even small ones. And be sure all toys have all parts and have working batteries if they are electronic.

2. Put outfits together. Clothing sells best when you can sell outfits together. Pair a shirt with coordinating shorts, even if they didn't come together originally. If you don't have outfits, sell two like things together. Two pairs of shorts in the same size are more likely to catch someone's eye than one.

3. Don't price items too high, but don't price them too low, either. Our consignment sale suggest 1/3 of the original price as a good selling point. This may be true, but I tend to go with my gut. I price most clothing items between $4 and $8, depending on what they are. I typically won't pay more than $10 for something and figure most other people won't either. If things are priced too low, people tend to wonder what's wrong with them.

4. Let your items be sold at a reduced price on the last day. Many sales have a half price day on the last day. You will sell a lot of things this way, as long as you take the reduction. Some people don't and I've never been able to understand it! That pretty much guarantees that your things won't sell at all on the last day.

5. Remember that you get out of it what you put into it. If you enter just the minimum number of items to be a participant, you likely won't make that much money. But, if you take the time to enter a hundred or more items, you'll make more. If all you want to do is be able to shop early as a participant, then there's nothing wrong with entering the minimum. Entering items into the consignment sale system, tagging and inspecting everything is time consuming, so don't sweat it if you don't have the time or energy.  

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