Are you one of the millions of moms that has thought about taking on a side job to bring in a little extra cash flow? You want to feel like you’re contributing to the family income, and a little business of your own sounds kinda fun? Before you sign up to start selling anything, try your hand at consigning at a nearby seasonal children’s consignment sale.
The nay-sayers will tell you, “It was waaay too time-consuming to get all my stuff out and organize it, enter all of it into a computer system and then tag it all. And then half of it didn’t sell at the sale!” I’m going to tell you how to avoid the pitfalls that newbies run into. I made $430 as a consignor in the fall and put in about 18 hours of work. That translates to over $23 per hour! Not too shabby.
Your profits go up over time as a Consignor. You’ll become more efficient at prepping and pricing. You’ll have larger sizes as your kids grow, which command higher prices and sell better than onesies. And don’t underestimate the impact of SHOPPING at your consignment sale on your family’s budget. As a consignor, you’ll be one of the first to shop the amazing deals! You’ll get early dibs on the best selection, quality, and prices of clothes, toys, books, gear, and shoes for all your kiddos.
Convinced? I’ve consigned 7 times with 3 different organizations, and currently volunteer as the Sale Coordinator for the NOWAMOM Kids Consignment Sale in Marietta. Here’s my step-by-step ROCKSTAR strategy:
Step #1: Pick a Sale
Seasonal Consignment Sales come in all shapes and sizes. Some have a niche that they’re known for, such as an upscale boutique section. Others limit brands or quantities. Consider what you have to sell and then compare the earning and shopping potential. Non-profit consignment sales usually offer a higher earning percent than for-profit sales, but for-profits are larger and attract more customers with their beefy marketing budgets. Double-check whether you’ll need to volunteer in order to shop early.
Step #2: Stay Organized with a System
Dedicate a corner of the house to store items to consign. Guest room closet, the driest section of the basement, perhaps the dining room you never use. Save a few diaper boxes and mark one for donations, one for shoes, and one for books, toys, and accessories. You may need to hide that last one. I love to keep my kids in line (ha!) with the threat of selling a toy at the next sale. Works like a charm.
One of my best investments to organize and prep clothes was a garment rack. I found mine on Amazon and saw an even cheaper one at Ikea the other day for about $12.
Get your supplies sooner rather than later. If you have a relative or neighbor that wears suits to work, ask them to stockpile hangers for you. A great place to buy hangers and pins online is www.cleanersupply.com. Keep your eye out for deals on gallon size ziplock bags and clear packing tape, which is used to sell shoes and toys.
Once you have a space somewhat setup and supplies handy you can hang and organize throughout the year, saving yourself TONS of time later. As I do laundry, I’ll immediately hang the 1-2 shirts or dresses my kids have outgrown and put them on the garment rack. And when I organize the playroom every week month 3 months I stash a few items in my “to sell” box.
Step #3: Read through ALL the selling guidelines
You don’t want to redo hanging, pinning, or packaging your items, so do it right the first time. Most requirements are similar from sale to sale, but pay special attention to types of hangers required, quantity and brand limits, how to tag large items, and how to package and tag shoes and books. You’ll also want to ensure you follow drop-off protocol.
Step #4: Prep & Tag with Strategy
The biggest mistake a first-time consignor makes is focusing all her attention on hanging and tagging clothes, then tagging “stuff” like large items, books, and toys only if time allows. Do the opposite! Tag large items first. Cozy coupes, tricycles, baby swings, bouncers, nursery furniture, and strollers sell like hot cakes at consignment sales. Take a few minutes to wipe gear and toys down with baby wipes and you’ll earn a few more bucks.
What doesn’t sell? Baby clothes under 2T and maternity. You might have the most ahh-dorable little 3 piece outfit priced super cheap, but if it’s size 3-6 months it’s going to have a LOT of competition. Mamas get so many cute outfits at baby showers and hand-me-downs from friends! Then the Grandma factor kicks in through 24 months. Don’t fret–as your sizes creep up you’ll sell more and at a higher price point per item.
Don’t waste your time ironing all the clothes you have to sell. I only iron the occasional cotton dress or button up shirt. It’s easy to freshen up clean-but-been-in-storage-awhile clothes in the dryer. If your dryer doesn’t have a refresh cycle, put them in with a damp clean washcloth.
Include enough in your tag description to match it back to the item if it falls off. This is also a great way to note if the item is new, never worn, a boutique brand, or has multiple pieces. Here’s a great link to common tag abbreviations: https://consignmentmommies.com/common-resale-abbreviations/
Step #5: Price to Sell
Price your items with the goal of selling them the first day, not on a discount day. You’ll come home with a bigger check and fewer unsold items with this strategy. Clothes sell best when they’re priced 70-90% of their retail cost. Keep in mind that you can easily score brand new shirts on sale at Target for $5, so don’t expect to get $4.
Step #6: Volunteer
Some sales offer volunteers an even earlier shopping time than consignors. It’s fun, gives you a chance to meet other moms and learn insider consigning tips, and might give you a glance at the merchandise before shopping times begin.
Step #7: Tell Your Friends!
Share on social media! Facebook marketing and word of mouth are the top sources of new shoppers and consignors. The more you tell, the more you sell! Check if your sale offers extra perks for referring new consignors.
Now you know how to be a ROCKSTAR Consignor at your local Kids Consignment Sale! You’re going to earn enough to clothe your kids for the next season and score deals on gear that would cost 7 times as much brand new. The biggest perk? You’re helping other moms of littles in your own town. I can’t think of a better way to make a little extra cash!