By Deborah Rapa, FoxCharlotte.com
Spring will be here soon, which for some moms means it’s time to clean out the closets and turn those too-tiny children’s clothes, no-longer-played-with toys, and baby gear into cash at their local consignment sales.
Never consigned before? I won’t lie. It’s a lot of work. But your efforts can pay off if you’re willing to take the time. Of course you’ll need to follow the guidelines set forth by the consignment sale in which you’re participating. They all have their own policy for tagging, what items they will and won’t accept, and can offer some general pricing guidelines. Here are some additional pointers to help you get the most out of your goods.
Make it worth your while.
Think of it as baking cookies. It’s a lot of effort to mess up the kitchen to bake just a couple cookies, but definitely worth it for a huge batch. You’ll be devoting more time than you may think to get ready for the sale. Count on running around to pick up supplies (hangers, safety pins, cardstock for tags, things like that), washing, prepping, hanging, tagging the clothes, and then there’s the whole drop-off process. If you only have a few things you’re trying to sell, then wait another year until you have enough goods to justify your time.
Don’t waste your time on clothes with holes or stains.
You would be surprised how many holey-kneed pants and food-stained dresses I’ve seen while shopping at consignment sales. Most sales won’t accept items like this, but a few do slip though the cracks. Yes, the Mini Boden top that usually sells online for $28 would be a steal to find used for $8. That is, if it doesn’t look like your kid got in an ink pen fight while wearing it. So if you’ve washed it and couldn’t get the stain out, trust me, no one else is willing to gamble that they are better at laundry than you are. Do everyone a favor and hand those items down to a relative who needs something to paint in, or throw them out, because even charities don’t want clothes with stains and holes.
Take emotion out of it.
It’s hard to not get misty-eyed when you’re sitting there going through a big plastic tote of baby clothes and come across the romper junior wore when he first rolled over/made spit bubbles/insert milestone here. If you feel you just can’t part with it, then don’t. It’s ok to hold onto a few things. But if it must go, then price it fairly. Think of how much you would want to pay for a similar item that was first worn by some kid you don’t know.
Try to sell your bigger items on sites like Craigslist first.
I’ve had a lot of luck selling high chairs, swings and strollers on Craigslist. By doing so, you’ll end up with more money in your pocket since you don’t have to pay a commission fee like you would at a consignment sale. You’ll also save the hassle of trying to fit those big, bulky items in your car when you take them to the sale for drop-off. Make sure when you’re doing your online listing to give a good description of the item, a fair price, and include a picture of the item. You will want to tackle this one before the consignment sale, because if you don’t have any luck selling it online, you can always use the consignment sale as a back-up.
No time? No worries!
Some consignment sales offer a service that will price and tag your items for you, so all you have to do is drop them off and collect your check afterwards. The biggest downfall to this is your profit, of course. You will generally pay a higher commission rate, and/or have a large one-time fee to enter your items in the sale. Take a quick inventory of your items and do the math to see if it’s worth paying the extra commissions and fees. You’ll save yourself from spending a sunny Saturday holed up in your house, thumbs bloodied from tagging-related safety pin injuries.
Upcoming Sales To Save For Your Family:
Feb 11th-Charlotte Mothers of Multiples Spring & Summer Sale
7:30am to 3pm, Freedom Hall @ The Park Expo and Conference Center
February 23-26, Tar Heel Kids Consignment
Cabarrus Arena & Events Center, 4751 Hwy. 49, Concord NC
Thursday 6pm to 9pm
Friday 9am to 4pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm (50% off)
Sunday 9am to 3pm (60% off)
February 23-25, Charlotte Style Exchange
Rosedale, Huntersville, NC
Thursday, 2/23, 6pm-9pm
Friday, 2/24, 10am-7pm
Saturday, 2/25, 9am-3pm
February 29th – March 3rd, For Every Season Spring and Summer Sale
Wed 9am to 8pm
Thur 9am to 7pm
Fri 9am to 7pm
Sat 10am to 2pm (half off sale)
At the Pointe, beside Knights Stadium, Fort Mill, SC