This summer I decided to make a few extra bucks selling at a kids consignment sale. It was my second time selling and I can say without a doubt that my favorite part is watching the sales updated live on my online account $$$!
There are a few different sales out there, like Rhea Lana’s, Divine Consign, Twice as Nice Consignment Sale and Just Between Friends (JBF). Most sales follow the same basic concepts from compiling your items to entering these items into their database for sale. My experience with consigning has only been with JBF, so that is what I will primarily focus on this article. I considered selling with other consignment sales, but found their requirements to be more tedious and time consuming than I’d prefer. One of the biggest reasons I chose to sell with JBF is that I can print my tags at home, and they don’t expire! (You’ll understand this importance later in the article.) The other sale I considered consigning with required me to pay an additional fee for them to print my one-time tags. Even though the tag fee was nominal, the time I would take to drive to retrieve the tags was not worth it for me.
If you’re thinking about being a consigner, you can start getting ready for it at anytime. I’m not going to lie, it’s a LOT of work so you definitely don’t want to wait until the last minute to get ready.
The following are the basic steps to consigning with JBF.
GATHERING YOUR ITEMS
1. Separate all kid related clothes, shoes, toys, equipment, movies, furniture that you don’t need anymore. Most sales are for a specific season so make sure to check what kind of items they will be accepting at the one where you intend to sell.
2. Hang all clothing making sure the hanger forms a question mark when you look at it. Make sure clothes don’t slide easily off the hanger. Use safety pins to secure them or to group outfits together. Watch Youtube videos like this one to learn the best way to hang clothing.
3. Clean and secure shoes with ribbon or zip ties. If it’s not possible, display them in a clear zip-top bag.
ENTERING ITEMS IN DATABASE
1. Log on to the JBF website, sign up to be a consigner and begin entering your items in the TAGGING tab. Remember to price your items to sell. When in doubt, think about what you would be willing to pay for a used item. If you price too high, you will most likely be taking that item home at the end of the sale. See picture below for an example of two similar dresses that were priced very differently. Even if an item is worth the price, shoppers at consignment sales—like JBF are looking for great bargains. Consider selling higher priced items on ebay or to a boutique consignment store. It’s possible you will get more money at those venues rather than JBF. At this point in the TAGGING tab, you will also mark if you want your items to be donated and/or sold at half-price. I would recommend you consider marking your items to be sold at half-price to help entice shoppers to buy your items—after all, you are trying to get rid of them. Helpful Hint: Tags will print in the same order as they were entered, so leave items in the same order as they were entered.
2. Now that you have entered your items into the database you are ready to print your tags on cardstock and place them on your items. This YouTube video shows you how to tag and print your tags. Use either safety pins or a tagging gun to place your tag on soft items like clothes or shoes. Clear packaging tape can be used on zip-top bags and painters tape is good for adhering the tags to books without damaging the covers.
DROPPING OFF AND PICKING UP
1. When selecting a particular JBF location, pay particular attention to the Drop off and Pick up dates and times as you will need to be available during those times. Dropping off items takes more time than picking up, so make sure you allot enough time to not only check-in but also to place your items on the sales floor. Helpful Tip: Bringing your items already separated by gender and size and toting them in something with wheels makes for a more speedy drop-off. I used old suitcases and they worked well, but strollers and wagons would also be handy. Plastic totes and Bags are heavy and take a lot of time to lug around.
2. At pick-up, your unsold and non-donated items will be sorted by consigner number. You will want to check your items for anything missing. Occasionally, tags fall off or items get separated. There will be a location for you to check for displaced items. Once you pick up your items they are ready to be stored for the next sale. In my opinion, the biggest benefit of consigning with JBF is that once you’ve done all of the prep work including tagging you are able to sell at ANY subsequent JBF event without having to re-tag each item! That means you could place your unsold items in every JBF sale in the DFW area!
Make sure you read all the e-mails from the sale you signed up for because they will include any changes or specific instructions. Some sales ask for an addressed and stamped envelop so they can send you a check after the sale, some ask that you pay a consigner fee ($10 – $18) in advance, etc.
Both times I sold at a JBF sale I had an average of 150 items, sold an average of 60 items and made about $120 dollars after all deductions. I volunteered in both sales so I was paid 70% instead of 60%. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll volunteer again because 4 hours of arduous physical work was a little much for me in exchange for $12. Maybe if I had chosen a different shift other than sorting it would have been more fun, but sorting was really hard. I was in pain, hungry and exhausted after my shift so I will be happy with just 60% next time.
This YouTube playlist is an excellent resource and can answer pretty much all your questions regarding preparing and tagging your items!
Regardless of choosing to sell or to volunteer, make sure you go shopping at one of these sales. It is a lot of fun and you can get lots of great deals especially at the end during the half-off sale. Check out what all I got and most of it was half-off!