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Consignment

Favorite Consignment Finds

Boy has it been a crazy month so far. Iv’e been trying to stay away from the computer a little so I could focus on getting our house a little more organized. I can’t wait to share some of the hacks we have implemented that have been working beautifully so far. In the meantime, I just had to share some updates from the latest consignment sale that we both consigned and shopped at. What an unexpected hit!

Although we didn’t have as much to consign as last time, I still wanted to get some things out of storage. Following the same method as I did in my 8 Tips & Tricks For Selling Consignment we ended up with about 40 pieces of both Parker and Caity’s clothing and 30 pieces of maternity clothes I am ready to say good bye to. We also had some gear like the Belly Buds and Snuggle Nest that were just taking up space. I priced everything low and available for purchase 1/2 off on the 50% off day. That is usually the best way to get rid of items and it worked. Of the 128 total items we consigned, 89 were purchased. Luckily items that were not sold can be handed down to a few mommas I know with littler babies than mine. I decided to keep some of the summer maternity items to wear around the house and left the rest for the $1 dash. By volunteering we were able to earn 70% of our sales which ended up being about $240. Not to shabby for items just laying around the house and taking up space!

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Of course I also had to go shopping 🙂 We decided to try out our new double jogger which I am more and more impressed with each time we use it.

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We got to shop early and found some fun toys for the kids keeping in mind my 10 Tips For Shopping A Consignment Sale Successfully. I am IN LOVE with that purple elephant rocker from Toys R Us for $10. We found some DVDs for $1, and brand new golf club set for $3, and a complete train set from Little Tree for $8. The America canvas usually goes for $75 and we found it for $15 in perfect condition.

A few days later I went back to look for clothes during the 50% off sale. I found a ton of Gymboree, OshKosh, Cherokee, and Childrens Place for under $5. Here were a few of my favorites…

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Ekkkk! Gold… Sparkle… What more could a mother girl want?!? I can’t wait to put Caity in this and snap a few photos around Christmas time next year. I know it’s a little early to be thinking about winter but I just couldn’t resist this for only $3.50.

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Iv’e already pulled some of my bow making materials out to match this adorable dress for July 4th! Items like this are always a great find because they were most likely only worn once. Since Caity will probably only wear it once I can still turn around and consign it for around the same price. It’s more like “renting” clothes 🙂

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Parker still loves Jake so I was stoked to find this Disney brand hoodie for only $4. Although it was well loved by it’s previous owner, there is still more time for my little guy to love it.

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While I was shopping around I noticed a great deal of dress up items. We are going to a special little girls 2nd birthday party in a few weeks and I knew a dress up kit would be the perfect gift. All together I ended up spending $30 on 3 dresses, a Doc McStuffins lab coat, tiara, wand, bag of beads, heels, and a beauty kit. I can’t wait to put it all together for her!

We are headed into yard sale and consignment season and I can’t wait for all the great finds I have headed my way. What are some great finds you have scored recently?

8 Tips & Tricks for Selling Consignment

I love consignment. Purchasing second hand clothing, toys, and gear for Parker (and now Caity) has saved us so much money. Being able to purchase items and then pass them along again also gives me warm and fuzzies.  We decided to be team green with Parker so that a majority of our gear would be gender neutral for future children. When we got pregnant with Caity I wanted to find out the gender. Knowing we were expecting a girl we were able to sell a ton of Parker’s clothing, bedding, etc… to pay for everything we needed for Caity. 

I have been shopping consignment sales for about 3 years now and a few months ago decided to share my top 10 Tips For Shopping Consignment Sales. While I am still new to consigning, I also had a few tips I wanted to pass along for anything thinking about doing it.

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The first step is deciding what you want to consign. I already had about 8 bins of items but also decided to go through the kids rooms and playroom to locate additional items. Things that Parker hasn’t really taken too, similar items, and toys that Parker has outgrown that are more boyish I collected to add to my pile.

Do You Homework
If you are unfamiliar with local consignment sales Consignment Mommies is a great resource to find local stores and sales. check out their website and social media pages. See how many followers they have and how interactive their readers are. A more well known sale will most likely have a good following and active readers. Make sure to read the consignor directions. This is where you will find out what % of your profits you will receive, how to possibly get a higher %, what they accept, do not accept, and how to prepare your items, and most importantly how you are paid. Some sales have a strict no safety pin rule which is extremely important to know beforehand.

Take a look around Amazon or local stores to get a better idea of what the price tag is on new items that you maybe selling. A general rule is to mark items, in excellent condition, at about 25% of the original price tag. Items new with the tags can usually sell if priced at about 50%. Certainly keep in mind the brand. Brands such as Gap, Janie & Jack can and should be priced higher than Old Navy and Jumping Bean. Someone is more likely to pay $5 for a shirt from Janie & Jack but not Jumping Bean if both are in excellent condition. 

Find Your Rythm
There are many different ways to prepare for a sale. Some like to sit in front of the TV each night and do a few items at a time. I found it easier to pull everything out the Monday before a sale and spread out in the dinning room.  

Untitled-3There are also several items that are helpful to have on hand when preparing your items. We have had this garment rack from BBB for awhile now and I have even tried selling it a few times. I am glad I didn’t because they was great to have while prepping all of the kids clothes. I was able to hang them all up and separate them by gender and size easily.

I also gathered the above materials to help package up smaller items, shoes, toys, and clothing. Tagging guns are available on line and run about $25 and include plenty of barbs. You will also need cardstock and a printed to print out all of your tags. Most consignment sales have a specific system and require you to register to obtain a consignor number for your tags. The system I use is very simple and you can see what has sold each night. You can also generate reports to keep for your records and print out to help with pick up (more on that below). 

Price To Sell
If you are taking the time to gather, clean, and tag your items you want them to sell. For every item you tag decide if it is something you want to drag back home, can be handed down to someone else, or is something your willing to let go only IF it sells for a certain price. All other items mark to sell and offer 50% if your sale offers such. A few dollars may not seem like a lot but multiple that by 40 items and it really add up. 

Hanging Your Clothes
Most sales require all clothing to be hung on items and many even expect that all clothing is facing a certain way. The easiest way to showcase your clothing items is to use the appropriate hangers (ie shirts, pants and outfits). I usually stock up on empty hangers at every sale I go to. You can also pick up cheap hangers from thrift stores and some retails stores will also give you free hangers.

It’s also important to mark your hangers. You may think that it will be easy to spot your items during pick up but that has rarely been the case for me. Especially when they get accidentally moved to a different section. Spray painting hangers is fairly common and there is a good chance you will use the same hot pink or lime green as someone else. I decided to use some Halloween Duct Tape that ended up standing out really well. I was able to browse each section and pull my items very quickly while I saw others scanning through each piece.

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Bundle, Bundle, Bundle
If you have lots of smaller items like rattles and teethers it is a good idea to bundle them together and offer a lower price. It’s more appealing to the buyer and if for some reason they do not sell, they are easier to locate at the end. I would bundle 4-5 small items together and price it around $6 and offered it for a discount.

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You can also bundle clothing. During this last sale I bundled 3 pairs of Jumping Beans pants together (black, brown, and blue) for $5 and 5 Carters NB Sleepers for $10. I probably could have gotten more if I had sold each one separately but that would have taken more hangers, more, time and probably a few more items that didn’t sell. 

Packing It All Up
The best way to pack all of your items up is by category. This will make it easier to disperse your items around the sale floor. I gather all maternity items, food items, toys, and gear separately.

As you are packing everything up make sure to double check all items have a tag. If you have time also take a photo for your records. I learned the hard way when I added an item last minute and didn’t create a tag for it. The inspector at the sale didn’t catch it and I ended up not being able to retrieve the item.

I also packed a survival kit with everything I thought Rob could possibly need. Items included; the taggging gun, scissors, hole punch, tape, zip lock bags, lint roller, zip ties, and a permanent marker. Everything fit nicely in a Thirty-One Keep-It Tote

Dropping Off Items
Make sure to plan ahead and decide on when will drop off your items. It’s important to plan enough time  for travel, getting your items inspected, and putting everything on the sale floor especially if you are going towards the end for the drop off time. Since we have a nursing infant at home Rob had to go for me and it took about 4 hours to go through the process with about 300 items.

Take you time placing items around the sales floor making sure to put them in the right section for maximum exposure. This is where creative or well packaged items will help yours stand out from the others. Make sure you place clothing by the appropriate gender and size. Items that are more gender neutral tend to go in the boys section from my experience.

Picking Items Up
Once the sale has closed I like to create a report of all my items and import it into Excel. From there I create a comprehensive spreadsheet for my records. This allows me to see what sold and for how much. I then know how much the payout will be which is the best part! It also shows me what items did not sell that will need to be picked up. From there I decide what items I want to spend time looking for and make a list to bring with me.

When picking up I start with the clothing, then gear, followed by small toys and then big ticket items (like strollers). I mark items off as I locate them within each section. If I am having trouble locating an item I will move on and go back later. Sometimes staff are still putting away unwanted items from the register or moving items left around the sales floor to the correct location. If after a second time I still cannot find an item I ask for help or see if they can verify it was not purchased. Unless it is more than $10, if I cannot find an item after looking for 15 minutes I move on. Some sales will allow you to report items you could not locate over a certain value amount. If their staff happens to find it they will then contact you.

Once home I sort through the unsold items into donate, hand down, and store away piles. Anything I want to store away for the next sale I organize into bins and put away in our crawl space.

MonicaCowlesDuckworth

10 Tips For Shopping A Consignment Sale Successfully

I am so excited to take my Mom to one of my favorite consignment sales, Classy Kids. I have been raving about these sales for months and now she finally gets to experience it herself! I have been meaning to post a few tips I have learned over the last two years and thought it was a perfect time to put something together.


Do your homework before the sale
There are many similarities between consignment sales but it is always important to check the website to make sure you have read the specific ones for that event. It will make your experience a little calmer and a lot more enjoyable. Here are a few things I always check out before heading out:
– What days and times they are open?
– Do they have a 50% off or $1 Dash day?
– Where is parking and is it free?
– Do the offer early admission for new or expecting moms, teachers or daycare workers?
– Do they offer early admission for volunteers or barterers?
– Review their rules and guidelines (cash only, no strollers, only strollers without baskets, can you bring your own bag, etc…)

Make a list and check it twice
It’s always good to take an inventory of what you child has for the current and next season to make a rough list of what you need. If you have multiple kids, it is helpful to have a cheat sheet of their clothing size, shoe size and head size. This is one of my favorites parts because it really gets me excited about a consignment sale. I love a bargain and these sales are pretty much like Christmas to me. I usually have one list of items we definitely need and then a wish list of items if the price is right.

Precious cargo
You want to make sure you find out if strollers are allowed at the sale. There are some where you cannot bring in your own, but they have some available to use (usually old umbrella strollers). Just like Disney is a great place to window shop for strollers, consignment sales are a perfect place to window shop for carriers. I flip back and forth on which I prefer. It’s nice to back-wear P and not have to worry about pushing everything. However, it is a lot easier to inspect big ticket items, carry things and entertain P when he is in the stroller. If your sale doesn’t allow strollers and you can spare a few dollars, I would dash to the big ticket section and pick up an umbrella stroller to use while there AND take home. One of the last times I went I forgot our stroller so I just picked one there for $5 and took it home with me. It’s a great spare to have around.

Spouses can come too
Shhh, they may not be too happy with me telling you this 😉 It’s great to go with a spouse or even a friend. You can go your separate ways to find what you specifically need and then meet up in line and show off your finds while you wait. We tend to make them more of a family outing and enjoy shopping together for things.

Use smart technology

Generally, deals at a consignment sale are fantastic. I could technically calculate the exact amount I have saved since I record everything, but who has that kind of time with a 13 month old running around. For larger purchases, I will often glance quickly at Amazon to see what the normal retail price is. I think over the last 2 years and about 15 consignment sales, I have only found a few prices that were too high.

Numbers can be good or bad
For the big ticket items, you will often see a decent quantity of the same thing. This could be good or bad. It could have been a really popular item that was on everyone’s must have list. It could also be that the item was poorly made or didn’t live up to standards and the owner(s) wanted it out of the house ASAP. This is another reason why it is a good idea to have a smartphone with you so you can look it up quickly.

Browse and repeat
I definitely recommend going around the sale a few times and even come back another day if possible. You will be amazed how much you can miss with your first glance. I have gone to quite a few of these and can still get a little overwhelmed at times. I usually prioritize my list with the big ticket items first as those are the first to go. Then I take my time browsing the clothes, accessories and small toys. I have been known to go to the new moms pre-sale and then the 50% off day.

Know what you are buying
Make sure to look at not only the price but also the brand. Brands such as Jumping Beans, Circo, Carter’s and Old Navy should not be priced higher than Gymboree, Children’s Place or Baby Gap. If they are, pass it on by. You also want to keep in mind how the size in each brand usually run. Some run smaller, larger or have a tendency to have a smaller opening for heads or shrink easily.

Gerber runs almost a full size small
Circo runs shorter and wider
Swimsuits and sleepwear should be purchased a little bigger
Overalls look bigger than they really are and tend to be true to size
If you cloth diaper, you may want to consider buying onesies one size bigger

Please, pretty please DO NOT purchase car seats. While it isn’t illegal to buy them used, I really do not recommend it. You have no idea the history of the car seat or if it was in an accident. Even a minor fender bender can damage integrity of the car seat making it more vulnerable to another accident. Car seats also have an expiration for safety standards.

Sometimes in life, the best things are free 

Hangers are like gold to consignors. Most sales require outfits on outfit hangers and tagged together. Usually there are huge cardboard boxes along the checkout line where you can place unwanted hangers making checkout quicker. While others are placing hangers in, I am taking them out! Don’t worry though, I always ask if it is okay. Most of time they say, “you must be a consignor”. In which I usually respond that I like to hang as much of P’s clothes up as possible. It makes like a little easier especially if I can hang outfits together on an outfit hanger. I scored the jackpot at this last sale!

Don’t let germs stop you
Sometimes I get some flack for shopping at consignment sales. It is usually from people who have never been to one. I would say that 95% of Parker’s clothing and toys are from consignment sales or hand-me-downs from generous friends. I have saved hundreds of dollars shopping consignment and honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I know toys can be a little intimidating for some. I always check to see if there are any bite marks on them. That is pretty much my only deal breaker. When I get home, I completely sanitize them with Dapple.

I am pretty proud of the deals I have been able to score and wanted to share some of them to show you what is out there! I couldn’t believe that I picked up a Ju-Ju-Be diaper bag in practically new condition for $30 or a Pottery Barn drawing table for $10.

Yay Consignment Sales!

What a fantastic weekend! I must start with a famous song lyric, “Oops I did it again!” That’s right, we hit up another one of our favorite consignment sales, Classy Kids, on Friday waiting for my parents to arrive. Rob asked if I wanted to go and I said, “it’s the second public day but lets go see if there is anything left.” Ha!
We got yet another great stash! Cloths for P now and some toys for later down the line! Even better, it was 25% off day so a majority of the things were on sale!
Pottery Barn Drawing Desk and turtle easel.
K’NEX set, changing wallet, Snugli, two metal Tonka Trucks, five Baby Einsten DVD’s and a Cricut Cartridge holder.
Two outfits, two fleece onesies, two footed onesies,  eight rompers, one Santa suit, and a London Fog snow suit.