And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Getting Ready for a Consignment Sale

Do you participate in local consignment sales? Generally a "consignment sale" is held by a school or organization. You sign up ahead of time and are assigned a number. You then tag your items with a price and your number and drop them off at the specified location. Then the sale happens and when it is over you get a check for a percentage of whatever your items brought. The school or organization keeps the remainder of the money as these are generally fundraisers. I encourage you to participate in consignment sales because

                   * You can get rid of unwanted or outgrown items
                   * You can make some money and give a donation all at one time
                   * Sellers & volunteers usually get first dibs at shopping the sale. We get a majority of our                        children's clothes each year at the consignment sale.

I first began participating in these sales when Apple was a toddler and I was pregnant with Speedy. I needed to unload all her pretty pink clothes that no longer fit so I could make room for blue clothes. I was so nervous the first time I sold. I had bought clothes and items at the biggest local consignment sale many times but selling was a whole new ballgame. I overcame my fear though and I've participated twice a year since then (our local sales are held in the spring and fall). Here are some tips:

1. Read the rules of the sale very carefully. The rules will tell you if there is an initial fee to participate, the percentage split, drop off/ pickup/ sale dates, what is allowed/ forbidden, and how to hang and tag your items. I have volunteered at the sale before and you would be amazed at how many people never read the rules. You should scan the rules every time because there are always changes. Many larger sales now have rules available online.

2. Get started as early as you can. There is some time involved in getting items ready (although not nearly as much time as it takes to host a yard sale yourself). I try to make a basket or bag for clothes and shoes as I notice the kids are outgrowing them. I have a pretty steady bag full in the bottom of a hall closet. As I go through the kids clothes for the upcoming season I pull out anything they won't be able to wear this year and add it to the bag. Then I try to go room by room to find other items that we may no longer need. As you do all of this just make one big pile somewhere out of the way.

3. When you've got everything you plan to sell together then go through the items to check for holes, tears, stains, excessive wear, etc. Most sales will not accept items with condition issues. Now is a good time to split the clothes into sizes and gender (if you have boys and girls). This will make your life easier later. Then you need to hang your clothes (if your sale requires it) and get ready to tag. Be sure you gather hangers, safety pins, tape, and plastic bags (for smaller items and shoes) before you get started.

4. In the past our tag were pre-printed with a bar code and we filled in prices and descriptions. The school has really upgraded and now all info is put into a website and then we print our own tags. Once printed tags must be matched to their item and then pinned (or taped) onto the item in the designated area.

{Procrastinate by writing a blog post on getting ready for a consignment sale. Then....}

5. Once all of your items are tagged, load them into your car and shuttle them to the location at the specified time. Some consignment sales require you to place your own items on racks and tables. Large sales usually have volunteers to spot check your items to make sure they meet the requirements.

6. Make sure to take advantage of your early shopping time! Even if your family doesn't need a lot of clothes many sales also have shoes, books, toys, household items, even furniture! I'm always amazed at what I find at the sales and the prices are generally very reasonable. I look forward to the purses and shoes, Speedy also heads for the sporting goods, and Apple loves the books. Both kids enjoy picking clothes and shoes too. I can assure you we always pay well below retail for items that are very gently used.

7. Don't forget to pick up your leftover items! Many sales set up a donation to a local charity if you don't want to haul the items back home. You also need to make sure to pick up your proceeds check if it won't be mailed to you.

8. Enjoy your check! Most of the time I make equal to or more than I spend at the sale. It's almost like getting new wardrobes for free!

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