Last week, I found a Columbia fleece at a yard sale for my oldest daughter, and I only paid $2 for it. I thought I’d gotten a killer deal, until I discovered it had a stain.
How did I overlook that?
I don’t know, but I was determined to salvage the jacket. Because, aside from the stain it was a really nice jacket.
Now, I could have tried to get the stain out, or bleached it, I suppose, but I decided to try to redye it instead. [Read more…]
Last spring I participated in a consignment sale for the first time, and it went really well, so I decided to give it another go. I’ve priced 190 items, and I’ll be dropping them off for the fall consignment sale later this morning. Here’s a look at what I’ll be taking:
Lots of hanging clothes. I’m still thinning out my collection, so there’s everything from newborn to size 7 represented here. This sale allows juniors clothes, so I’m selling some of my things, too.
You can sell both fall and winter clothes at this sale, so I’ll be selling all of my kids’ outgrown holiday dresses …
Christmas shirts …
Halloween shirts …
Halloween costumes …
winter coats …
winter pajamas, hats, scarves and mittens.
I’ll also be taking a dozen pairs of shoes (give or take a pair).
You’re limited to 10 stuffed animals at this consignment sale, so I picked the ones that I thought would do best. The second tub is full of toys. I’ll be curious to see if toys sell better at the fall sale. Do you think shoppers will be buying for Christmas? I sure hope so.
We usually check out books and movies at the library, instead of buying them, so I have just a small number to sell.
My youngest daughter is finally out of a car seat, so we’re taking two booster seats along.
And I still have some baby bedding to get rid of. Fingers crossed that it all sells (since it’s bulky to store).
My Out-of-Pocket Costs
Registration was $5 (which included 100 tags). I still had some tags left over from the last sale, so I only had to buy one additional stack. That was $1 for 50 tags. I was also out of plastic fasteners for my tagging gun, so I bought a box of 5,000 fasteners off of eBay for $8.50. I shouldn’t ever have to buy those again! That brings my total out-of-pocket costs to $14.50 (about the same as last sale). Now, that I’m well stocked on everything, I’m expecting future sales to cost me around $8.
At this particular consignment sale, you get 70% of the profit, if you volunteer to work a two-hour shift; and 50% if you don’t. I’ll be helping with set up this morning, to grab that extra 20%. I did the same last time, and found it was also a great way to preview the items that would be for sale.
A Nice Bonus:
Anyone who consigns 25 items or more gets three tickets to the early sale that takes place tonight, so selling is also a great way to get first dibs on all the goodies. I’ll be inventorying my kids’ clothes and shoes today, so I know what we need to look for when we go.
Will I Beat My Spring Total?
I made $167.30 at the spring consignment sale after subtracting my costs. I’m hoping I’ll be able to beat that total this time. I’ll post an update next week to let you know how I did and to show you what I bought.
How I Did
I just picked up my check yesterday afternoon, and I made $220.50. That’s a $206 profit, after subtracting out my costs. Of the 191 items that I brought, 101 sold. Yay for more space in the basement! Here’s a peek at what we bought during the pre-sale:
Pink cowgirl boots for my youngest daughter $3.
Suede Lands End boots for my oldest daughter $7.
Converse All Stars for my husband $4.
A reversible South Pole coat with down-fill for my husband $5.
A black jacket for me $2.
And this Cha-cha-cha dancer costume by WitchCraft for my youngest daughter, which we paid $6 for. This costume created a nice teachable moment because we had just gotten the WitchCraft catalog in the mail the day before, and my daughter had spent hours pouring over all of the fancy (and pricey) costumes. This exact costume was in the catalog. Check it out:
And look at the prices! The dress and headpiece sell for $97.50! Can you believe that?
Consignment sales have higher prices than you’ll find at yard sales, but they can be a great source for hard-to-find items. Here are my tips for getting the best deals at consignment sales:
It’ll be another week before I find out how much I made at the fall consignment sale that I participated in last weekend, but I thought I’d share some of my consignment sale tips with you today. These are my tricks for making the experience as hassle-free (and profitable) as possible:
Before you do anything, spend a few minutes assembling your supplies. These are my pricing must-haves:
- Price tags
- A tagging gun and plastic fasteners (barbs)
- Safety pins (to pin tags on items and to pin clothes to hangers, when necessary)
- Packing tape (for taping tags to toys, books, movies, etc.)
- Ribbon (for bundling items/attaching shoes to each other)
- Freezer and sandwich bags (for bundling small items)
- A black pen (for pricing)
- A red marker (for marking items that I’m not willing to sell at half price)
- A white-out pen (for fixing mistakes on tags)
Consignment sale prices are higher than yard sale prices, so shoppers expect to find better stuff. Spend a few minutes cleaning up the items that you plan to sell, and save the worn and stained clothing for your rag box. Here are some cleaning tips to help you maximize your profits:
When I’m getting ready for a consignment sale, my tagging gun is my best friend. It’s so much faster than safety pinning tags to items, and the results are a lot more professional. My husband bought a box of tagging guns from a yard sale a few years back, but I would absolutely pay retail for one, if mine ever broke.
Coming up with enough hangers for a consignment sale (without giving up your good hangers) can be a challenge, so I save up junky hangers all year. Occasionally I’ll come across free hangers at a yard sale or in a curb pile. When I do I snap them up. My mother-in-law also saves hangers for me. Between these three sources, I always end up with enough.
You know those wire hangers that you get at the dry cleaners? My husband came up with a way to turn them into kid-size hangers. They’re perfect for consignment stuff.
The first time I participated in a consignment sale, I invested in a portable clothes rack. This has made the process of pricing clothes much easier. I can arrange everything by size, and ensure everything stays on the hanger until I’m ready to take it to the sale.
Most consignment sales limit you to a certain number of items. The sale I participate in allows you to sell 250 items. If you have a lot to get rid of, bundling like items is a great way to make the most of your allotment. I’ve found that bundled items tend to sell better than individual items, so it’s a win-win. The stack of books pictured here sold for $4. Not too shabby!
If you’re selling items with multiple pieces or parts, bag them so they stay together. I save my newspaper bags throughout the year, and use those for most things. Just tie a knot in the end of the bag, snip off the tail, and you’re good to go. Sure beats paying for a bunch of sandwich and freezer bags.
Whenever you use a freezer bag or sandwich bag to corral something you’re selling, stick a piece of packing tape along the top of the bag to seal it. This will keep people from opening the packaging, and ensure that all of the pieces make it to the person who decides to buy it. Do the same thing with board games and puzzles. And if all of the pieces are there, be sure to note that on the tag.
If you have overalls, jumpers or other clothing items that are likely to slide off of the hanger, take an extra second to pin them to the hanger.
If it’s something that’s sold in a pair shoes, socks, mitttens, etc. attach the items together with a plastic fastener, safety pin or piece of ribbon. With all of the people and items at the sale, it’s easy for things to get separated from each other.
Minimize the work of dropping off your stuff by arranging clothing by size and grouping like items together. There’s nothing worse than having to sort through all of your stuff when you get to the sale.
Consignment sales receive a ton of inventory and they’re usually only open for a few days, so don’t be surprised (or insulted) if you have nice stuff that doesn’t sell. Just stick it aside for next year’s sale and try again. Many sales allow you to keep the same consignor’s number from year-to-year, so if you take it back to the same sale, you probably won’t even have to change the tag.