Consignment Sale Supplies

Consignment Sale Tips (for Consignors)

By Erin Huffstetler | 08/24/2017 | 17 Comments
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It’ll be a couple weeks before I find out how much I made at the fall consignment sale that kicks off today, but I thought I’d go ahead and share some of my consignment sale tips with you. 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)
  • Hangers

Cleaning Supplies

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:

Tagging Gun

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.

Hangers

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.

Clothing Rack

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.

Bundle Books

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.

Bag Items with Multiple Pieces

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.

Pin Clothes to Hangers

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.

Attach Items to Their Mates with Pins or Barbs

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.

Shoes for Consignment Sale

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 Floor

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.

See my Consignment Sale Tips in Action

Here’s a video that we shot while I was getting ready for this sale …

Next Steps:

Use my Kid’s Consignment Sale Pricing Guide to take the guesswork out of pricing your stuff. It suggests price ranges for a variety of items and brands, and is available as a free printable.

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Comments

  1. How do you know what to price your items at so that they will sell, but that you also make $$ from them? I am participating in one of these sales this fall and am having a hard time pricing items such as clothes.

    • Great question, Maureen. I think that’s probably the trickiest part of getting ready for a consignment sale. $3-4 an item is pretty typical for name brand clothes (I’d go less on lesser brands). And $5+ for dressier clothes, just depending on how nice the item is. When I’m pricing items, I also try to take the consignor’s fee into account (It’s important to make sure you’ll be happy with the amount that you’ll get after this is taken out). I’m actually working on a consignment sale pricing guide (and a yard sale pricing guide). I should have those up on the site pretty soon. They’ll be much more detailed than I was able to get here 🙂

  2. Hi Erin! I was just curiously awaiting your consignment pricing guide- can you tell I’m anxious? ha ha

    • Hey Maureen,

      I actually put the list together last week, and just need to turn it into a printable. It’ll be out this month for sure 🙂

  3. You’re awesome! I am SO looking forward to it! I refer back to your blog on a regular basis- was just catching up on some previous blog posts of yours. They give me such inspiration to tackle more projects around my own house!

  4. Do you have suggestions for how to store your price tags? We have a mess and can’t seem to find the perfect container or system to make things run a little smoother. Thanks for your advice!

    • Hi Brittany,

      I keep all of my consignment tags together with a rubber band. My tagging barbs are in a plastic freezer bag. They get a little tangled, but I don’t have to wrangle with them too often. To save time, I keep all of my tagging supplies (tags, barbs, tagging guns, safety pins, a pen and a red marker (for marking items that I don’t want to sell at half off) in a lidded basket. I just grab it off the shelf when it’s time to get ready for the next sale, and I’m ready to go. Hope that helps.

    • It tends to be much more curated. I usually save our best stuff for consignment and yard sale everything else. The prices are generally higher at a consignment sale, but everything is organized by size, so it’s easier to shop. I do most of our shopping at yards sales and thrift stores; then use consignment sales to cherry pick harder to find items.

      When you sell at a consignment sale, the venue keeps a percentage of your earnings, so that’s a bit different than a church yard sale too.

      • Thanks for that! I don’t think we have consignment sales around here, but we do have two consignment shops.

        • Sure 🙂 So yeah, consignment sales would be similar to consignment shops. The main difference would be that the consignment sale would only last a few days, so everything would be fresh and not yet picked over. The sale that I participate in allows consignors early access, so you get to shop before everyone else. That’s great for cherry picking.

  5. I have never seen a sale like this. Need to learn about these and how we could organize one. Love the idea.

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