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)
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.
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.
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.
See my Consignment Sale Tips in Action
Here’s a video that we shot while I was getting ready for this sale …
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.