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Have you thought about selling at a kids’ consignment sale, but you’ve been a bit intimidated? I don’t blame you! It can seem like a complicated and time-consuming process. But it’s worth it if you can make $100s or $1000s in a few days!
I can save you some time by letting you in on the secrets of the successful moms who make money selling at consignment sales.
If you’re also going to be shopping at a consignment sale, check out my post about getting the absolute best deals when shopping at kids’ consignment sales.
This will be my eighth time selling in my local kids’ consignment sale. My sell-rates have averaged around 90-95% of my items being sold.
I usually make around $150-$300 per sale (selling nothing fancy!), allowing me to buy the majority of my kids’ clothing for the upcoming season with the proceeds.
Here are some tricks I’ve learned over the years of selling that can help you maximize your earnings.
1. Sell only the good stuff
If it has holes, stains, or is out-dated, no one is going to buy it. Don’t waste your time tagging it. Charities will usually take stained clothes to resell as rags.
Or you may find a friend who’d be happy to take some of the “play condition” hand-me-downs for summer camps or other dirty activities.
2. Check for safety recalls
Make sure that you’re not reselling anything that has a safety recall, as selling recalled items is illegal (and just wrong). You can do an online search to check your items for recalls before tagging them.
Also, check your sale’s rules about what is allowed, especially for cribs and car seats. Some safety-related items may be banned from the sale.
3. Clean it up
No one wants to buy something dirty, so take a few minutes and clean up your items for sale. A quick wipe with a wet rag will make many toys look new again. If clothing has any dirt or stains, try washing it before tagging.
4. Price it CHEAPLY
You want to get rid of this stuff, right? Give it a good price that you’d be happy to pay if you were the shopper. If you’re not sure what kinds of pricing to use, Consignment Mommies has a good pricing guide.
Consignment pricing is usually pretty close to the prices at children’s resale shops, which is a bit higher than garage sales. A general rule of thumb is pricing around 25% of the original retail price.
5. Put outfits together
Plaid shorts or flowered skirts are adorable, but what do you wear with them? If you have an outfit that goes together (even if it’s not an official matching set), sell it together!
The next mom will be thrilled to not have to hunt for the perfect top or bottom to match.
This rainbow-colored shirt and teal shorts probably wouldn’t have sold as separate pieces, but it will sell quickly as a set!
6. Combine cheap items to sell as a bigger set
Many sales have a minimum item price of around $2. If you have items worth less than the minimum, combine them to make a set.
Some inexpensive items that make sense in sets are:
- Paperback books
- Small toys
7. Be careful not to damage the items when you’re tagging them
Put pins through clothing tags or seams instead of through the middle of the piece of clothing. With games, toys, and books, be cautious not to destroy the item with tape.
No one wants to pull the decals off of a toy with the price tag and many people will avoid shirts with pin holes in the middle of the front.
8. Stay in season
Some consignment sales restrict the sale of out-of-season clothes, but even if your sale allows it, I would encourage you to stick with the current season of clothes. Save your bathing suits for the spring and snow pants for the fall.
Even things like t-shirts CAN be used for any season, but they sell much better at spring sales than fall.
9. Attach your tags securely
If your tags don’t stay on your items, you’re not going to get your money. Use heavy card stock for your tags and attach them with quality safety pins or a tagging gun.
I know a lot of consignors love their tagging guns, but I’m still working through the same box of pins I bought over 3 years ago.
However you decide to attach the tags, imagine a toddler is shaking your item all around. Will it all stay together? If not, make it more secure!
10. Fill out the description line of the tag thoroughly
If a tag does come off, the sales workers will try to reunite it. If the description is blank or says something generic like “shirt” or “pants”, they’re never going to get the tag back together with the item.
“Green Lands End Fleece Hoodie” or “Brown Gap Cargo Pants” would be better descriptions. The few extra minutes to write a description is worth the extra money you may make.
11. Remember the toys and gear
Toys and baby gear sell very well at consignment sales. I actually don’t think I’ve ever had a toy NOT sell!
Before you finish tagging, clean out your closets, toy room, and kitchen cupboards to look for other kid-related things you could sell.
12. Mark everything to be discounted
Most sales have a half-price day and it is your choice whether you’d like your items discounted. If the item hasn’t sold by the last day, the price is probably too high, so why not discount it? Wouldn’t you rather get half price than nothing for the item?
13. Make sure your “red” dots are actually red
If your sale uses red dots to mark the discounted items, make sure your dots are actually colored red.
Many people print tags on black & white printers and end up with gray dots. This confuses the customers and they might pass up your item, thinking it’s not really discounted.
If you’re using a black & white printer, color the dots in with a red marker. This can also be a fun way to get the kids involved!
14. Volunteer at the sale
Usually, sale volunteers have reduced fees or earn a higher percentage of the sale price. Volunteering can be fun and increase your profits. Volunteers also get early access to the sale for shopping, which can help you score the best deals at the sale.
15. Iron or steam ALL of your clothing
Yes, I mean ALL OF IT! I believe this is the #1 reason I’ve had such a great sell rate on my consignment items. I steam all of my items, and the difference between a wrinkled t-shirt or pajama set and a steamed one is incredible.
Sometimes, I price the items before steaming them. After steaming, I think, “Wow, I could have put a higher price on that!”
We started with a portable steamer and loved it so much that we upgraded to a full-size model. If you don’t have a steamer, borrow one, use an iron, or try wrinkle-release spray. However you do it, GET THOSE WRINKLES OUT!
I hope my tips help you to make top dollar for your outgrown kids clothes. After you’ve used all of these tips to make some good money, what do you do with it?
I usually buy more kids’ clothes to replace the ones I just sold! With buying mostly used and then reselling, I can keep the costs low, while still keeping my kids well-dressed. Next, check out my post about how to get the best deals when shopping at consignment sales!
If you’re in the Columbus area and looking for a consignment sale, I’d highly recommend Three Bags Full. I’ve loved consigning with them for the last 4 years!
Have you sold at sales? What are your tips for making the most money at kids’ consignment sales? Comment below!
Sunday 25th of July 2021
Do you get notified of what sells, prior to picking it back up? For example, will you be notified that item #1234 sold?
Wednesday 25th of August 2021
At my sale, yes, I could see exactly which items sold and didn't sell.
Wednesday 24th of August 2016
Wonderful review and tips! Thank you so much for your input!
Thursday 25th of August 2016
Thanks for all you do to run the Three Bags Full sales, DeAnn!