Every major city seems to have a biannual baby and kid consignment sale. These sales are a great way to find good deals, but they are also a great place to earn extra money. I have sold at several consignment sales both with the intent to get rid of extra baby stuff, as well as turning a profit on items I had bought used. Here are a few of my tips for those getting ready for the fall consignment sales.
Is It Worth 65%?
Most consignment sales give you 65-70% profit on the sale of an item. This means, that if you sell a baby item for $100, you will only be seeing $65-70 of it. I keep this in mind with whatever I sell. For example, if I want to make at least $85 for a breast pump, then I would have to price it around $130. If I know that the pump will not sell at $130, then I spend my time listing the pump on Craigslist for $85 instead. Keeping this in mind allows me to get the maximum price for each item.
Sell in Bundles
Another way I try to get the most money is to sell in bundled lots. I put books of the same series together, as well as similar sized baby clothes/kid clothes and styles together. My bundles sell quicker than my single items because I think every parent loves to find a bundle deal rather than picking through each and every item. Also, bundle items save me time because I can just price a set of ten books rather than price ten books individually.
Buy Cheap Materials
Materials to price and make your items look nice can get costly. I buy all of my batteries and zip lock bags from the .99-Cent Only store. My husband figured out that when a toy dies, he sometimes has to only replace one or two batteries, instead of all of them, for it to work again. Ask your local dryer cleaner if they give out extra wire hangers for free or at a very good price. I know with my local consignment sale, they often sell supplies very cheaply too, you just have to be one of the first to claim them.
Should You Volunteer?
Most consignment sales offer volunteer position for the chance to earn an extra 5% profit on your sales. Is this worth it? It really depends on how many items you have. One season, I did about $690 worth of sales. If I didn’t volunteer, I would have made $448.50 after the 65%. Instead, I volunteered for a few hours and made $483. I also volunteered to get into the sale early. Since I volunteered, I made an extra $34. If I had brought less stuff to the sale, I might not volunteer because the extra profit would have been a lot smaller and not worth the time.
Should You Donate Your Items?
Many consignment sales allow you to donate your items at the end of the sale too. Instead, I try to make the most of my items. If I have a lot of good stuff left, I will pack it in a bin and save it for the next sale. It is already priced and my consignor number doesn’t change, so there is no extra effort on my part. If something goes through two sales without selling, I will either mark it down or put it in a garage sale for a smaller cost. Finally, if those items still do not sell, I donate them and write it off on taxes. Since I did this as a side business a few years ago, I had a lot of stuff, so it was worth it to go through that process. If you only have a few items left, then it may just be worth it to you to donate them.
Later this week, I will post about how I actually make a profit at the consignment sales. These tips should help you get started though!