Thursday, February 26, 2009

Consignment Sale Warrior- Part Deux

Because I'm fancy like that. Whilst discussing second hand clothing.

After this post about shopping at consignment sales, several folks asked about my tips for selling items, so I'll be happy to share those, too!
Again, I'm thrilled to be an expert at something, just embarrassed that this is it!

The main person that asked me about this was my childhood next door neighbor, Alana. She was {and still is} one of the coolest people I know. She was a cheerleader in high school and taught the cheer clinics {I attended, of course}, she babysat us and she drove.

Could she get much cooler, you ask?

Why yes, she can. One of my favorite childhood memories of her is watching her bleach her jeans. She was outside in the yard between our houses {near where home plate usually was} and had a bottle of bleach that she was flinging across her jeans back and forth to the tune of "Red, Red Wine" that was blasting out of the boom box {yes, big and silver}. I am literally snorting laughing at this memory! I can't hear Red, Red Wine without thinking about it- which is a tad more often than one might think.
Aaahh. The 80s. Good times.

Back to the consigning, here are some sure fire tips to SELL your crapola fine used items.

1. Plan Ahea...
Or plan ahead. It will usually take MUCH longer than you think to get your items prepped for selling. Especially if you most likely have children {previous wearers of said clothes} around that are big time suckers.

2. Read all the instructions for your sale. Then read again.
Most are very particular about what position on the hangers the clothes should be, what type of clothes/ toys are accepted, what the maximum number accepted is and what specific numbers should be where (price, size, consignor number bar code). This is all for a reason and once you go through the whole sale process once you'll understand it all. Or else it will take you 4 times like, *ahem* me.

3. Become an Iron Maiden
Iron absolutely everything. Except maybe the toys.
It's all about presentation {see below}. And it covers up the pilled shirts pretty well.

4. The Price is Right
A good rule of thumb is to not price anything over 1/3 of what you would pay retail for it (and most of the time I go cheaper depending on how worn it is). I think you have to know the clothes and what they’re worth, but consider if you would rather have $4 or have it back in your house. You will almost always make more money in a consignment sale than at a yard sale, so think of those prices in comparison.
5. Getting Labeled
If you can do labels on the computer, then do that; they are much easier to read. And use big font.
If you hand write them, just make them easy to read and I always add extra info- like “great for grandma's” or “super cute for school pictures” or “only pooped in once” {wait- you could possibly leave that last one off}.
Just think about what the shopper would be thinking. Also, if it fits like a 4, but is a size 5, write “fits like a 4” and then make sure it’s placed in the 4s. Several things don’t get sold because they are in the wrong area and everybody that picks it up will think, “that looks small”, but nobody will move it!
Think like a shopper. The best way to do that is to actually BE a shopper first, so hopefully you can do that, too.

6. Presenting My Used Junk.
Presentation is key. Group outfits together and make sure the top and bottom are clearly shown. If you have a minimum price {ours is $3}, and your item is not worth that much, then group with a like item. Don't try to hide a crummy piece with a nice one, though. That's just frustrating. What are these Faded Glory pajama bottoms doing with this Polo shirt??
Speaking of grouping, pin everything more than you ever think you’d need to. Go ahead and buy the 300 pack of safety pins. The clothes and hangers get a lot of action and things can fall off easily.

7. A Little Some-pin' Special
If you are going to collect your things that don’t sell, put a sticker or stamp in a different place on the sale card {that’s not obtrusive to the instructions} as an identifier- like a gold star or a Mickey Mouse stamp. This makes it really easy to sort and find your clothes if you are going to pick up any that don’t sell {or most places donate them if you don’t pick them up}. If you know you're going to donate any thing that doesn't sell, then you can skip this step. And really, people, do you want it back in your house to begin with? Come on. Let it go. You can do it.

Hope you enjoyed my tips for selling! Let me know if you have others!
I forgot to show you pictures of the whole experience and my "haul" from the other night.

Here are all the other moms who work the sale waiting anxiously to get at that used apparel. Notice the garbage bins and huge laundry baskets with wheels. There is no playing around here.

Here is a shot of the little girls clothing. There are racks and racks like this. You lucky people with girls! I wouldn't know my bloomers from my brain squishers {or headbands- whatever you call them}. Here is some of the baby gear and a general idea of what the whole place looks like. You can't see the majority, but know it's like a big warehouse of used goods heaven.
Here are all the clothing items I got for the boys. Ollie's stack is the biggest on the left there, but since Henry has all his hand-me-downs you can see I didn't get him much. At all. Poor kid. Then I set up this shot of most of the toys that had gotten and FORGOT {like an idiot!} to take it down before the kids got up from nap. I was literally shoving things under the sofa when we were coming downstairs, but they still thought it was Christmas. Fun times, but I wanted to spread out the giving of the toys. Oh well. I'll hide some. They'll just cry a little.
Any more consignment questions? Ask away!
Here's to a little Red, Red Wine and come great cheap clothes. I hope none of them are bleached.


shopannies said...

thanks for visiting my blog and for the kind words that you shared

shopannies said...

prices are very good and so is talking to those who visit not hovering but visiting

Lori said...

Thanks for the great tips - I feel more prepared now and am excited to print out my tags and get started. I know my problem will be deciding how to price things, so would you mind coming over to WA to hold my hand? ;)

Have a good weekend!

Karla said...

I love your posts on the consignment sale but I need to know how I missed those Auburn Crocs! Obviously my plan of clothes first, shoes second may not always be the best :) It looks like you found some great stuff.

Sharon said...

Thanks for the notice on the second post. Great info here too! Not sure if I'll try selling this time or not. I've just donated a bunch of stuff.

Gray Matters said...

So funny that you remembered that! I don't know how I missed this post - probably because I've been up to my eyeballs in snot! What you may not know about those bleached jeans was that I had to leave school early the next day - seems that you're really not suppose to put a whole bottle of bleach on your jeans and then wear them before they've been washed a gazillion times!

Still think I'm cool?

BTW - I love everything about your new blog.

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