Monday, September 14, 2009

Tips from the Consignment Sale Guru- Part One

Forget Football!!
It's Consignment Sale Season Time!
Since I am packaging, writing labels and taping together bags of fine used items tonight, here are a few tips that I've shared, but I hope you will use as a refresher... or a "fresher" if you have seen them before.

Look for Part Two tomorrow!

Post originally published February 26, 2009.

After this post about shopping at consignment sales {I'm posting it tomorrow- promise; it makes sense this way- TRUST me}, 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. And we have the same birthday.

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. {To hear the end of the story that I NEVER knew, go to the last comment this original post. It's worth it.}

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!

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.


Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I love Red, Red Wine. The song, not the beverage. (Not that I'm against the beverage. I just don't like it.)

Good tips.

But even better was the Paul Harvey rest of the story - funny!

Oh - I mean "even better" because I'm too lazy to do consignment shops or garage sales or anything that requires ironing. :)

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

Now I can't stop singing Red, Red Wine!!

You ae most certainly a friend of mine. I know I keep saying that, but I LOVE to resale my kids clothes and, frankly, I often use my profits to buy them more clothes. I am feeling inspired just reading this post!

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

Wonderful tips. I actally shopped at a consignment sale last Friday and I can say that the sizing would have been helpful, so many shirts look smaller than the size I was looking in so I just moved on.

Unreasonable Grace said...

A new career path, perhaps? Consignment Consultant. Put "consultant" on the end of any title and you are worth TWICE as much!

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