5 mistakes 1st time consignors make
You’ve signed up to consign at your local children’s consignment sale. For some, that decision was easy, “Heck yes, let’s clear the clutter and make some money!” For others, you eased into the consignment waters slowly, taking your time and talking to friends about their experience. For both types of people, though, you want to do it right, with timely and accurate information that lets you do your thing and get on with the busyness of your daily life. Hence, Sunflower Sprouts has put together a list of mistakes that most first timers make so that you can avoid them and turn your consigning experience into a super positive one.
1. You expect to make a ton of money on infant clothing.
This just isn’t going to happen. Here’s why, and what you should pivot towards. Everyone has tons of infant clothes. It’s either in pristine condition – because your baby never wore it or you saved it for outings beyond your home – or it was a tried and true, covered in spit up favorite which I’m just going to head you off this trail here – don’t consign those daily favorites, they have drool stains and won’t be accepted through the inspection process.
There are always a ton of infant clothing on the racks at consignment sales. These are also the sections that have the most clothing with the tags still on the garments. Buyers have a literal field day picking out the newest, cutest outfits. Because there is such a huge selection, your pricing has to be spot on to attract the buyer. Let’s just lay it out here… YOU AREN’T GOING TO SELL A ONESIE FOR $8. End of story. Go for $3 and you’ll make some bank.
So, where do we pivot to make money as a new consignor who’s baby is now a toddler? We pivot to the outgrown infant equipment! Hello – those infant swings, pack and plays, formula making machines, strollers, boppies, and infant carriers can have you raking in the money. These are the big ticket items at sales, and if you clean them up nicely, and price appropriately, will earn you a nice paycheck at the sale.
It’s important to note, also, that as your child grows, the larger clothing categories, toddler to teen, have less competition and you will make more money on this clothing.
2. You set your prices too high.
While we are on the pricing subject, let’s take a closer look at how to do this right.
- Don’t let an emotional attachment to an item cloud your judgement. Don’t sell the blanket you brought your baby home from the hospital in. Don’t sell their first birthday outfit. Those things deserve a special place in a keepsake box and are quite frankly, priceless.
- Ask yourself honestly, very honestly, “What would I pay for this outfit or item if I was shopping RIGHT NOW?”
- Consider your competition. We touched on this above, when dealing with the infant clothes. The reverse applies to four to ten year old boys’ pants. Boys wear out the knees in pants – it’s one of the laws of nature, just like gravity. So there are not a lot of boys’ pants to be found because they have holes in them and can’t be sold. Less selection means you can add an extra dollar or two to your asking price.
- Look at your consignment sale’s pricing guide. They will steer you toward making smart pricing choices.
- Shop your sale! It’s the best way to see where the prices hit, and where you should be with yours! Easy Peasy!
3. You wait until the last minute to tag your items.
Let’s face it, we all have the best of intentions to get those things off of our to do list. But we all procrastinate because life got in the way, the coach added an extra practice, the baby got an ear infection, or insert your random minor daily crisis here ________________________. The best of intentions are always the first to get sidelined when the baby poop hits the fan so to speak. But here’s what happens when you wait until the last minute, you put yourself into fast paced crisis mode, and you forget things, you mess up your tag printing, you put the wrong tag on the wrong item, you find that you ran out of ink for your printer, you don’t find all of the pieces to the puzzle that you want to sell, you don’t end up cleaning your items so that they look their best, you forget that you had another bin of toys in your basement to consign and they don’t get tagged. All of these things can, and do, happen.
Moral of the story is start your tagging process early. You will save your sanity, be much more relaxed and find the process easier, less stressful, and you will ultimately make more money. That’s the goal right?
4. You Don’t Read The Instructions.
Pretty self-explanatory here, but when you don’t read them, mistakes WILL happen and it will cost you in time, money, or both. Oh, your sale only accepts short sleeves during the spring and summer, and you just tagged a drawer full of tank tops for their October sale? Lost time and money. You printed your tags on plain paper, not card stock? Your tags will rip and fall off your clothing and will end up in the missing tag bins during the sale for someone to try to figure out who it belongs to. Lost money. You didn’t read the part where you help table and hang your items during drop off and now you have to pick your child from preschool? Holy crisis on your hands.
Read the instructions. Twice. It will make you a better seller, and increase your consignor paycheck.
5. You Don’t Shop Early.
Yes, the sale is stretched out over a period of days. Yes, that’s a broad selection of hours to shop in. But one of the main perks of being a consignor is that you get to shop early – before the crowds of people, before things get picked over, when you have the opportunity to get that much wanted Paw Patrol Toy your child has been begging for, or that hard to find Halloween costume.
Another way this helps you is that you become a better consignor by seeing what things are priced at right when the sale opens. If you shop later in the sale, you may just be seeing the prices of things that are left – the too high prices which would not be accurate information as to what is really SELLING.
If I’m being honest, you want to do everything in your power to shop as early as possible. That can mean being a helper at the sale, as the helpers will shop first, before even the consignors. That can mean scheduling a play date with grandma and grandpa, so that you have an evening by yourself and unattached to little hands to hit the sales floor. We shop early to get the best selection, at the best price, period. Schedule this time into your calendar, and reap the benefits in so many ways.
Consigning is a great way to make money on your kids’ outgrown items. When you put a little time and effort into doing it correctly, it can be such a fun experience that you, too, will become a Consignment Guru/Queen/Expert! Don’t let your first consigning experience make you falter, use these guidelines and turn them to your advantage. You’ll be consigning like a professional before you know it!