I Want To Maximize My Consignor Paycheck! Tell Me How!
You may be a seasoned consignor with several sales under your belt, or this may be your first time consigning with a children’s consignment sale, but your goals all align with the stars spelling out “let’s make more money” in the sky! I’ve been consigning and selling at a consignment sale for thirteen years now, take my advice and you will increase that paycheck at the end of the sale.
Start with evaluating your items.
Did you bring this item home after the last sale?
Items don’t sell because
- They’re overpriced.
- They are out of style.
- They were a little worn out.
- There was a lot of inventory in this size/category.
- A combination of the above.
Evaluate the item and generally think about whether this item still has good use/life left. If it doesn’t, just add to your donation bin at home. Still in good shape? I will always tell you to lower the price by at least $1 and retag it.
Clean Your Things!!
People who shop at a consignment sale want to feel as if they are shopping for new items at a retail store. They know they are buying used items, but psychologically they want the items to look (and smell) like something new – because it will be new to their household. Here is a list of things I would do to make my items look as new as possible:
- Wash everything that is washable! Clothes that have been stored in a bin for a year are wrinkled and rumpled. Run them through a gentle cycle and dry. If needed, I would always run an iron over the clothes – yes – even tshirts!
- In the same manner, wash ALL the pads/covers of your baby equipment. You know there is spit up on there somewhere – let’s not have your potential buyers looking at crumbs and caked on gunk of questionable origin.
- Take those bicycles, strollers, wagons, and outside toys and give them a good scrub with soapy water and a hose! These are big ticket items and you want to maximize your dollars here as much as possible. Does the bicycle chain need a little WD-40? Apply it! Did you kids apply stickers all over the inside of your wagon? Get that Goo Gone going and make it look like new!
Price To Sell
This may actually be the hardest one to accomplish for a number of reasons. The main reason is usually sentimental value of an item to you. Really look at an item as if you are looking to purchase it – what would you be willing to pay? That’s a good start.
Then, think about your competition! I can’t stress this one enough. In infant clothing, for example – sales get in hundreds of outfits that were maybe worn one time before it was grown out of. These outfits all look new and there are a lot of them – you have to price reasonably in order to get chosen. Maybe you are selling in toddler/little boys sizes. Here is one section where the quality in your item can stand out. Little boys are constantly on their knees and many of their jeans/pants can’t be sold because of wear or tears in them. So there is less to choose from in this category. Here, you can get an extra dollar or two simply because there is less inventory, and people need more of them.
Price as if you want people to buy the item the first time they see it. Don’t even consider the discount days. (more about that later) The average shopper only comes through the sale one time – you want them to choose your item as soon as they see it based on quality and price. If they say “this is a good deal” – it will go in their bag to purchase.
Remember your brands and where you bought the item. There are stores who constantly offer coupons and discounts. You know – you get the emails in your inbox daily. So if you know you stacked your discounts, savings, and “store cash”, to get a great deal on several outfits, then you have to pass on those same discounts to your buyer. They know the brand names sold at these stores – and they know you didn’t pay full price for that item…… In the same manner, maybe you’ve got a great boutique item to sell. This is where you can ask a little more money for those expensive brands that are an otherwise unattainable item for people on a budget, but it’s worth a little splurge to get it at consignment sale prices.
Group and Bundle your items to maximize your profits
Someone is not going to pay $3 for a single undershirt or onesie. But they will pay $3 for 2 of them! It’s always good to bundle accessory items like onesies, t-shirts or socks to get the most bang for your buck. Likewise you can do this with books, wooden and cardboard type puzzles, infant bath towels or blankets, bottles, sippy cups, training forks and spoons, and even DVD’s. Make sure you are bundling items that are the SAME SIZE, TYPE, or category! Bundles will always sell better than singles in these categories!
Always, Always, Always Discount Your Items!
You have done the work, you have cleaned and sorted and tagged and dropped off and whew – you do not want to bring these things back home! When your sale has discount days or half-price days or bargain days – you want to take advantage of every bit of selling time on the sales floor that you can! From experience I can tell you that on sale days, discount days, bargain days – if an item is not discounted it WILL BE PASSED OVER routinely – 99% of the time – not kidding here. On sale days, the shoppers are mainly there for one reason – they want the deals. This is what the cashiers hear all the time on sale days “If it’s not on sale – I don’t want it” – they are perfectly willing to put back your lovely items merely because they have specifically come to shop for bargains and if your item is not a bargain – it’s not going home with them. Remember this and use it to your advantage. You would rather get a smaller percentage on an item that to get zero percentage on that item – and bring it home – and have to store it – and have to pull it out again a few months later – only to lower the price and start all over again.
I’ve been doing this a long time, and I can count on one hand the number of items that I don’t discount each sale – and each one would have a very specific reason for that non-discount.
You want to have great selling success at the sale, the sale owners want you to have great success, it all adds up to a great win-win-win for the consignor, shopper and overall sale experience. Put in the work and maximize your profits – everyone will be smiling in the end!
About the Author
Jennifer Hill is a former consignment sale owner in Western Pennsylvania. She is a mom to three kids who are now in high school and college. She has a Business/Communications degree from Grove City College and resides in Volant, PA with her husband, kids and a barn full of animals. She enjoys being outdoors, reading, hanging with her tribe of fierce moms and the occasional glass of whiskey…or wine….