Guest Post by Rachael J. Mercer, from SavingCentsably.com
Our family is big into consignment sales. We shop at them and we buy from them. With four kids ages 11, 9, 6 and 4, you can believe that we grow out of clothing almost as fast as I can purchase it. Consignment sales make selling the outgrown clothing easy, and at many sales I simply “roll” the money I earn for selling into the money I need to buying there! And because I refuse to pay full price for almost everything I buy, I am always looking for ways to save EVEN more on the items I need to prepare for selling at a consignment sale. Here are some tips.
- STORAGE BAGS: When you shop at consignment sales this year, save those storage bags from the items you purchase. Open them carefully, remove all tags, and leave them with your consignment supplies so you can “recycle” them into another consignment sale. If this is too extreme for you, shop using coupons throughout the year and purchase storage bags for pennies on the dollar. In January of this year, Hefty bags at Kroger cost just around .49/box. When you can purchase 22 quart sized bags for just .49 cents, that’s a deal, and helps you avoid paying full price for the storage bags you need for selling your goods.
- FREE / CHEAP PAPER: Printing all those consignment sale tags can take a bite out of your paper supply. Stock up on paper throughout the year at office supply stores. Many of these stores offer 100% rebates on paper throughout the year. In fact, many times there is a coupon for the paper, plus a 100% rebate. This means buying paper/card stock for your tags is a money-maker! Plus, you’ll have the card stock you need for tagging your items.
- HANGERS: Ever notice when you leave the consignment sale you come home with hangers that don’t match the hangers you use in your own closet? Don’t toss them! Save them for getting ready for the next consignment sale you’ll place clothes in! Keep a small box in your laundry room for collecting these hangers and others you acquire during the year when you buy clothing. If your husband or a friend has to have their work attire dry cleaned, ask them to save the dry cleaning hangers. Use these for your own consignment items and avoid having to purchase hangers! If neither of these ideas work for you, check with your local thrift store. I can often purchase 10-12 of the good sized plastic hangers for as little as .50.
- SAFETY PINS: Lastly, unless you own a tagging gun, you must use safety pins to attach those tags to your items. This is not an item you are likely to find a coupon on, but there’s definitely a way to save on acquiring them. When you are purchasing (or volunteering) at a consignment sale this spring, ask about what they do with their safety pins. Many consignment sale owners would be happy to give you a bunch of the safety pins that have been removed from the clothing as it is de-tagged to be sold. If you shop in a sale where the tags remain on the items after it is purchased, get a small storage bag and save those safety pins! If neither of these ideas work for you, check with a dry cleaning company. They may be willing to sell you a bunch of safety pins for less than you could purchase at a store!
Consigning can be a lot of fun—the hard work in preparing is always rewarded when you are able to turn your unwanted items into items that are useful for your family! Remember to save even in the preparation process, so the money you earn is all yours—not being used to “reimburse” yourself for all the supplies you bought in the first place!
Rachael J. Mercer is a wife, mom to 4 and avid couponer living in McDonough, Ga. She owns the web site www.savingcentsably.com and travels the state of Georgia teaching about couponing! She has been featured in ALL YOU Magazine, Atlanta Parent Magazine, and the Rockdale Citizen, and she writes a weekly column on savings and couponing for The Telegraph, a newspaper based in Macon, Ga.