I’ve been shopping consignment sales for my kid’s clothing since, well, since I had kids. I believe my oldest son was only a few months old when headed off to my first sale, shopped as a ‘first time mom’, and immediately fell in love with the thrill of finding amazing clothes at great prices. Let’s face it, if you’re a consignment shopper, you’re a bargain hunter – pure and simple.
Then he started growing out of those awesome clothes. He stopped using all of those gigantic pieces of baby gear I [thought] I just HAD to have for him. The jumperoo, the walker, the swing, the travel swing … it went on and on. So? I decided to not only be a shopper of consignment sales, I decided I had better start selling at consignment sales as well. It only got worse when I had the second kiddo – now I had double the shopping and double the selling to do.
I believe the best way to become a good consignor is to first be a shopper. When you’re a shopper at a consignment sale, you understand what sellers should be doing to attract your attention as a buyer. Namely, you understand that quality is a game-changer. You begin to appreciate the seller who took the little extra effort to iron their clothing. You might turn up your nose at that stroller with mud still caked on the wheels. And you’re not even going to consider a toy that doesn’t have working batteries in it while on the sale floor. All of these lessons I learned as a shopper, and now I make sure I put them to use as a seller.
Keeping all of this in mind – here are my top three tips for quality control as a consignor:
1. Only sell what you would buy yourself. The first, and the most important rule: if you’re looking at something and you have even a flicker of doubt about it’s quality – don’t try to consign it. Those jeans with the somewhat worn knees? The shirt with the pilling on the elbows? The toy that has cracked plastic in the corners? Do us (the shopper) a favor and just don’t bother with it. Donate items that are still wearable, but a little more worn, to your favorite local shelter.
2. Double and triple check your items. I get it, you’re selling 123,928,273.32 items and it takes a LONG time to go through and pin/tag/prep/enter in every.single.piece. But again, before you enter it into your sale’s computer system, do ONE MORE check. The shoppers will thank you, the owners will thank you, and even YOU will thank you – because no one wants an embarrassing email 5 days later dis-inviting you to sell next time because your quality just wasn’t where it should be (awkward).
3. Consider prepping with a friend. This past weekend I had my sister in law over and we prepped/pinned items together. It was great to have her here as a second pair of eyes – she went through my things, I went through hers. Sometimes, a fresh look at something is what you need to see that faint stain. Bring some junk food, open a bottle of wine, ship the kids off to grandma’s house and make an evening out of it!
Remember – a consignment sale is not a garage sale. Getting rid of every single baby onesie is probably not something you want to try to do. If everyone is as picky with the clothes they sell as the clothes they buy – we ALL have a better shopping and selling experience in the end!
Stephanie Totty [aka: Tottums] is a marketing and social media manager, wife, boymom and self-proclaimed nerd. She blogs on the regular at Froggy & the Mouse, where she spells out real life through gritted teeth, cups of coffee, and lots of hugs. You can usually find her hanging out on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Check out her other consignment posts here.