By Age 4/5:
Giving away toys forever can be a hard concept at this age. Approach your conversation with your child with an attitude of giving something away to help another little boy or girl. You need to have this conversation at least two weeks before the sale. Once they have chosen a few non-favorite toys to give away, keep those toys out of their sight until they are tagged and out of the house. If they end up being very sad over a toy, let them exchange it for a different, rarely used toy. Never consign a favorite toy or something that has sentimental value.
If that concept doesn’t work with your child, your best option is to pick out toys they have truly outgrown and never favored over other toys. Get them out of the room and hide them until the sale starts. It may be your only hope.
By Age 7:
At this age, most children have lost interest in their preschool toys, so you shouldn’t have much trouble convincing them to clean out old toys. Some moms use a swap method, where they offer to purchase a toy of a certain value in exchange for giving up a predetermined number of toys. Let them help you with some stages of preparing items, like cleaning or making sure all of the pieces are there. This gives them a sense of ownership without overwhelming them with too many steps.
By Age 9/10:
By now, money is starting to matter to your kids. It’s a great incentive tool for encouraging them to clean out their toys, books and clothes. Offer a percentage of your sale proceeds to your child in exchange for their help with preparing your items. Pick a few things to show him or her how they’re added into the system, tagged and packed to be sold. When you get your check, take your child to the bank with you and hand them their portion of your sale proceeds. Seeing the process from beginning to end will help them make a clear connection to the value of consigning.
By Age 13:
Check with your sale to see if you can set up an account for your child. Many sales will reduce or waive consignor fees for children’s accounts. Guide your child in cleaning out closets, drawers and toy boxes. Teach them how to prepare everything for the sale and let them do the majority of the work on their items. At this point, they may be eligible to volunteer at a sale. If they have the opportunity, encourage them to give back by helping out. When she receives a check made out to her or he goes in the bank to cash his consignor check, your child will recognize the value of hard work.
Children who grow up in families who shop and sell at consignment sales learn the value of hard work, as well as the reward of being paid for those efforts.
About the Author
Elizabeth Renfroe has a passion for all things consignment sale-related. She enjoys coordinating the Children’s Market Sale at First United Methodist Church, Jacksonville, Alabama.