Make and Take Money at Seasonal Consignment Sales for Children
What is a Seasonal Consignment Sale?
I had heard of people shopping at these these huge children's clothing sales many years ago, but I didn't really realize what they really were all about until one came to my town. These consignment sales are a way for people to sell the clothes, shoes, toys, etc their children have outgrown in big week-long sale. These sales offer much higher profits than at a traditional consignment shops or yard sales. They offer 70% to the consignor compared to the 50% at most traditional consignment shops. After all your preparatory work, you can drop off your items and just pick up your check at the end of the sale! No getting up at 5 am, sitting out all day and haggling over quarters for yard sales!
Most sales do charge some kind of small fee for participating such as a $10-15 fee for processing or per 150 items consigned. Even with this small fee the profits from the sale can be substantial!
What Does "Seasonal" Mean?
Seasonal consignment sales are usually right before spring and fall. The seasonal part of the sale means that the sale will not take items that are not appropriate for the upcoming season. For example, smocked Christmas dresses and heavy winter coats will not be accepted in summer, or swim suits and Easter baskets in winter.
How and What to Consign?
Many of these sales offer online registration where you then get your consignor number. Once you are registered, you will go to work cleaning, ironing, tagging and hanging your items for the sale. The sale in my area allows clothes and shoes according to season from newborn to juniors sizes as well as toys, baby equipment, books, electronics, to name just a few. Every sale varies. Some sales may have clothing limits, such as only 15 clothing items for size 0-6 months. These sales also have rules about branding and quality of the items (no holes or stains). Many of these sales also accept maternity clothes. Your items will most likely be inspected when you drop them off, and items that do not meet the criteria will be rejected.
Preparation of Items
Most sales will have very specific rules about how to hang your clothes on the hanger and where to place your tag on the items. These rule are in place in order to avoid lost tags and disorganization of the sale. For example, the sale that I participate in bi-annually requires all clothing items are hung in such a way that the hangers all face a certain direction. Safety pins are required to fasten tags to clothing and sometimes clothing to hangers. Shoes are to be placed in ziploc-style bags and packing tape used to affix tags on bags. Tags are required to be printed or written on cardstock.
Sales require you to tag your item in order for them to credit you for the items you sell. The consignment sale may provide printable templates for you to print and cut out to use. You will write information such as you item number, item description and pricing on the tag. I found that some sales will allow registered consignors to print barcoded tags as a method of tracking the sales. The tag is placed on the items according to the sale's specific procedures. The process of tagging your items will take much longer than you anticipate! Be sure to start preparing and tagging your items a month or two in advance of the sale.
Most consignment sales recommend pricing your item at 1/4 to 1/3 of the original value according to quality and condition of items. In most cases, even a item that is brand new in the box will not sell for the original price. Each sale has its own pricing rules. Prices are usually required to be in $.50 or $1.00 increments. For your best chance at success at the seasonal consignment sale, don't price too high! In that case, you might end up taking a lot of your things back home and no one wants to do that! Since most sales have bargain days on the closing days of the sale, there is usually a code to mark you tag accordingly if you do not want your items to be sold for a discount price. In addition, if you would be willing to sell your item at the 25% off price but not at 50% off you may designate the item this way by coding it properly.
Work/Shop Early Option
Most sales also have an option for consignors to volunteer to work pre-determined shifts. For these volunteer hours, the volunteers get to shop earlier than the general public for the best selection and bargains. I have found working the sale to be very rewarding from the bargain aspect and also a lot of fun!
Do you know of a Seasonal Children's Consignment Sale in your area?
The sale usually goes on about a week. There are a few days set aside for workers to shop early. Some sales have a special early sale for new or expectant mothers and grandmothers. The public then has several days to shop. Usually the last 2 days are bargain days and with one day being 25% off and one day being 50% off.
Money, Money, Money
Sales vary in their methods of pay out. Some even have the option of seeing your profits online daily. Some pay you the day the sale is done. They may have you pick up your check when you come to pick up your unsold items. You may get your check in the mail in 1-2 weeks. Any of these ways still add up to a very fast turn around of profits for you! I know sellers that have made over $1000 at one consignment sale! I only sell a moderate amount of items (100-150) which are primarily clothes and shoes, but I usually make $200-$300 per sale myself. This is much more than I have ever managed to make on clothing or toy sales at a yard sale!
I have found these sales to be an excellent motivator for me to clean out closets and declutter!
I have also found I can cover my child's entire seasonal wardrobe including dressy clothes, jackets and shoes for a few hundred dollars!
The consignment sale in my town donates any leftover items that consignors do not pick up to a local orphanage. So you get the benefit of earning a nice profit and giving back!
One save if you make an error in price judgment is the discount day. If you have significantly overpriced your item, it might still sell on the 25% or 50% off discount days.
My local sale also allows for people to consign furniture even if not child-related.
Start Your Own Business!
Check to see if there are any seasonal children's consignment sales in your area. If not, this would be a great small business to start! The ladies that started the consignment sale in my area used to attend a lot of sales themselves. They saw there was nothing like a consignment sale in our town and decided to start one!
You work hard about 2 months of the year for what would be a yearly salary according to my calculations. Say you have 500 consignors....they each average $200 in sales....that is $100,000 and your 30% is $30,000 for 1 of the 2 sales a year. The sale in my area now has over 1000 consignors on average!
This might be a small business you could start relatively easily with HUGE rewards! You even have a built in system for free labor with the volunteers! In today's tough economy, people are looking to SAVE money and MAKE money. Seasonal children's consignment sales are a winning ticket with both options!
Consignment Sale Business - Potential Profits
# of consignors
Average consignor sales ($)
Overall Sales ($)
Business Profit ($)