How I Prep for Consignment Sales

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Consignment sales are one of my favorite #MomHacks. Not only are they are great way to fill your kids wardrobes each year, but they are an amazing way to make some money!! Here is how I prep for selling at a consignment sale.

5 Steps to Consignment Sale Success

#1 – Gather the Goods

At the beginning of the year when the whole world was in Marie Kondo-land (myself included) I started pulling clothes for the sale. I separated their clothes into piles – Keep, Donate, Toss, Consign. Each pile, with the exception of the Keep pile, gets put in trash bags and stored or tossed.

Keep

Obviously these are the clothes that I refolded/hung and put back in their rooms. I allowed my daughter (3rd grade) to help sort through hers, but I decided to handle the boys’ (2nd/5th) on my own…because they are hoarders.

Toss

These were the clothes that are ripped, badly stained, or otherwise not worth keeping or selling.  

Donate

The clothes that we donate are the ones that were in good condition, but not really selable. Frequently these include old school or event t-shirts and clothes that may only have a small stain. This can also include clothes that are knock off brands that may not sell well.

Consign

Clothes that I choose to consign are clothes that are still in great shape, free of tears and stains, and still fashionable. Most of these clothes are the current or upcoming season so for a March sale there are a lot of short sleeves, tank tops, and shorts with a few select sweaters and pants while in the fall I do well with more with cooler weather clothes (but not too heavy, because, Florida!).

#2 – Sort and Organize

Around 2 weeks before sale drop off day I pull out the bags of clothes that I designated to consign and sort them. I do my best to sort them by tops, bottoms, and dresses/outerwear. If I am motivated I also sort by boy clothes vs girl clothes, but that’s not a necessity. 

#3 – Assemble Materials

Next I gather all of the materials I need to prep the clothes for the sale.

  • Hangers – While the sale I go to does not require a certain type of hangers, I fully support wire hangers because it is easier to pin clothes to them. DO NOT spend a lot of money on hangers! Check out clothing stores (especially those that might be going out of business!) or a dollar store to load up!
  • Safety Pins – large and medium are best because you will need to pin multi-piece items together, bottoms onto hangers, and tags onto the items.
  • White Cardstock – I know, cardstock is more expensive than regular paper, but it will make your tags more durable so that they will last through the sale.
  • BONUS – Clothing Rack – Listen, I know that this seems extravagant, but they are *really* cheap at IKEA! This is the one I got for $12.99, but they even have a cheaper one!   

#4 – Hang and Decide

As I go through hanging each piece on my clothing rack, I track it in a notebook. The information that I write down is:

  • Section (Bedding, Boys Clothes, Shoes, etc.)
  • Item Description
  • Size
  • Price

This makes things easier for when I type up my tags because I don’t have to keep going back to the items. I 100% make sure that as I hang and write down the clothes I make sure they stay in the same order so that when I have my tags done I am go down the line and attach them without having to dig for the items.

This is also the time when I decide even more about whether an item will sell or not. For this current sale I decided to pick and choose what I sell and save the rest for our upcoming garage sale.

#5 – Type and Cut the Tags

This is where my notebook tracking and batching tasks is saving me. Since I already know what I want to include on my tags I am able to sit down at the computer and type in the information for my 100ish items – which is a pretty small amount – all at once. Be sure to follow the printing directions set out by your sale! You definitely do not want to have to reprint your tags because you did them wrong.

Be sure that when you are cutting your tags that you keep them in in order so that your pinning can go quick and easy.  

Good Luck!

One of the hardest things about consignment sales is the waiting! I try to volunteer as much as I can at the sale to A) pass the time, B) see what is selling, and C) talk to new people. You would be amazed what you can learn by talking to people who have been selling (and shopping!) at consignments for years – hence where I got the clothes rack tip!). 

I hope that you have found these tips helpful for prepping for your upcoming sale…good luck out there!

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