I had never gotten involved in consignment until this past Fall. I hadn't sold items and rarely had I bought items at consignment shops. But, I have now fallen in love with consignment! I know when we have our little one home, I will really LOVE being able to buy nice, affordable kids clothes from our local store.
If you are curious about how it works, I thought I would post a word about my consignment experience. Please note that I'm sure different stores work differently, and I am only posting about one particular store in my town!
First, to consign clothing, you might have to create an account. We did. It involved filling out a short form and agreeing to the store's policies. (Keep those handy for future reference by the way.) Each store has their own policies, but ours accepts only clothing that is clean, without blemish, and still "in fashion" and in season. They only accept a certain number of jeans and shoes each month. They also require an appointment for dropping off clothing, and all clothing must be on hangers. Our store is small and has limited space; that's why they only take certain amounts of some items.
Sound daunting? It really isn't. What I do is I have a certain designated area in my home for storing consignment clothes. I keep things sorted by seasons because it's best to take items in when they're what everyone wants to buy that month. Since we are fundraising, we are always accepting donated items from friends and family members. When I receive a box or bag of clothes, I sort through and look for items that seem new, brand name, or fashionable, and keep those aside for consignment. I know certain items that seem to sell very well and when is the opportune time to take them in. At my store, Holister or AE or similar brands of tees are great anytime, kids clothes and jeans do well in late summer right before school starts, sweaters & blazers sell well in October, anything Christmasy does great in the month of November, girls dresses do well in early Spring right before Easter and shorts and sundresses do well in late Spring. You kind of have to think about a month ahead of time what people will want to buy.
I try to make one appointment a month to take in my stuff. Some stores ask people to "tag" things beforehand, but all I have to do is take items in on hangers. They inspect the clothes and keep what they can. They tag it with my consignment number and the expiration date. Our store allows items to stay in the store for about 2 months. If something hasn't sold, I can either come search for my items and take them back home or I can let the store donate them to charity. I rarely have things left over...I was just in yesterday and had one sweater left over.
When I go in for an appointment, I also check my account. They keep track of how much I have made from my items. The percentages vary, but it is a lot more than I could make off the clothes at a yard sale. I can either get a payment in cash or use it as store credit and do some shopping for myself. Since we are fundraising, all consignment money I make goes to the adoption fund.
Since October I have made $50 from my consignment store! I know it's not a ton of dollars, but anyone who is fundraising knows that every cent counts! I get excited going through our donated clothes and picking out the best of the best items. I get excited when I go in the store to check my account and walk out with $10 or $15 for adoption.
So, if you are a big-time shopper and have lots of nice, new clothes just hanging in your closet (possibly with tags still on!) try consignment. If you have close friends or family who make Goodwill runs all the time, ask them to allow you to sort through the clothes first. Try consignment for the best of the best items you find. If you have kids that are growing like weeds, seek out a children's consignment store and give it a try!
- Wash items so that they smell fresh
- Make sure items are unwrinkled (this will make them more appealing to shoppers)
- Save items for the opportune time of the year
- If you store requires appointments, make them waaay ahead of time. Sometimes when I wait until the last minute, I can't get an appointment for a week or so. I already have my appointment schedule for January and February.
Consignment is one of our on-going ways to bring in a little extra cash, and I plan on continuing until I don't have clothes to sell or until our adoption is complete!
Stay tuned for a post tomorrow about another on-going fundraiser that has helped me raise $322 in the past 6 months!