Spring Consignment Season is right around the corner and now is the time to start preparing. Here are some tips to help get you ready!
Register for sales early! Each sale states when they open registration on their sale website. Make a note of registration dates and plan to register early. Many sales will fill up in the first day due to limited space and then go to a waiting list.
Sign Up for a New Sale! If you have only done one sale before, why not sign up for a second sale later in the season? This is a great way to sell more of your items and an opportunity to see how different sales are run. Ask your friends what sales they participate in or see if there is a new sale being held in your area. You can see a list of sales organized by area of town on Consigning Time (www.consigningtime.com) – THE Place To Find Consignment Sales in Middle Tennessee.
Sign Up to Volunteer! The best way to find the best items is to be a volunteer. Each sale offers perks for consignors who volunteer to help with the sale. The shifts range from 4 to 8 hours depending on the sale. In exchange for your time, you will get to shop before the sale opens to the public in addition to other perks that vary with each sale. Shopping early is particularly helpful if you are looking for a specific in demand item – like outdoor play items etc.
Begin Gathering Your Sale Items! Grab a rubbermaid bin and start to gather items to sell. It really helps to get your children involved and have them “buy in” to the process. I ask my children what toys they would like to sell. If they do not produce enough toys, I then hold up two items and tell them they have to choose which one to keep. The trick with this is that I rig the choices so one item is one I know they will never want to sell so they have to choose the item that I want to go. It hasn’t backfired on me yet!
Create a Consignment Box! I like to keep all of my supplies together in a plastic school box. Inside I keep – White Index Cards, Sharpies (Black and Red), Scissors, Safety Pins, Rubber Bands, Hole Puncher, Plastic Ties, Ribbon and clear packing tape.
Gather Your Supplies! I always think it is funny that before consignment season I become obsessed with wire hangers. “Where are my wire hangers? I need more wire hangers? Does anyone have any wire hangers?” The first thing I do is scour the closets and exchange wire hangers for plastic ones. (You can buy the plastic ones at Dollar Tree to replace any wire ones you have.) If I don’t find enough I begin to beg. I beg my friends and local dry cleaners. This usually brings forth a bounty of wire hangers and all is right with the world. After the hangers are taken care of – I move on to safety pins. Dollar Tree is a great source for these but many people know that so they sell out right before sales begin so you need to pick them up early or you will end up paying $4 at Walgreens – Ugh!
Invite Your Friends To Participate! Part of the fun of consignment is sharing your great finds with a friend. I rely on my friends to give me the appropriate “oohs and aahs” about items like the Little Tykes playset in mint condition that I found for $30. My hubby just does not seem to provide me the level of excitement I require at such an accomplishment so I rely on my girlfriends. It is also wise to have another set of eyes with you when you shop so they will tell you the truth “No, your sweet girl will not look good in the orange and purple polka dotted, ruffled shirt with bows all over it”. That’s what friends are for so ask a friend to sign up for a sale with you so you can enjoy the experience together.
Get on the Mailing List! Sign up for the each sale’s mailing list so you will be notified of all of their registration dates for future sales. Many sales add an extra sale during the year to raise money for charity. Don’t be left out because you did not see the e-mail.
Make a Plan! Don’t wait until the last minute to get everything together and begin tagging. If you are unsure what to price something, check online pricing resources like ebay. If in doubt, just think what you would be willing to pay for the item at a sale and go with your instinct.
Prepare Your Shopping Lists! Walking into a consignment sale can be quite overwhelming. There is so much stuff that all of the sudden you forget what you need and end up searching through all of the great books for hours. Trust me -been there and done that. The best way to fight against this is to prepare a list. Keep it short and simple. I usually do it on an index card so I can keep it in my pocket. (I do not carry a purse when I shop at consignment sales). Write down the items AND SIZES for each of your children. Organize your list by sex because that is how sales are organized. On one side write the “Needs” and the other side write your “Wants”. If you start your list now you should have a really comprehensive list by the time the sales begin.
Have fun and remember that you are saving lots of money by shopping consignment sales but it is even more fun to MAKE money at consignment sales! HAPPY SHOPPING!
Julie is an avid consignment sale shopper and own the website Consigning Time - THE Place To Find Consignment Sales in Middle Tennessee. She grew up in Nashville and now lives in Franklin with her husband of 14 years and her two active boys (6 and 11).