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Wear It Again: Advice for Successful Consignment Buying and Selling

Wear It Again: Advice for Successful Consignment Buying and SellingIf there are two truths we as moms know, it’s that kids grow way too fast and that keeping them in clothes, shoes, and coats, etc., can be expensive! That’s why I love consignment shopping.

While I love shopping at second-hand children’s clothing stores like Once Upon A Child year-round, I also enjoy the great Des Moines area pop-up consignment sales like Just Between Friends and Take 2 Des Moines. These two biannual events are both coming up this month: Just Between Friends is April 10-12 and Take 2 Des Moines is April 30-May 3.

I first stumbled upon these sales when my daughter was about three months old, and I did some major damage (in a good way) that first time I visited the vast land of gently used clothes, toys, books, furniture, and more! I’ve been frequenting the sales ever since–-as both a consignor and a shopper. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

Advice for Consignment Selling

  • Mark your items in a unique way. You won’t necessarily sell everything you drop off. So, if you plan to pick up your unsold items after the sale is over, be sure to put ribbon or colorful tape on them so they are easy to locate. If you don’t pick up unsold items (and you don’t have to), they will go into future sales or be donated.
  • Don’t take off-season items. Sale representatives go through every item you’re hoping to sell. If you take fuzzy pajamas in the spring or swimsuits in the fall, you may be asked to take them home and bring them to the next season’s sale instead.
  • Read all instructions on your sale’s website, flyers, etc. Some sales have caps on the number of certain items you can sell, most notably on maternity items and books. Also, consider car seat expiration dates and other products that may not pass inspection.
  • Sort, hang, and tag items at home. It’s busy on drop-off day. It will make everyone’s lives easier to get all pre-sale things taken care of at home. You can print tags, hang and pin items, and thoughtfully price them.
  • Don’t get greedy. Follow the pricing recommendations provided by the sale organizers. Overpriced items are less likely to sell, so be reasonable when setting your prices.
  • Don’t try to sell anything badly stained or torn. Even if you sneak these items onto the racks, it’s likely they won’t sell. And, it’s just a bummer for people to buy things and get home to realize they’re no good.

Tips for Consignment Buyers

Wear It Again: Advice for Successful Consignment Buying and Selling

An entire “like new” outdoor winter outfit for only $18!

  • Seek out pre-sale access. For many sales, if you are a volunteer and/or consignor, you get first access to the sale. Otherwise, check and see if there’s an email list pre-sale. Get on that list and get into the sale before the general public. Pre-sales are great for getting big-ticket items like furniture, large toy sets, and more.
  • Check for stains and damage. As I said before, it’s not fun to spend money on something that isn’t worth wearing or using due to damage or stains. So, check items over carefully. Of course, there are no returns at consignment sales.
  • Plan ahead with bags or containers. Sales usually have carts, large tote bags, or laundry baskets available for you to carry your items. But, it’s a good idea to have some bags or totes in your car just in case.
  • Check ahead on payment methods. The big name sales will have credit/debit card machines, but some of the smaller ones may be cash only. So, make sure you find out before you get to the sale.
  • Go on the last day to get the best deals. If you’re truly just looking for the cheapest items, check out the final day of the sale. Most items will be drastically marked down.
  • Bring a friend! Bringing a friend or adult family member can be helpful. They can hold a spot in line while you grab that last pair of cute shoes or that fun toy, and they can help you carry your haul!

Now, I just need to clear out some space in my little lady’s closet. 🙂 Let the shopping (and selling) begin!

What tips do you have? What’s your favorite consignment shop or pop-up sale?

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