Oh, how I love consignment shops- ever been to one?
In this article we take a deep dive inside a local seasonal children’s consignment sale to learn what you can find, tips, tricks and even a few secrets to making your consignment buys or sells a total success!
So what exactly is a children’s consignment shop?
Well, it’s really fairly simple. Over the years of parenting we accumulate SO. MUCH. STUFF. Stuff that we need, stuff that we don’t need, things your kid’s outgrow before we even know it, shoes that last a whole 3 months before they’re too small (that’s happened 3 times already this year and it’s only April). Things that cost money, hard earned money. So what do we do those things? CONSIGN them of course!
Consigning is taking those gently loved, handing them over to the consignment shop to be sold and earning a commission off everything that sells. Talk about easy money!
Over the past few years and 4 kids later I’ve fallen in love with one of our local children’s consignment sales, not only for taking all the things I no longer need and giving me money for them but for the opportunity to purchase all the things my kid’s DO need at a fraction of the price. Consignment shops are thee place you want to find all your kid’s needs- from clothes to toys and pretty much everything in between.
I was lucky enough to snag the owners of my favorite ‘Seasonal Consignment Sale’ for an interview to give us an inside look at their shop, tips and tricks and even a few secrets to making your consignment shop selling or trip a total success!
Treasured Once Again Consignment is our local, hometown children’s seasonal consignment sale- started by Barbie and Erin, both teachers (Barbie now retired) in 2010 and continue to run it to this day.
TOAC began as simply as a day looking for maternity clothes. Barbie had stopped by one of her good friend’s, Vicki who also owns a consignment shop- ‘Weecycled Wardrobe‘ (17 years) to look for maternity clothes for her daughter in law who was, at the time expecting her first baby.
“On the way home and since I was no longer teaching, I thought- wow, I would really enjoy doing this! The thought came out of nowhere but for some reason this was one that I acted on! It must have been a God thing- it was his will that I do this, as I get lots of thoughts I never act on”.
“I called all my family in Pennsylvania to see if there was anything like this and when they said no- I was off”.
With the scoop on how to get started with her own consignment from Vicki it was only a matter of time until Barbie had turned her dream into reality.
“I asked Erin if she would like to join me on this adventure and here we are! Our first Sale was in June 2010 and my first grandson was born in July, so I guess I need to give him some credit too”!
-While Treasured Once Again is only a seasonal sale offered twice a year- in the spring and the winter, it’s run exactly the same as any other consignment shop or sale. Here are some of their favorite tips, tricks and secrets to making your visit to a children’s consignment shop a win for everyone!
Treasured Once Again Consignment takes great focus on babies, children and even mothers. I’m not even the slightest bit exaggerating when I say you can find almost anything kid related at these sales. Some of the things you can find include-
Clothes (all organized by size and gender from newborn to teen sizes)
Toys of all kinds,
Dance and gymnastics,
Baby Equipment of ALL types…strollers, high chairs, pack n plays, bouncers, jumperoos, monitors, bottles, bibs, safety items, gates and so much more!
Favorite Consigning Tools
With consigning there’s two sides, the consignors and the buyers- though most people do both. In order to prepare your items for the consignment sale, there’s a few things you must do and here are our favorite tools to do so.
If you have a ton of clothing the number one thing to get is a tagging gun! This will save your fingers and time, trust me!
Zip ties are also a big item to have on hand. These come in hand for attaching shoes together, keeping pieces to toys together, etc
Baggies are a must- think socks, onseies, toy pieces, etc.
Hangers– any type will do, though keep in mind we’re dealing with mostly children’s clothing.
Clear Packaging Tape for attaching labels to toys- TOAC recommend Duck brand EZ Start tape!
Large Safety Pins to attach tags should you not opt for a tagging gun.
White Card Stock to ensure your tags won’t rip.
Big tote bags to hold all your findings!
One of my latest favorite little consignment tricks is using a clothes basket with a belt tied around the handle to pull along behind you while shopping.
4 tips for a successful consign!
#1 Tip…Start Early! While this one may seem rather obvious, I’ve found myself stuck at 2 a.m. hanging clothes and adding the last of my price tags. Don’t procrastinate.
#2 Pricing…Most difficult thing to do…You must take your heart out of the equation and that is not easy…you love that little outfit! Look at each item and think- what would I be willing to pay, what would I think is a great deal? Price competitively!
#3 Presentation… It is super important that items look their best- clean and not wrinkled. It matters to the shoppers!!
#4 Save your hangers! You will need them!
Best consigning secrets.
Treasured Once Again Consignment sale and most other children’s consignment shops offer special passes to their consignors and volunteers. Pre-sale passes- giving the opportunity to take advantage of shopping the day before we open to the public. If you want to get your hands on all these items- contribute to the sale by either consigning or even volunteering to set up, tear down and tons of other things that need to be done.
A big sale like this that brings in a large crowd may offer certain things like a ‘Family Fun Day’. TOAC offers a day like this during their big weekend sales that have crafts and photos with Pirates and Princesses, vendor tables and 25% off most items.
If you’re waiting for an even better deal- the last day of the sale is your time to act! At Treasured Once Again’s sale Sunday is 50% off most items. Next to free, this is without a doubt the best deal you’re going to find on all those treasures. Keep in mind that these sales are HUGE hits with the community and most big ticket items go quickly and won’t lost until last day.
Just how big are some of these sales?
While the size of consignment shops will vary depending on location, advertising and plenty of other factors- here are some of the stats for our small town, Central Pennsylvania children’s consignment sale (over a 4 day period).
Barbie and Erin offer a sale in two different towns- here are some of the averages and just how much they can vary depending on location.
Average amount of shoppers
Altoona Sale- averages about 1900 shoppers
Johnstown Sale- about 850
Average amount of consignors
Altoona- about 350 Consignors
Johnstown- about 150
Average amount of items in sale
Altoona- around 50,000 items
Johnstown- around 25,000
Is there money to be made consigning?
You may be wondering- is this really worth my time and effort? Again, these are percentages based on Treasured Once Again Consignment but usually run similar in most children’s consignment shops. Here are a few percentages and averages from Treasured Once Again’s sales.
Consignors earn 60% of their sales.
Volunteer and you can earn 65-70%
Our average consignor earns $250
Several top consignors earn over $1000
Children’s consignment shops are without a doubt a blessing and rather quite fun! Have you ever been to a consignment sale? Consigned items? Found any awesome treasures! We’d like to hear!
You Might Also Like…
To Toss or Tote Hand Me Downs
How To Breastfeed A Baby- Like A Boss
Purgatory of Minimalism- The Fundamentals To Decluttering