You’ve got outgrown kid stuff or maybe your own clothes, shoes and bags you’re looking to get rid of. Should you have a yard sale? Is it easier to donate? Or is it worth the time and hassle to become a consignor at one of those twice-yearly consignment sales?
What are the benefits of consigning? At what cost?
Pros of consigning
- More money. You can charge more than you would at a yard sale where people expect bargain-basement prices. And you don’t get cash in hand when you donate. According to Kristin Nelson of LA Kids Consignment Sale, “The average consignor makes $250-350, but some consignors have made over $1000.” I happen to be one of those consignors who has made well over $1k, twice a year, to get rid of my kids’ outgrown toys, clothes, shoes and everything else that takes over the house when I’m not looking. At the local consignment shops, I’m lucky if they give me $1-2 per item. (That’s where I take what doesn’t sell.)
- Shop early. As a consignor, you get to shop early. Sometimes a full day or two before the sale opens to the public. Which means you are the early bird. You get the cream of the crop. You get to strike when the iron is hot. Are those enough metaphors for you? Seriously, the good stuff goes first and you will be there to get it. Keep in mind that the big items go right away, ex. outdoor climbing structures. You can really score incredible deals that you wouldn’t otherwise even know about.
- Elbow room. In addition to getting the prime pickins’, you get to shop without crowds or round-the-block lines. It’s a much more peaceful experience, and the number of crying babies drops significantly.
- No haggling. Unlike yard sales, there are no hagglers. No early birds knocking on your door. No standing out in the hot sun.
- Sneak peak. As a consignor you can scope out the merchandise early and make a list of items you hope to snag. It’s like getting a sneak preview.
- Upcycling! There is also a certain excitement in seeing people buy your items, knowing you are helping families get great deals, and tracking how much you’re making every day of the sale.
- Re-sale value. Whatever you buy at the sale you know you can turn around and sell when it’s outgrown or no longer played with. A total win-win. Some consignors buy items they know are underpriced and immediately resell on Ebay or Craigslist.
- Pay it forward. Whatever money you make as a consignor, you can use to replenish your kids’ or your own wardrobe. Some consignors make enough to cover all their new purchases.
- Local boost. Consignment sales are local affairs, so by consigning and shopping there you are supporting a local business. And often one that is woman-owned!
- Clean closets. With the incentive to make more money, your closets will be clean and organized in no time. Ditto for your attic, basement, and other storage areas. Think of all that stuff as money waiting to materialize.
- And…did I mention the money?
And now for the drawbacks…
- Mandatory volunteering/Hours of pre-prep. I’m not going to lie to you, consigning is time-consuming. If you’ve got a full-time job, this might be too much to take on. Especially since you will be expected to volunteer. In most cases, the more you volunteer, the larger a percentage of your sales you get to keep. Consignors can earn up to 80% of their sales total — a percentage you won’t earn at ANY resale store.
- Time suck. It’s a lot of work. You need to check for stains, clean all your items, hang them, enter them into a special consignor system (which is easy to use), print tags, tag your items, etc. You also need to invest in a tagging gun, cable ties for attaching shoes together, cardstock for printing tags, hangers, etc. Not a big investment, but a few bucks nonetheless. If you don’t have time for all this, donating is definitely the easiest option.
- Volume. In order to make money, you need to have items worth selling and enough of them to make it worth your while. Remember, not every item will sell. Years ago, I sold items at a womens’ consignment sale, Dress on a Dime. They are known for their many stylish, upscale items. But I didn’t really have much to sell or the time to consign. I probably made about sixty bucks. Not worth my time. So now I’ll shop there, but not sell.
Have you ever sold at a consignment sale?