What to Expect When You’re Consigning – Part 1 – Getting Organized

I’ve never sold baby items at a consignment sale. That is about to change. Our city has a semi-annual consignment sale every spring and fall. This year, I’m signed up as a vendor.

I want to document what I learn so that you can learn with me.

My frugal-mom friend, Carla, has been consigning for years. She shared some great reasons for putting in the work it takes to do it. If you’re on a tight budget, listen up:

“On average, I make about $250-$350.  I really like not having to store tons of clothes that my kids have outgrown and I also like the idea of making money to spend on their next season of clothes.”

Yes, yes and yes.

Image of baby toys. Text reads What to Expect When You’re Consigning

Why I’m Consigning

  1. We are on one income. This money will go toward our savings goals.
  2. We have lots of things the children don’t wear or use that need a new home.
  3. This particular consignment sale will let you donate unsold items to a women’s & children’s shelter in our city.
  4. I am learning the consignment sale process and can share my experience with you. Hopefully it will give you one more tool in your money saving toolbox.

The Setup Process

So I’ve invested around 30 hours up to this point sorting, washing, drying, de-staining, hanging, ironing, sorting again, pricing and organizing baby clothes, toys, shoes, books, DVDs and gear.

Here are my expenses, so far:

  • $13 – Vendor’s fee
  • $15 – Tagging gun + 500 barbs
  • $3 – Safety pins
  • $6 – Packaging tape (to seal Ziplock bags and tags)
  • $6 – Painter’s tape (to use on book and DVD covers)

Total Investment:  $43.00

These supplies will last me a long time, so the investment next time will drop like crazy.

What’s left to do?

I have less than two weeks to finish ironing, packaging, printing and tagging everything. Then, I will transport my items by delivery helicopter to the sale (if only). Carla explained to me that I can work a booth at the sale for 3 shifts (this will increase my profit margin per shift). Then, they will tally my sales and cut me a check.

Weird delays I didn’t expect

My sad attempt at taking out stains in several outfits completely tanked. Complete waste of time. I wish you more success than I.

Deciding on a price took a lot of concentration and research. Lots of Google searches to find original prices and toy names. Try to do this when the house is quiet and without interruptions.

Matching hangers to outfits was another unexpected delay. A dress with a diaper cover takes one type of hanger. A sleeper takes another. Pants and a shirt take another type. And so on.

Stay Tuned for:

  • What to Expect When You’re Consigning PART 2 – Volunteering
  • What to Expect When You’re Consigning PART 3 – Results

Have you ever done consignment sales?  If so, please give us ONE piece of advice when getting started.

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4 thoughts on “What to Expect When You’re Consigning – Part 1 – Getting Organized

  1. I love that you are covering this. I have not participated in consignment sales because of the amount of work that appears to be involved, but I have purchased from them. We do have a LOT of baby items we need to get rid of so this series may just motivate me to join the next sale in our area. I can’t wait for your next update!

    • So glad it’s helping you! Yes, for the past 2 years I didn’t feel motivated to tackle the consignment “beast” since it seemed like it was so time consuming. This year, it just clicked. But I do feel like I’m winging it a majority of the time – so anyone can do this! 🙂

    • Good for you, Meredith! I’ll start my volunteering next week. I feel nervous about how many things will sell. Any tips you want to share? Hope your sale goes GREAT.