What to Expect When You’re Consigning – Part 2 – Volunteering


I can now say I’ve joined the world of consigning.  Before, I was too chicken or too tired.  Ahem…completely valid reasons, in my book.

But if you have any interest in getting involved, let me give you a leg up.

To see how I got started, click here for Part 1.

Right now, I want to talk about volunteering.  The consignment sale I signed up for takes place in a 30,000 square foot arena.  It has thousands of shoppers visit over a 4-day period.  Over 250 consignors register to sell their baby, toddler and junior items.

Here are the reasons why I chose to volunteer:

  1. Consignors earn 60% of their total sales.  Each volunteer shift raises that margin by 5%.  Maximum earning potential = 75%.  Three shifts.
  2. I wanted to pass along what I learned so you could understand the process (scroll up and subscribe if you want to be notified when I post Part 3 – My Results).


1st Shift

My first shift was before the sale.  They signed me in, wrote my name on sticker and handed me a laminated tag that said “Inspector”.  Why yes, I did feel special.  Thanks for asking.

Consignors would drive right into the arena.  We’d guide them to a lot.  They would unload their goods and, you guessed it, we would inspect them.  Very official work.

  • We turned on all the battery operated toys to make sure they worked.
  • We checked clothing for stains, holes, pet hair, etc.
  • We filed each item into shopping carts labeled by section (boys, girls, toys, etc).  Runners would take the shopping carts, empty them, then return them.  Pretty slick.

In banking terms, I conducted audits for three hours.


2nd Shift

My second shift was the day before the sale.  I was given a “Placer” badge and was sent to the boys’ section.  Runners brought shopping carts filled with boy clothes.  I hung them by size.  I worked completely alone.  Not going to lie, a little solitude was refreshing.



3rd Shift

My third shift took place during the sale.  I was what I called the “Boutique Bouncer”.

OK, humor me.

They didn’t want people running off with the high dollar items sold at the boutique – like clothing by Matilda Jane.  So I had to tell every shopper that we would need to reserve the boutique items they wished to buy at the front register until they checked out.

That took about two seconds every 5 minutes.  What I really did the whole time was sort hangers.



Spending 9 hours with the merchandise gave me an education.  I observed the following:

  • how people priced their items
  • where they placed the sales tag
  • what they sold
  • what condition the item was in


I definitely undervalued some of my items.  I definitely tagged some of mine wrong.  Chalk that up to my learning curve.

Overall, I’m glad I volunteered.  My feet were sore, but it was good exercise.


Join the discussion:  What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever volunteered to do?


Want to hear how my sales turned out?  Part 3 is in the works.  Subscribe at the top and never miss a money-saving post!


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