Guest post by Carrie Hurst at My Favorite Finds
For about four years, I have been cleaning out my closet every season with the goal of taking items to our local consignment shop. At first, I thought it was cool that I could go in there with a lot of stuff I didn’t want, maybe make a little bit of money and they would donate for me what wouldn’t sell. It was a win-win situation.
Within the last two years or so, I’ve become more serious and focused on what I take to our local consignment shop or our local kid’s consignment sale and what I donate so that I can get the best value for my time and money. Here are some ideas if you are considering consignment:
Always be sorting your clothes.
I sort our clothes (kids and adults) in three ways: a) To sell, b) to donate and c) to throw out. I don’t wait until the end or beginning of a season to sort clothes into the above three categories; I do this on an ongoing basis.
I am also fairly realistic with my clothes. If I haven’t worn it at all that season or if it doesn’t fit right, I don’t keep it.
Be organized about it.
I keep a bin in my daughter’s room for things which will go to the yearly consignment sale. Anytime the kids outgrow something, or it is out of season, it goes in the bin if it’s able to be sold. I keep a garbage bag or a big shopping bag in the laundry room for the clothes I donate to our local thrift shop. Finally, I also keep a storage bin in the laundry room for the adult clothes that I take to the consignment store.
Be loyal to one or two stores.
When I walk into Worth Repeating, the local adult consignment shop I sell my extra clothes to, the lovely ladies there know me by name. They also know that I want to know what my store credit is, and they know that I’ll probably saunter through the kids’ section and probably find something. I love that. I am also signed up for their email list and their Facebook page. That way, I know for sure when they are taking items. Since I typically have a few things sorted and ready to go, I can easily take them with me and drop them off at Worth Repeating when I’m out driving.
Buy new with resale in mind.
If I’m going to make an investment in my clothes, I’m going to get my money’s worth. That also means that when I buy something, I consider the brand and quality of the item because chances are, it’ll end up at the consignment shop in a few seasons.
This is especially true of my kids’ clothes. I have learned that the brands such as Carter’s, Gymboree, GAP, Children’s Place, etc., not only yield more at the consignment shop, they also sell faster. That doesn’t mean I pay full price at these stores — I shopped at the Children’s Place last summer and bought a few things for my daughter during their Monster Sale for $0.99. I am sure that I can easily sell those items and gain $3 at least at Worth Repeating.
Also, I don’t take the tags off of something until I know for sure my children or I am going to wear it. Clothes with tags attached yield more because they are “brand new”.
Inspect your items before taking them in.
I consider if I would buy the item or not. I make sure the zippers work, the buttons are buttoned and that most of the clothes are on hangers. Not only is the consignment shop trying to make a profit, but so am I. The better condition the clothes are in, the higher they’ll price the item, making it more profit for me.
Be realistic about your profit.
I don’t consign my items to make additional income. If I get a month’s worth of weekly Starbucks visits out of the deal, I’m happy.
I don’t like having or going to garage sales — so I have the ladies at Worth Repeating do the job for me! Thankfully, they’re honest and will tell me what will sell and what won’t and I have learned to be okay with that.
I will call them about every two weeks and ask what my store credit is. Sometimes it’s $12, sometimes it’s $30. It just varies.
Take your seasonal items in as soon as you know they are accepting them.
When I get an email or see on Facebook that Worth Repeating is accepting items for the upcoming season, I’ll be ready within a few days to drop the bulk of my items off. I consider the fact that my items could spend a few days to possibly a week — depending how much they have to sort through and price — in the back room before it reaches the floor.
I want to get it there ASAP so that they can get it out and hopefully it can sell soon. They are on a 90-day consignment. So, after 30/60/90 days, the price is reduced.
If I take a lot of summer items in mid July — even though they’re still accepting them — more than likely I’ll get them back because they didn’t sell. Ninety days from mid-July is mid-October. By then, my items could be supremely discounted and people aren’t shopping for summer clothes anymore.
What will happen to your items that don’t sell?
At Worth Repeating, they’ll either donate them to a worthy local cause, or they’ll give them back to you. I decide based on the group of items I have dropped off if I want them donated or returned.
Most of the time, I have the kids’ clothes returned so I can possibly sell them at the local consignment sale. I usually have the adult clothes donated. I figure that if I didn’t want to wear it so much that I was hoping to consign it, or if it didn’t fit, I don’t want it back. But since I have a possibility of selling the kids’ clothes at the consignment sale or at the consignment store the next season, I go ahead and take them back to hopefully sell later.
Store your items neatly at the end of the season.
As I weed out what my children will be able to wear next fall/winter, I store the out-of-season clothes in plastic bins with lids. I wash, dry and neatly fold their clothes that are going to the consignment shop next fall and put them in a stack in the basement. I won’t remember what’s in those containers two weeks from now, let alone next fall. So, I make sure they are folded and ready to go when the season rolls around to take them to the shop.
My name is Carrie. I am a pastor’s wife, mom to twin boys and an 18-month-old daughter. I also work full-time outside of our home. I love to find ways to save money, be a better parent and a better Christian example to others. I’ve been a MSM reader/follower for over a year, and I’ve learned so much. If you have a chance, I’d love for you to visit my blog, My Favorite Finds.