Me & the kid’s consignment sale

by Bay on October 1, 2011

I don’t know if kid’s consignment sales are a relatively new phenomenon, or if I am only just now noticing them because I only just now have kids, but it seems as if they’re cropping up all around.  There’s a few recurring sales in South Jersey where people can list their gently used kid’s stuff and sell it at a sale event for a percentage of the proft.

Last week I spent a few days devoted to one of the big ones near me, Best Dressed for Less.  It’s held in my good ol’ hometown of Burlington, NJ, at the Masonic Home Fellowship Hall.  I’ll give you the low down:

1. Prep-  This varies with how much stuff you have and what the items are, but it’s kind of a lot of work.  I had a lot of stuff to list, and it was mostly shoes and clothes.  Clothes have to be hung on wire hangers, with pants safety pinned to the hanger.  Any other items, like an outfit with matching socks, for example, have to have all the particulars safety pinned together.  Once all of that is done, you enter the items in their computer system and print tags on cardstock.  Cut out the tags, attach them to the stuff (and in my case, since I’m Type A, add a little tape to the top of every tag for reinforcement) and then sort them by type and size.

BDFL had a limit of 100 hanging items (200 total items) per consignor and I had exactly 99.  Originally I had 100 but there was one little outfit I just couldn’t sell. :)

2.  Drop-off-  The day of drop-off comes around and you are supposed to stick to an assignment appointment time, but this didn’t seem to really be enforced.  You go inside and see if your tags scan (I was really nervous that mine wouldn’t, so I even installed a new black ink cartridge, again, Type A) and then you have the joy of bringing all of your merchandise inside.  For me, all my stuff looked like this:

Blurry phone pic, but you get the idea.

I had all the hanging clothes, a rug, a Moses basket of my sister’s, and a bin and bag of shoes with just a couple toys.  Once you drag it in, it’s inspected and then you put it out on the sales floor in the appropriate places.  In my case, most of my stuff was whisked away by volunteers and then I was left roaming around suspiciously while I waited for Marc to pick me back up.  I had him bring me since I didn’t think I’d be able to bring it all in by myself (I wasn’t anticipating use of the rolling rack) and then I let him drive around with the kids.  I tried to use that time to look at all the merch, but it was nearly impossble as a lot of it needed to be organized and a lot of it would be sold before I would have a chance to get in (more on that in a second), but I did get a feel for some of the prices.  I realized that I priced my stuff a lot lower than most people would, but it worked out fine.  It wasn’t like everything of mine was sold (more on that, too).

3.  Pre-sale-  There are little incentives for being a consignor and also for being a volunteer.  There’s a special pre-sale day and the volunteers who pick up the most shifts get to shop earlier.  It goes in a couple of tiers like that until the regular consignor pre-sale from 4-6.  Of course, on the night of the pre-sale Marc had to work even later than usual so I knew there was no way I could go without the kids.  I managed to drop Rayna off with my mom for a little bit, but I had to bring baby Marc with me.  That was kind of, ok, totally a bad idea, as he didn’t have the patience to sit in his car seat while I looked around and it was hard to shop and carry stuff with him in tow.  I only ended up spending about $20, but I managed to get Rayna a pj, two pairs of shoes, 1 outfit, a Christmas dress and a couple of pairs of pants, which I think was pretty good.

4.  The Sale-  I really wanted to go back and see the sale in action, and try to shop a little harder, but it didn’t work out for me.  I had a birthday party and a shower that coincided with it, so I didn’t make it back.  At the end of every day I could log in and see my sales totals which was fun.

5.  The Pick-up-  I chose to pick-up my stuff that didn’t sell rather than have it donated (well, I donated a few things, but I wanted most of it back to give to friends or family) so Sunday night I had to go back and search for my unsold items.  Again, due to Marc’s busy-busy self, I had to do this with the kids.  I thought that maybe I would buy a thing or two while I was there, but the place was pretty much ransacked.  The only things left that weren’t horribly overpriced were the girls’ clothes (boys clothes were almost completely sold out), but at that point, with both kids in the stroller, I was just on a mission to find my stuff.  I found almost everything (2 items I couldn’t find were sold at the pick-up), but there were a couple of casualties.  One little outfit set from Gymboree got robbed of its sweater (which had the tag on it, so the rest of the outfit couldn’t sell even if somebody wanted it) and another 2 piece pj set had one of the pj’s missing (which I later found at the “lost and found”).

All told, I sold $456.50 of stuff, which means I made $273.90 to take home.  I think that’s pretty good.  Some of it I owe to my sister for her things that sold, but not much.  I was really happy with getting rid of a lot of things (including a rug that I’ve been carrying around for years) & I’m happy with the things I bought at the pre-sale.  If you’re in the South Jersey area, I definitely suggest you check it out next time they roll around.

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