|Janessa's garage sale finds are ready for the consignment sale.|
Today, Janessa over at Saavy Saver Secrets is sharing some incredible suggestions about how she makes money by buying things at thrift stores and yard sales and reselling them at children's consignment sales. This might be a great option for you if you don't have the time or gumption to try eBay. Take it away, Janessa!
I am a self proclaimed bargain hunting/money making junkie! When I moved from Wyoming to Missouri almost 4 years ago and got my first taste of children’s consignment sales I was instantly obsessed and totally hooked! Thanks to Jen, I have recently began selling on eBay again (I used to sell vintage clothing 6 years ago) and I think her methods are amazing and oh so wise, but even with this new found knowledge of the potential of selling children’s items on eBay… I still will be dropping off upwards of 500 to 1000 items to sell at the fall consignment sales in my town!
Here are my stats from the last sale I participated in:
811 items dropped off at the sale
sold 87% (705 items)
consignor check (my cut after fees) $2800
- Hot Selling Items – Baby Equipment, larger size (2T-7/8) children’s clothing/costumes, and TOYS! (I sold 94% of my toys last sale)
- BRAND NAME is important, not just for the clothing (essential) but also for all the other items you’re selling… some of my favorite top selling brands are Fisher Price, VTech, LeapFrog, Little Tikes, Gap, Children’s Place, Carter’s, Old Navy, Gymboree, Osh Kosh, etc.
- Consignment Sales are NOT the place to sell your super high end boutique/designer equipment and clothing… those items will do better on eBay or craigslist
- unlike what I'm learning about eBay, newer is better for consignment sales! Outdated toys, clothing, and equipment do not do well... that's why I never would have picked up a Wiggles or Vintage Polly Pocket toy before I "met" Jen! :) I've actually battled at dinner meetings for my sale (I'm what's called a "team leader"... gives me fun perks and extra responsibilities) to not allow VHS tapes BUT now I can't wait to shop the sale this fall for Barney VHS Movies!
- Items need to be clean, gently used, free of any damage, have working batteries, and complete to sell... keep all of this in mind when you're purchasing items to resell at the sale.
Buy LOW to resell so that you can make a worthwhile profit and still be giving the shoppers a great deal!
- When I’m out shopping at thrift stores and yard sales, my quick go-to rule for making a purchase decision is “Can I AT LEAST triple this price?”
- Example: Yard Sale Price for a Little People Noah’s Ark Set: $2 – ask myself can I at least sell it for $6
- When figuring what you can sell your items for at the sale, an easy and quick rule is 1/3 to 1/2 of the retail price, so back to the Noah's Ark Set: the retail price is $28, which means the set (as long as it’s not broken and is clean) will almost surely sell for at least $9, so I will buy it for $2. Now if I’m at a garage sale I don’t know exactly what a new toy costs but as a mother of 3 I know enough to guess that the Little People toy would be in the upper $20s new and that at $2 I will make a worthwhile profit.
- Baby Equipment Example: Last week I paid $25 for a Chicco Travel System that sells for $330 at Target so when I asked myself, “Can I sell this for at least $75?” it was an easy purchase! Big items (outdoor toys, equipment) you can price closer to 1/2 of retail and sell it. So I will sell this set for $165!
- Clothing is a little different, I buy so much of it to resell, and it IS the most work to prep for sale that my general rule is less than 25 cents per item, so even if/when I’m selling it for $2 - $5 a piece, it is a HUGE mark-up/profit margin per item and worth my time and effort.
- Example: I go to a bag sale at a thrift store or benefit garage sale and CRAM the bag with 43 children’s clothing items for a total of $5 (I do this a lot!) that turns out to be 12 cents per item. A very modest assumption is that I will be able to sell each piece of clothing for at least $2 (I only sell baby size clothes that cheap!) for a total of $86. So I pay $5, earn at least $86 ($60 after fees). Not bad, right?
Apply the Retail for Resale Rule: Buy Off Season and Score Awesome Deals!
- Everyone except resellers shop at garage sales and thrift stores the same way they shop at the mall... they think in the NOW! So, the best items that are high quality and often priced the cheapest are "winter coats in July" and "swim trunks in December"! This especially applies to thrift stores, I always get amazing deals on off season items and then just store them for a few months until the appropriate season's sale.
A few other things to keep in mind:
- You need to know the rules of your particular consignment sale. For example, is there a limit on the number of items you can sell? Are there certain items they don't accept? Etc.
- Consignment sales are an excellent resource to make some great money off your own children's items! Start there first, and I promise you will be pleasantly surprised with your consignor check!
- Consignment sales might be considered less hassle than eBay because you prep your item, throw a tag on it, then drop it off at the sale. That's it. The sale owners do all the rest of the "business" end for you, which, as a big time reseller, can be quite appealing! (Don't we all dread the emails that say the "item was not as described" that are eventually inevitable on eBay?!)
- You can pretty much sell ANYTHING that is current and child related at a consignment sale!
- As long as your item is priced around that golden "1/3 of retail" rule (a little less or a little more depending on the item), your chances of it selling are very very good! The sales rate at consignment sales still baffles even me... "I can not believe I sold all my stuff?!" :)
- The only fees you will pay will be a consignor fee (usually $5-$10 per sale) and a percentage that the sale keeps (usually 20-40% of your gross sales). You should keep in mind the cost of the supplies that you will need to sell your items: cardstock, printer ink, zip ties, safety pins, packing tape, ziploc bags, and hangers. I always factor the cost of these items when I'm pricing so that I can ensure I'm being fair to myself (tagging 800 items is a lot of work!) and getting a good return on my investment including what I've paid for supplies.
- Consignment Sales are addicting! You've been warned! ;)
Thanks Jen for letting me blab on your blog! Your willingness to share your awesome talents, knowledge, and invaluable information on this blog is a testament to what a wonderful person you are! I wish we could be friends in the "real world". You know, like a few towns apart, so that you couldn't steal all my garage sale deals! ;)
J to the Nessa (Janessa) @ $avvy $aver $ecrets
J to the Nessa (Janessa) @ $avvy $aver $ecrets