Monday, April 5, 2010

How to consign clothes - Part 2

Packaging your items

Well, um, so did I say "tomorrow" in my last post.  Let's just pretend that this is tomorrow in Blogland, OK?

So, now back to the consignment sale info.

(If you don't have consignment sales in your area, by all means, start one!!!  I wish I had had this idea in our area.  The organizers make a killing off those sales!  So, get all your mommy friends together and start one up and see how quickly you get new consignors.)

Now you have found your sale, you have read all the instructions about the sale and have gathered all your items together (All that could take a while).  How do you package things so that they won't get separated, stolen or lost?  Use lots of safety pins and packaging tape.

1) First of all, I have found that wire hangers are the best for clothes of all sizes.  You can sometimes get these free from a local dry cleaners, which makes it even nicer.  I rarely ever use pants hangers for pants because they fall off of those too easily, especially when they are crammed on a rack with a lot of other items.  How do you get pants to stay on wire hangers?  Pin them on.  Invest in some big safety pins and pin everything with the potential to fall off - tank tops, bathing suits, pants, etc - to the hanger.  You want your items to stay on the hanger no matter what.

2)  If you are creating an outfit to sell (i.e. shirt and pants that match), use 2 hangers, rubber-banded together and pin them together.  I have had too many rubber bands that have broken to trust only in them.  So, use those big pins and put it through all pieces of your outfit.  This will help prevent items from getting lost.  Before I discovered this tip, I had lots of shirts returned at the end of the sale without the corresponding pants.  This will also discourage shoplifters (yes, there are those at these sales, sadly).  If they have to unpin things from a hanger, and unpin them from their mate, they are less likely to try to take your stuff.  I also try to put the front of the item towards the outside.  So whether you are looking at the shirt on the front or turn it around to the pants on the back, the front is always showing.

3)  Put all small books, or toys into gallon ziploc bags and seal the bags with packaging tape.  This keeps small items together, but keep little hands from playing with them and misplacing them.  Make sure the items can be seen clearly through the bag.  Sell items in a set together.  Not only would I prefer to buy a whole set together as a customer, but also as a seller.  That way if a customer wants at least one part of the set, they have to buy them all.  It gets more items out of your house.

Set of 11 Dora books, all together in one bag with one price.

 Hats tend to get lost on sale tables, so I put them in a bag to keep them visible.

4)  Have bigger items or puzzles that don't fit into the bag?  Use saran wrap to secure these together.  This works great on wooden puzzles with the big pieces.  It also works on large books, or bigger toys.  After you have put LOTS of saran wrap on it, wrap around it with packing tape.  That will keep the ends of the plastic wrap from coming up.
 2 "Cars" Sounds books saran wrapped together.

5)  Lastly, get creative.  I had a few items this time that I had to be very creative with.
I wanted to sell this Cabbage Patch kid and her clothes all together.  I didn't have any original boxes.  So I put the clothes in 2 gallon bags, sealed with tape, then taped them to her with packing tape.  I just wrapped that tape right around her body several times to secure it.

These were a set of Discovery Toys trucks that I wanted to sell together.  Once again, I didn't have the original box and it wouldn't fit in a gallon bag, so I just taped them together on the sides and from front to back - one big long piece.  I continued taping around until I felt they were secure.  So, be creative, but package it well.  It's better to annoy the buyer when they get home by making them take off lots of tape, then to loose pieces and make it not sell.

The bottom line

You want to get unused things out of your house and you want to make money.  Every item I posted pictures of sold.  I put 148 items into our local sale and I sold 140 of them!!  Regardless of how much money I made, I got 140 clothes, toys, books, CDs and DVDs out of my house!  That's almost priceless to me (almost :).
But, since it was a sale, I'm sure you are wondering how much I earned from those 140 items.  I earned $304!  I was incredibly thrilled with that amount.  Most of the clothes that I sold were bought used from previous sales.  I would estimate that I got back about 75% of what I paid for them.  About half of the toys I sold were gifts given to my kids by someone other than me.  That means the amount I made on those toys were pure profit. Not that I advocate just going out and selling your kids presents, but the things that they have had for a while and were never played with or are no longer played with, I feel fine selling.

I hope these tips help you and that you can discover the money-making potential of consignment sales.

This week is Spring Break for our family, so that will mean less blogging time for me.  Oh and that $304...I'm using that to take my kids on a Spring Break trip - look for pictures! 

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