3/22/2012

Just Between Friends Consignment Sales Rock

For the past week or so I have been busily rounding up outgrown clothing, toys, books and videos from all over my house. Every spring and fall I consign all these things at the Just Between Friends Sale for Sugar Land/Rosenberg. This event takes place over three days and brings together boatloads of great gently used merchandise for bargain basement prices. I started doing this back in Philly when my own local MOPS group hosted their own resale event and I realized what a goldmine these sales are, both for buyers and sellers. They are very lucrative fundraisers for the organizing host too.

Last week I took all the rounded up toys and clothes and piled them up near my computer and one by one I cleaned them up, made sure all the pieces were together, and carefully entered a description and price into the tagging database. I price everything to move but also to maximize my profit. My collared shirts might be $4.00 and an outfit from Gymboree with shirt and shorts might be $8.00. Certainly less than I paid for them but I also got good use out of them for one season. Maybe two if both boys wore it.

My biggest issue is finding enough hangers for the heaps and heaps of clothing I sell. I prefer not to use wire hangers since they tend to get tangled up on racks and the clothes don't present well. Consigning clothing is very much about the presentation so I take a minute to button every single button and pair up tops and bottoms into outfits that really look cute. I've even learned to pin tags on in ways that don't leave behind obvious pinholes. The little things matter to shoppers.

It always blows my mind how much clothing I have in one size because I buy incredible bargains at outlets and consignment sales. It's a little ridiculous, but I do buy with resale in mind, knowing that if I find a Gymboree shirt for $3.99 I will likely be able to sell it for at least that if Alex can keep it clean. Of course not everything ends up resellable. Lots of ripped jeans and stained shirts must be donated to Goodwill instead, but most things are kept in good condition. Goodwill gives a nice tax write-off too.

Preparing my stuff for the sale isn't really a ton of work now that I've done it for years. I can do it while I'm watching TV at night over a few days.

But is it worth it? That's the big question every asks. Most people I know think it's too much trouble.

At the end of the average sale I usually get a check for somewhere around $200, not to mention a huge amount of extra closet space.

This year? I've got almost $900 worth of stuff tagged but I know not everything well sell. I get 65% of what does sell. It's 70% if I volunteer a shift but this week with Run 4 the Children I had no time to volunteer. So last night was the Pre-Sale...a few hours when only volunteers and consignors are allowed to shop. I logged in this morning to check my sales report and was shocked to see that I had sold $325 worth of stuff. That's also less than half of my total items so with three days left I expect to sell the vast majority of my things. So I have *already* earned $200 and my check will only grow from there.

Worth it? Absolutely.



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