A big thanks to Kandi Williams for writing this guest blog post!
Bring Your Best Items
This is a consignment sale, not a yard sale. You only want to bring your best items. Think name brands and very gently worn clothing. Items that aren’t good quality and priced reasonably just don’t sell well and the point of all the work you’re doing is to sell your stuff!
Do the Prep Work
Do a visual check of your clothes. Check for rips, stains, holes, unraveling, missing button, broken zippers. For stain checking think about when you do laundry – where are you using your stain removers? For baby clothes check the neck and diaper areas. For bigger kids clothes you want to check the knees and front of shirts.
Since the clothes have likely been boxed up for months, I give them a quick wash. I like to check my clothes each time I handle them – before and after washing, while hanging and again while tagging. If you’re like me, you do most of this work at night after the kids are in bed. This means you are relying on household lighting to check your stuff. Many stains only show up in natural light so try and do a check in sunlight.
To treat stains, I like to use oxygen activated products. For stubborn stains, pretreat, wash and check again. DON’T DRY! Drying the item will heat set the stain and make it harder to remove. I usually give a stain 2-3 chances to get out. If I can’t get the stain out after 2-3 cycles of overnight soaking and washing, it’s probably not going to come out. Even with all this checking, there’s almost always some things I miss. So don’t take it personally when a checker declines your items. It’s not a character flaw, just used kids’ clothes.
Hanging and Tagging
My favorite hangers are the kid sized coated wire hangers. Besides being size appropriate (you won’t want little clothes stretched out from adult hangers), the thinness of the wire hanger allows for easy pinning of items. On the other hand, clothes larger than 2T or so need to be on full sized hangers so they don’t fall off and wind up on the floor. Clothing on the floor doesn’t sell!
Let’s talk about pinning. Please, please, use size appropriate safety pins! You don’t need a pin the size of Rhode Island to effectively pin an item to the hanger or attach your tag. Large pins only ruin clothes by leaving large holes once removed. I prefer to try and pin through a seam if possible.
My general rule of thumb is to think about what I would pay for a similar item. If I would only pay $3 for that shirt, it makes no sense to price it at $5. Another guideline is to price around 1/3 to 1/4 of what the item cost new, going even lower for infant sizes and maybe slightly higher for high-demand brands in larger sizes. Mark your items for “discount:yes: but make the full price a reasonable one too. Lots of shoppers return on half-price day and only look for discounted items but the sale is open for full prices sales many more hours than the half-price sale.
I’m also one of those dreaded sellers that has had trouble printing tags. I suggest printing 1 page to make sure your tags are looking correct before printing all of them. They need to be clear and crisp or the scanner cannot read the bar code. That means the person working the register has to hand enter each item, which makes you not a popular seller to them! For me the best settings are draft quality with low ink.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you sell more items and bring home more cash!
Kandi has been clearing out the clutter and bringing home the bargains with Kentucky Kids Consignment Sales since 2005. She routinely sells about 90% of the clothing items she consigns with us!