Consignment Sales: Tips for Consignors and Volunteers

Consignment Sales: Tips for Consignors and Volunteers | Kansas City Moms BlogMy favorite season is just around the corner, what I like to call “CONSIGNMENT SALE SEASON!” (All caps necessary.)

Luckily for me, it comes twice a year in Kansas City! The fall sales run from August to October and the spring sales from February to April. To search for a consignment sale in your area, visit Consignment Mommies. I love shopping the sales and bringing home great deals, but I’m not a big fan of crowds or waiting in long lines. Fortunately I have discovered how to get around both: consign my stuff and volunteer in the sales!

Why Consign?

  • To clear out the clutter! We all have toys, clothes, and baby gear taking up precious real estate in our basements and closets. Consigning is a great chance to purge those items.
  • To make money! Consignment sales offer around 60-70% cash back on your sales, minus a small consignor fee. You can then use that money to buy the next size up for your kids (or treat yourself to something nice!).
  • To shop early! Consignors get to shop before the sale opens to the public, and they also get to shop the half price sale early.

Tips for Consigning:

  • Bring your best stuff! Current styles and clothes in excellent used condition are what shoppers are looking for. Even small stains will get your items rejected during check in, so double check every item before you tag it.
  • Price your items reasonably. 25-50% of what you paid originally is a good starting point, but if the item is new with tags or an exclusive boutique brand you can price it higher. Many of the sales have a pricing guide on their website, so consult that if you are unsure.
  • Double check the rules of the sale. Some have a limit on the number of items you can sell or have changed their policies since the previous sale. Some sales require a certain style of tags and most require the tags be placed in a certain place on the clothing. Some allow plastic hangers, and some do not. Having to re-hang and re-tag your items if they get rejected at check in is not fun at all, so read the tagging rules closely.
  • Sometimes it’s better to just donate your items. If they have small stains, are showing wear, or are an outdated style, donating to a charity is a better use of your time. I use ItsDeductible for tracking all of my donations because my tax software automatically syncs up with it, saving me time come tax season.

Why Volunteer?

  • You literally make the sales possible. Without volunteers these great sales wouldn’t run smoothly.
  • You get to shop before everyone else, including consignors. Typically the more shifts you volunteer the earlier you get to shop. The earlier you shop the better selection of items, the smaller the crowds, and the shorter the lines.
  • There are financial perks to volunteering. Some sales give consignors a larger percentage of their sales for volunteering or discount coupons to use when they shop.
  • You get to see the merchandise early. I love volunteering at check in and scoping out all the great deals.  It helps me form my plan of attack for the presale!
  • It’s fun! Yes, seriously!

Tips for Volunteering:

  • Not all volunteer gigs involve big chunks of your time on the sales floor. Many sales will give you a pass to the presale for donating stamps, trash bags, or snacks. I like to volunteer to deliver fliers as it’s something I can do on my own schedule when I’m already running errands around town.
  • WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES AND HYDRATE! Typically there are bottles of water and snacks for the volunteers but it doesn’t hurt to bring your own.  Wear tennis shoes or other shoes with good support, as a concrete sales floor is not easy on your feet or your back!
  • Some sales allow you to babywear while volunteering but otherwise children are not typically allowed to accompany you during your shifts.  Double check their policy on this before you commit to a shift.
  • Try different volunteer roles until you find the one that is right for you. I love inspecting clothes at check in, but I didn’t know I’d love it until I tried it.
  • Sign up to work with a friend! It’s fun to have someone you know to chat with while volunteering.  Go out for dinner or drinks after and turn it into a girls night!

Make sure to check out Allison’s tips for maximizing your consignment sale dollars when shopping.

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