Consignment Shopping

Thanks to Chrissy for the following guest post:

We all know the economy is still in the mud (geez, that puddle sure is deep!), but that isn’t stopping smart mamas from digging up extra dollars by perfecting their consigning skills. Many swap savvy ladies literally hit pay dirt pocketing checks with four-digit totals every sale season—I call these wise women Power Sellers.

Power Sellers have one thing in common—they’ve all cracked the children’s consignment sale code. They know where to sell, what to sell and how to price items to bring home the big bucks. You can become consignment selling super star too by simply following the five P’s of Power Selling:

Plan your selling strategy

Research your area children’s consignment sales to see which offers the best split to the seller (look for 70 to 80 percent), draws a significant amount of traffic and has earned kudos from past shoppers. Some sales offer volunteer or referral opportunities to increase your percentage returns.

Pick the perfect items to sell

The secret to getting the biggest paycheck is picking the best sellers. Our community of consignors says they have the best luck selling large outdoor toys like Little Tikes Playhouses or Cozy Coupe cars and boutique, brand name, or new with tags (NWT) kids’ clothing. Children’s shoes, books and DVDs also are hot commodities.

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Purchase your picks

Selling your kiddos’ clothes and toys will work, but Power Sellers know how to find deals to add to their resale merchandise and boost their returns. Seek out deep clearance racks, peruse local thrift stores and drop by area yard sales. A good rule of thumb is to think 1-to-3. Will you be able to sell the item for three times what you paid? If you can, it’s a deal. If you can’t, it’s a dud.

Some moms also get great resalable items for free. They beg and barter with friends and family, join area Freecycle groups where locals literally give things away at no cost, and seek out free finds on Craigslist.

Prep your purchases

Power Sellers know the littlest details count. Ensure your items stand out among the rest by paying close attention to packaging and presentation. Scrub away goop on toys, launder and iron children’s clothing and replace worn shoelaces.

Price your way to a paycheck

Pricing is key to selling on consignment. You don’t want price too high and you certainly don’t want to go too low. Price items 1/3 of what you paid at retail or check out the Pricing Guide for more help.

About the Author: Chrissy Freeman is the founder of, the leading online resource for all things kids consignment. Freeman launched in 2009 to empower moms to help other moms save and make money through children’s consignment. Today, features a national directory with more than 1,700 sales and 750 stores rated and reviewed by actual shoppers and sellers. The site has become the go-to-source for shoppers and consignors to get advice and share ideas.

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The following is a guest post from Lori, owner of the Indy Kids Consignment:

We are heading into the consignment shopping season. Prepare yourself to find tremendous bargains!  Here are IKC’s top five tips cool moms need to know about consignment shopping:

1.) Shop for a season.  At consignment sales you can buy a season’s worth of clothing for your kids at about 90% off the retail price. And, because there is such a huge selection, your kids won’t be wearing what all the other kids are wearing. Holiday and special occasion clothing are great buys at consignment sales. Christmas and Easter clothing as well as Halloween costumes are usually in excellent condition because they have only been worn once.

2.) Toys are a bargain.  Toys are, of course, are another great bargain at consignment sales. We all know that kids are picky when it comes to toys. They play with some over and over while others just sit in the corner and see very little play time. The selection of toys at most consignment sales is so huge that you are bound to find something your child will like and even if it does turn out to be one of those toys that doesn’t get much play time, you will be glad that you only spent $3 on it.

3.) Prepare for Gift Giving. Many people don’t think to look for at consignment sales are gifts. All sales will have tons of items that are brand new with tags still on. Think outside the box and make a list of the gifts you might need in the next several months. Birthdays, Christmas, baby showers, etc. and you will be able to cross some of those gifts off your list.

4.) Go Green! Consignment shopping is cool and green. More and more savvy moms are jumping on the consignment bandwagon because it’s such a practical and green approach. Americans waste so much each year and consignment shopping is a great way to reduce and reuse.

5.) Shop with a Friend. Consignment shopping is so much fun to do to with girlfriends. We get excited for each other when we find great bargains. So, if at all possible leave your kids at home. If you do bring them make sure you check out the sales website. Many sales have times when kids and strollers are not allowed.

Mark your calendars! Indy Kids Consignment will be holding its 12th sale at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Noblesville, IN on September 15-17th, 2011 and expects to have over 300 consignors with 40,000 bargain items to choose from.

About the Author: Lori has been involved with Indy Kids Consignment for seven years and been a part of running it for three years.  She is a thrifty mom and loves helping to provide the community with great consignment opportunities.

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