Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Busy Toddler

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I just recently finished my local mothers-of-multiples club's consignment sale, and thought I would jot down some things before I forgot!  (Most clubs have semi-annual sales, one in the spring and one in the fall.)

Here's my table!  As you can see, I didn't have that many clothes to sell this time, so I could get away with hanging them off the edge of a basket, instead of doing the clothing rack route, which I address below.

If you're selling:

  • Keep seasons in mind.  If you're selling in the fall, it's true that you're probably trying to get rid of summer things, but most people will be shopping for winter gear.  
  • $100 in change is more than enough.  You'll need a couple twenties, some tens and fives, and $20 or more in ones.  The ones and fives are what you'll probably need most.  You may not even need this much change, but better than running out!  Bring a roll of quarters if you're selling things for less than a dollar.
  • Watch your items!  It saddens me to report that at this most recent sale, one mother had a very high-quality coat stolen from her rack.  It's easy to get into conversation with those around us, but be sure to keep one eye on your items.  If you leave your table/area to shop or go to the bathroom, take your money with you and be sure to have the person next to you help keep watch while you're gone.  
  • Racks and hangers.  If you have a lot of clothing to sell, they go faster when hung up, and this is easiest to do with a clothing rack.  Ikea has them for $13 ($10 for a rack without wheels).  At first I thought this would be a frivolous purchase, but the racks really do attract more customers.  Also, a friend of mine uses her rack for guest's clothing at her home, year-round, so if you have no actual guest-room closet, this is a good solution.
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     As for hangers, not all stores allow you to take the hangers with you when you buy clothes, so it's easy enough to get a pack, such as these from Amazon (Just don't be like me and forget to take the hangers back when selling the clothing!)                                                                                                                                                                 

  • Keep prices fair. When setting up the night before I took a lap around the room to get an idea of how other people price.  Then I had to adjust some of my things accordingly.  If you really want to just get rid of items, price them fairly.  If you need to make more money on things, go ahead and price it high and see what kind of offers you get.  Have a number in your head and stay firm.  (Perhaps something was more expensive, you bought it new yourself, or you never even had a chance to use something.)
  • Be realistic.  You won't sell everything.  You'll sell some things.

    Image from

    No, you won't make millions!  In my first sale I made $180, this time I made $160.  You could make more, you could make less, depending on what you're selling and how much traffic can be generated for the sale event.  
  • Remember you can sell elsewhere, too.  If you haven't tried it yet, consider joining Facebook pages for local sales, or perhaps your local multiples club has a classifieds page for members.  Also, a friend told me you can often sell larger things well on Ebay.  If you offer free shipping, then factor that in when setting a price.  Take as many pictures as possible, and note any and all flaws!  If you are overly critical of the product, then you can avoid the scenario of a customer complaining that it didn't meet expectations.  
  • Bags.  Bring plastic shopping bags for customers to carry around their purchases.  Most people won't remember to bring their own, and this will be an added, appreciated gesture.  

If you're shopping:
  • Bring cash!
  • Make a list.  Write down beforehand what you need, and then what you want.  If you're looking for big-ticket items, you may even want to look online to see retail value, so that you'll know what kind of deals you're getting.  Also, with a list, you're less likely to feel overwhelmed walking into a big venue, and more likely to stay focused and self-disciplined when it comes to spending!
  • You can negotiate.
  • Look first, buy second.  Circle the whole venue first, that way you can compare similar or even identical items.  

In case you missed it, I have another post on this subject here:  Preparing for a Consignment Sale.

Happy selling and happy shopping!such as these from Amazon.

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