What are consignment sales, and how can they save me a bundle?
If you’re not familiar with children’s resale events – also known as kids consignment sales, children’s consignment sales, or baby consignment sales – they’re basically a cross between a tag sale and shopping at the largest big-box or warehouse store you’ve ever seen. Think gently-used clothing and gear for babies, kids, and sometimes even teens, all for sale at anywhere from 50-90% off the original retail price.
Sound too good to be true? That’s what I thought at first, too.
Then I went to my first kids consignment sale, and realized how much more I’d been spending on my kids’ necessities than I had to.
If you’re looking to save money on the things you need to buy for your kids anyway, you NEED to check out kids’ consignment sales.
Honestly, I don’t take my kids back-to-school shopping before school starts anymore. I just shop at the children’s resale events in which I participate every spring and fall. I’ve gotten used to paying anywhere from $2-$5 for name brand clothes in whatever colors and styles we want, and stocking up on enough books, puzzles, games, and toys to keep my offspring busy for the next few months.
So, if you love to save money, get rid of things you no longer need, and/or keep still-usable stuff out of a landfill, here are
10 Reasons I Love Children’s Resale Events:
1. Children’s resale is eco-friendly
Seriously! If you like to tread lightly on Mother Earth, what could be better than recycling/upcycling gently-used baby gear? I LOVE the thought of giving things I no longer need a new lease on life, and getting stuff we DO need in the same eco-friendly way.
2. Baby consignment can save you a bundle
I wasn’t joking when I said that I rarely pay more than $5 per clothing item at children’s resale events. (And often I pay less.) Shoes can be somewhat more, especially for larger kids’ sizes, but more than $10 is unusual. And when I pay that much, it’s for things like my beloved Keen Whisper sandals, which usually retail for closer to $50 in kids’ sizes.
3. In childrens resale, the quality is outstanding for the price
This can vary from one sale to the next, depending on how big it is and how it’s run. But the larger the sale, often the better the quality. (Think about it: if they were known for poor-quality items, they wouldn’t have gotten so big in the first place!)
If you want to get a sense of the top children’s resale events in your area (and the ones to avoid), ask fellow mamas. Or poke around on the events’ own websites under the “Consignors” section to see what they allow. Those with strict standards on what they’ll allow on their sales floor – and what won’t make the cut – generally spell it out in this area. (For dates and information about events near you, search the Consignment Mommies online directory or do a search for consignment sales near me.)
4. Three words: One. Stop. Shopping.
Pretty much everything you could want or need is right there, under one roof. No schlepping around to a dozen separate stores. In one afternoon you can clothe your tween, check out homeschooling resources for your elementary-aged kids, and stock up on gear for your newest arrival, from bottles and furniture to unopened boxes of diapers and wipes.
5. No missing pieces, no recalls, and it WORKS!
For those of you who like thrifting and yard-saleing to get your secondhand shopping fix, you also know the downsides: things that don’t work when you get home, items that turn out to be missing a few crucial pieces, those hidden holes or stains or tears, and occasionally picking up an item only to learn later that it’s been recalled. (See #3 above.)
But the biggest sales with the best quality control, like the ones I frequent, pull all these things from the sales floor before the sale even begins. So you can rest assured that if you buy it from one of these sales, it’s safe, works, and has all its crucial parts.
6. Baby consignment sales mean bigger payouts than a tag sale
Used to getting rid of your stuff at yard sales or garage sales? The most I’ve ever made from a yard sale was well under $100, for a long and pretty boring day in the hot sun. You just can’t make as much selling your stuff at a tag sale as you can at children’s resale events, because the customers’ expectations at the latter are automatically higher – which means higher profits for you (see #3 and #5).
7. Kids consignment also offers bigger payouts than store consignment
As I’ve noted elsewhere, the most I’ve ever made from store consignment is under $100 in a quarter. All of it went right back into buying more stuff for my kids – and then some.
In comparison, the average consignor profit at my sale is around $300 per event. At my first event, though, I made over twice as much as that; at my most recent event last spring, I netted over $1700 in profit.
8. Kids’ consignment sales are better for offloading a ton of stuff all at once
Besides the low payouts, another big reason I ultimately gave up on store consignment was because of the limited range of stuff our local stores took. It was a royal pain to prepare 60 items, bring them over, and have half of them rejected upfront because they “wouldn’t sell.”
It’s not stores’ fault they have to be so picky; retail space is very expensive, and they just don’t have room for it all. But the bargain-brand clothes and the bulky big-ticket items that stores can’t accept are some of the best sellers at children’s resale events.
9. Children’s consignment sales mean helping others while helping ourselves
Our sale has two options for unsold merchandise. Consignors can pick up unsold items at the end of the sale, OR they can donate them. All donated items are available for purchase at the post-sale Stuff-a-Bag-for-Charity event. The money raised at those events supports a different local charity at each sale. And any items that still remain after Stuff-a-Bag get donated to another local thrift store that gives its profits back to local organizations. So it’s really a win-win-win for everyone involved.
And the final reason children’s resale events are one of my fave places to hang out?
10. Consignment sales mean time with other awesome mamas!
Children’s resale events often give consignors the option to help out for one or more shifts, in exchange for earning back a higher percentage of the revenue from sales of their consigned items. I take full advantage of this opportunity at my sales.
Yes, I love earning a higher percentage of my sales. But the real reason I spend as much time as possible at my own sale events is because of the amazing mamas I get to hang out with. They are a truly great group of ladies, and being together all working toward the same common goal (an awesome sale!) puts me on a high for at least a week.
Much as I love blogging and writing for a living, long days in my home office can be isolating. And much as I love my children, there’s no substitute for adult conversation with other mamas. My own mama comes down to help out with my girls each sale week, so she gets a dose of the grandkids, they get a dose of her, and I get to socialize with other grownups. Win-win-win!
How about you? Have you heard about kids consignment sales before? Do you ever shop at (or sell at) children’s resale events? Let us know in the comments!
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