Thursday, February 5, 2015

Consignment season! Tips for first-time selling

In the Atlanta area, consignment sales are generally a pre-spring affair occurring in late February to late March. I have shopped consignment sales in the past but have just begun to navigate the tips and rules for selling. Andrew has grown out of several newborn and young infant items and I would love to make a few dollars back while passing along a great deal to another mother, father, or grandparent. I have not yet signed up to sell, but here are a few helpful consignment sale tips I've found in my mission to become less intimidated by it all!

Don't wait until the last minute
Sales are starting all over the Atlanta area in the next few weeks and registration is generally open at least a few weeks in advance. Search now for consignment sales in your area then peruse the sale website for registration information. Most want sellers to register online and they will provide all deadlines on the web page. Seller spots are often limited so don't investigate too late. Like I did in a few cases.

Gather your items and know exactly what you have 
I assumed I would just haul a carload of items to the sale location one day and start making some cash. Not so. Again, at least a few weeks in advance, gather all of your items. Find all missing parts and any instruction manuals you may have. You will likely need to enter your items into an inventory system for the consignment sale. Take time prior to this to understand what you have. Use the right terms for the items (is it a jumper, a bouncer, or a bouncy?). If you don't have a box or manual with brand information and item description, get online and find it. Buyers will appreciate correct information.

Read, read, read - lots of guidelines and rules
The big consignment sales have no room for your willy-nilly stuff in a plastic bag. Sales will have precise procedures for hanging and tagging clothing, labeling items, etc. They will probably have a list of items they are not accepting. Many bi-annual sales around this area only want clothing for the current season, for example. Some sales accept maternity clothes, others do not. All items must be in good condition and non-stained without odors. Baby gear must not be on any recall list of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (our old drop-side crib, for example? Has absolutely nowhere to go... sigh).

Consigning is not always free
The large church sales around us have a small fee in order to sell, usually $5-$10. Not a big deal, but it is something you should know when the time comes to register for your preferred consignment sale. This helps with any costs associated with the sale itself and probably helps to reduce people who sign up and then do not participate.

I may have missed my chance to sign up for the spring sales, happening in the next few weeks in the Atlanta area, but I will look into the fall sales well in advance. I personally don't think I want to bother with clothing items; it seems to be a lot of work to tag, hang, and label. I will have some like-new bigger items that can hopefully sell easily to someone with a new cutie on the way!

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