Before my son was born, I went to one of the local consignment sales and was able to score a bunch of clothing and baby items at a fraction of the retail cost. I often wondered how it worked to consign my own items.
In August, I decided to find out for myself. The Rhea Lana of Frisco/McKinney consignment sale was coming up. I read through the details and signed up to be a consignor. I’ll be using their sale and guidelines in this post. (Be sure to check the guidelines for the sale you’ll be participating in for specific directions related to that event.)
When I first read through how to prepare items, I felt a little overwhelmed. Here are my best tips on getting organized for a consignment sale.
How to Prep for a Consignment Sale in 5 Easy Steps
1. Collect all clothing, toys, and other baby/kids items; gather consignor supplies
Do this step first before anything else. Go through your kids’ drawers, closets, and donation piles. Set aside anything that is in excellent-to-gently-loved condition. After going through all my son’s stuff, I also found a handful of items that were gifts from my baby shower that were never opened or used.
Rhea Lana had a supply list for consignors, including:
- safety pins
- zip-top bags
- masking tape
- permanent markers
2. Wash all clothing and organize by size; take note of any items requiring ironing
So, I made the mistake of grouping items together before washing them. Since a lot of the clothing items I was consigning were in sets, I had to remember what belonged together. I recommend washing all clothing before you get started with organizing and putting items together. Take note of any clothing items that may wrinkle easily and remember to iron them before hanging.
This may feel tedious, but all the items I ironed sold the first day.
3. Group clothing to be sold individually or in sets and determine pricing
The Rhea Lana consignment sale has a minimum price of $3 for items. They recommend pricing items at 20-30% off retail pricing. For example, full retail pricing for a brand new Carter’s clothing set is anywhere between $24-$30, so consignment pricing would fall between $4.80-$6. If you feel like one item won’t meet the $3 minimum, you can group items to sell together. I grouped together footie pajamas in sets of two and four, and they all sold.
4. Attach to hangers and enter into the database with description and pricing
Once you have everything grouped together, you can attach to hangers and enter into the database with the description and pricing. This is one of the most time-consuming parts because it’s basically taking inventory and accurately entering items into their database. Keep in mind that there is typically an abundance of infant-sized clothing, so price your items to sell. After seeing how some items were priced during the sale, I could have priced some things a little higher if I wanted to, but I priced my items to sell.
5. Retrieve labels and attach to clothing, toys, and baby items
With the Rhea Lana sales, there’s the option to print labels at home, or there was an option to pick up the labels. I’m not sure if this option was available pre-COVID, but I appreciated not having to worry about printing labels myself. With the labels in hand, I attached them to the string tags and then attached them to all the items. I highly recommend labeling your items at home rather than waiting for drop off.
How to Organize Yourself to Participate in a Consignment Sale
There’s usually about 6-8 weeks of lead time before a sale. If you decide that you want to participate in the consignment sale, I recommend you give yourself at least four weeks to prepare.
- Use the first week to collect all your clothing and items.
- Spend the next week washing and grouping items together.
- Use the third week to enter into the database and attach items to hangers.
- Spend the fourth week attaching the labels and confirm you have everything together for drop off.
I was really impressed at the organization and vastness of the Rhea Lana of Frisco & McKinney consignment sale hosted at the Allen Event Center. It was HUGE! As a consignor, I got to shop the pre-sale, before it was open to the public. I found some great items that I’ll be saving for Christmas for my son and some gently used clothing for baby number two, who is due in October.
Who is a Consignment Sale for?
If you’re looking for baby items and don’t want to spend a fortune, I would highly recommend checking out the Rhea Lana consignment sales which are hosted twice a year. I would also recommend shopping during the pre-sale so that you have the largest selection of items.
If you’re a parent feeling overwhelmed by your kids’ stuff, I recommend participating in the sale. While it may be a lot of work to organize, wash, and list your items, it is well worth it. I think of it this way: making some money versus no money at all when donating.
For the Rhea Lana Consignment sale, you also have the option of donating anything that goes unsold at the end of the sale. I thought this was great because I didn’t want anything back and they’ll take care of the donation portion—one less thing hanging over my head.
I consigned 75 items and 66 of them sold! I’m sure some families consign double that amount. I was really happy to know that my items would be used again by another family and that I made a little bit of money on top of that. While it’s a lot of work to organize for a consignment sale, it can be well worth your time!
If you have participated in a consignment sale, do you have other helpful tips?