the lollipop market

Consigning Tricks and SecretsKathi here: You know that I’m all about getting organized, and the fastest way to get organized is to GET RID OF STUFF.  But it’s easy to get stuck when you don’t know what to do with all that STUFF. Plus, anytime I can buy something used and skip the manufacturer creating something out of new materials, it’s a win for everyone.  So I asked my friend Jen, the owner of The Lollipop Market (a high end children’s consignment shop in my hometown of San Jose,) to share with us the basics of getting ourselves organized and making money with consignment. In the comments below, I would love to hear your best tips for consigning or other ways to get the most out of your children’s clothes.

If you are not familiar with seasonal consignment sale shopping, lean in, because I’m about to let you in on a few secrets that could dramatically cut your expenses.

Since I started shopping and selling at consignment sales 4 years ago, I have spent less than $150 a year, per child, on clothing, shoes, and costumes for my daughters.  Along the way, I’ve learned a few secrets of successfully shopping and selling at consignment sales. I’d love to help you get organized to do it too!

Consignment shopping combines all the best parts of ebay, craigslist and garage sales: highly discounted prices on gently used items – without the worst parts: shipping fees, no-shows, and limited selection.

5 Things Every Shopper Should Know:

  1. Bring a list of exactly what you need.  To do that, you need to know what you already have. Take the time to go through next season’s clothes. Then, you can see exactly what you need and you won’t end up with 15 pairs of shorts, but no jeans/skirts or shirts that match.
  2. Take the time to match outfits with shoes! Shoes are expensive, and you can find some great deals at consignment sales. Make a list of what types of shoes you are missing for each child.  For example: this spring/summer my 3 year old has white sandals but needs flip flops, nicer buckle shoes, and pink sandals would be nice.
  3. Volunteers shop first, so get involved. The best stuff goes quickly, so shop early. Think you don’t have time?  Most consignment sale owners will barter with you. Offer to distribute fliers, put up posters, bring snacks, or come up with your own idea.  Be creative and save some big money!
  4. Shop from oldest to youngest. The larger sizes will have the smallest amount of inventory, so if you are shopping for multiple children, shop for the oldest child first and work your way down.
  5. Shop the sizes bigger and smaller than your children actually wear.  Brands fit very differently, and you will find more deals by shopping more broadly.

Now, let’s talk about selling. The biggest benefit of consigning at seasonal sales is that you get to keep a higher percentage of your earnings than at traditional brick & mortar consignment shops.

3 Things to Make Your Consignor Experience a Snap:

  1. Start early! Set apart one week to gather. The next week, hang. Then, sort by size/sex, price and finally pin tags on. Don’t save everything for the last minute! I’ve posted a room by room checklist HERE.
  2. Price fairly.  Pricing is highly subjective, and can be difficult to navigate.  A great pricing resource can be found HERE. Remember that shoppers are at the consignment sale to find a deal, so don’t lose a sale over $1.
  3. Match sets together.  As a rule, outfits sell better than individual pieces.  Groups of 2 shirts or shorts sell better than individual ones.  UNLESS it’s brand new or super cute, give someone a deal on a group of items.

Want to find a consignment sale in your area? Consignment Mommies is a great resource and you can search by zip code. Happy shopping and selling this consignment season! Jennifer Scoggins owns The Lollipop Market, an upscale seasonal consignment sale in San Jose, CA.

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