Is it Worth Your Time to Consign the Kids’ Clothes?

If you sometimes wonder over the economics of your time spent clipping coupons, you are certain to wonder whether it is worth your time to consign your kids’ clothes in one of the upcoming sales.

It’s a shame that the perfectly good smocked dress or jon-jon is outgrown already, and it would be nice to recoup a portion of the fortune you paid for it. But by the time you’ve laundered, scrubbed, ironed, tagged, and waited to drop off,  is it worth the trouble?

Here are some factors to consider from busy moms who have consigned:

  • Most consignment sales allow consignors to shop earlier than the general public. If you will be shopping, choose a sale that typically has merchandise you like. If you are more interested in selling than purchasing, you may want to opt for a sale with the most convenient location for you.
  • A well-run operation is a must, and most sales that have been ongoing for years (such as those produced regularly by a church or a recurrent sale by the same operators) have gotten the practice down to a science. This means less confusion and less of your time.
  • You’ll need a minimum number of items to be able to consign. If you have several premium brands or baby gear that is in excellent condition, you can probably do well. Be aware that most consignment sales will not accept discount brands unless they are appliqued or monogrammed with a single initial and thus have added value.
  • You must register in advance with the seller to be able to consign. Upon registration, you’ll receive instructions on how to hang and label your items. Start saving wire hangers from the dry cleaner a few weeks ahead so you’re ready.
  • Toys and baby gear in excellent condition sells very well and may be easier to prepare for a sale than clothing, provided you have enough items (it certainly helps clear space at home).
  • If you have a friend who is already consigning, she might be willing to include your items for a generous split of the proceeds. It might be little additional trouble for her to add your items. Consider pledging your portion of the proceeds for a mom’s night out that you can both enjoy later.
  • You’ll have a designated drop-off time, and waiting here can be the most painful part of the process. If you have selected carefully and prepped the items well, intake will go quickly.

Going forward, reserve an area of your kids’ closet for giveaway items. Keep index cards, safety pins, and markers on hand and you can tag your item as soon as you decide it’s time to pass it on. Future consigning will be a snap.

The better your own system for consignment prep, the more likely you will recoup your investment of time.

For a list of metro area sales, visit the Birmingham Consignment Sale Calendar

  • Consignment Mommy

    One REALLY fabulous new trend in Consignment world is that a lot of sales are offering TAGGING SERVICES. For a small percentage of sales or for a flat fee, they’ll tag & price your items for you!!

    It’s fabulous for busy moms who want to break into consignment but just don’t have the time.

  • Tina

    Great point. A tagging service would take out much of the “hassle factor,” and is still better than missing the sale altogether because you were too busy to tag and itemize. Thanks for the comment!

  • Terram

    I’ve got to disagree with #3: “Be aware that most consignment sales will not accept discount brands unless they are appliqued or monogrammed with a single initial and thus have added value.” I have consigned my kids’ cloths at 3 sales, include KidsMarket, which is the largest in B’ham. I’ve also worked as a volunteer “receiver” at KidsMarket. I’ve never had any cloths turned away unless they were stained, torn, or out of season. I’ve also successfully sold (and bought!) many “discount bands” when they were in in great shape. Most consignment shoppers are looking for play cloths as well as nice ones, and won’t hesitate to buy Target or WalMart jeans, t-shirts and shoes if they are in perfect condition and available for only a dollar or two.

  • Tina

    That is a good point. I’ve never consigned with that sale but I have shopped it and found it to be extremely well organized. I can see that play clothes would sell as well as name brands provided they are in great condition and priced right.

    Sounds like you know how to keep your kids’ clothes in good shape for future consigning. You must be a whiz with the Tide pen!

    Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

  • Brenda

    I have consigned for years at a wonderful place called Momma Goose in Ithaca NY, I rarely accept the cash pay option but instead prefer the store credit and get things for my daughter in her next size. I personally think in our going green world it is worth the little extra effort to reuse and recycle nice things such as cloths and to not feel it isn’t good enough to reclaim some as well, I find very unique items even from other ethnic origins and my daughter loves to be unique!