If you actually read my blog, you'll know that I tried out the whole consignment thing. I joined up as a consigner for the There They Grow Again event that was held last weekend in Hanover, MA. I started with an inventory of about 160 items and I put about $840 (give or take) on the items. I sold about $259 worth of my inventory. So my share is just over $200 (assuming I added correctly - which I probably didn't).
So was this a success? I say "yes." $200 is $200. I think the bigger success is the knowledge I learned from volunteering and seeing what happens. I never did this before. In fact, I never shopped at a consignment event or kid consignment store before. So I really was like a deer walking into headlights with this whole thing.
Some things I observed from working this thing:
- Stay in the Season. At spring sales, people really do only want summer clothes. I picked up my remaining inventory and I had 37 pieces that are really more "winter" pieces - long sleeves, pants, seasonal colors, etc. No big deal. Just threw them in my consignment closet and they'll be ready to go in the fall. They were pieces that were "well, it could be summer, but it could also be fall." I threw them in anyways and realized I should have just held them until the fall.
- Learning prices. Quite honestly, I think I was pretty good with pricing the used summer stuff. Almost all my shorts went at $3 or $4 and I thought $4 was pretty high when I was tagging them, but most of them went. T-shirts I tried to stay at $2 or $3 and I sort of wish I just did $2s down the board. As far as girls stuff, it looked like $8 and $9 was a good price point for dresses and fancier things. Once you hit over the $10 mark, people become uninterested. Or at least that is what it seemed like.
- Understanding "Normal" People. I think the biggest eye opener for me was seeing the buying habits of 'normal' people. For the past 6 years, I have been buying "off season" - buying winter stuff in March & April. Buying summer stuff in September & October. I love myself a good clearance/end of season sale. I also love my Rubbermaid storage bins to store said bargains. Most of the shoppers really just looked at what they were coming into for the summer. I think accepting the fact that I'm weird and other people are normal was a good first step.
- Toys. Holy Moly. I did not realize toys were such a hot consignment deal. I did sell some old DVDs & VHS. Most I listed at $2 or $3 and I want to say I tagged about 20 something of them and only came home with 4. 3 of the 4 were "Christmasy" in theme. Again - Duh! Who wants to buy a Christmas DVD in April? No worries. They're still tagged so I can store them until the fall. I did not realize the DVDs would go as well as they did.
- Big Ticket Items. I have no advice on strollers, cribs, car seats, etc. Only that, I wish I knew these events existed when I was expecting. There were great deals on strollers - both single and double. Hardly used ones. Fraction of the original prices. Shame on me.
So there you have it. I didn't hit my goal of selling $400 of my inventory, but I got to $259 (I think. Close to it). I'm going to do it again in the fall and see what comes of that - and probably reassess the prices on some of my fall/winter inventory to make it more desirable.
One aspect of this sale is that I walked right in and didn't feel intimidated or weird. I volunteered to help set up so I met some other consignors. It was all cool. Kris provided refreshments for the volunteers which was really nice. I'll be back. In the meantime, check out There They Grow Again on Facebook and you can also check out Consignment Mommies (insert shakes here - I am not a fan of the word "mommies").