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The Consigning Momma

Since the days when my girls were very little, I have always felt overwhelmed with the amount of things that we have acquired…from the days with infants and all the baby gear…to today, where we have tons of clothes. I started consigning early on to try to contain the massive amounts of things. The consigning process can seem very overwhelming, but for me it has been cleansing (clearing the clutter) and wise financially.

There are many different opportunities for consigning here in the Lowcountry, including Charleston Repeats (www.charlestonrepeats.com) held each March and September and Kids Exchange of Greater Charleston (http://www.kxcharleston.com) held in February and September. Both events provide one stop consign and shop opportunities. Or you can consider consigning through one of the many local shops in West Ashley, North Charleston, James Island and Mount Pleasant.

I have been a consigning momma with Charleston Repeats since 2011. The event’s website provides excellent instruction on how to consign, instructions for the process, and tips and tricks. I have found a system that allows me to stay on top of the process.

Tips for Organizing

My first order of business is attempting to stay organized. I have purchased 2 large totes to collect clothes as the girls grow out of them or at the end of a season change. It is easy to quickly fold items and put them into the tote. As this point, I am not doing a detailed inspection. I save that step for later. The totes are great to place at the bottom of the closet and are excellent spot to toss items as they outgrow them, including shoes.

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A few weeks prior to the sale, I like to pull out my totes and do a final run through their closets to see if there is anything else that could be consigned. This is a great time to do visual inspections of the clothes. I look for stains, rips, buttons missing, etc.

Now I create 4 piles:

  • Consign Now
  • Consign Later – These items may be consign worthy, but I either have too much for one sale or they are in the wrong season.
  • Donate – Good condition but showing signs of wear or items that don’t match up well with other things I have. For example, a cute pair of jeans that I don’t have a shirt to pair with it would go in this pile.
  • Toss – Anything with visible stains or extremely loved (worn a lot) gets tossed.

The Final Crunch

A week or so prior to the sale drop-off, I begin organizing my Consign Now pile. I start by hanging all the items on hangers. This allows me to identify what items need to be ironed. (This is a crucial step – your clothes need to look good on the hanger in order for someone to want to purchase. I don’t iron except for the CR sale.)

As my girls have gotten older they have become very helpful in this final preparation step. The girls assist with stickering all the clothes with my consigner number.

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I enter the items into the computer system at this point and select an appropriate selling price. (A reasonable price that someone else will pay. I ask myself routinely “How much would I pay for this? Not, how much did I pay for this?)

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My last steps are to secure the items to the hangers with safety pins (specifics to this are listed on the CR website.)

Tags need to be printed for the CR sale. I don’t own a printer (we got rid of that years ago). So I put the tags on my flash drive and go to a local print shop to have the tags printed on the appropriate cardstock. Cardstock can be difficult to find and expensive, so I think this method is cheaper and easier.

Succe$$

Participating as a consigner allows you to have early access to the sale. Consignment sales are a great place to stock up and you can often find lots of great options, including clothing and kids gear. But in addition to that, consignment sales are a great way to recoup on the investments you made early on with all this baby and kid gear.

I have participated in CR over the last eight out of nine seasons and made approximately $3,000 through this sale alone, that’s an average of $375 profit per sale. While the sale requires some effort and preparation, it can be financially rewarding.

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The consignment sign up for this season has passed, however you have an opportunity to shop this week starting on Wednesday, March 9th for the Presale Bash (volunteers, consigners, First Time Moms, and Grandmothers – sign up required) and shopping to the public opens on Thursday, March 10th. Follow Charleston Repeats on Facebook or Twitter for access to the early shopping hours this day. For the full sale schedule and information on Charleston Repeats, please visit www.charlestonrepeats.com.

Happy consigning and happy shopping!

Do you have any tips for organizing, donating, and consigning old clothing?  If so, please share in the comments below!

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