Consignment Sale Tips

From Sarah C.:

I’ve been participating in consignment sales, specifically Kids EveryWear, for over 4 years now and repeatedly find I end up with about 90% of my possible return on doing so. Whether you’re interested in participating in a consignment sale for the first time, or have experience and just want a few pointers, read on …

Plan Ahead

Consignment Sales: Toddler ToysPlanning is key. The more organized and prepared you are ahead of each sale, the easier the process is.

Things to consider:

  • watch for sale dates. These are posted on sale websites, but also often on social media and/or sent via email lists. Depending on the size and popularity of the sale, space can fill up early so you want to be prepared to register as soon as registration opens. This also allows you for plenty of time to get your items priced & ready.
  • print your tags. Always print the tags on cardstock. Regular printer paper will not hold up. Each sale should designate the specific color of cardstock to use. For Kids EveryWear, a form is generated when you register (you can access it again via their website) with your code on 12 tags. Print on white cardstock to have any unsold items donated after the sale. Use the specific color cardstock noted in your registration info if you want to claim any unsold items after the sale.
  • organize supplies. I have a basket where I store my usual supplies from sale to sale. This includes zip ties, safety pins, extra cheap kids’ hangers (I personally prefer these to bending up metal adult size to fit into kids’ clothes), a good pen, hole punch, painter’s tape (perfect for taping price tags to game boxes & similar items that might be damaged by packing tape or similar) and wire cutters (for trimming zip ties).

Prepping Items

I can’t stress enough – make sure your items from clothing and gear to toys and decor are clean and neatly presented. You are competing with everyone else’s items. You want yours to shine. It’s especially noticeable in toys where there might be 2 or 12 of the exact same item. One of the keys to getting yours sold (besides price) is how nice it looks. I’ve personally bought a higher priced item many times when it is cleaner and nicer looking than the same item with the lower price. Presentation makes a difference.

Consignment Sale: ClothingAll clothing should be on the hanger in the same direction so the top of the hanger makes a “?”. Make sure the item is as neat as possible. I don’t necessarily iron every single piece unless an item is really wrinkled, but I do check that collars are turned down and all buttons are buttoned (as easy clue to a shopper that all buttons are intact and functioning). These little details along with not selling stained, faded or torn items, helps to show the buyer that you cared enough about how these appeared during the sale, you must have cared for them while in your possession.

Each item you want to sell, consider if it’s something you would buy again in the current condition.


Obviously, parents shopping consignment are looking for a deal. The golden rule is price about 25% of the new retail price. You can fluctuate from this, but keep in mind if you want items to sell at full price and make you the most money, keep the prices low. I’m not saying everything has to be marked $1, but definitely don’t price an item at 75% of retail price.

Color makes a difference. For Kids EveryWear, prices in black ink can be reduced in final days of the sale up to 75% off; green ink prices up to 50%; and red ink prices get no reduction. That red ink can be a turnoff for some. Honestly, if I see it, I keep on going and don’t even bother. Quite often the items with red ink prices are priced higher and leave me wondering, “what makes your item so special?”

As a seller, I approach consignment sales with the goal of wanting to sell all of my items and make some cash to offset (maybe cover) the amount I spend myself on clothing for my son. As a buyer, I’m looking for deals and how to stretch my money. I try to keep both of these personas in mind when pricing and usually set my prices on the low end on purpose knowing they are more likely to sell full price and will benefit another parent looking to stretch their money as well.

Shopping Early

Consignment Sale: GearMost of the area consignment sales offer special early shopping days for various groups before the sale opens to the public. Consignors are typically one of these groups. Another is volunteers. Volunteers usually get to shop before consignors – something to consider if you want to get in when selection is best whether you sell anything or not.


Do you enjoy consignment sales? Have any tips of your own? Feel free to share in the comments or on Facebook

** The Fall 2017 Kids EveryWear sale is taking place September 8-18. See their website for more details and to sign up to consign and/or volunteer: **

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