Clothing makes up a large amount of most families discarded items each year. Children grow, and so do moms and dads (or they get serious about their health and shrink). Since clothing makes up a large percentage of no longer needed items in a home they are also a great way to earn a bit of cash to purchase things a family currently needs.
One way to make money from your clothes is to sell them at consignment stores.
Consignment stores, vary in the way they buy and sell the clothes they carry, for instance a lot of consignment stores now buy up front. However, technically that is not a consignment store, if you look up consignment in the dictionary, it states that a this is a relationship where one drops things off at a dealer and the dealer pays only for what sells and returns what is unsold so for this post I am going to talk about consignment stores that do just that.
5 Tips For Selling At Consignment Stores
1. Get the list of written rules from the store first
Getting clothes ready for a consignment store can be time consuming so before you waste a minute checking your child’s too small jeans for stains and signs of wear and spend time folding them just so only to find out they are not accepting jeans this month, go to the store and pick up their list of consignment rules.
2. Divide you clothes into two piles one for summer and one for winter
Most stores accepts clothes according to the seasons, from July through December they take winter clothes, from January through June they accept summer clothes.
3. Make sure to clearly mark your name and number on the bag you are dropping your clothes off in
Many consignment stores do not go through your clothes the day you drop them off so to make sure you get credit for what you dropped off mark your drop off bag with your name and number and seal the bag shut.
4. Drop off only your best stuff
Consignment stores are picky, they want only your best stuff. I always put my clothes up to a bright light to make sure I am not missing any small stains. I check each and every seam to make sure their are no rips. I also do not donate big box store brands but stick to name brands that people are after like Gymboree or Children’s Place.
Also consider they style of your clothes. Consignment stores only want current fashions.
Keep your in good shape big box store labels or name brand clothes that classic styles to sell at consignment sales or yard sales where the costumers tend to not be as picky (at least that is what I have found to work for me).
5. Present your items well
Make sure you items are freshly washed, free of wrinkles and neatly folded as you place them in the bag for drop off and inspection.
Consignment store cash is not automatic, at least not at the store I use. I am paid when my items sell and I receive 70% of the sale. The store keeps the other 30%.
However, it is nice to have someone else find a buyer for you, and I find I often get more for my item than I would if I sold it at a yard sale even with the stores 30% cut taken off.
For instance one year, I kept finding great brand name jeans ( Levi’s, and Gap) for my daughter for just $1 a pair at summer yard sales. I lost track of what I was putting away for her, and when I went into her to grow into bin when fall arrived, she had 15 pairs of jeans in one size.
Since yard sale season was over, I decided the best and fastest way to get my money back was to take them to the consignment store. The next time I was driving by the consignment store, I dropped off 10 pairs, leaving her 5 to wear. I returned about 2 months later to stop in and see if I had any sales, not having dropped off anything to sell in months besides the 10 pairs of jeans, I was surprised to find $24 waiting.
I could have resold my jeans for the $1 I paid at my next yard sale and made my $10 back, but instead I made myself a $14 profit.
That said I would not recommend buying yard sale items specifically for profit at a consignment stores, you just don’t have enough control over the price of your items once they leave your hands, and if you item does not sell, and your store does not return unsold items like mine, you could be out money.
I have heard a lot of stores will give you a greater percentage of your sales, if you choose to take store credit. I don’t think I would bite at such an offer, as I tend to find better prices on what my children need at yard sales, and clearance racks than I do at a consignment store. Probably because I am not picky about the label my kids wear, and neither are they.