Consignment Selling Success Tips!

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If you’ve been following my financial journey, you may have noticed that I have been making extra money by selling stuff at consignment shops. In both my January and February financial updates I shared that I had money from consignment sales to send to my debt.

One thing I really love about consignment is the convenience  – I drop things off, wait for them to sell, and collect my earnings! Much less effort than traditional yard sales, or selling online through apps, Craigslist or Facebook yard sale groups.

consignment selling success tips

I have sold everything from baby and maternity clothes, baby gear, toys and books to household goods and kitchen items. If you haven’t tried consignment shops yet, I hope you will!

Here are my best consignment selling success tips!

Know the store policies

When you open an account as a seller at a consignment shop you will likely sign a contract. Read before you sign and get to know the store’s policies!

Here are some things to take note of:

  • Will you be paid up front for your items or share the profits with the owner?
  • What percentage of the sale do you receive? (40% is common in my area)
  • Are there any fees? (one shop I frequent takes a one time $5 seller fee)
  • How long will your items be on the sales floor? (60 days is common in my area)
  • What happens to your unsold merchandise? (I gave permission for mine to be donated to local charities)
  • Are there items/brands they do NOT accept?
  • How often are items marked down? Are there big sales frequently? (One of my shops holds a big sale the last Saturday of the month – I like to drop off my new items the Monday after this sale so they have time on the sales floor before being marked down)

Take good care of your stuff

This should go without saying, but – only drop off clean, neat items. Ask yourself, “would I buy this item, in this condition?”

Don’t limit yourself to one shop

It can be a pain to drive around to multiple stores and keep track of what is where, but it can be worthwhile to use different shops for different items. Don’t drop everything off to one store out of convenience if your items would do better elsewhere (see my next two points below to understand why).

Specialty shops are better than general

A “we take everything” consignment shop is okay if it’s your only option. I prefer to find shops with a niche though! All of my baby and maternity stuff goes to one shop, while my old work clothes go to a shop that has a customer base of professional women in their 20’s – 40’s. I have seen consignment shops just for sports equiptment and for trendy clothes for teens.

Know what sells

Before dropping items off to a consignment shop for the first time, take a few minutes and browse the store. What brands and types of things are on the racks and on display? What didn’t do well quickly enough and got sent to the clearance rack? Talk to the store owners or employees about what sells best. They will tell you who their customers are and what brands are the most popular.

Be patient

When I drop off a big load of clothes, I’m already calculating the potential earnings in my head! I’ve learned to calm down, and not check my account balance too often. Give your items a chance to be put out on the sales floor and sold. It takes time.

Pay attention to the seasons

Most consignment shops take items for the current season and next season. Some may have stricter rules and cut off dates than others. Pay attention to the seasons and when your shop is ready to take your next group of seasonal items.

Now as my kids grow out of clothes, I automatically sort them into seasonal boxes for later consigning.

Support the business

Consignment shops are small businesses, and I love supporting small businesses in my community. My favorite way to show them support is through social media. I follow each shop’s Facebook page, and like all of their posts. This helps the posts to be seen by more people, hopefully leading to them getting more customers (and selling more of my stuff!).

Another perk of following consignment shops on social media is they will let you know when they have requests for certain items. My local kid/baby shop recently requested baby bathtubs and I had one I wasn’t using but had forgotten about!

Consider store credit

I’m using consignment as a way to earn more income/pay off debt but you don’t have to if those aren’t your current goals. Store credit is a great alternative, and let’s you shop for new (to you) clothes after dropping off your old ones! This would be a great way to save on clothes for the whole family.

Look into other services

Some of my local shops offer pickup – they come to you to get your items. Doesn’t get much more convenient than that! Another cool service I have seen is closet clean out. The shop owner (who is a fashionista) comes over to help you weed out unnecessary items from your closet, and show you how to make the most of the clothes you do keep by creating new outfits for you!

Consider online options

If your community doesn’t have consignment shops, don’t worry! There are online options! I have not tried it personally yet, but my mom has had a really good experience using ThredUp.

consignment selling success tips

Have you used consignment shops to make money? Share your best tips in the comments below!

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42 Comments

  1. These are really all good tips! I have a favorite consignment shop for baby clothes when someone I know is having a baby. They only accept the best looking items in really good condition.
    It’s so smart for parents to use consignment shops while the children are growing so quickly! There are 8 years between my girls so no hand me downs 🙁 I used my favorite consignment shop to sell their clothes and keep them looking good in ‘new’ clothes.
    Shirley Wood recently posted…Merry Monday Link Party #95My Profile

  2. These are great tips Erin! I haven’t sold at consignment stores before, they honestly kind of seem daunting. Maybe I’m just not familiar enough with them.
    Julie S recently posted…Introducing Pets to BabyMy Profile

  3. Thanks so much for these tips! I have so many kids clothes that I would love to sell!
    Jennifer B recently posted…5 Plants That Clean the AirMy Profile

  4. What a great idea. I read this article and went on the computer to see if we had some consignments shops close by. I am busy going through closets and see that I have some things to get rid of – what a great way to make a little extra money
    Cynthia L recently posted…Menu Plan Monday #67 – Easy meals for your familyMy Profile

  5. I have a whole pile of stuff to send to the consignment. It really does help me save some money by doing this. Great tips too!
    Censie recently posted…Pine Cone Bird Feeders – Springtime Family FunMy Profile

  6. I ship at consignment shops often but have never sold items at one. I liked your selling tips.

  7. Wow, awesome ideas! I had a yard sale over the weekend. Let’s just say, people don’t seem to be in the yard sale mood yet! I probably would have been better off trying to sell some of that stuff on consignment. These tips are great, I never would have thought of some of these points!
    Jamie @ Medium Sized Family recently posted…2 Week Meal Plan for Late MarchMy Profile

  8. I sold some coats once, but you get a better return when you exchange it for store credit, so I ended up coming home with a couple of new ones!
    lana recently posted…10 Imaginative Doodle BooksMy Profile

  9. Great tips. I’m a consignment SHOPPER vs seller! haha. But I’ve thought it could be fun to try selling at some point too! Bookmarking these tips!
    Jennifer aka Baby Making Machine recently posted…We’re on Spring Break!My Profile

  10. I really want to sell at consignment shops. I’ve heard you get more money for your items. We have a few consignment shops in our area that I can’t wait to check out.
    Healing Mama recently posted…The Stay At Home Mom Life- Living On One IncomeMy Profile

  11. In my old town we had a fabulous consignment store that unfortunately was sold. I loved it while it was around. That is really neat about someone coming to your house to go through your closet! I could sure use that. Great tips!

  12. I have been thinking about whether selling a consignment shop would be worthwhile! There is a great baby one nearby so I just may give it a shot! The only negative I find is that you only receive 40%, where on a swap site you get 100%. Obviously more work with the latter, though!
    Tori
    http://www.themamanurse.com
    Tori recently posted…Mom Confessions: Our Lives Are Perfectly ImperfectMy Profile

    • For a busy mom, I think the loss of profit is worth not having to deal with shipping, etc. I love the “drop and go” aspect of my local consignment shops!

  13. Great selling ideas! I only do some online selling..
    Marina @ Parental Journey recently posted…Fun Websites for Parents-To-BeMy Profile

  14. This is really interesting. I don’t think we have anything like this in the UK, but eBay is really big here, so I think most people just sell on there. Some of your tips – like choosing seasonal, can still apply to online sales too though x
    Mummy’s Blog recently posted…Charity Shop BargainsMy Profile

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this at #100HappyDays! These are great tips. My neighbor just told me that there are FB garage sale groups that you search for in your area. She sold her furniture in a day, by posting a pic and a price.

  16. This sounds like a great idea. I always like to think my items that I no longer need can go to a new home. I usually just donate them to charity shops though. The tips will be really helpful for anyone wanting to do this too.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie
    Life Loving recently posted…Belly Dancing ClassesMy Profile

    • That’s great Sally! Any of the consignment items that don’t sell in 60 days get donated to charity, so that makes me feel good! 🙂

  17. He’s a really great clips, especially combined with the fact that it’s spring and everyone wants to spring clean. While cleaning out your closet you might as well separate things to take to a consignment store. If you’re already cleaning, it just makes sense. I love your tips, anyone should be able to use them and make some extra money on the side, and help others to be able to afford a decent outfit at the consignment store. It’s a win-win!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…Social Media Blast-Instagram week!My Profile

  18. These are great tips. Recently, I was wondering about selling at a local consignment shop and wasn’t sure how it worked. I feel like a pro now!!!

  19. These are some helpful tips! Pinned and shared. Thank you for partying at #overthemoon.
    Marilyn Lesniak recently posted…Menopause Pie aka Chocolate Peanut Butter DreamMy Profile

  20. I own La Rouge Consignment and Bridal, these are great tips………..thank you so much

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