Consignment sales gain popularity among moms

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by MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MimiJungKING5

KING5.com

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 16 at 5:49 AM

What do you do with your children's clothes when your kids outgrow them? Donate them? Consign them at a store?

These days, more and more moms are selling their kids' used clothes, toys, books and furniture at consignment sales -- a different take on the consignment model.

Most consignment stores pay out 40 percent to 50 percent of the sale price. And in many cases, sellers have to wait to get your check. 

But Rachel Kalous, the owner of the Jack and Jill Sale, said a consignment sale eliminates the delay and boosts the seller's take home cash.

"You get paid out higher than if you did a consignment store, so we start by paying out 65 percent and you can earn even more if you volunteer," Kalous said.

For a consignment sale, Kalous said clothes need to be in excellent condition or very gently used.  Items that are new with tags still attached sell really well.

"If your'e thinking it has too much wear, go ahead and put it in the donation pile," she said.

Brand names like Janie and Jack, GapKids and Gymboree are always more popular.  And outfits are always a hit.  If you have pieces that go together, like a dress and matching hat, sell them as a set, Kalous advised.

One of the perks of a consignment sale is consignors get to set their own prices.  But it can also be one of the most challenging things for a first-time seller.

Kalous said the best way to calculate your pricing is to aim for 25 percent to 30 percent of an item's retail price. Brand new outfits can fetch up to 50 percent of retail. A brand new sundress with matching hat from Gymboree, for example, would sell for $10-$12.  A gently used pair of black Pedipeds should be priced at $6 or $7.

Kalous said the key is to price items to sell. "Let's say you're putting a bouncy seat in the sale. There's probably going to be six other identical bouncy seats, so price it competitively," said Kalous.

"Sometimes as a first time consignor, people will price their items a little bit high because they're hoping to get more for it."

After setting the prices, sellers have to enter every item into the consignment sale database, print the tags and attach each tag to the garments using a tagging gun or safety pins. Then each item needs to be hung separately on a plastic hanger.

Kalous said shoes either need to be kept together with zip-ties or placed in a ziploc bag. Painter's tape is a great way to attach the price tag to books; a series of books can be put in a ziploc bag.

Here are things you'll need to get your items ready for a consignment sale:

  • Ziploc bags
  • Hangers
  • Packing tape
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors
  • Painter's Tape

At the Jack and Jill sale, which happens twice a year, Kalous said the average consignor will make between $100 and $300.  "I think a lot of people, for the first time, it's a learning curve. But once you do it, you get hooked," she said.

After the sale is done, consignors have the option to pick up their unsold items or donate them to Westside Baby, a non-profit organization that helps children in need.

Registration for the Fall Jack and Jill Sale at the Lynnwood Convention Center begins June 1. More information is online at www.thejackandjillsale.com.

To find other consignment sales in Western Washington, visit the Consignment Mommies website.

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