The Keys to Consignment Success

Floor

I’m not one for hosting yard sales – especially since we live in the boonies and no one would find it – and dealing with people on the buy/sell pages can be quite a headache, so when heard about an upcoming consignment sale for women’s and girls’ clothing I figured it was worth a try. I’d recently purged my closet and still had a stack of stuff left from the previous purge so I certainly had plenty to offer. In total I ended up with 115 items!

I registered as a consigner, paid the $10 consignment fee and started entering my items into the online system. Making sure I had the correct size and category for each item was a bit tedious, but it helped when I printed the tags generated by the system and started tagging items since I had several that were similar.

Tags

I rented a tagging gun from the sale’s organizers so I could attach all those tags with the plastic barbs just like the department stores. Although it’s a fairly simple tool I couldn’t quite figure out how to load the barbs. Luckily, a quick online search pulled up a YouTube video that got me rolling. After a few attempts I felt comfortable with the gun and things went pretty quickly.

This sale required consigners to provide their own hangers. I certainly wasn’t giving up my nice felt hangers and didn’t want to buy plastic hangers to use, so I was glad to hear other consigners suggest asking local retailers for their extra hangers. I stopped by the Sears where I meet my carpool to see if they could spare some. Apparently they – and many other retailers – just throw hangers away so the cashier was happy to help me load up two large bags from the bins under her register!

Hangers

Now that I had everything on hangers and tagged I organized everything by category in the guest closet (which was completed just in time!) and bagged batches of items so they would be easier to transport to the sale. I can’t take credit for this awesome idea, it was another suggestion from the sale’s organizers. But it sure worked well!

Bags

I opted to work a few shifts at the sale so instead of the standard 65%, I got to keep 80% of my sales total. Since the sale was located 45 minutes from my house I decided to work shifts when I already planned to be there such as organizing and putting out items when I dropped off my items, a shift just prior to the half-off presale and a third sorting the left over items when I came to pick up my own items. And because I was out on the floor for all of these shifts I also got to see what was available and set aside a few items I wanted to try.

I ended up buying five items for a whopping total of $14.50 and sold 31 for $148.80! Not bad for items I no longer use! And if I leave all of the items that didn’t sell tagged, I can put them in the fall sale without having to re-enter them. Guess that means part of my guest closet will be in use until then. 🙂

So now that I’ve been both a consigner and a shopper I thought I’d share a few tips on how to make the most of a consignment sale for both roles. Here are my tips for shopping a consignment sale:

  1. Get there early! Sometimes you have to wait in line, but you’ll be able to grab the best stuff at the best prices before they’re gone later in the day
  2. Make a list of items you’re looking to add to your wardrobe so you can keep an eye out for them, but don’t limit yourself to just that (unless you’re shopping on a budget) because you might find a great deal on something you didn’t even consider.
  3. Try on everything before buying. Because this is a consignment sale there are no returns if you change your mind once you get home.
  4. Be open to altering something you try on to make it just right, but be realistic about the options each piece will provide so you don’t end up with something you won’t use.

Here’s a few tips for consigners:

  1. Don’t try to sell items that are obviously out of style, unless your sale is right before Halloween or a community event like 80’s prom!
  2. Consider the season of the sale when selecting items.  Sweaters don’t sell as well at spring sales and shorts aren’t very popular in the fall.
  3. Double check all of your items to make sure there is no damage that might keep it from selling.  And if you find something either mend it or remove it from your sales list.
  4. Price your items fairly.  Here’s a handy chart to help and a few more tips on increasing your sales.
  5. Go for it!  If you’re going to go through the process of registering, prepping and tagging you might as well offer as many items as possible and increase your chances of earning more.

I hope these tips help you find consignment success, either as a shopper or a seller!  If you have additional tips, please share them with a comment below.

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So I Went a Little Shoe Fanatic..

After the pantry, the Master Closet was the next priority project.  We had a plan all drawn up and ready so the hubs just started cutting and installing.  Unfortunately, he was transferred to an overnight shift just before the move, so this drastically affected how much he could get done in a day.  That meant that the ladders and tools that had cluttered the kitchen for the first few days post move, now resided in our bedroom and closet for approximately a week.

ClosetDuring

ClosetSaws

For those of you who know me personally, you’ll understand that just thinking about that makes me itch because I can’t stand clutter in any sense.  Finding an outfit for work from the wardrobe boxes each morning was wearing thin and I still hadn’t found my office shoes, jewelry or purses.  Although I was trying to keep my side of the room as organized as possible, the hubs had gone the ‘man route’ and had stuff everywhere and anywhere.  I involuntarily twitched every time I walked past his side of the bed.

ClosetHers
My side of the room.
And his side...
And his side…

About the time he’d gotten my side of the closet almost finished, I found the box with my shoes and purses.  I pulled out a few pairs of heels to get me through the upcoming days and put them along the wall in the closet, because well, that’s where shoes belong.   I knew he would be cutting a hole in the wall to flush mount my full length mirror jewelry cabinet soon, so I held off unpacking my wardrobe and spent a half hour covering all of my shoes to protect them from the dust that would be created.  Apparently I didn’t do a good enough job, because I came home to this the next day.

ClosetShoes

He’d realized that my shoes had gotten dust on them, so he thought the best option was to move them into the bathroom away from the dust.  So there they were, on my bathroom counter.  Who knows what germs those beauties held on their soles, which were now on my counter!  When I noticed there were also Sasquatch sized “dust” foot prints on the bathroom rug, I asked if Big Foot had broken in to try on my shoes while I was at work!

ClosetFootprints

I began cleaning shoes individually, which resulted in pockets of saw dust being spilled out of the inside of each all over the floor.  It was at this point that I pitched a full on fit, which the hubs believed was fully directed at him and his efforts to install the closet.  Many huffs and puffs from both of us and a long talk later, I was able to explain that it was the feeling of living and unpacking “in construction” that had me irritated rather than him.

We set a deadline to get the closet done and tidied up what we could for the time being.  Luckily, he finished up a few days later and I was finally able to unpack all of my clothing and organize everything in the new space.

Well worth the wait!  The trim leaning against the mirror will be used to cover the gap between the cabinet and the wall.
Well worth the wait! The trim leaning against the mirror will be used to cover the gap between the cabinet and the wall.
My side!
My side!
My side also has long hanging space and room for my boots!
My side also has long hanging space and room for my boots, which I’d planned to keep by the mirror!
His side
His side

The ottoman under the mirror holds the laundry bags I use for dedicates and at-home dry cleaning, but it also makes for a great spot to sit in the mornings and put on my socks or nylons.  You might have noticed the trim molding on our access panel is missing.  The builder’s foreman said he moved the panel a few times and it “just fell off.”  Sure… whatever, it’s a moot point now.  I’ll eventually get a rug to cover the panel anyway so it’s not a huge deal, and it worked out because that’s right where the laundry baskets sit so it would have actually been in the way.  I also still need to add the crown molding shelves to hold all my heels, but that will come in time.  For now they can live lined up against the wall.

Overall it’s just what I envisioned.  There’s a spot for everything and there’s still room to grow!  Which most women would probably agree is worth the week or two of stress involved to get to say that. 🙂

A Master Closet Case

As promised, here’s my plans for our Master closet.  We decided to forgo having the builder install any shelving in the closets because we didn’t want to have to ‘work around’ the builder basic shelving or worse rip it out to make it functional for us.  So without further a’do here’s the grand plan for our closet!

ClosetFloorplanWe will each get one side of the closet – of course mine is the bigger side – and my full length jewelry cabinet mirror will hang on the back wall.  There is a funny little indent into the closet at the back because of our toilet being in a separate room in our Master Bath which is next door to the closet. At first that made me worry that it would be difficult to design around, but in the end it worked out pretty well for what we needed.

My side will have double bar space, laundry baskets like this, a couple shelves and a tall hanging space.  Here’s the drawing of the layout.  I still need to measure everything out, but since it’s a simple design I figure we can move things to fit the materials and space.

Jenna's SideMatt’s side will be much simpler with just two rods for hanging and a top shelf along the entire space.  We don’t really use the shelving in our rental’s closet so we figure we don’t need much in our house.

MattsSideThe funny little pop out wall will hold my high heel shoes with something like this and my boots will sit in a pretty copper boot tray at the bottom of the wall.  I plan to add some sort of hanging space for my larger costume jewelry that doesn’t fit well in the mirror cabinet above the shoes.

Picture 5Then the back wall will hold the mirror cabinet, which we plan to mount in the wall.  Based on our preliminary measurements of the framing it should fit between the studs with just a slight shaving of the boards.

BackWallThe crawlspace access is almost smack dab in the middle of the floor of our closet so we plan to put down an area rug to cover it.  I figure you usually come into the closet from the bathroom to get dressed and thus want something soft and warm underfoot while choosing an outfit anyway.

Since it’s a fairly simple layout we should be able to get it set up the first day we’re in the house, especially if we measure and purchase the materials before hand, so they’re ready to be installed.  The simple design also means we won’t be spending oodles on some fancy closet kit either!  I think that might just be the best part of the whole project!

So that’s the master plan.  What do you think?