Home > Declutter > Consignment Selling

Successful Consignment Selling:
Sell Unwanted Items and
Make Extra Money

After you declutter your home, you will undoubtedly have a lot of items that are still good that you find you don't need or want anymore.

Consignment selling is a good way to dispose of these items - and bring in some extra money while you're at it!

How Consignment Selling Works

Consignment shops display your items for you and pay you a percentage of the sale price after they are sold.

Store policies vary on how long they keep items, when items will be marked down (prices reduced), and how and when they pay their consignors.

Check with the store you are interested in dealing with to get the details of how they do things.

Consignment stores usually only accept items that are in very good condition and not noticeably out-dated.

You should not try to consign anything that has any holes, stains, parts missing, etc.

Choosing a Consignment Shop

There are consignment stores that sell women's clothing only, baby and children's items only, or furniture and household items only.

There are also a few that sell all of these things.

Choose the type of store that suits your items and that you like the look and feel of; one that makes you comfortable as a  shopper.

Find out what their system is - how long do they keep items; what percentage do they pay for sold items; how will your items be displayed; when do they mark items down; what is their pick-up policy?

Also, observe the shop - the setting, how busy they are, the other merchandise, how they treat the items, etc.

When you decide on a location for your consignment selling, get their terms in writing (fees, etc.).

Prepare Your Items for Selling

If you have a car you want to sell or you are putting your house up for sale you clean it up. Do the same with the items you intend to sell on consignment.

Detail your things as you would a car you're about to sell - Make them look desirable! This is NOT the job of the consignment shop.

The store is responsible for marketing, sales, providing payment options, collecting sales tax, and staffing a convenient location.

The rest is up to you!

Preparing Clothing for Consignment Selling

  • Wash or dry clean -Make sure each item is clean and smells nice and fresh without being overly scented.

  • Iron - Even things you wouldn't normally iron, like jeans, can benefit and look newer when ironed. Pay attention to the areas around pockets, buttons, etc. that tend to crumple up. Ironing is also a good way to find small stains or tears that you may have missed.

  • Trim off any nubbies - a clothes shaver works well for this.

  • Button all buttons, zip all zippers, etc.

  • Hang the items on  hangers - check to see if the shop offers hangers for you to use, or if you need to supply your own.

When you take things into a consignment shop, they will look them over to make sure they are acceptable. At some shops, you can leave things with them and they will donate to charity the things that they can't use.

You also have the option to take the unwanted clothing back. No reputable shop will accept clothing with unraveling seams, holes or stains.

If clothes are out of season, they may ask you to bring them in at another time (they can't sell a winter jacket during the summer). Some shops are stricter than others and won't take items if they have too many of that type already (jackets, for example) or anything older than a couple of years old.

Most stores keep clothes on the rack for 3 months. If the clothes haven't sold in that length of time you can either take them back or they will donate them to charity.

Consigning Furniture and Other Household Items

Selling furniture and household items at a consignment shop is less work than selling to individuals through ads, etc. because after you get your items cleaned up for sale and leave them with the shop, the rest is up to them.

As a result, though, you lose some control over your item and how it is marketed. If you have things that are very valuable (antiques, for example) take extra care in choosing where you consign them by making sure that your valuables will be treated with the care you expect.

Some other pointers for consigning household items are:

  • Find out how your item(s) will be displayed. If no one sees it, no one will buy it.

  • Get the shop's terms in writing - know what fees they intend to charge you; if and when they will reduce the price of your items, etc.

  • Know the condition of your items! Photographs are helpful for this. Also, find out what the shop's liability is if your item is damaged while in their care.

  • Ask about insurance in case of fire, water damage, etc. to the facility.

  • As with clothing, make sure that your items are clean and presentable - the better they look, the more likely they are to sell!

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