I used to spend hours preparing clothing, gear, and toys to sell at children’s consignment sales. But I don’t anymore.
I have written a follow-up to this post called “8 Reasons Why You SHOULD Consider Selling at a Children’s Consignment Sale.” You can read it here.
For years, I sold our girls’ clothing, gear, and toys at children’s consignment sales because we have bought the majority of their things at these sales ourselves.
But this wasn’t easy money.
It took me hours to wash, iron, and tag the clothes. I had to decide on prices, type these along with the sizes and brands into a computer program, and print the information on cardstock. Then, I had to cut out the tags and safety pin them onto the clothes.
Instead of bringing me joy to be working hard to make money for my family, selling at these consignment sales drained my energy and left me frazzled and incredibly stressed.
One day a light bulb went off, and I decided right then and there that consignment sales were not for me.
Here are three reasons why I stopped selling at children’s consignment sales:
1. I wasn’t making much (if any) money.
I started doing some math.
First, I calculated how many hours I put into the consignment preparation. Then, I calculated how much money I was spending on supplies–cardstock, printer ink, and safety pins, not to mention the consignor participation fee.
I then looked at how much money I was walking away with.
My heart sank when I realized I was doing hours upon hours of work, but I was making barely any money.
I work from home, so I already make a full-time income via my blog. I realized that I could spend a fraction of the time I was spending on consigning by doing some income-producing work for my blog instead–and get a much better return for my time investment.
If you can make more money for your family in less time doing something you would enjoy more, then it’s not worth the time you are spending to sell at consignment sales.
2. My children were phasing out of the benefit of consignment sales.
My oldest child is nearing 8 years old and my youngest is now 3 1/2. Since I have three girls, I primarily shop for the oldest and pass her clothes down to the younger two.
While shopping at consignment sales was hugely beneficial when I had babies, consignment finds get fewer and far between as children grow because older children produce much more wear and tear on their clothing.
I can spend less time and less money by shopping the end-of-season clearance racks at stores like Kohls or Target.
In addition, because of how badly my two preschoolers and school-age daughter were wearing out their clothing, I found I had a hard time coming up with enough decent clothing to meet the consignment sale’s quota.
All that said, I do still love browsing the racks at a couple of my local seasonal consignment sales (I am particularly partial to one my friend owns!). I enjoy supporting other moms this way. But I just go knowing that I will find less things than I used to when my girls were younger.
3. It stressed me out.
This endeavor that was supposed to be blessing my family was causing me stress, costing me sleep, and taking time away from my kids.
Sometimes I would stay up almost all night getting my consignment stuff ready.
I know I’m not alone in this.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who was stressing out about her consignment sale. She told me she was barely selling anything yet spent hours preparing her things. She ended up bringing most of the clothes back home to donate.
My friend cleans houses as a side job. I asked her, “Do you make more money per hour cleaning houses than you do working on this consignment stuff?”
She said yes, so I told her it was not worth the stress she was putting herself through.
She was exhausting herself with preparing clothes that would most likely never sell–when she could be expelling the same energy to take on another house to clean, and make more money in the process.
And, most importantly, it would not take any more time away from her family than the consignment sales were already taking.
Does that mean everyone should stop consigning stuff at consignment sales? Absolutely not!
There are valid reasons why you should consider selling at children’s consignment sales.
2 Reasons to Sell at Children’s Consignment Sales
1. You really need the money.
We have been there. For years we lived on a low income. I needed every single extra penny I could get. At the time, I was not making money from home.
If you’re in that position, selling at children’s consignment sales are a great idea.
It is taking something you already have and selling it somewhere that will probably get you a little bit more money than you would get at a yard sale.
2. You really love consigning.
If you just really like it, that’s awesome.
We are friends with the woman who runs our favorite local consignment sale, and for a year or so I continued to sell at it just to support her.
Even after I stopped consigning, there was a time when I still volunteered at the sale without the pressure of selling.
Volunteering was a great time for me to hang out with other moms who were also volunteering. Plus, volunteers got to shop early, and I would get a quick peek at some of the things I might want to buy my kids once the sale started.
What do I do with my kids’ clothes now?
Donating right away has helped me to get rid of stuff faster.
Just holding on to the clothes waiting for the next sale was creating clutter in my home.
Most of the time, I donate clothes to our local Christian mission.
However, I occasionally send bags of clothes to Schoola.com. You can buy or donate used clothing at Schoola, and it’s super easy because they send you a bag and you just drop it in the mail! (I wrote a more detailed post on how to donate clothes to Schoola here.)
Since I have three little girls, I can get three uses out of many of our clothes. After the third use, they are not usually in great condition. If they are not in good enough condition for me to donate, I will throw those away.
Sell at a consignment shop (instead of seasonal consignment sales).
In my town, we have a consignment shop that will allow you to just put the clothes on a hanger, take them to the shop, and they will do everything else for you.
This eliminates the decision fatigue of having to decide on a price, but I do make less money this way because the store takes a bigger cut of the profits since they do all of the work for you.
But because it takes me virtually no time to prepare my clothes, I actually end up making more money per hour this way.
The bottom line is recognizing that if something is stressing you out and sapping your joy, it’s OK to let it go. Even good things can become bad things for you if you are not in the right season of life for them.
Do you consign clothes at children’s consignment sales? Why or why not? What are your tips for consigning without getting stressed out?